Maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction is hard work. No wonder, many businesses struggle to retain their hard-won customers even as the cost of customer acquisition is steadily increasing. With the coronavirus pandemic profoundly altering customer behavior, many e-commerce business owners are desperate for answers. However, a small number of businesses are confident of weathering the proverbial storm, having put in place a long term strategy to keep customers coming back for more: customer success.
What is Customer Success?
Customer Success is a relatively new addition to the e-commerce lexicon. Though it is sometimes confused with customer support, there are important distinctions between the two. For one, Customer Success comes much earlier than customer support during a typical customer journey. It aims to proactively anticipate customer needs rather than troubleshooting problems after a customer has reported them.
Customer Success is key to ensuring that the customer gets the most value out of your product. Over a period of time, it can enhance average order size and create customer loyalty. However, Customer Success does not work in silos. In fact, this team collaborates continuously with marketing, sales, and customer service to drive a positive and engaging customer experience.
If you do not currently have a customer success team of your own or are considering building one, you’ll need to build a strong business case to present to top management. You are almost certain to be asked a pointed question: how will we know that our customer support program is really working? In other words, senior leaders will likely want to know what kind of tangible outcomes can be expected after about 6 months to 1 year of setting up a customer success team.
5 Signs That Your Customer Success Strategies Are Working
Here are a few key signs that your customer success efforts are bearing fruit:
1. Better customer reviews
If a growing number of customers are leaving negative reviews on social media about your store, you have work to do. It is a fact that 8 out of 10 products fail to meet customer expectations for one reason or another. If it isn’t the product itself, it could well be your returns policy or even lack of multilingual customer support that may be a problem for international customers. While your customer service team can serve as a sounding board to find out what customers are saying about your product, it can still negatively impact customer experience. Customer success can help you streamline your customer outreach efforts. Based on your customer support team’s data, it can gradually help you increase the number of 5-star ratings and ultimately drive conversion.
Customer success can engage customers in a meaningful conversation right from the point of purchase, ensuring that customers are able to get the value they hoped for. By studying factors like conversion and return rate, profit margin, and percentage of repeat customers, the customer success team can help you find process gaps faster, improving ROI and customer satisfaction.
2. Faster ticket resolution
In general, customer service agents are instructed to stick to the standard script when customers ask about turnaround times. However, if a ticket has been open for a long time with no resolution in sight, a customer is likely to complain. The customer success team can avert a potential escalation by proactively flagging any underlying issues and expediting the case. This can be crucial in case a customer is a high spender. If you notice an appreciable drop in “problem tickets”, you have your customer success team to thank!
Over a period of time, you may even notice a progressive reduction in the issues that caused customers to log tickets in the first place.
3. Better social media engagement and average order size
It is common for users to come up with unique and creative ways to use a product that may not have been originally envisioned by a brand. This information is worth sharing as widely as possible as it has the potential to take your sales and engagement to a whole new level. A customer success team can help your marketing team identify interesting new use cases and create useful content in the form of case studies, testimonials, and best practices.
You may soon find that your online social media community is abuzz with comments, shares, and suggestions from users- a sign that they are getting more value from it.
If your customers are buying, on average, more often or spending more money with you, your customer success team certainly deserves its share of the credit.
4. Higher retention
Research shows that a 5% increase in retention can boost profits by 75%. As marketing budgets come under strain, it is no longer feasible to focus only on top of the funnel activities anymore. It is important to engage with existing customers and make sure that their needs are still being met. Even if your prices haven’t changed in a while, customers may have concerns regarding your returns policy, warranty coverage, or even data security. If these issues are not taken care of, customers could gravitate towards your competitors.
Thankfully, your customer success team can help take action before it is too late. By analyzing customer support data – first call resolution, CSAT and NPS, response time, and call transfer rate- customer success can identify the friction points and serve as a customer advocate, ensuring a better experience.
5. Smoother order fulfillment and returns:
E-commerce has emerged largely unscathed from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, most businesses have faced several problems with order fulfillment and managing returns. Customer success teams have worked around the clock to resolve supply bottlenecks and reduce customer impact across the industry. If your average fulfillment time has improved since the pandemic began, your investment in customer success has undoubtedly paid off.
Now more than ever, an effective customer support team is essential for customer success. If your in-house team is currently unable to cope with customer demands, partnering with an outsourced customer support provider like Helplama can help you bridge the gap. Our team of customer support specialists is trained to quickly master your product and brand voice to deliver exceptional customer service.
What’s more, our plans are flexible and can be customized to suit any budget or need. Lastly, you are covered by our Zero-Risk Guarantee, which gives you complete freedom in case your expectations aren’t met.
Also, you can try the Helplama Helpdesk – the customer service software that can help you automate and scale your customer support.