Podcast

5 Strategies for Winning Customer Success

Eric Crane

Posted 1/5/2021

Do you consider yourself a people-person?

If you enjoy building relationships and championing projects toward their greatest potential, you may enjoy a career in Customer Success.

Or perhaps you find yourself struggling to drive customer engagement and promote long-term value for your business?

In this episode of Customer Success Leader, Eric Crane joined Mike Egan, VP of Customer Success & Integration at BenchSci to discuss:

  • how to effectively drive conversations and customer interaction

  • how to demonstrate value to skeptical customers

  • how to succeed in Customer Success

Mike works with some of the world’s leading scientists to bring medicines to market. His unique customer base is known for having a healthy dose of skepticism. But, as a leader in Customer Success, Mike has some tried and true techniques for establishing value and developing effective customer relationships. 

Here are 5 of his strategies for winning customer success.

1. Leverage Skepticism

Skeptical customers create a valuable opportunity to reestablish the value of your business. 

Mike focuses on the “show me, don’t tell me” approach. Instead of trying to convince skeptical customers, Mike demonstrates the value of their platform as it relates to the customer’s goal. 

In BenchSci’s case, the customers are world-class scientists, and the goal is running successful experiments. Mike takes the initiative and the time to understand what his customers do and what would help make it easier. The value is placed not on the platform itself, but what the platform can do for the customers.

2. Drive Value

Mike drives strategic interactions that show customers the value at every level. 

It’s crucial to engage customers on a regular basis and ensure that conversations are driven by value. Mike prioritizes building trust by offering 360-degree visibility and consistent communication. He encourages Customer Success leaders to share not only the wins with their customers, but also the losses. 

When it comes to fostering long-term customer relationships, transparency is key. 

Mike is also intentional about sharing BenchSci’s vision for the future. You can’t cultivate a long-lasting relationship with your customer if your business lacks long-term goals. BenchSci’s biomedical A.I. decodes data from over 10 million biomedical publications, increasing speed and efficiency. 

But, in addition to providing immediate value for customers, Mike points out that BenchSci’s mission is to bring medicine to patients 50% faster by 2025.

 3. Refine Tools

Mike is constantly evaluating BenchSci’s customer service process to ensure that the tools they use are producing the highest impact and value for the customer. Although, Mike cautions, it’s easy to get caught up with adopting new tools and platforms too frequently.

<"If you're spinning your wheels on things that are not of the highest impact and the highest value, then that's a lot of time wasted." – Mike Egan>

Mike recommends collecting feedback from other teams and checking for simple inefficiencies that need to be ironed out, like lack of communication between departments, before switching to a new tool or platform. 

Sometimes it’s not the tool that is the issue, just the execution. 

But it all goes back to the overall goal of showing value. If a tool or platform is not conducive to achieving the customer’s desired outcome in the most efficient and effective way, try something else.

 4. Celebrate Wins

Celebrate success with your customers. 

This keeps the relationship growing and encourages an environment that welcomes qualitative feedback. 

But don’t neglect your team. 

Sharing customer wins internally is often overlooked; so, at BenchSci, Mike builds time into their QVR’s to share wins with the team, so they know that all the hard work they have been putting in is having the intended impact.

5. Cultivate Knowledge

Honing skills and best practices in Customer Success is an ongoing effort. Luckily, there’s a wealth of learning opportunities at your fingertips. 

One of Mike’s go-to reads is Farm, Don’t Hunt: The Definitive Guide to Customer Success, by Guy Nirpaz. Mike has also noticed a growing Customer Success community online, with tons of valuable content to digest from blogs to forums to podcasts like this one. He also suggests connecting with industry coaches and mentors in networking environments like LinkedIn.

Natural relationship builders and creative thinkers are well-suited to thrive in Customer Success; but, by implementing these 5 strategies, anyone can successfully provide value to even the most skeptical of customers.

In this episode of Customer Success Leader, Mike offers even more tips for winning over skeptical customers. 

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For more info, check out customersuccessleader.com or send a message to hello@flatfile.io.

Podcast quote from Mike Egan

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