By: Ray Makela on March 28th, 2023
3 Tips to Build a Customer-Success Culture
Building Relationships | Sales Management | Sales Leadership
In today's highly competitive marketplace, businesses can’t afford to take customer loyalty for granted. Every sales organization must prioritize customer success skills to build stronger relationships, differentiate themselves from the competition, and help retain clients for the long term. Use these three tips to foster a customer success culture in your business.
Tip #1: Make a Customer-Centric Attitude Your Mission
A customer success culture starts by making the customer experience everyone’s responsibility across the entire organization. That means satisfied customers are not just a philosophy that's owned by sales or customer service but a priority for everyone. Employees and management not only have a responsibility but are also directly held accountable for client satisfaction. When customer success is part of your mission, whenever there's an issue, a technical problem, or a complaint; everyone is jumping in to find a solution that makes the customer happy.
Tip #2: Provide Proactive Customer Service
Every customer touchpoint is an opportunity to provide customized support. From the first marketing email to onboarding a new client and beyond — look for ways to improve processes, deliver added value, and take the extra steps to make life easier for your customers.
Customers expect you to understand their needs. Harvard Business Review calls this “operationalized customer empathy,” HBR defines this customer empathy as “the ability to identify a customer’s emotional need, understand the reasons behind that need, and respond to it effectively. One way to do this is with a quarterly check-in. Meeting with your customers regularly can give you real insights into their needs that help you provide actionable solutions and surpass your customers’ expectations. Creating real-time feedback mechanisms is also important to capture issues as they arise and resolve them before they escalate or create additional impacts within the client organization.
Tip #3: Train your Team to Solve Problems
To provide great service, it’s important to be curious, understand the root cause of issues that come up, and ensure you’re solving the right problems. Many organizations now offer employee training and certifications that help the entire team learn internal operations and how to properly conduct business within that organization.
For example, medical device companies certify medical reps in operating room scenarios where they work very closely with doctors to learn the processes and better support their products. This training helps reps understand the practitioners' challenges and provides a fresh perspective on how to make things better. It also helps reps learn what their current products are doing (and not doing) to meet the practitioner’s needs. This knowledge provides actionable customer insights to solve problems and helps with future upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
Building a customer success culture is crucial in today's competitive sales marketplace. Prioritizing customer satisfaction across the entire organization, proactively servicing your customers, and training teams to identify and solve problems are three essential ways to make a customer-centric culture a reality.
While creative problem-solving and identifying potential client success barriers take time to learn, delivering this added value builds a foundation for rewarding, long-term customer relationships. Over time these relationships will clearly differentiate your organization from competitors and ultimately drive greater growth and success.
About Ray Makela
Ray Makela is CEO and Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.