And companies need a new approach to win and keep this new kind of customer.
Customer success must be an integral part of business in today’s environment. Abundant information provides customers with more buying power. There’s more temptation to switch providers than ever before.
The sooner vendors realize the customer is their number one asset, the quicker they will pave the road to success.
Customer satisfaction, traditionally known as customer service, happens when sellers successfully answer a buyer’s questions. Customer success results from a partnership that achieves a customer’s ongoing goals. For companies, it means account renewal.
A vendor may have many satisfied customers, however, that does not always translate to loyalty. To become a truly customer-focused organization, which feeds and grows off its own success, a vendor needs its customers to be successful—not just satisfied.
As one industry leader put it, customer success means putting intimacy back in customer intimacy:
According to Gallup Consulting, organizations that optimize customer engagement outperform competitors by 26% in gross margin and 85% in sales growth. Their customers buy more, spend more, return more often and stay longer.
Vendors that focus on success, rather than satisfaction, understand the viral effect a successful customer base can provide when it comes to marketing their products and services to prospects. The credibility of a peer company recommending a solution to a prospect outweighs the best lead generation efforts by 100 to 1.
The focus on customer success needs to be part of an organization’s culture. Satisfaction equals contentment. Success breeds loyalty and referrals.
The big question: “Does my company deliver customer success?” If not, you may be missing out on your most valuable lead generation system.