Podcast

Customer Success: How to Curate Human-First Experiences

Eric Crane

Posted 2/9/2021

How are you thinking about customer success? Does it include being exceptional?

To help you answer these questions, I invited Dave Blake, Founder & CEO of ClientSuccess, onto the podcast to go over what exceptional customer success looks like.

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What is Exceptional Customer Success?

While there is no universal ‘look’ of exceptional customer success, there is a universal ‘feel’ of what it means to provide this exceptional level of support to your customers. 

That is, working towards maximizing your customers' investment in various products and services as a company, and delivering an amazing customer experience along the way. 

Simply put, exceptional customer success is going the extra mile.

Varying Levels of Expected Engagement 

A great question to ask your team is “How can we make exceptional customer success possible and repeatable?”

The answer: Adapt your approach to help them achieve their goals. 

Your customers are human, will ramp up at different times and will have varying levels of expected engagement from you, the seller. 

This is why having a human-first approach is critical. 

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By having a human-first approach, you are able to understand your customers well enough to know what value they need and meet them where they are at. 

Let’s use these two customers as an example:

Customer A: Ramped up employees quickly, fully integrated your product on all their teams, and has efficiently trained their employees on their own within 3 weeks.

Customer B: Interested in walkthroughs of features, implemented on some teams but not all, and wants tailored coaching for employees over the course of 3 months.

This is a great example of how an amazing customer experience can vary from customer to customer. 

On one hand, Customer A might want a more hands off approach and only come to you with questions or troubleshooting. 

On the other hand, Customer B might want a more 1-on-1 approach tailored to their company and unique needs. 

Both are valid needs!

By being able to acknowledge these differing journeys and understand your customers well enough to know what value they need, you are able to build a strong relationship off of respect, service, and being unique.

How Can You Make Exceptional Customer Success Possible?

Making exceptional customer success the gold standard starts internally with the professionals who are on the front lines. 

These professionals need to be authentic, passionate and human

(Again, human-first approach!)

By leading with authenticity and passion, these customer success professionals are then able to genuinely care about customers as individuals

That in and of itself also means these professionals are willing to help and wanting their customers to succeed.

When Do Customer Interactions Matter Most?

Well… all of them!

Optimizing all of your touchpoints means you are connecting with your customers while they are moving through all stages of your pipeline, even when they churn. 

An example of some touchpoints in your business:

  • Sales to Onboarding 
  • Onboarding to Adoption 
  • Adoption to Usage 
  • Usage to Renewal 
  • Usage to Churn

By optimizing your touchpoints, you are able to connect and gauge what your client needs in that moment and what their sentiment is when making important decisions.

These important decisions could be anything from increasing their adoption of your product or canceling it all together.

Staying in the know makes you more human and better able to provide your customer with the tools or insight they need to be successful or leave happy. 

A great question to ask your organization is “How do we treat customers when they leave?”

This is important because in customer success, it’s a small interconnected ecosystem that has many complimentary key players to your business.

This post is based on the Customer Success Leaders podcast with Dave Blake. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to Customer Success Leaders on Apple Podcasts. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, you can find all our episodes here.

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