You have a great product. You’re doing everything right: you have a great website, social media savvy, and a recognizable brand. But despite all of that, your sales aren’t growing fast enough. If this sounds like your business, then it might be time to consider how customer experience can help improve how customers interact with your brand.
Customer success means different things to different businesses, but there’s one truth that all companies can agree on: It’s vital to maintaining business over the long haul. Done well, customer success helps you meet your company goals and grow your bottom line.
What is a Customer Success Plan?
A customer success plan (CSP) is a road map that guides your customer success efforts. The CSP includes the activities and initiatives you’ll use to create a more compelling customer experience while also driving more value from your products. Customer success is the art and science behind creating relationships with customers. It is the ultimate priority. When customers are successful, businesses thrive.
The most common mistake in customer success today is a lack of planning. Business owners don’t have a strategy to achieve success with their customers, and therefore end up leaving money on the table.
A customer success plan addresses this issue by ensuring that your business has been strategically thought through from both sides of the equation: yours and your customers’. Not only do you want to ensure that your product or service is working for your customers, but also that they are successful in achieving their desired outcomes.
Understanding how customer success can be measured, managing expectations, and setting goals are part of building a solid foundation for customer success.
Why Do You Need A Customer Success Plan?
A customer success plan can be beneficial for businesses of all sizes and types. You can have the best product in the world, but if you cannot communicate or explain to your customers how they need it, your product could fail. It is easy to be passionate about your business and go after every new customer with full force. However, lose focus on the current customers, and they will leave.
- It can help you outline what you’ll do to help customers get the most out of your product or service.
- Knowing when your customers are ready to graduate from your SaaS solution.
- It helps you measure the effectiveness of your support, sales, and marketing efforts so that you can improve your business over time.
How To Create A Great Customer Success Plan in 6 Steps
Customer success is an essential part of any business, yet few organizations have a formal plan. A customer success plan can help you meet your goals and ensure you continuously provide the best experience possible to customers.
Here’s how to create a customer success plan that works for your organization.
Step 1: Define Expectations
In the modern market, customer expectations are changing at a fast pace. With the advent of the internet, consumers have become more aware of the products and services made available to them. This has increased their expectations from all the brands they buy from in quality and service delivery.
If you were to look at the most successful businesses in today’s time, one common thing they have done is that they have managed to fulfill their customer’s expectations right from day one.
Define their motivations for buying your product, their pain points, what they want to achieve, etc. After you determine your customers’ needs and expectations, you can use segmentation techniques or user personas. The key is to think about your customers in different segments with similar needs and preferences. If you know something about the different motivations of these groups, it will be easier for you to create products or services that meet their needs.
It can be tempting to create a one-size-fits-all approach to customer success, especially when you’re new. But it ignores the fact that different customers have different needs and wants. And if you’re not meeting those needs, they’ll simply go somewhere else.
Step 2: Adapt Expectations into Goals
Customer expectations are the goals you would be directing your customer success plan towards. If a company wants to get more business, it must understand how to meet and exceed its customers’ expectations. Set out your business goals based on your research and understanding you had on step one.
Step 3: Measure The Process
As a business, you must be able to track critical metrics for each of your customer success processes. Your customers’ success begins with you, and your customer success team is the key to ensuring they succeed. Therefore, the most important metrics to measure are specific to your business.
Customer retention, customer satisfaction, and conversion rate should be three of your main performance indicators (KPIs) that show how you’re doing to create a fantastic customer experience for every new or existing customer at any stage in their lifetime.
Measure these metrics both individually and also as a whole. Customer success isn’t a set of isolated processes. It’s an entire system. Measuring each component individually won’t give you the complete picture. Instead, you need to understand how they affect and interact with one another.
Step 4: Assign the Right Person to the Right Task
It is essential to assign the right person to the right task. This will ensure that you have a pleasant work environment and effective workflow.
As long as you are working in a team, each team member must know their responsibilities. When everyone understands what their job is, they can get it done well and on time.
Customer success is the key to any business’s growth. The truth, however, is that not every company has a plan for ensuring customer retention and loyalty. It is all too easy for customers to become disenchanted with your offerings without such plans. This can happen if you fail to deliver on expectations or if you don’t have a formal system that helps ensure a high level of quality control.
Step 5: Select the Efficient Tools
The tools that you use to run your business are the lifeblood of your customer success plan. Whether you have a brand new startup or have been leading for decades, every company has daily struggles, but these struggles can be managed and kept to a minimum with customer success tools. First, you have to select the right tools that coordinate your customer success goals. Then, make sure your team can easily adjust to these tools and use them efficiently.
Step 6: Monitor Performance & Analyze Feedback
Every customer success plan is different. What works for one company may not work for another; you’ll need to figure that out through trial and error or ask your peers what they do.
When your customer success plan is in place, you must know what’s working and what isn’t. You need to measure, track and understand your customer lifetime value (CLV), churn rates, retention rates, and more.
One of the best ways to understand your customer base is to conduct an annual survey. This will allow you to learn what customers like and dislike about your product or service, as well as their use patterns.
Creating a structured customer success plan is beneficial to any company because it helps sales, marketing, and customer success stay on the same page. By using a customer success template to condense your customer journey, you can create strategic programs that will help keep your customers happy and increase loyalty.
Company success can be boiled down to one simple goal: create loyal customers. It’s tough for businesses to grow without loyal customers because the customers who develop over time into diehard fans will return repeatedly, buy from your company again and again, tell their friends about your products or services and drive new sales.
For many small businesses, the idea of having a customer success plan is daunting. The thought alone can force you to run for the hills and want to forget about creating one. The last thing you want to focus on is making one. Don’t worry; I feel your pain. I hate creating plans too! But, regardless of if you like creating them or not, if your business depends on attracting and keeping new clients, you need a customer success plan that works for you.
Tips on a Fail-Proof Customer Success Plan
Helping your customers get the most out of your product should be your primary goal — but it can also be tricky. So here are some tips on creating a fail-proof customer success plan.
1. Customer success is a team sport and should be treated like one!
The idea of having one person responsible for customer success is flawed. Especially in a small-scale business, customer success must be everyone’s concern. There can be weekly/bi-weekly meetings with Customer Success Teams to better understand customer needs and requirements.
2. Your customers are busy.
They don’t want to waste their time figuring out your product or how to use it. They want answers, and they want them now.
3. Customers don’t want to waste time.
They try to figure out whether you’re worth their time within the first few minutes. The truth is that people don’t care about you — they care about what you can do for them. So make it easy for your prospects to learn more from you and then buy from you.
4. Not everyone is the same.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to customer service and solving your customers’ problems. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t best practices or proven success stories in solving common problems; it just means that each individual and each situation is unique enough for their own personal touch.
Personalizing your efforts to match the needs of individual customers is a great way to build strong customer relationships while providing an elevated level of service.
In the end, customer success is the glue that holds together an entire company’s ecosystem. Done correctly, it can do a business—but done poorly? Well, let’s just say that things could get ugly. But don’t worry. Just start implementing your own customer success plan. Start small and give it a little time to grow, but enjoy the speed at which you’re able to scale. You’ve got nothing to lose by experimenting, so give it a try!
BONUS: Check this Webinar with Cairo Amani – Strategies of High Performing Customer Success Managers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I measure Customer Engagement?
Likes, shares, comments on your company accounts; as well as your daily/monthly active user rates can give you a brief insight into your customer engagement.