If you are not taking care of your customers, someone else will – Edgar Mitchell
When you buy a car from a dealer they may not bother whether you drive it or not. Their interest is in selling more cars. But, when you’re renting a car they are bothered if you are not driving it. Because if you are not driving it you will return it. Hence, no money for them. It’s the same story in the enterprise software cloud world now – the license is subscription based!
Just like Netflix enterprise software is now subscribed by large companies, usually for a period of 2-5 years. By end of a contract, customer can decide to continue or not. And, the decision will be based on whether customer is really using the solution.
So, it’s now the software vendor’s responsibility also to make sure customer is using the solution – license renewal has got more importance than ever before and resulted in customer success, post-sale teams!
When everyone is trying to pioneer customer retention here are some things I learned during my past 5 years in a customer success role.
Automate customer experience as much as possible
Customer experience starts from the moment customer signs the contract. After that it’s more complicated than sales – provisioning of multiple systems, proper access to the right users, onboarding the customer considering that cusotmer is new to cloud, and many more.
Automate everything possible hence, others can focus on value tasks – automate provisioning, welcome emails, onboarding, etc.
Listen to customers
Sometimes customers only need someone to listen to them. A customer advocate would be a better choice than a sales guy to do this role.
You can’t measure customer success
I have seen multiple tools that use data to predict customer success. But, none really worked. Always get someone assigned to the customer to achieve the long term goals of your company – it is cost but, remember that there is huge competition and you may get profit in the long run.
Hire people with empathy
People with empathy for customers can get more jobs done than people with sympathy. They will have the energy and motivation to go an extra mile for a customer to make them happy.
Lastly, don’t sell more than customers need
Go for Land and Expand strategy in sales for long term growth. Overselling will backfire one day. Initiate strategies in favour of Land and Expand model. Have a long term vision than a quarter by quarter living.
Thanks for letting me vent, your comments are welcome!