By Paul Shutt, Deputy Global Head of Customer Success at Vizrt Group
86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, according to Forbes. In the tech world, ensuring a good customer experience goes beyond just how well a product works – it’s also how the company steps up when something doesn’t.
At the heart of customer success is customer experience and satisfaction. If we focus on delivering a positive experience for customers — not just while they buy and use technology, but also to support long-term business goals — we will see higher satisfaction rates and retention.
But what is the difference between customer service and customer success? What goes into ensuring that a customer success team is driving success? And how does it impact business growth?
The modus operandi of customer success
For customer success teams to effectively deal with the needs that arise when people use your technology, the process must be understood as a service. If businesses think of selling their tech in purely transactional terms, customers run the risk of not making the most out of the technology they bought, and being hung out to dry if some part of it fails. A service-based approach recognizes that strength lies in the trust between customer and business, and that success is symbiotic.
Considering the customer experience is also an essential part of a successful business strategy, and it’s all about the relationships you build. According to research conducted by PwC, 82% of U.S. and 74% of non-U.S. consumers want more human interaction, which shows that it’s not just about the product or service, it’s about the effort to understand how to meet each person’s needs.
With time, close relationships are built as you understand the customer’s priorities and what they need to achieve – and what you learn can inform the decisions within your company.
Successful customer care requires consistency
A global company with numerous products and solutions must have a thorough understanding of what potential clients are looking for in order to provide the most value. At Vizrt Group, the pre-sales team assemble to help identify the best solution. But to monitor satisfaction and deliver on long-term solutions, the service that we offer customers needs to be consistent.
That’s a critical challenge: how do we create a consistent experience that any project manager, any trainer, any pre-sales consultant can use, yet maintain the highest quality we strive for and that our customers expect? This is achieved by devoting time and effort to understanding what’s needed in each case.
It is essential to adapt to local norms and customer priorities. We have customers who want to train their entire staff, some who need in-person training while others prefer remote, and some who don’t want any instructor-led courses and are satisfied with online learning. Customer success is driven by adapting, advising, and pivoting; the consistency is caring.
The customer success team is the voice of the customer in your company – and that voice can inform smart decisions, including those that fuel innovation. Quality customer success teams feed important information from the people relying on the technology day-to-day.
This direct line with customers simplifies the process of understanding what needs to change, and it informs how. When you’re defining the future of your product – the roadmap and functionality – your customer’s perspective is an invaluable asset. This is true at all scales: from small modifications that are essential to drive efficiencies, to hugely innovative features that could change how the clients solve their biggest issues.
Customers are the biggest advocates for a product. Conversations about individual needs can reveal larger market trends, providing businesses with valuable information. Such discussions then help the customer success team find new ways to care for customers, by offering solutions that have previously worked well for others.
Additionally, the effort to care for the customer experience encourages brand loyalty which is good for retention. According to research conducted by Harvard Business School retaining even 5% of customers can lead to up to a 95% increase in profitability, and it is 25 times less expensive than going after new customers. An effective and efficient customer success team is not a concession. From the business perspective, it works as an investment – one that pays off.
Good for people, good for business
Taking care of customers, making sure they are happy with your technology and helping them reach their goals will drive growth in the adoption of your products. This is what makes a business stand out, in any market. In fact, 81% of organizations cite customer experience as a competitive differentiator.
It’s no wonder companies are investing in Customer Success departments and personnel. At Vizrt Group, we’ve expanded the customer success team even further this year, confident of the benefits it provides for customers and our business. When they win, we win.