Netflix didn’t kill Blockbuster. Ridiculous late fees did. Uber didn’t kill the Taxi business. Limited taxi access and fare control did. Apple didn’t kill the music industry. Being forced to buy full-length albums did. Amazon didn’t kill other retailers. Bad customer service and experience did. Airbnb isn’t killing the hotel industry. Limited availability and pricing options are. Technology by itself is not the real disruptor. Not being customer-centric is the biggest threat to any business. You’ve probably seen this little anecdote floating around the internet for quite some time now, and its essential message holds true for the topic we’re discussing today: why a customer-first approach is essential for growth. Understanding Customer Success When customers receive poor customer service or have a poor experience with a brand, it naturally deters those shoppers from wanting to return. Prioritizing your customer’s needs is of utmost importance in business because increasing customer satisfaction means investing in your business. Happy customers will gush about their positive experiences and will help boost your brand’s reputation. Happy customers will refer your brand to their friends and increase traffic online and in your stores. Happy customers will recommend their favorite products to other people and drive sales. If this is the result of happy customers. The bigger question is why wouldn’t you choose a customer-centric approach. Customer success is a business practice that focuses on eliminating customer issues and challenges before they arise. The goal is to focus on helping customers achieve their desired results when using your brand’s products or services to increase customer satisfaction and happiness, thereby improving revenue through customer retention and loyalty. Adopting customer success into your business practices means you are choosing a customer-centric approach and are, in turn, investing in the health of your business. Not convinced? These 10 facts below on customer success should be more than enough to tip the scales in favor of this business approach: 33% of Americans agree that they would consider switching companies after a single instance of poor service – American Express Faced with poor customer service, 20% of consumers would complain publicly via social media. – New Voice Media 85% of consumers churn because of poor service that could have been prevented. – Kolsky One in three customers would pay more to receive a higher level of service – Genesys 80% of American consumers point to speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service as the most important elements of positive customer experience. – PWC After having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend. – Temkin Group 29% of consumers ranked first contact resolution as what is most valued in customer service and support interaction. – Genesys 55.3% of consumers are brand loyal because they love the product. – Yotpo 73% of consumers say friendly customer service representatives can make them fall in love with a brand. – RightNow Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering. – Temkin Group Hopefully these 10 statistics on customer success have shown you why a customer-first approach is essential for growth. How to Create a Customer Success Strategy for Any Business Crafting a customer success strategy means you’re investing in your brand’s growth by reducing churn and increasing customer retention. These steps will help guide you along the way and provide a blueprint for your brand’s own customer success strategy. Regardless of size, these steps are applicable for all businesses in any industry: Identify User Goals: The most important step in beginning your customer success strategy is to identify your user goals. Understanding what it is they should do with your business and your products and services is one of the keys to customer success. By learning their expectations, you now have something to work towards and beyond as a brand. Provide Educational and Informative Content: Communication is important in any relationship, but especially so in the B2C relationship. You want your users to feel informed and empowered—do this by providing your customers with the basic information they need to find the solutions they’re looking for. Customer success is all about being proactive, and that means providing informational content that’s easy to access for all your users so they know where to go and who to ask when they have a question. Provide Personalized Experiences: Once users begin to show interest in your brand’s products and services, the next step is to cater their sales journey to their personal preferences. Personalizing experiences helps increase user engagement and also helps move users along the sales funnel. Tailoring user experiences to their preferences shows users that you are understanding of their wants and can provide solutions to their problems. If you’re unsure of where to begin with personalization or audience segmentation, there are dozens of AI in user experience tools that can help with this specific aspect of UX. You can use AI driven user experience chatbots like Botsify or ChatFuel to help identify and solve user issues. You can also use email marketing automation tools to personalize the emails users get from your brand with Automizy or AWeber. These tools are just one way AI is changing the digital and user experience. If using these kinds of tools feels daunting, you can always reach out to your local digital marketing agency like Aumcore and let the experts help navigate you through your options. Leveraging these tools will help improve your user experience and customer success. Show Validity: Show your users that your brand is worth the time, effort and money by showcasing other happy customers. Publish testimonials from previous users and highlight positive reviews. This step is important because this kind of content helps reinforce your brand’s validity in the minds of users, and is a best practice often executed by businesses regardless of size. You want to show your users that they’re spending their time and money on something worthwhile. Provide Excellent Customer Service: If your brand is focusing on being customer-centric, having excellent customer service processes and procedures in place is one such way you can increase customer success. Draft out protocols for difficult customers and remind your team that they’re there to help serve your users. Tips from the Experts To wrap up this post, we’ve rounded up five tips from five experts to help give you perspective on what customer success is all about: “We’re not competitor obsessed. We’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.” – Jeff Bezos “The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them. Preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.” – Richard Branson “You want to be extra rigourous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it. Seek negative feedback.” – Elon Musk “Customer success steps in after the sales process and ensures that customers stay around, upgrade, and refer others. When you see the revenue they bring after the initial sale, you’ll see just how important customer success really is.” – Neil Patel “Customer service is everything and anything that touches a customer – directly or indirectly. Customer service means servicing customers, and it’s so much more than just solving problems or addressing complaints. Customer service is part of a holistic customer experience that is capable of providing a critical competitive advantage in today’s increasingly cluttered and commoditized marketplace.” – Joseph Jaffe Key Takeaways Putting your customers first will always have positive implications for your business. Understanding that their needs and wants will also help your brand’s needs and wants is the most important aspect of customer success. It’s also the most important aspect of your own business’ success. Hopefully, this blog post has shown you why a customer approach is essential for growth. Here are the key takeaways from this post one more time: Customer success is understanding user needs and optimizing their journey to meet and exceed their expectations Many customer success strategies rely on quality customer service experiences Setting up a customer success strategy means identifying your users goals so you can understand how to best serve your customer You need to provide educational and informative content to keep your users knowledgeable about your brand’s products and services Personalizing experiences shows your users that you understand their unique needs and are looking for them to engage further Showcasing positive customer reviews offers your users validity of your brand You are the future of customer success—good luck!