Eight Strategies for Keeping in Touch with Customers

Eight Strategies for Keeping in Touch with Customers

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Eight Strategies for Keeping in Touch with Customers

Inactive customers may be less costly to serve, but they’re more likely to churn. Keeping in touch with customers is essential to developing, retaining, and growing customer relationships—and these eight best practices can help.

Healthy customer relationships require an ongoing dialogue. This dialogue consists of a mix of:

  • Regular interactions through digital media
  • Self-help materials
  • User communities
  • Direct interaction with your Support and Customer Success team members

To accelerate time-to-value, nurture long-term relationships, and drive recurring revenue, leverage these eight strategies for keeping in touch with customers:

  1.  Develop a communications plan based on onboarding programs, success plans or journey maps to determine type and frequency of contact.
  2. Proactively communicate with customers on a regular basis through newsletters, social media, blog posts and contact by Customer Success team members.
  3. Introduce best practices and new ways for customers to use and apply your products through workshops and webinars.
  4. Extend relationships beyond technical points of contact to end-users and executive stakeholders.
  5. Prioritize proactive contact based on customer relationship value.
  6. Look for opportunities to expand quantity and quality of interactions through digital outreach.
  7. Conduct periodic Executive or Quarterly Business Reviews (EBR / QBR) with customers.
  8. Proactively contact inactive customers to determine the reason for inactivity and what actions, if any, can be taken to preserve the relationship.

How much customer interaction is enough? How can you better keep in touch with your customers?

I’m here to help you get the answers you need.

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about the best ways to engage and retain your customers. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

 

Ready to commit to a Customer Success strategy? Learn the 5 critical milestones.

Exclusive ServiceXRG White Paper:

Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success

Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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Eight Strategies for Keeping in Touch with Customers

Healthy customer relationships require an ongoing dialogue through digital media, self-help, communities and direct interaction with Support and Customer Success team members. This article introduces eight customer interaction best practices to engage and retain your customers.

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Six Steps to Effective Customer Success Planning

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Stay Current with Customer Outcomes: Six Best Practices For Ongoing Assessments

Stay Current with Customer Outcomes: Six Best Practices For Ongoing Assessments

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Stay Current with Customer Outcomes: Six Best Practices For Ongoing Assessments

Do you know if customer outcomes for your products and services are improving or declining over time? Customer outcome assessment is an ongoing process; these best practices will shed light on where you’re winning and where you need to do better.

Your customers can be satisfied with many aspects of their relationships with you. But if they’re not achieving the outcomes they expect from your products and services, those relationships are at risk.

To develop and sustain lasting customer relationships, you must have not only a clear understanding of their expectations, but also timely visibility into how and why those expectations may change over time. At all stages of the customer relationship, you must have the insights and ability to help your customers achieve their desired outcomes.

To accelerate time-to-value, sustain long-term relationships, and drive recurring revenue, leverage these six ongoing Customer Outcome Assessment best practices:

  1. Build upon the Sales and Service onboarding process to establish customer needs and expectations.
  2. Define adoption and value attainment milestones to track customer success.
  3. Establish success plans to help customers define their desired outcomes and establish a plan to work towards these goals.
  4. Survey and interact with customers to determine the extent to which customers believe they are making progress against their goals and objectives.
  5. Use Executive or Quarterly Business Reviews (EBR / QBR) to review and assess customer success toward desired outcomes.
  6. Make necessary adjustments to adoption and success plans and modify service resource allocation as necessary.

How well do you understand your customers’ desired outcomes? How effective are you at helping them obtain them?

Were here to help you get the answers you need.

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about the best ways to engage and retain your customers. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

 

Ready to commit to a Customer Success strategy? Learn the 5 critical milestones.

Exclusive ServiceXRG White Paper:

Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success

Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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Six Steps to Effective Customer Success Planning

Six Steps to Effective Customer Success Planning

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Six Steps to Effective Customer Success Planning

Customer Success doesn’t just happen. It requires intentional, meaningful engagements across the product lifespan. Take these 6 steps toward more effective Customer Success Planning.

Sounds obvious, but it isn’t always: Customer Success Planning starts with how your customers (not your company) define success with your products and services. When you clearly understand what your customers’ expectations are, your organization can then align resources to help them achieve their desired outcomes.

