As any CSM has been told – and has realized – many times, no two customer experiences are the same. Every customer has unique goals and is looking to a vendor organization to help solve a problem or two. Surely, however, there must be something that binds customers together and creates a bridge between accounts that CSMs can use to develop large-scale strategies for success, right?
This overarching question made our team at ClientSuccess go back to the basics of customer success to determine what exactly goes into every customer relationship that ensures retention, satisfaction, and ongoing loyalty. Here is the tried and true recipe:
trust + communication = customer loyalty
Trust: The first ingredient for any loyal customer relationship is trust. Without a strong foundation, customers will be unwilling to work with an organization long-term. Building customer trust goes beyond just telling customers what they want to hear. It means being open and honest about timelines, product issues and outages, benchmarks, and other big-picture items. Without trust, there is no hope of building customer loyalty.
Communication: The other ingredient for a strong customer relationship is communication. Even when things are running smoothly, and a customer is in ‘maintenance mode,’ it is still critical for a CSM to reach out regularly, check-in with key contacts, and keep lines of communication open with customers. From keeping regularly scheduled customer check-ins on the calendar (even if there are no immediate items to discuss) to reaching out with goodwill tokens or thank you gifts from time to time, establishing a solid cadence of communication makes a customer feel comfortable, valued, and even more trusting of a vendor organization.
Customer loyalty: Finally, the end goal of this simple recipe is customer loyalty. CSMs must realize that investing in a vendor product or working with a specific vendor organization does not mean that a customer is automatically loyal to this product or team. Instead, CSMs must work diligently throughout a customer relationship to ensure a customer feels seen, valued, and understood.
With strategies to build trust and communication working hand in hand, CSMs can confidently work towards building long-term, retention-based relationships with customers. When customer relationships are built on these strong foundational tenants, long-term relationships – aka customer retention – are at the heart of any customer lifecycle.
Want to learn more?
Building customer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight, which is why we have the resources and tools you need to succeed. You can get more tips from the ClientSuccess team on everything from planning customer lifecycle journeys to fail-safe ways to ensure customer retention with these additional resources: