As the world becomes more customer-centered, the need to foster customer success is more important than ever before. Achieving customer success means that your customers gain their desired value from your product or service, and can use it to meet their long-term goals.
In a professional services capacity, this often means delivering your service to the client in such a way that helps them achieve their goals with as few roadblocks as possible throughout the service delivery period. If you succeed in doing so, you will have happy and loyal customers for life. That means that aligning your business goals with those of your customers spells prosperity for your business for years to come.
However, this process takes dedicated nurturance of the customer relationship. And you will inevitably end up facing customer success challenges along your journey to complete customer-centricity. While problems are bound to arise, customer-centricity gives you the tools you need to effectively handle any issues and ultimately still achieve customer success.
Customer Success Challenges and How To Face Them
We all want to make our customers happy, but customer success challenges can arise for a variety of reasons. You may not have the right processes in place. You may lack the ability to gather data and draw insights that improve the customer experience. There may be a problem with the product itself. Your sales team may have scoped the project incorrectly and now the service you’re delivering isn’t matching your customers expectations. No matter the cause, your customer success team will always be on the front lines of problem-solving and will need best practices to rectify complaints.
Here are some of the most common customer success challenges your team may face and ways to overcome them:
#1. Poor Customer Visibility
From the moment the sale is complete, you need to monitor your customer’s progress with your product or service. You need to know if each customer is properly passing each adoption milestone. It’s important to monitor the details of their product usage, such as usage frequency and which features they do and do not use.
You should also monitor customer health scores and keep an eye on other KPIs, especially in the professional services industry. By taking the time to carefully monitor each customer, your team can watch over all your customer relationships, ensuring that no at-risk customer slips under the radar.
In a professional services capacity, having a professional services automation (PSA) solution like Krow Software can help you improve customer visibility through survey tools, and health check statuses, as well as detailed reporting to see how projects are progressing and aligning to the customers’ expectations. Since Krow PSA is also built native on Salesforce, your sales and services teams can work hand in hand to ensure that expectations are clear and projects are delivered according to scope.
#2. Gaps In Customer Nurturance
It’s imperative to nurture the relationship your brand has with each of your customers. If nurturance is inconsistent in its thoroughness or scope, customers can slip through the cracks, raising churn rates. You need to invest time in every customer and provide quality engagements. This is true whether you sell a product or a service.
Accounts should be tracked and routed to customer success team members or managers for proper engagement. Team members can track changes in customer value over time and evaluate if there are any concerning signs. This enables your team to give the correct amount of nurturance to every customer.
A marketing automation tool, such as HubSpot, Marketo, or Pardot, can also help with customer nurturance. You can set up automated email marketing campaigns specifically designed to foster relationships with your existing customers, improve their awareness of your product or service, and ensure you meet their needs in the future as their business grows and evolves.
#3. Customers Are Not Seeing Value
When customers stop seeing the value of your product or the service you’re offering, they will most likely churn. While winback campaigns can be effective at times, the best solution to this problem is prevention.
Your business needs to deliver value constantly. Build value from the moment a customer makes a sale by identifying the value a customer is looking for and helping them achieve it. As adoption goes on, deliver expanding value in the form of new functionalities or features. And listen to feedback, as a customer’s goals can always evolve.
In professional services specifically, providing value for a customer usually means ensuring that the quality of service you promised them when they signed your proposal, is the quality of service you’re delivering to them. Your customer will also see value if the service you deliver to them is delivered on time, on budget, and according to scope. Most important, is that upon successful completion of the project, your customer can clearly see how this service solved their problem, and will help their business be more successful moving forward.
A PSA solution like Krow Software can help your customers see the value in your service, by empowering you to stay on scope, on time, and on budget, and provide the customer full transparency as you work through their project so they can see any reasons for delays, additional hours billed, etc.
Overcome These Customer Success Challenges & Watch Your Business Grow
Improving your company’s levels of customer success provides an opportunity to see strong, ongoing growth. Happy customers are loyal, and not only are they apt to accept upsell or cross-sell offers, but they may even give your business good word-of-mouth, which is invaluable for your brand’s reputation.
Once you center your company’s goals around those of your customers, you’ll be ready to exceed your customers’ expectations in terms of delivered value. And nothing’s more cost-efficient and beneficial than retaining customers.