Empowering Your Customers

It's Independence Day and a great time to subscribe customers to their own success with channels expanding their aptitude. Fostering dependent relationships is not in anyone's best interest and definitely not scalable. So, what are some of the best ways to do this?

 

Communities & User Groups

A thriving network leads to a strong body of knowledge for your customers to understand how they can replicate the success of others. Partner with Marketing to curate the right community participation and management to build these connections. With Customer Success identifying areas of interest and Marketing amplifying the message, you create a foundation of subject matter expertise. Some examples include voting on use cases submitted by customers and partners, Q&A sessions, and informal chats via Twitter. 

Eliminate Faulty Processes & Boundaries

Analyze existing processes for your customers and proactively communicate with your internal teams. Find the root-cause of hassles for your customers, improve efficiency of handoffs — upstream and downstream. Making these steps takes more time up front but removes you (and your CSM colleagues) from single-handedly bridging process gaps. For example, a common inconsistency is around customer stories where Customer Success receives disparate requests. Instead, align on the customer lifecycle and systematically ask when it makes sense.

Celebrate Wins and Cultivate Their Confidence

Have fun with this! Create a positive buzz and draw attention to the value of the outcome, agree on how your product and/or service contributed. Often, this is a missed opportunity to deepen the emotional connection and build on each experience collective milestone. Gain a deeper understanding around their motivations and challenge the right option vs the easy one. Rewarding and recognizing certain types of behaviors (both internally & w/ the customer) cultivates a positive environment of what it means to be customer-focused.

Educational Content with Actionable Knowledge

Go beyond how to use the product and paint the picture of what's possible together. Provide guidance on the steps to be taken and which roles are involved in creating the desired outcome. Balance your customer anecdotes and conversations with data to determine where your most successful customers come from. Coordinate with Marketing on the messaging to land with the right kind of customers. Although CSMs own key relationships, Marketing owns the air cover. 

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References:

Mike Grafham's CSM Successcast with Ursula Llabres, Kathleen Rouse, Steve Nguyen, and Andrew Gilbert.

Improve Customer Experience: Help Me Help You and Energize Your Customer Experience Strategy  by Lynn Hunsaker, CEO of ClearAction.

Why Customer Empowerment Is the Key to Great Retention Rates from Kissmetrics.