Customer Success: 7 Proven Customer Retention Strategies

Customer success is gaining importance as software is moving to cloud based delivery. Gone are the days when companies could sell a product and leave figuring out how to use it to the customer. Instead, customer success is now predicated on the use of cloud-based software, as customers are subscription based. Customer Success is imperative if the consumer is going to get the most out of their purchase as the retention of customers and increased life-time value to the consumer are intimately related.

Once a new customer is on-boarded, teaching them how take full advantage of their software’s capabilities and functionalities will ensure referrals and renewals, and will open the door to cross selling. Here are seven strategies for customer success, and therefore customer retention.

1. Provide Good Value In Addition To A Good Product.

In addition to being functional and easy to use, people want their software experience to be enriching. We live in the era of the customer, and consumers want software to feel personal and tailored to their experience.

Personalizing the SaaS experience by ensuring the presence of context related content and customizable options moves software beyond pure functionality and ensures that the consumer will connect with your product, making them lifelong users and ambassadors for your brand.

2. Build A Great Customer Success Team

The benefits of a solid customer success team are often not apparent for many months after the initial subscriptions and the initial period of fast revenue growth. Additionally, CS teams are an intensive investment of both financial and human capital, and are often built at the expense of other departments. These two factors result in the customer success team being seen as superfluous, or less significant in the process. Nothing is further from the truth. A solid customer success team ensures that customers who adopt software services early on will be retained later and will become more valuable to the company over time.

3. Focus On The Right People

Demographics are huge, and if you focus your efforts on the wrong customer demographic, you’ll never be able to successfully maintaining customers. A big part of customer success and expanding customer value is to focus on the smallest, and therefore most accurate, audience possible. Though research and target audiences typically aren’t part of the customer success portfolio, it’s worth making it a priority.

4. Use The Support Available To You.

According to Gartner Analysts:

As much as organizations tout the importance of people and process over technology, it is not possible to deliver an engaging customer service experience without technology

Online support is available from a variety of sources and use of these will help eliminate confusion and frustration. WalkMe is a great tool to help prevent attrition and churn and will build long-term user value.

5. Find Ways To Measure Customer Satisfaction

70-95% of revenues are generated by upselling and subscription renewals, which means that it is imperative to maintain satisfaction after the initial sale. Customer satisfaction is not necessarily related to the use of a product, so finding ways to quantify it will ensure success. Indicators include timely payment of bills, engagement in the overall community, and referrals.

6. Adjust Your Approach Depending On The Account

High-end accounts require a personal and intensive approach that is proactive and consultative in nature, while medium sized accounts respond best to intervention just as the data indicates that it is needed. In small accounts, automation is best. Ensure that you are spending time only where it’s needed, and where it has the most benefit both in terms of profitability and customer success.

7. Give Unsatisfied Customers An Easy Out, But Try To Understand Why They Cancelled

According to Gartner:

Over the last 10 years, customers’ trust in big business has declined rapidly. Customers have become more willing to complain, more willing to switch suppliers after a poor experience and more likely to tell others about it.

This sounds really counterintuitive, but if a customer has not been successful and no longer wants to use your service, you’re through anyways. The harder you make it for an unhappy customer to cancel, the more frustrated they will become and the more they will disparage your product or service to other potential customers.

Customer Success is a fairly new idea, though it is at the heart of a company’s success. Implementing any of these strategies will ensure increased success and profitability in the future.

Mark Silver is the Lead Author and Editor of SuccessFULL. SuccessFULL was created in order to be a spurce of news on the fascinating developing world of customer success. On SuccessFull, Mark shares his thoughts on customer success issues, with the hopes to foster a discussion and interaction with anyone interested. The goal of the blog is not to one-directionally publish information, but to create a full engagement between many voices, so that we can all learn from each other.