In the business world, catch phrases come and go. Remember when “the net” was a thing? Running to your desk to grab a spreadsheet from “the net” was once a common task, but if you told an intern this right now they’d probably just give you a blank look!
But, for every catch phrase that fades away, some do stick around. Who knew “web” would still be used, so much so that it would evolve into “web 2.0” or basically the modern internet we use daily. Another catch phrase that’s been popular lately, especially in the B2B (business-to-business) service industry, is “customer success”. This means doing essentially everything possible as a business to ensure your customers are successful in their own ventures with your products. But, believe it or not, the concept of “customer success” isn’t new. It’s just that businesses finally realize how important the success of their customers is, not only for their own livelihood but for the growth of their company.
That’s why “customer success” isn’t just some catch phrase set to fade away in a year or two. It’s here to stay, and these are some of the key reasons why it won’t be going away anytime soon…
Customer success is an ENTIRE COMPANY effort – For a long time, the customer relations team was segmented off in some basement corner because businesses were required to staff people to handle complaints. It was a necessary overhead cost on the balance sheet and thought of as an expense of doing business. However, the concept of customer communication has emerged from the darkness and now has their very own seat at the boardroom table. Why? Because companies realized that working with their current customers directly correlated to increased success, especially in the B2B industry. As a result, countless companies now have all departments interact with customers – development writes custom code, marketing gets testimonials, and sales reaches out for references – because the customer is an asset to the business. Striving to keep that asset happy and satisfied creates a tangible goal an entire company can rally around and work towards that directly impacts the bottom line.
Successful customers help drive business growth – Prioritizing customer success internally is one thing. But, when the customer feels valued because a business places their needs first, they often appreciate the gratitude and take their own efforts a step further. A successful customer relationship can be the catalyst for a business to renew a contract, even if your prices are a little higher than the competition. Successful customers are also more likely to recommend your business to their friends and colleagues. Best of all, they’ll also help your business presence online by becoming advocates by contributing to your NPS (Net Promoter Score) and on third-party review sites.
Companies that focus on customer success excel at innovation – This won’t show up on a financial statement or in a 5-star review but it’s just as important. When a company focuses on customer success and has strong customer relationships built on trust with their customers, they become not only your revenue stream but also your inspiration for innovation. With this trust comes honest and direct feedback, including their successes and failures with your company. Listen to them, because this feedback can and will spark your next big business concept or idea. Your company may know its products well, but your customers use them daily, and it’s essential that you listen to them and innovate based on their feedback.
To conclude, “customer success” is here to stay because it’s not a just a flashy concept that was created overnight. Keeping customers happy has been a cornerstone of great business for many years, but from time to time it’s not a focal point over chasing profits or glory. By keeping the success of the customer as a core principle, many businesses will see growth and innovation at peak levels now and in the future.
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