It is possible that a customer’s expectations will only “scratch the surface” of what your product can do, or what they can do with it. This is the most fertile ground for nurturing Customer Success and growth — because when you can augment their desired outcomes with an enticing and useful positioning of what’s possible, you’re exceeding expectations.

The Success planning and management process is ongoing — from the initial Sales engagement, through product adoption and use, to value realization. Knowing this, you can help your customers define and achieve their desired outcomes by developing success plans.

To accelerate time-to-value, sustain long-term relationships, and drive recurring revenue, leverage these six steps to effective Customer Success planning:

  1. Engage customers to understand their needs and expectations of your products. Use automated (e-mail, web-based surveys, etc.) or direct engagement (phone, video conference, on-site) methods.
  2. Identify customer-focused success criteria and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  3. Work with customers to develop a success plan.  Use the plan as a basis for aligning resources and setting expectations for service types and levels.
  4. Define journey maps to attain specific outcomes.  Introduce the practices and methods necessary to achieve defined goals. Journey maps may address the needs of many customers or be tailored to the needs of a specific customer.
  5. Establish success metrics to indicate progress against a success plan or journey map.  These may be standalone indicators of success or part of an overall customer health metric.
  6. Keep success plans up-to-date and relevant through periodic business reviews to assess progress against the current plan.  Regular interactions may be conducted informally or through Executive or Quarterly Business Reviews. (EBR / QBR).

 

How effectively do you help your customers plan for success?

I’m here to help you get the answers you need.

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about the best ways to engage and retain your customers. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

 

Ready to commit to a Customer Success strategy? Learn the 5 critical milestones.

Exclusive ServiceXRG White Paper:

Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success

Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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Eight Essential Customer Onboarding Practices

Eight Essential Customer Onboarding Practices

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Eight Essential Customer Onboarding Practices

If customers cannot use your product, then they may learn that they can do without it. Worse, they may find a competing product that they CAN use successfully. Both of these outcomes pose risks to Customer Success and recurring revenue—risks that effective customer onboarding practices can avert.

A successful customer onboarding process is the vital first stage of any productive, long-term customer relationships. It demonstrates your company’s commitment to setting up customers to use and adopt their new product as needed to achieve their desired outcomes — of setting them up for Success!

 Customer onboarding can occur via automated or guided processes. In either case, the core goals are:

  • helping customers engage with your products by eliminating barriers to use
  • introducing them to necessary self-help, assisted support, and training resources that can help assure continued Customer Success

To accelerate customer time-to-value, sustain long-term relationships, and advance recurring revenue goals, implement these eight proven customer onboarding practices:

  1. Communicate with all new customers. Use automated (e-mail, recorded videos) and guided (phone, video conference, on-site, in-program) methods to initiate contact.
  2. For customers with named or assigned account resources (TAMs, CSMs, etc.), introduce the customer to the account team and share contact information.
  3. Assess the customer’s ability to access and apply products.
  4. Identify and remove barriers that may inhibit initial use of the product with setup assistance, training, support, and recommendations for self-help or self-guided resources.
  5. Introduce customers to the services they are entitled to through a welcome kit that describes service program entitlements, including steps for getting help, and how to submit new support cases.
  6. Communicate expectations, responsibilities, and timeline for major onboarding milestones to ensure the best possible time to value.
  7. Establish outcomes and milestones and monitor customer adoption progress to ensure successful initial onboarding.
  8. Assess customer expected outcomes and begin development of adoption and success plans.

How effective are your current customer onboarding practices?

We can help you make them better

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about the best ways to engage and retain your customers. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

 

Ready to commit to a Customer Success strategy? Learn the 5 critical milestones.

Exclusive ServiceXRG White Paper:

Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success

Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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Five Customer Engagement Best Practices to Develop, Retain, and Grow Relationships

Five Customer Engagement Best Practices to Develop, Retain, and Grow Relationships

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Five Customer Engagement Best Practices to Develop, Retain, and Grow Relationships

Authentic customer engagement is vital to long-term positive relationships with the people who use your products and services. From onboarding to adoption and value realization, your organization should be generating a regular cadence of customer interactions. How do your current interactions stack up to these five customer engagement best practices?

