Do you think providing good customer service is enough to keep your business growing? Think again.
By Jay Reeder
Responding to and resolving customers’ questions and complaints is no longer enough. By adopting a company-wide policy of prioritizing customer success–not just customer service–businesses can thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.
Few businesses realize how much putting their customers’ success first turns into a boost in their own financial results. Companies should spend a lot of time and effort working on their current relationships if they want to see their business succeed. This ends up being more worthwhile than trying to get new customers.
The key to providing the best service is prioritizing client goals. By focusing on this, clients come back to you and recommend you to others. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention translates to over 25% increase in profit.
Let’s look at the ways in which your business can make sure it’s prioritizing customer success — and how this will result in driving your own company’s growth.
Use customer feedback as a development tool
By using customer feedback on your service or product as a development tool, you show your customers that their goals are important and that their use of your service is your priority.
By putting your customers at the heart of development decisions, your team feels like their work is meaningful. You’ll also understand the most important and pressing improvements that you need to make. We use data from customer surveys to adjust the priority of our product backlog. We also conduct focus groups and usability studies, which have proven to make a huge difference in our customer experience.
Many of our best features were born out of this kind of feedback, and it’s helped the company grow into what it is today. However, you need to make sure the feedback you use is in line with the mission of the company, and not to take on every request you receive. Your customers are not product developers, and this could result in a lot of unnecessary work.
Over-communicate with your customers to understand their needs
Another way to show your customers that you’re prioritizing their goals is to make sure that the lines of communication are open. Communication is at the heart of providing good customer service – and prioritizing customer success. In fact, 53% of people said that poor communication is the biggest issue they see in customer service.
We call every one of our new customers to make sure that they have everything they need and see if they have any questions. We then keep this level of contact throughout the relationship. Because we keep a close relationship and communicate any upcoming changes, our customers know that they can come to us with any question or problem, and we’ll try to solve it as soon as possible.
Customer success means more customer retention – along with other unexpected benefits
Prioritizing customer success results in a revenue boost for your business as well as theirs. If your customers reach their goals by using your service or product, they’ll not only stay on as customers, but they’re also likely to recommend you to others.
Having happy customers also means more opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling. In fact, customer success advocates believe that “the majority of the revenue from your customer happens post-sale.” It costs six to seven times more to bring on a new customer than to retain an existing one. Making customer success a priority is the best way to nurture those existing relationships.
Companies can also expect to experience a boost in team morale too. To achieve this, you’ll need a support team that is dedicated to customer success. Make sure to instill this in employees, and they’ll learn about the rewards that come from prioritizing customer goals. This might even mean executive level team members getting on the phone and showing the customer that they are a priority.
Our support team works hard to improve their relationships with customers, and they know that in the end, customers are impressed with the service. There’s nothing better than talking to a customer whose expectations have been surpassed. It’s a guaranteed boost to morale and job satisfaction.
Focusing on customer service will no longer cut it. As the environment of service providers grows more competitive, businesses that want to outperform their peers need to make customer success a priority. And by incorporating customer feedback into product development, over-communicating wherever you can, and building customer success into your company to boost team morale, you can do just that.
Jay Reeder is the founder of Ninja Number, a virtual phone number for entrepreneurs designed to increase sales by managing and optimizing the way you respond to leads.
Customer stock photo by pathdoc/Shutterstock