Customer Success is a greatly misunderstood and underestimated part of a business’ overall customer experience. Without a customer success strategy in place, a business can’t hope to retain the customers marketing has attracted, or create a fanbase of customer advocates that can help it grow.
In this webinar, Lincoln Murphy, Customer Success Evangelist for Gainsight, explains why Customer Success and Marketing are inextricably linked and how the two functions can work together to improve the customer experience and drive loyalty.
Defining Customer Success
Customer Success isn’t as simple as just supplying customers with what they paid for. “The initial sale is critical,” Lincoln says, “but it’s the tip of the iceberg. Customer Success is when your customers achieve their desired outcome through their interactions with your company, not through their use of your product.” In order to consider a customer interaction a “success,” the customer has to get the outcome they want together and have a positive experience.
For example, if your customer buys a software product and can only get it running after multiple back-and-forth conversations with tech support, that’s not a successful interaction. But if they can get it to operate smoothly and quickly achieve the value the software provides, that’s a success.
Customer Success is Marketing
An organization dedicated to Customer Success will be able market themselves organically thanks to their satisfied customers. Lincoln says there are three different types of customers advocates that can be developed by effective Customer Success teams:
- Happy customers will be closely affected by your strong, customer-centric brand, and will be the bulk of your vocal advocates. When customers express happiness with your product, offer them ways to share their experience with others.
- Direct advocates are high-level evangelists who are highly engaged with your brand and should be carefully nurtured. Invite them to speak at events, ask them to participate in case studies, or enroll them in a referral marketing program.
- “Land and expand” customers are your ticket into large organizations. If you’re able to secure a foothold in a single department, and help them achieve their desired outcome, there’s a high chance they’ll recommend your brand internally.
Customer Success drives marketing
“There needs to be a strong feedback loop between Customer Success and the marketing organization,” says Lincoln. The CS team has a lot of inside information that can help improve marketing campaigns: use cases, common language, what makes a good or bad fit. Armed with their insights, marketing can manage expectations and attract good customers while deterring potentially bad ones.
Establish lines of communication between the CS and marketing teams. These can be casual, weekly 15-minute meetings or a formal set of feedback processes—anything that will get the information flowing.
Most B2B companies say the customer experience is a priority, but their teams aren’t making this a reality. It starts with strong alignment between customer success and marketing. This partnership has the power to unlock the true potential of your customers: genuine advocacy that will help you grow your business faster.