If you’ve invested in a customer success team, you probably already know that its members are as important as your sales team in generating revenue for your organization. So it’s just as important to keep the team happy, equipped and competent as it is to keep the sales team happy, equipped and competent. They are the primary point of contact between you and your customers. They are more knowledgeable about customer needs and product shortcomings than anyone else in the organization, and their input can drive significant improvement to sales, marketing, and product. Our customer success teams are pretty important, so it’s worth a few minutes every once in a while to remember what makes a customer success team so successful.
Encourage Feedback and Active Listening
Make sure everyone in a customer-facing role in your organization knows what the customer success team learns from customers. Use the in-CRM chat systems, such as Chatter for salesforce.com or Activity Feed for Dynamics CRM, to keep everyone in the loop about customer issues. If your company manages an online community, require your sales reps and marketing managers to answer questions about products. Arrange monthly meetings with all the customer facing teams to discuss a problem the success team has faced, and brainstorm on a way to solve it. An open environment encourages collaboration around enhancement of the customer experience.
Also make sure that you always encourage your customer success team to make suggestions on areas that need urgent response as well as those that do not. Your team is more likely to speak up about issues customers face if they feel someone listens to them.
Encourage Learning and New Skill Acquisition
Every time a new product is introduced, or an old one is improved, train the customer service team. Encourage them to read widely on the market trends and note the changes taking place and the effects they have on customers. When available, send them to conferences and other trainings that will help them improve their relationship management skills.
Positively reinforce attendance at trainings. Schedule them during lunch, and bring in a killer spread. Take the team out to happy hour if they all master a new product feature. Install an incentive program that rewards employees who train customers and each other on new products and features. Make it worth someone’s time to sit and listen to the product engineers for an hour a month, and they will.
Value Your Team
Customer service professionals aren’t just drones that sit behind online chat boxes every day. They sit in front of your customers; they control relationships with your revenue-generators. A lost renewal can deal a bigger blow than a lost opportunity. Relationship management is an important part of maintaining a customer’s business; you don’t want your customer success team blundering around in your biggest deals. Treat your success reps with respect, and they’ll treat your customers with respect. Make them excited to come into work every day, and their enthusiasm will shine through to your customers. Valuing and respecting your team members generates good feelings about doing business and in turn improves work commitment and delivery. Whenever you get a chance, thank them and pat them on the back for a job well done.
Your team is your direct representative. Keeping them motivated, empowered and ahead of their game encourages them to achieve all that they can. A company that does not take care of its customer service team risks losing not only its representatives but also its customers.
If building out a successful customer success team is something that interests you, check out InsideView’s brand new relationship manager edition and learn how it can help your team reduce customer churn up to 25%.