Does your professional services firm invest in customer success? Studies reveal that customer-centric firms are 60% more profitable than their peers. That explains how important customer success should be to your business. Particularly, those offering professional services because such firms thrive on long-standing relationships with their customers.
Most professional services clientele comprises of repeat customers who are highly engaged when they have amazing relationships with their service providers. A couple of decades ago, this meant sending an occasional Christmas card to your customers, but that’s no longer sufficient.
The present-day customer wants a firm dedicated to helping them realize their cherished goals. They no longer want a professional service provider, instead, they seek a partner willing to hold their hand and help them sail through professional adversities.
What is Customer Success?
Customer success means adopting proactive methodologies to assist your customers in realizing their objectives. It involves foreseeing industry-specific challenges that customers are likely to confront and providing prompt solutions to overcome those. The catch here is to provide the solutions even before the customer approaches you with their concerns.
Business leaders and industry experts firmly believe that focusing on customer success increases customer loyalty and reduces the churn rate. Firms that do not invest time and resources into customer success end up souring their relationship with them. Eventually, customers end up looking to make a change — something that customer success leaders can help prevent.
What Does a Customer Success Manager Do?
Most people are confused between customer support executives and customer success managers — two terms with very different meanings but often used interchangeably. While the support executives deliver reactive functions such as resolving queries, the success managers function more proactively.
These professionals have the experience and expertise needed to manage the entire customer journey and customer experience. Their sole focus is to ensure customers are happy, have their expectations met, and receive the best service possible. If your business lacks this capability, it’s time to rope in seasoned strategy development professionals to evaluate, assess and implement it for you.
How Customer Success Impacts Customer Relationships?
Customer expectations are changing and unless you keep up with it, your customers are going to look for alternatives. All it takes is a quick search on Google or any other search engine and they can find an alternative in less than three seconds.
You can stop that from happening by investing time and resources in customer success, which generates returns in the form of repeat business. As customer retention is five times cheaper than customer acquisition, the firm’s profits are maximized. Sounds interesting? Let us now figure out how simple and easy-to-implement customer success strategies can make a huge difference in relationship development.
1. Plan an Effective Customer Journey
From the very moment a prospect gets in touch with your sales team, the customer journey begins. So, you need to have the entire customer journey worked out beforehand. A great way to get started is by creating a customer journey roadmap that is aligned with the customer’s desired objective. With some prior planning, you can design one that is both productive and fulfilling.
The goal here is to instill confidence in your customers about your firm’s capability to solve their problems. In doing so, remember that every prospect or client is different and so are their problems. Thus, make sure to keep track of it and assign customer success managers who can address those specific concerns.
Doing this manually can be a tad bit difficult, which is why you need to rely on advanced tools like StartingPoint. This omnichannel service management platform lets you classify customer requests and auto-assign them to specific resources. You can even use it to identify frequently asked queries and automate responses through templates and FAQ sections, thereby providing solutions proactively.
· Create a roadmap that emphasizes the customer’s desired goal.
· Use technology to automate workflow so that appropriate resources interact with prospects.
· Create goal-based customer personas and stick to them.
· Throw emphasis on the customer personas you have created.
· Plan your touchpoints carefully.
2. Solve Customer’s Concerns
Your customers seek your product or service with a clear objective in mind so make sure that you take them one step closer to their goal. Doing this makes them feel valued and creates a positive perception of your brand.
For the sake of clarity, let us understand this with an example. Let’s assume that you operate a financial services firm that offers investment and tax planning services. So, you have two customer segments approaching you, each with a different object. While one segment wants you to manage their investment portfolio, the other wants you to minimize their tax liability.
There is no point using the same approach in both cases, which means every query coming to your firm must be treated differently. This requires routing requests to the appropriate professional — someone your customers believe to be capable of helping them accomplish their desired goals.
· Understand and address customer concerns effectively.
· Segregate customer concerns and route them.
· Provide acceptable solutions.
· Instill confidence in your firm’s capabilities.
3. Provide Superior Customer Experience
Customer experience is the perception that you build in the minds of your customers. It is how they feel about your brand, which defines the road ahead. Before you may have heard that a superior customer experience comes from quick and prompt responses. Well, in 2021, it is not just when you do it but also ‘how’ you do it.
With Millennials and Generation X representing a larger portion of the population, businesses need to communicate according to their convenience. These generations have grown up amid technology and want their service providers to be available at the click of a button. Therefore, professional service providers must undergo a complete digital transformation and adopt new methods of communication such as Whatsapp, in-app Live Chat, etc…
Final Takeaway In the US alone, businesses lose over $1.6 trillion due to customer churn, which can be prevented by focusing on customer success. Businesses can do this without incurring additional costs by restructuring the way in which it has been operating. Over time, you will notice a steady decline in your churn rate and more repeat business.