As a business owner, it’s important to understand your customer success journey as it will have a profound and direct impact on your brand. While there are several overly complicated definitions of a customer success journey, it all comes down to ‘delivering exceptional outcomes and experiences while being able to accurately measure results.’
Customers are often anxious when making an online purchasing decision but it involves more than saving a few quid. There is intent behind every purchase and customers need help making the right choice. Getting your message across to the right people and encouraging them to take action is all part of creating a customer success journey.
Understanding The Customer Success Journey
The customer success journey is all about you guiding your customers through the process helping them meet their short-term or long-term goals. Unlike a typical sales journey, the focus is more on what happens right before the sale closes and after signing the deal.
There are several touch points from the moment a customer sees your brand to them making an informed purchasing decision. The first step is conversion – nurturing the lead to ensure that the ‘time to first value’ (TTFV) is as low as possible.
From there, Customer Success Managers aim at developing a relationship based on loyalty. This will allow those customers to become advocates for the product or service, potentially helping your band refer new customers.
Recommended: ‘What Customer Success Means For Business’
Tips For Building Your Customer Success Journey
The core principles behind digital marketing haven’t changed much in the last decade as it still focuses on understanding your customers, what attracts them, drives them and what converts them. If you still haven’t put a customer success journey strategy in place, follow these quick tips to build one for your business.
Determine The End Goal Of Your Customers
The first step is to identify WHY people are buying your product. Remember, there is an intent behind every purchase so knowing where your product or service fits into this equation is vital. At this stage, you can use buyer personas to segment customers for an organised overview.
Start by identifying the customers who you think would be the best fit for your customer success journey. Optimise your customers’ chances of success by ensuring you are targeting the most ideal candidates and these two methods can help:
- Conduct a customer behaviour analysis to identify high-value individuals
- Analyse metrics such as social media mentions, product usage reports and Network Promoter Score (NPS) for data identifying the end goal of your customers
Put Together A Strong Customer Success Team
Showing customers that you take their success seriously means you need to invest in a strong customer success team. Building a customer success team indicates to customers that you are dedicated to helping them reach their goals. If you don’t, customers could see your business offering as suggestions and not trusted steps to success.
Trust will be built over time and because of this relationship, customers will be more likely to buy additional products. In terms of hiring a customer success manager, you need to find someone who is a team player and an excellent communicator. The first place you should look is the customer service department as these staff members have great product knowledge and years of experience dealing with customers.
Invest In The Right Software And Processes
Before you put anything on paper, decide whether your strategy is manual or automated. If it’s manual, you will have to build the plan and execute the actions on your own. Automated programmes refer to software that will help your team successfully manage customer success efforts while making it easier to measure results. Make sure the systems you choose have automatic alerts and customer status reports to simplify tracking the progress of each customer.
Related: ’10 Best Customer Success Software For 2020’
Developing The Roadmap To Customer Success
You need to outline the customer’s journey step by step to identify opportunities where your business can make a difference. Think about all the challenges customers may face at each milestone and how your business can help solve their problems. Keep the following questions in mind when designing your customer success roadmap:
- What is the ideal outcome at each milestone within your customer’s journey?
- What are the primary benefits to the customer at each step?
- Where is your product or service falling short?
- Is there a specific point during the customer success journey where your competitors could influence your customers?
- How are you going to track customers who might be unhappy with their progress in the buyer’s journey?
- How will your customer success team communicate with customers?
- Which channel is best to communicate with your audience and at what time?
Identify The Metrics To Measure Customer Success
Before changing anything, determine how you will measure your customers’ success. Since it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, include metrics that will measure the success of your company and the customer.
Measure the financial impact on the company by using the customer lifetime value and customer acquisition cost. In terms of customer analysis, take into consideration data like NPS, customer attrition rate and social media impact. This should give a clear indication of whether your brand and the customer is benefiting from your success team.
Don’t Change Everything All At Once
Once you have set up your customer success program, it’s best to change one thing at a time. Just be mindful of your approach as your goal is to minimize attrition rate and not overwhelm customers with too many changes. This can negatively impact your customers even if every change is to their benefit.
Not only that but it’s also more difficult to measure the success of each change when launching them altogether. By implementing the changes systematically you will have a better idea of what’s working and what’s not so you can ensure more consistent growth.
Remember, “You don’t have a second chance to make a first impression”. The first 3 months of any customer relationship is essential in determining the outcome whether positive or negative. While the early stages are important, the customer success journey is a continuous process that requires careful attention and implementation.
Setting up a customer success program can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Doing it in stages with the input from every department within your organisation can help. Promoting collaboration to the benefit of the brand and customer is vital for a compelling customer success journey.
We hope that this simple guide has shed some light on how you can create your customer success journey. As always, if you need additional information or require the assistance of a professional marketing agency, visit our website or call us on 01453 542761.