Four Keys to Building an Effective Customer Success Team

June 8, 2017 Jackie Oh

And how this investment can impact customer retention, customer satisfaction, and up-sell and cross-sell opportunities

Did you know that 60% of companies have had a customer success program for less than two years? (source) Are you one of the 60% or are you the 40%? Or maybe you don’t have a customer success team or person at all yet — either way, we’re here today to talk about the importance of a customer success team and how to build it.

Ever ask yourself “Why do I need a designated customer success person?” Well, as a Salesforce Partner for Life Manager, I see time and time again that partners who invest in headcount dedicated to customer success enjoy massive benefits — and these three noteworthy stats do a good job of showing how a customer success team could impact your business’ bottom line.

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So what are some things to keep in mind as you set out to build a customer success team? Check out these four important tips I learned from Sean Desmond, EVP of Customer Success, nCino, on how to build the right customer success team for you.

Build Culture: Happy Employees = Happy Customers

“Evolve and grow,” as Sean put it during our Expert Success Series webinar. I always admire a company that strives for employee satisfaction — and knowing that that action alone drives customer satisfaction? Makes it a priority on my list! Ever hear that saying “Happy wife, happy life?” I believe it’s the same concept: Keep your employees happy internally and they will pass their happiness on to your customers.

Empower your Employees with Certifications

What does this mean to you? Giving your employees more money, tools, resources? Those are all great, but what if I told you that proper education is what we suggest, and that’s usually enough to set the team up for success? Create a growth plan for your teams, so they can continue to challenge themselves to become more successful.

You can achieve this with certifications. Consider having different levels of difficulties for the certifications, and not making them all mandatory. The basic certifications should be required for general knowledge, but have growth opportunities for those individuals who want to become subject-matter experts, or more technical. Advancement and achievements create a positive feeling, stimulating the brain to produce dopamine (often referred to as the “happiness drug”).

Build Your Community to Expand Your Reach

The community isn’t just a way to provide self-service support, it’s also an opportunity for customers to interact with one another, and your company to interact with customers. It can be used in various ways, but the most sought out experience is peer-to-peer engagements. I like to use Yelp as an example — have you ever left a review? If so, it’s likely that other Yelp users have voted for your review as useful, funny, or cool. Those extra bonus votes from other Yelp users influence opinions about and choices around the restaurant — which is a great example of the power of community.

Your community is another way to market your product, offer support, build customer stories, and provide educational resources. The sky’s the limit with what you can do, but consider communities as an asset for building the right customer success experience for both your internal teams and your customers.

Guide Your Process from the Top Down

Finally, guide your process. Just like you see it, ensure you’re supporting the steps, vision, and journey for your team. Influence comes from the top-down, so provide motivation and opportunities to show that each of these components matters to your customer success team. I’ll keep this section short because I think it’s straightforward: support your team and give your customer success team a reason to give great customer success.

We’ve talked about some metrics and steps on how to build a customer success team — so now what? It’s time to take action! Key the four tips above in mind, and you’re well on your way now to building an awesome customer success team.

Four Keys to Building an Effective Customer Success Team was originally published in Inside the Salesforce Ecosystem on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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