Score The Goal Of Customer Success: How To Ensure Customer Loyalty

Client Success

When you hear the word loyal, what comes to mind? A loyal football fan who has never missed a game in his life? Or the fan who has travelled the world to see his team play? So how can businesses ensure that their customers express the same amount of loyalty as a supporter who would go to the ends of the earth for their team?

It’s by no means an easy undertaking. Indeed, a whopping 63 per cent of new customer relationship management initiatives aimed at achieving just that fail, according to a 2013 survey by Merkle Group. All this just goes to prove that, like the faithful fan, your relationships with your customers take work and devotion. Companies need to nurture their customers in order to build a successful relationship.

So you need to ask yourself, would your customer come back again and again? If not, what do you need to do to ensure they do?

Every customer and user is unique and therefore deserves a tailored approach to avoid leaving revenue and profit on the table (or on the pitch). It is estimated that $30b in renewal opportunity goes untouched every year due to poor customer loyalty management. You wouldn’t wear a blue Manchester City shirt to a Manchester United game would you?

In order to create a bond between you and your customer make sure you are focusing on the right person (or team). The mistake many businesses make is focusing their attention on enterprise stakeholders rather than the users, when really they are barking up the wrong tree. Vendors often overlook this relationship with their users.

It is the users who drive success so this is the relationship that is critical in a recurring revenue economy as it depends bonds and produces advocates.

What Is User Nurturing?

The definition of nurturing is to care for and protect (something or someone) while they are growing. User nurturing is no different and involves building a relationship with the end user in order to create value based on the user’s individual needs. To build a successful customer relationship and drive customer happiness, the most important relationship in your business needs to be with the user. Within this, there are two key components:

1. Direct communication and relationship with the user. This may sound obvious, but far too many businesses do not focus their attention on the user. Frequent communication with the right contact is imperative if businesses are to survive in a subscription economy. Your customer will only keep coming back (game after game) when they know you are paying attention to their needs.

2. An approach tailored to the individual users needs will help to exceed expectations. Personalise your approach to each user to make them know that they are valued and the show that you have listened to them and have taken them into account.

Nurturing customer relationships picks up just after the sale is closed and continues until a contact is no longer a customer (and sometimes even after that to win them back). When the game is finished, and the pitch is cleared, fans are still loyal and will carry on coming back time and time again, whatever the conditions.

When the user is ignored, companies are unable to construct and run user campaigns and cannot track success. Growth in the subscription economy is about maximising customer lifetime value, 90 per cent of the customer lifetime value comes after the initial sale.

You must sell the value early and continue to demonstrate value throughout every phase of the customer lifecycle – spanning acquisition, on-boarding, adoption, renewals – for greatest customer success. In fact, if your customers are loyal users within the first 90 days, there’s only a 10 per cent chance that they ever will be.

One thing’s for sure – if you can score the goal of customer success, you’ll keep them coming back every single time!

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Martin Moran

Martin Moran, Executive Vice President of Global Selling Services, brings more than 25 years of technology experience to ServiceSource. Martin was previously Senior Vice President and Managing Director of International and responsible for all regional operations. Prior to joining ServiceSource, Martin spent 10 years at Salesforce. Recognising the potential of the cloud-computing model, Martin was one of the founders of Salesforce in Europe. He undertook a variety of roles including responsibility for sales, customer support, professional services and alliance and channels. Before Salesforce, Martin spent almost 10 years at Oracle in application sales where he worked his way through the ranks from sales representative to country manager for applications in Ireland. Martin started his career at Capita Group where he managed business process outsourcing contracts. Martin is a non-executive board member of Netigate, a fast growing European SaaS company. Martin earned the CIPFA accountancy qualification from Brunel University.