Issue 77 - Customer Success Articles that are Certified Classics (Part 3)
How do we decide which articles are Customer Success Classics? Well, to become certified classic, an article must be written well, easy to read, and most importantly, feature great content. We don't take this decision lightly!
In this issue of the SaaS Tattler, we continue our list of Customer Success articles that are certified classics.
The benefit of reducing churn is significant but when you’re growing, it doesn’t stop there. Satisfied customers will have a positive impact on your bottom line because creating brand advocates leads to renewals and upsell opportunities. In this classic, Lydia Hornick explains how you can turn repeat customers into your bestfriends.
Expanding revenue from existing customers leads us to the topic of upsells. Good news: according to Marketing Metrics, it is about 50% easier to sell to existing customers than to new prospects. By the time of an upsell, it should come as a natural next step in the customer lifecycle that adds value to the customer account and/or solves an additional problem for the customer that they’ve come across. Upsells should be recommended to current customers when (and only when!) it will help them hit a new level of achievement.
QuickSprout reiterates the simple truth that in most cases people buy something because it solves a problem. As customer success and retention goals align, the deeper your relationship and understanding of your customer’s problems and needs grows, allowing you to better recommend an upsell solution for their problem.
This quote by sales legend Jeffery Gitomer summarizes this point perfectly, speaking from a customer point of view: “When it comes to up-selling, tell me how I win. When I win, you win.”
Never underestimate the value of a strong customer onboarding process. After all, it’s your customer’s first impression of your business. While in hyper-growth, it’s easy for startups to ignore churn, but in order to succeed long term, companies need to combine hyper-growth with customer success tactics. In this classic, Aaron Agius, outlines the impact a strong customer onboarding process can have on retention and growth.
3. Increase retention.
Customer onboarding tactics such as conducting needs assessments, offering assistance, following up with customers, and offering them a custom experience can be powerful strategies to increase retention. Research in the Harvard Business Review found that businesses don’t increase customer loyalty by delighting them -- but by finding ways to reduce their effort.
Still, most businesses consider generating leads and converting them to be their top priority instead. For inbound marketers, getting to these new leads is considerably more important than gaining more revenue from existing customers, as shown in Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2015 Report.
The gap in priority is actually pretty strange, considering the value of retention compared to acquisition.
- Higher retention equals more profits: Research from the Harvard Business school found that a 5-percent increase in customer retention leads to more than a 25-percent increase in profits.
- Retention is cheaper than acquisition: An Econsultancy survey found that 82 percent of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition. For some markets, retention is essential for getting any return on investment (ROI) at all.
Your customer needs you to understand their individual journey. Having a clearly defined customer journey can align departments with the goal of driving value. Mapping the journey identifies the roles each department plays in creating a satisfied customer, as well as illuminates potential gaps in the process. In this classic, Wim Stoop, helps to effectively map the customer journey.
The diamond greenhouse
While this customer journey may sound like a linear path; in fact it’s circular. The “advocate” stage leads back to discovery, because advocates not only continue to buy from you, they draw in new prospects through social selling and content marketing. They may not even be aware they are doing this; they’re just having a great time being your customer. And that’s what drives increased engagement in your community. Increased activity and user generated content (by advocates) mean more SEO. Advocates provide insight into how to use your products and services, and answer questions when new customers ask. They even advocate for other -- customers to become advocates as well.
The Best of Customer Success Today
If you are a customer success professional considering taking a role at a SaaS vendor, this test can give you a quick sense of how customer success operates there. The Amity Test: 16 Steps to Better Customer Success.
People with ‘Customer Success’ in their job title haven’t been around for very long. They’re kind of like Sales, but not focused on selling. They’re a bit like support, but don’t deal with just any old tyre-kicker. 14 SaaS Companies Reveal Their Customer Success Process.
What’s the key to success for SaaS companies? It’s happy customers who receive a lot of value from your service. Here’s the thing about creating happy customers: you need to start building the relationship as soon as customers walk in the door. And the best way to make that happen is developing a customer journey. Your Secret to Success - Lies Within Your Customer’s Journey.
Every week I issue this roundup of relevant articles from the customer success industry so we can learn from each other and share best practices. If you like what you read here, please consider forwarding to others. New reader? Subscribe.
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