There was once a time when the person who won was the company that could throw the most money at a product. The communication with customers was a one-way street, and customers listened to whoever would yell the loudest. Times have changed, though! Customer success now the currency that can turn a baby into a giant, but not enough people are paying attention to this.
What this means is that no company is safe. No one can hide behind their money. The only way to win is to make sure that customer success is a priority. You should want to make the customer experience so amazing that customers have no choice but to keep coming back. The best part about customer success is that you don’t need money. You need to care and be willing to make an effort. You will also see how organizational habits come into play here.
The best part about customer success is that you don’t need money. You just need to care and be willing to make the effort. You will also see how organizational habits come into play here.
What is Customer Success?
It's called customer success because it's doing what is needed to ensure that the customer is as successful as possible. If a customer comes to you to get their lawn, you make sure that you create that process and be as excellent as possible. This can include but is not limited to…
- Product development
- Thinking ahead for customers
- Help Desk
- Follow up calls
- Customer service
Most people just think about customer service. The issue with customer service is that it often deals with issues after the fact and tries to fix things. Customer service is just a part of customer success. Customer success is thinking about what problems may come up and creating solutions beforehand. If you know customers are getting stuck on your website, customer success is changing that.
Bluehost offers affordable web hosting for all of your website needs. Get your domain and personal email all in one place.
You Don’t Need Money
The best part is that customer success does not need money. One of my first companies was a clothing line, and the dopest thing we did for customers was put a pack of skittle is in every package. It was a pleasant surprise that people were not expecting when they got the package. Did that cost a bit of money? Yes, but it took more creativity. I would get a box from Costco for about $20.
If you don’t want to spend money, then write people’s notes. There is nothing like handwritten notes, and they don’t cost a dime. To provide a great experience, you have to think of the first moment the customer comes in contact with your brand until they return to get more. It’s a never-ending cycle. There are plenty of places where you can surprise the customer. Joey Coleman has a great book that can break this down further for you.
To provide a great experience you have to think of the first moment the customer comes in contact with your brand all the way until they come back to get more. It’s a never-ending cycle. There are plenty of places where you can surprise the customer.
Customers Will Not Innovate For You
You will learn quickly that you must talk to your customers but don’t expect too much from them. That is not to say that your customers don’t have ideas. They do, but they will not give you an idea that changes the game most of the time. They will not put that type of thought into your business. They have their own lives to worry about. It’s your job to innovate.
What you can get from customers is pieces to the story, and then you can use those pieces of the story to draw conclusions and think about your innovations. Apple customers were never going to up to Steve Jobs and say hey, can you make us an iPod, iPhone, and create an app store? That is not how customers are thinking. They will say I wish my MP3 player could take phone calls. You have to keep your ears open.
What you can get from customers is pieces to the story and then you can use those pieces of the story to draw conclusions and think about your own innovations.
Organizational Habit and Customer Success
You have to develop excellent organizational habits as a company. That starts with you as an entrepreneur. Companies will always take the lead of the entrepreneur. If you are not in the habit of caring about the customer journey in every way, no one else will find it essential. What the boss thinks is important the rest of the people will as well.
Once they see you caring for customers, then they will begin to follow you. Then it starts to turn into an organizational habit. Organizational habits are not company values. They are the things that the company regularly does. Some companies say they are customer-driven, but that is not how they act.
You want to turn to be customer success-driven into an organizational habit so that when new people join, they know right away that to fit in, and they need to care about the customer. It needs to be the motivation behind all the actions your company takes.
You have to develop excellent organizational habits as a company. That starts with you as an entrepreneur.
How to Implement a New Organizational Habit
The first step is to write it down. You want it to be somewhere people can read so they can go over what it means to care for the customer. Once that is done, you need to attach an action to another habit that people already do. Let’s say people always check a slack first thing or look at their email. Your job is to make sure that they also do something for the customer after they do that.
Imagine that people in your company served customers as much as they checked email? That would mean every day your customers would be getting served in droves. It does not matter how big or small the action is, but everyone should serve the customer every day.
The next thing you want to do is reward people who do this well and punish those who don’t. You have to make it so important that you will fire people for not getting this right. If someone is doing this well, praise them publicly for doing such a good job. It needs to drive the entire business forward.
The last thing you can do to make it all stick shows the big picture success. Document all these stories and how they add up to big wins. Maybe information shared by three or four different people adds up to a new product or feature that takes the company to a new level.
Pay brand-new employees $2,000 to quit
Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a department
Focus on company culture as the #1 priority