Effective engagement activities start with understanding your customers’ desired outcomes. They continue with interactions that help them plan for success with your products and services.

Within all those interactions, it’s critical that clear expectations be set for the type and level of services you can provide your customer. When all members of your team know these expectations, they can then focus of meeting them—and strive to exceed them.

To accelerate time-to-value, nurture long-term relationships, and drive recurring revenue, leverage these five customer engagement best practices:

 

1. Sales Hand-Off

Define an effective hand-off from the Sales to Service team.

2. Onboarding

Provide self-guided or assisted onboarding to all new customers.

3. Customer Outcomes Assessment

Identify customer needs and desired outcomes.

4. Success Planning

Provide self-guided or assisted success planning.

5. Regular Interactions

Assess customer health, provide planning and conduct business and technical reviews.

Key Customer Engagement Metrics to Know and Use

To assess the effectiveness of your Customer Engagement activities, consider the following metrics:

  • Success Plan Rate – Percent of eligible customers with success plan.
  • % Onboarded – Percent of new customers successfully onboarded.
  • Time to Value – The average time to achieve outcomes and realize value from product.
  • Adoption Rate – Percent of customers to reach adoption milestones.
  • Customer Touchpoints – The number and frequency of customer interactions through both digital and personal channels.

 

How effective are your customer engagement efforts?

I’m here to help you get the answers you need.

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about the best ways to engage and retain your customers. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

Ready to commit to a Customer Success strategy? Learn the 5 critical milestones.

Exclusive ServiceXRG White Paper:

Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success

Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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Essential Customer Success Activities

Essential Customer Success Activities

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Essential Customer Success Activities

Customer Success—and the recurring revenue it generates—results from a series of intentional, interrelated activities performed throughout the customer relationship lifecycle. As shown in this graphic, effective customer success activities comprise a continuum:

 

Essential Customer Success Activities

Effective Customer Success activities fall into 6 distinct categories.  All are essential, yet recent ServiceXRG research revealed that half of companies surveyed are doing only half the job:

Customer Success Activities Commonly Used

Source: ServiceXRG 2020

Customer Success Activities Defined

Onboarding Activities

Onboarding activities aim to remove barriers that may inhibit successful product use. Onboarding can encompass activities to welcome and introduce customers to the resources necessary to use new products, as well as verification that customers can access and use products.

Onboarding activities can include:

  • Initial welcome
  • Kick-off-meeting
  • Goals and objectives inventory

Success Planning Activities

Success planning helps customers realize the full potential of products. These activities can increase understanding customer business objectives, introducing customers to product capabilities, and aligning services to help yield tangible business results.

Success Planning activities can include:

  • Goal setting
  • Account planning
  • Journey mapping
  • Business reviews

Activities to Drive Adoption

Adoption activities occur throughout the product ownership lifecycle. They are designed to advance Customer Success by encouraging the full and successful use of product features and capabilities by all targeted users.

Adoption activities can include:

  • Coaching
  • Training
  • Best practices
  • Templates

Health Monitoring Activities

By monitoring the customer ownership experience, your team gains insights about the extent to which customers are using products successfully. Early-warning signs of low adoption or low success rates trigger corrective actions.

Health monitoring activities can include:

  • Usage tracking
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Risk assessment
  • Intervention

Customer Retention Activities

Customer retention activities facilitate the contract-renewal actions that are necessary to assure sustained customer relationships and continuation of recurring revenues.

Customer retention activities can include:

  • Renewal notification
  • Budget planning
  • Follow-up
  • Win-loss analysis

Up-sell and Cross-Sell Activities

These expansion activities focus on the growth of customer relationship value by offering additional capabilities or capacity. This is where Customer Success activities pay off in additional, and ideally recurring, revenue.

 

Up-sell and cross-sell activities can include:

  • Account reviews
  • ROI analysis
  • Goal setting
  • Opportunity alignment

Make a plan to optimize Customer Success activities

ServiceXRG provides coaching and guidance to help companies optimize their Customer Success strategies, create action plans, and apply best practices.

Let’s make a plan to optimize your Customer Success Activities.

Contact ServiceXRG via the chat button at bottom right or e-mail now; or click on my calendar to set up an initial assessment of your Customer Success planning needs.

 

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