The Golden Rule of Customer Success – 8 Guiding Principles
January 26, 2016
The term “customer success” is fast becoming one of the most talked about topics in business today. A whole industry has emerged around customer success and a plethora of resources have been created to support the new function and mindset: websites, white papers, webinars, conferences, and technologies exist to guide, advise and help you along the way to not only help add “customer success” as a department, but to instill it as a mindset across your company culture.
The Golden Rule and Every Touchpoint
Everyone has heard of the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself”. But what does that have to do with customer success? Well, as it turns out, just about everything.
The Golden Rule is really at the very heart of what customer success is all about. A recent article on the Avention website says to, “Look at your organization through your customers’ eyes and be as constructively critical as you can be; look for the “soft underbelly” of your business that can be the most cumbersome and arduous part of the way a customer does business with you. Whether this is with your sales, billing, or on-boarding, keep asking yourself, ‘Does this obey the Golden Rule?’.”
Customer Success teams need to be very embodiment of the Golden Rule as they interact with more customers and users than any other group in a business. Very often the interactions that your customers have with your customer success manager or customer success teams will drive their lasting and abiding thoughts on the company as a whole.
Be Proactive Not Reactive
The Golden Rule is not exclusively tied to when a customer reactively contacts your business or goes through a defined process, such as Billing. It applies at every touchpoint as you help customers proactively get maximum value from their significant investment in your business. This is a true “win/win”; not only does your customer get a better return on their investment, but your organization’s renewal and upsell rates also increase.
Keeping the Golden Rule as the standard benchmark for people, processes and products will help ensure that your customers remain excited, engaged, and happy. The outcome will be very tangible—renewal rates remain high. While there are many ways your organization can put customers first, here are some tactical ways to get started and ensure the Golden Rule is applied throughout the entire business:
8 Ways to Apply the Golden Rule in Customer Success
1. Return customer inquiries promptly, no matter how big or small the matter
2. Listen to customers and seek to understand their point of view, no matter how vocal they may be
3. Be proactive in reaching out about potential issues versus reacting and waiting for the customer to act first
4. Find reasons to thank customers whenever possible, whether it’s thanking them for being a valued customer, for a piece of valuable feedback, for a product idea, for a referral, and etc.
5. Be your customer’s advocate and always do what’s best for their business, for their projects, and for their goals
6. Teach and share knowledge with customers and invite them to participate in company learning events such as webinars, conferences, or even the latest ebook or case study
7. Over-communicate as often as possible to ensure both your organization and the customer are always on the same page, reaching for the same goals
8. Build relationships high and wide throughout the customer’s organization
How does your organization embody the Golden Rule as it relates to your customers? Customers are the lifeblood of your business, so no matter how far behind you might be, it’s never too late to begin honoring the Golden Rule.
Check out our resources below for more customer success best practices and insights for how your organization can put customers first:
Learn more about how ClientSuccess can help your company develop a strong customer success methodology and strategy with easy-to-use customer success software by requesting a 30-minute demo.
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