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The Secret Weapon for Building Great Customer Relationships

As a customer success professional in 2021, you understand the critical importance of strong, lasting customer relationships. Customer-centric service has emerged as one of the leading contributors to account renewals, recurring revenue, and upsells for SaaS-based organizations. 

In addition to your vast toolkit of customer success solutions, tools, and resources, there is one secret weapon to include to build strong customer relationships: customer-first service.

Delivering customer-first service

For years, the customer success world operated on the underlying “Golden Rule’ principle – treat others how you would like to be treated. What this really boils down to, however, is that CSMs and account managers should make decisions and build project plans from the customer mindset.

Here are some questions to ask to make sure you’re delivering customer-first service: 

  • How is this decision (or feature, functionality, project, etc.) going to provide value to the customer?
  • Where is there an opening for a customer to expose an issue or concern? How can we proactively address this before the issue is escalated?
  • How are the steps we’re taking today setting this account up for long-term success?
  • Where can we implement a customer-first approach in every stage of the customer journey?
  • What roadblocks are in place that could potentially derail the account project plan?

Actionable ways to use your new secret weapon:

Taking a customer-first approach to customer success and implementing ideas and strategic plans that customers actually want to see can make your customers feel seen, valued, and appreciated. It can also ensure that renewal and growth rates stay high.

Here are a few actionable ways to use your new secret weapon to help customers:

  • Set designated service level benchmarks and ask CSMs to meticulously track progress against these goals.
  • Be available for customer inquiries and requests, and make sure you treat every customer as an individual – not just an account or a number.
  • No matter how much you want to push back on a customer concern or issue, listen intently and formulate a plan of response before jumping in.
  • Partner with your product team to ‘poke and prod’ at your solution to proactively identify any potential issues before customers have a chance to bring them to your attention.
  • Have a clear escalation process in place so you can immediately take action when customer concerns come up.
  • Work with your internal marketing or HR team to develop a ‘customer kit’ to thank your customers for being a valued part of your organization.
  • Share new content and resources with your customer contacts, including eBooks, webinars, and product notes, to help boost their product value.
  • Work with both customer stakeholders and internal strategic resources to establish your platform and the service you provide as a must-have for the customer. 

 Ready to learn more?

 Check out these additional resources on delivering customer-first service:

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