Over the years, customer success manager roles have expanded to include many different responsibilities. Bridging the gap between customers and a product team is critical, from managing customer implementations to ongoing account maintenance. But customer satisfaction is another side to the CSM role that has become increasingly important over the last few years. SaaS organizations are focusing more on maintaining and cultivating long-term customer relationships than ever before, and CSMs are at the forefront of these efforts.
While multiple factors drive customer retention (including product value and internal customer issues, which a CSM will have little control over), customer success managers can strategically focus their efforts, conversations, and recommendations for customers to help guide them toward long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships.
Here are some tips that can help your customer success team boost customer retention and reduce churn:
1. Keep tabs on customer satisfaction and account health.
For many in customer success, customer satisfaction, health, and happiness are more abstract concepts than actual numbers. Go beyond just conceptualizing this information by tracking detailed metrics and data points to build a holistic picture of customer satisfaction and health. Are NPS scores taking a dip? What about product usage rates? Looking at the data can help your team keep a firm tab on customer satisfaction – and then leap into action if needed.
2. Find creative ways to thank your long-term customers.
How is your team thanking and rewarding customers for their valued partnerships? Customer marketing efforts like thank-you gifts and recognition are a significant first step. Still, CSMs can go above and beyond to keep customers excited and looking forward to expanding their relationships with products. Give your top customers a sneak peek at upcoming product features and releases to build anticipation. Ask for their feedback on potential product enhancements and ideas to give them a sense of ownership stake in your product. Building a personal investment in your product can excite customers.
3. Personalize strategic efforts to their unique needs.
During renewal or upsell conversations, the everyday sales jargon and terminology can get old quickly, especially if it is a repeat of a customer’s original sales pitch when they first signed on with your organization. Instead of a rinse-and-repeat, build your strategic growth plans around their unique needs and personalized experiences.
- How have they used your product in new and interesting ways since kick-off?
- Where are there opportunities for growth and value in the product now?
- What new features could be specifically tailored to their users and goals?
Personalizing these conversations to your customers shows that you understand why they are working with your team and that you are invested in seeing them succeed as a business, not just as a line item on a balance sheet.
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Cultivating the customers already in your business book is an effective, efficient, and cost-savvy way to grow your business organically without investing time and resources into finding new customers. By focusing strategically on current customer efforts and putting new processes into play that are directly aimed toward improving retention, your team can embrace your customers while encouraging them to grow with your organization.
You can learn more about implementing customer retention efforts with these additional resources from ClientSuccess: