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Making your customers successful is ultimately about delivering value—you can create value for your customers by placing them in a position to grow their enterprise through the efficient use of your product to meet their business challenges.
In strict business school translation, value is benefit minus cost. In a real-world sense, however, value is the potential for success a customer gains by partnering with you and your product. Creating value for customers depends on your ability to deliver on your promise of value through your product.
The Importance of Creating Value for Customers
The SaaS and subscription markets have many choices available, and low overheads and customizable conditions make switching between business solutions effortless. Customer value is the key to maintaining customer relationships and maximizing customer lifetime value under such conditions.
Customers are loyal to the ongoing value you provide them. Customers seek out your product as a solution to a problem and a path to growth, and your ability to deliver on that promise, right from the outset, is key to ensuring they stay satisfied and continue growing their relationship with you through repeated renewals and upsells. If you fail to deliver value at any stage of the relationship, customer retention will decline. In order to increase customer satisfaction and retention, value must be delivered from the very beginning during the evaluation and purchasing stages, during onboarding, and continue throughout the customer journey. Creating value for customers should involve:
- Starting Early in the Customer Journey
- Anticipating Opportunities
- Customizing Communication and Offers
- Making the Most of Your Team’s Talents
- Automating the Unexpected
- Using the Right Customer Success Software
Perhaps the most important step is to make sure the customer quickly begins using your product in a practical way, so that they experience value as soon as possible.
1. Starting Early in the Customer Journey
The shorter the time to value (TTV) a customer experiences, the quicker they will gain trust in your product and begin to see value from their investment. More than ever, customer expectation of value begins before they even buy from you. In the post-sales journey, onboarding is the first step toward helping the customer use your product to achieve their business goals.
Onboarding is your first chance to implement a practical, data-driven approach to customer engagement. The goal is to get them to first value by educating your customer on your product. You can follow their progress through your customer success metrics (for example, time to onboarding completion or adoption usage), and intervene to encourage optimal usage through prepared campaigns and action steps linked to early-warning triggers. This focus on using customer data to drive goal-focused outcomes continues throughout the customer journey, as you work to help your customer maximize their potential.
2. Anticipating Opportunities
Every stage of the customer lifecycle brings opportunities for delivering value. The nature of that value will change over time as product awareness improves, customer priorities change, and the customer experiences growth.
While the nature of the value delivered might change, the process of creating it does not. At each stage, you must create positive business outcomes by collecting and analyzing customer data to anticipate present and future needs.
During the adoption phase, when the customer is using your product independently, you will want to monitor how the customer uses your product, which features they engage, and how successfully they exercise its potential. If you see a drop-off in usage rates or little follow-through toward business goals, you need to intervene and get the customer back on track. If things are going well, you can use your customer insights to capitalize on potential expansion opportunities that can push the customer to new heights of value.
3. Customizing Communication and Offers
Knowledge of your customer’s needs and product behaviors should allow you to fine-tune engagement campaigns specifically to their situation. You can tailor training packages and webinars, or even return to relevant onboarding modules to help customers make the most of your product’s potential. You can also offer to expand a customer’s account or open up access to advanced features should you anticipate they are ready to utilize these extra features, the goal always being to maximize what your customer can achieve with your solution. A customer that has recently expanded their own customer base, for instance, might benefit from a refresher on how to effectively scale their offering.
You don’t need to have people-based outreach in order to maintain excellent communication with customers. You can help customers self-guide through your processes by using digital assets and automated campaigns based on segments.
4. Making the Most of Your Team’s Talents
Each customer has unique needs and requirements, and you want to match the customer’s need with the right engagement to get their concerns addressed quickly and by the right person. Maximize each employee’s unique potential to create value for your customers by automating account assignments. Dynamic Assignment automatically matches the talents and availability of your team with the long-term characteristics and immediate needs of your customers.
Do you have a customer in Germany who needs assistance with your product? Match them with an expert who speaks German and operates in their time zone. Do you have a recently onboarded small tech firm specializing in logistics? Pair them with a Customer Success team member who manages another account in the same field. Dynamic Assignment can create additional value for customers simply by accurately linking need with talent.
5. Leveraging an Early Warning System
When your customer success platform is really humming, you can make value-add engagements without having to slow down and take a meeting. Early-warning alerts can be established within your system to trigger stimulus campaigns as soon as your customer shows signs of needing help with implementation or encouragement to try a different feature. Automating customer success makes your company more nimble and frees up time for your CS team members to offer white-glove service when and where it counts.
6. Using the Right Customer Success Software
Your ability to find additional value for your customer depends on your understanding of their needs and expectations. Your customer success platform is the source of that understanding, and the data you draw from it can provide the impetus for proactive engagements.
You learn about your customers during every interaction, and by following their product use using customer success metrics. Your customer success platform is your method of gathering and sharing data company-wide, while also analyzing and automating tasks.
An informed and empowered customer success team can then tailor their digital engagements to suit each stage of the customer journey and deliver against future needs before they arise.
Creating value for customers is about using your understanding of what your product can deliver to exceed the expectations of your customers. By predicting what a customer will want once they reach Point B, you can have the next phase of their journey set to roll out the instant they leave Point A. This gives them the best chance to succeed with your product, and with the right customer success platform in place, unexpected results become routine.
In these challenging times, you can’t afford to buy before you try. Get started for free today. Totango’s customer success platform gives you the data you need to deliver unexpected value to your customers, no matter what the changing market demands.