Customer Success plays an incredibly important role in business. Companies that are able to understand and develop the customer success role in their businesses see far more success than others, simply because it is a strategy devoted to ensuring that customers are number one.
The role is often described as a mix between customer-facing operations and behind-the-scenes management of incredibly important data that is housed in CRMs. It requires a careful blend of understanding and leveraging technology, while keeping customers at the top of the priority list.
Customer Success Director Responsibilities:
The key component of any customer success role is to really understand customers. Customer Success Directors in particular are responsible for overseeing those critical activities including customer onboarding and retention, as well as for overall outcomes like renewals and upsells.Again, though, the most important aspect of the role is to keep customers happy.
Increasing renewal rates, reducing churn, and expanding revenue are important business goals but these will only occur if customers are happy with the level of service they are receiving.
Ultimately, the role requires an eye to the future and an understanding the long-term customer growth potential, which helps you to identify key growth opportunities. But this must be balanced with managing and expanding customer relationships.
Technology Plays a Key Role in Customer Success:
Customer Success Directors that have a keen knowledge of current technology systems, and are willing to learn new ones, are the ones that see the most success in this role. CRMs such as Salesforce are an essential part of customer success because they are allow teams to record important customer interactions, renewals, cross-sells, and upsells.
CRMS allow Directors to define, establish and record key metrics for growth, and are essential in creating rapid onboarding processes for new team members and fostering collaboration amongst the team and the customer lifecycle. Directors that leverage this technology are able to increase effectiveness and efficiency, and provide customers with a consistently good experience.
Customer Success Requires Cross-Departmental Collaboration:
While customer success is dependent on the customer itself (hence the title of the role),the position is also dependent on how well internal company policies are aligned to really maximize customer success.
Directors must work across departments like sales and marketing to develop strategies to market and sell to existing customers. They must also work with the product team to share customer feedback that drives the product roadmaps and improvements. They must also work with executive teams to establish and discuss metrics and objectives, and share data with the financial team for accurate forecast and measurements.
Key Challenges in Customer Success:
Challenges that a Customer Success Director, and team, face include low customer upsells, low customer satisfaction scores, poor interdepartmental communication, and inefficient training processes.
Another major challenge is mastering technology. Directors must keep up with changes and updates in systems and software, and stay in-the-know about new customer communication channels that must be developed to stay up to date with customer needs and interactions.
Overcoming Challenge to Achieve Success:
Think about what customers want, always. Customers enjoy "self-service" solutions that go beyond a website with a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). They need information fast, so develop and refine channels such as instant chat, videos, and other solutions to help customers get the answers they need in a way that works for them.
Think about the customer experience as well. For example, customers don't like to repeat themselves; so when an interaction starts on the web or an IVR and then transfers to a live agent, make sure your current systems don't require the customer to start from scratch.
Ensure that customers feel like they are an integrated part of the end-to-end experience by using the right technology and training your customer service agents. Prioritize the people on your team to ensure that you are not neglecting one of your best customer experience feedback sources: the front-line agents communicating with customers.
Remember: Competent, customer-focused, and engaged employees provide superior customer service.
The role of Customer Success Director is a one to take on, but seeing the impact the role has on customers can make it an equally and incredibly rewarding experience. The success of the role lies within understanding of the systems in place that shape customer success, such as Salesforce, and gaining a mastery of them to really understand what customers need.
- *https://www.totango.com/blog/2015/04/3-questions-for-getting-started-as-the-vp-of-customer-success/ *