What is customer success?
Definition: Customer success is a business process that helps customers succeed using a product or service. It involves understanding customer needs and helping customers achieve their objectives.
Customer success helps businesses to align customers with their business goals and solve customers' and business pain points, becoming mutually beneficial to both parties.
Companies hire product managers who interact with customers to understand customer decision-making processes, from interacting with a product or service to purchasing and using the product and service.
Key elements for achieving customer success
This is the first process in the customer success journey. It ensures that customers understand products and services from the start. A successful onboarding process involves educating new leads about the benefits of a product or service. It helps customers build trust with businesses.
- Product personalization
Once customers are onboard, ensure that the product or service solves the customer's needs. Personalize the product or service to customers' expectations. Make it easy for customers to adopt and use products easily.
Product personalization narrows the scope of the product to suit customer needs, identifies customer concerns, and sets boundaries for failures and success.
- Build relationships with customers
Check how customers are experiencing the products and services. Building strong customer relationships builds customer loyalty with businesses. Ask customers if they are getting value for money and provide solutions.
Customer success metrics
To measure customer success, look at the following metrics:
- Usage metric
Understand everything about how customers use the product. Get to know when they are using it, what features interest them the most, and the percentage of people using the product. This helps tailor the product to customers' needs and indicates if the product is addressing customers' pain points.
- Satisfaction metric
Measure customer sentiments by engaging them for feedback about the product. Check customers' feedback on social media platforms and emails to understand what they think of the product.
- Retention and revenue metric
Measure the number of customers that are staying, leaving, and repeat customers. High customer retention and increase in revenue show the business is achieving customer success, while low sales and low customer retention indicate the need to work on customer success.
Example of customer success
1. Airbnb (B2B2C)
Airbnb's focus on customer success is a fantastic example of how a company can use effective customer success as their unique selling proposition.
The company has built a culture that is centered on creating memorable experiences for its customers.
In the early days of Airbnb, one of the biggest challenges the company faced was building trust with potential guests. Many people were hesitant to book a stay at a stranger's home, and there was a lot of skepticism around the safety and quality of the accommodations.
To address this challenge, Airbnb's founders, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, came up with a creative solution.
They decided to go out and take high-quality photographs of each listing to help guests get a better sense of what to expect before they booked their stay.
Chesky and Gebbia themselves would travel to the hosts' homes with their own cameras and take photos of the space. They used their backgrounds in design to ensure that the photos were well-lit, well-framed, and showed off the best features of each listing.
By providing high-quality photos, Airbnb was able to give guests a more accurate representation of the accommodations they were considering.
This helped build trust with potential guests and led to more bookings.
As the company grew, Airbnb eventually built a network of professional photographers to take photos of listings on their behalf.
However, the focus on high-quality photos remains a key part of the Airbnb experience today, and the company continues to encourage hosts to provide clear, accurate, and appealing photos of their spaces.
2. Amazon (B2C)
Amazon has built its business on providing excellent customer service.
Amazon's lenient return policy is one of the key factors that has contributed to the company's success.
The policy allows customers to return most products within 30 days of purchase for a full refund, with no questions asked.
This policy has helped Amazon build a reputation for exceptional customer service and has led to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.
One of the main benefits of the lenient return policy is that it gives customers confidence in their purchase decisions. Knowing that they can easily return a product if they are not satisfied or if it does not meet their needs helps customers feel more comfortable making purchases from Amazon, particularly for items they have not seen or used before.
Another outcome of the lenient return policy is the reduced risk of buyer's remorse.
Customers who are worried about making a bad purchase are more likely to buy a product if they know they can return it without penalty.
While the lenient return policy does come with some costs, such as the expense of processing returns and the potential for abuse, Amazon has found that the benefits outweigh the costs. By building a reputation for excellent customer service, Amazon has been able to attract and retain loyal customers, which has helped the company grow and succeed. I
n fact, some studies have found that the lenient return policy has led to increased sales and profits for Amazon, as customers are more likely to make purchases with the knowledge that they can easily return items if necessary.
3. Salesforce (B2B)
As a leading provider of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software, Salesforce has established a reputation for helping businesses manage their customer interactions and improve customer engagement.
One of the key ways that Salesforce helps its customers succeed is through extensive training and support programs.
Salesforce offers a range of training options designed to help customers get the most out of their software.
These options include Trailhead, an online learning platform that offers interactive, self-paced courses on a variety of topics, including Salesforce basics, advanced features, and industry-specific solutions. Trailhead is designed to be accessible to users of all levels, from beginners to experts.
Salesforce also offers a range of certifications to demonstrate proficiency in specific areas of the software. These certifications can be earned through a combination of exams and hands-on experience, and can help users build their skills and advance their careers.
In addition to online learning, Salesforce provides workshops and webinars that cover specific topics in depth.
These sessions are led by Salesforce experts and offer a more interactive and hands-on learning experience than self-paced courses.
By providing extensive training and support, Salesforce helps its customers get the most out of its software and achieve their business goals.
This approach not only builds customer loyalty but also contributes to long-term success for both Salesforce and its customers.