In order to acquire and retain new customers, you have to understand the concept of customer success. Why do customers come to you rather than going somewhere else? It’s because they feel that your product or service is going to make them more successful. So in order to acquire new customers, you have to convince them that this is the case through better customer implementation.
We’re in the business of selling pleasure. We don’t sell handbags or haute couture. We sell dreams.Alain Wertheimer
The aim of most advertising and marketing campaigns is convincing the customer that they’ll be successful if they invest in your product or service. Buying Victoria’s Secret lingerie is going to make women sexier. Buying health bars is going to make people healthier. Going for a public speaking course is going to make them into better public speakers, which will help them in their careers.
The aim of every product is to help the customer in some way. But the customer isn’t going to know what the benefits of that product are unless you tell them. And this is what advertising and marketing campaigns attempt to do. They disseminate information and persuade the customer to try something new.
But what happens once the customer has already purchased the product? Are they going to feel buyer’s remorse? Or can you convince them, via the process of customer implementation, that they made the right choice? As per this article in Forbes, “Top performing organizations connect acquisition and retention, and rate their performance in both as above expectations.”
Customer Retention via Implementation
In some ways, it’s easier to convince someone to try something new. It’s harder to convince them to keep using it. Because once the product or service has been purchased, the customer has to make up their own mind about whether it’s working for them. At this point, it’s the actual functioning of the product that counts. And if the product is just not working for the customer, you can’t persuade them that it is.
This is where customer implementation comes in. Each person is going to use the product in a different way. One person might consume health bars instead of meals in order to lose weight. Another person might only replace breakfast with a health bar. A third person might just eat a chocolate-flavored health bar instead of dessert. Customer implementation is the process of finding the right way for the customer to use their product.
But if you have any doubts as to the value of customer retention, consider these stats from Inc.:
- “Acquiring new customers costs 5 to 25 times more than it takes to retain one.”
- “A 5% increase in retention rates can raise profits by 25% to 95%.”
And since customer implementation necessarily leads to customer retention, it can help you cut costs and increase profits in the long run.
The Job of the Customer Implementation Specialist
Let’s say that someone purchased a box of 100 health bars, with the intention of replacing two meals a day with these bars. They started out eating one bar for breakfast and one for lunch. For dinner, they just ate regular food. However, they suffered from extreme hunger pangs by doing this and were tempted to give up on the health bars altogether.
Now, your customer implementation specialist might know that these health bars are, in fact, very good for health and weight loss. But it’s necessary to convince the customer that they shouldn’t give up quite yet. So the customer implementation specialist would work with them to find an acceptable solution. Here are some possibilities that the specialist could suggest to the customer:
- Eat two health bars per meal instead of just one. Given the low-calorie content of the bars, you’ll still be cutting down overall.
- Try eating a big breakfast and replace the other two meals with health bars instead. Sometimes, people need a little more nutrition in the first half of the day.
- Eat a salad or soup with each health bar. These are low-calorie options that will still help you to feel more full.
- Eat the smaller-sized health bars every two hours. Research shows that eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day makes you feel fuller and burns more calories.
In order to help the customer, the customer implementation specialist needs to know two things: the customer’s definition of success and the ins and outs of the product. With this knowledge, customer implementation simply becomes about putting the two puzzle pieces together so that they fit.
Customer Implementation vs. Customer Success
Most companies have marketing, sales and customer service departments. As per this article in Entrepreneur, “a customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service-related.” This is why companies have started replacing customer service with customer success, which gives them room for customer onboarding and customer implementation.
It might seem like these are just different ways of saying the same thing. However, there is a big difference between customer service and customer success, even in the way that customers themselves think about these departments.
- Customer Service: People only call customer service when they’re having a problem with the product. And they’re used to the idea of having to wait in line on the phone. Plus, they can never be sure whether they’re going to get the answers that they want. Once a customer buys a product, they believe themselves to be on their own. And this is the type of attitude that companies are trying to change with customer success.
- Customer Success: As opposed to customer service, customer success isn’t merely about helping a customer out when they run into a problem. It’s about working with them from the beginning before they even run into a problem. Customer success, at its best, is about preventing problems before they start.
- Customer Implementation: This is about finding the best implementation of the product for the customer so that they won’t run into any issues. By working with the customer from the get-go, you get to present them with their various options right from the beginning, before they start having any problems. The idea is to work the product smoothly into the customer’s lifestyle.
Changing How Businesses Think
At some level, you do need to change the whole mindset of your company if you want to be successful at customer success. You need to accept that your aim is not just to sell your product but to help your customer. You want your customer to be more successful. And, for you to succeed at your task, your entire staff needs to be on board.
- Adding Value: The field of customer success is slowly changing the way that businesses think. Rather than making a quick buck, the idea is now to add value to your customer’s life. You can do this by creating a great product but also by helping customers figure out how to incorporate it into their lives.
- Give-and-Take: To run the business, there needs to be give-and-take between the business and its customers. This give-and-take works at the monetary level as well as the long-term level of customer success. And, in order to facilitate this give-and-take, you need better communication as well as a driving desire to help people achieve their aims.
- Streamlining Processes: This is a great way of making sure that your customer implementation program gets off the ground. An app like Tallyfy can help you make sure that your customer implementation specialist, as well as your customer success managers, are on point in terms of knowing what needs to get done.
- Supervision vs. Autonomy: For a business owner, an app like Tallyfy makes it possible to supervise tasks without having to be there in person. It gives your employees the autonomy they need without leaving them completely on their own.