Creating Successful Customers
As a follow-on to last week’s post, Account Managers Versus Customer Success Managers, I wanted to offer some commentary on Todd Eby’s recent article, Welcome to the Success Economy, which further underscores the new reality that customer success is THE KEY to business success. We need to talk about creating “successful customers,” rather than “existing customers.” The new mantra: If we have successful customers, we too will be successful.
This concept was once limited to SaaS companies, but is now totally mainstream. This year (and beyond) look for all types of businesses to implement and significantly invest in Customer Success teams and other success-related programs that drive retention and renewals, rather than new business.
As Eby writes, “Today, everything from socks to software is available as a service. Everyone wants on the subscription bandwagon. It’s no longer the Age of the Customer. We have entered the next wave, the Age of the Subscriber and the defining theme of the new age is renewal.”
Asking for and responding to feedback is critical to keep customers engaged and renewing. The more comprehensively you can ask for their input through surveys, feedback forms, and personal interactions (chat, email, phone), the more likely they are to feel that their success matters. If you allow them to drift off into non-engagement mode, you will hand them off to a competitor. To stay ahead, your organization must dedicate time and teams to maintaining their attention, which translates directly to repeat business and advocacy (perhaps as valuable as the repeat business itself).
The focus has shifted away from earning more and more new customers. Lead gen isn’t going away, of course; we all still need to attract fresh buyers, but today’s most winning companies are more concerned about keeping their current customers. As the article points out: “While acquiring new subscribers is undeniably a critical activity when growing, most large companies are only generating 15% to 25% of their revenues from new customers. A huge percentage of their future recurring revenue, as much as 80%, is going to come from just 20% of their current subscribers according to studies done by Gartner Group.”
I’ll leave you with some strongly worded advice from the Eby article, “Every company needs to be customer centered, and success focused or risk becoming a cautionary tale. Customer Success pays the bills. Forget that at your peril.”
Clicktools customers know that they can always count on their success being our number one priority. Reach out anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org.