Being customer centric as a business, in my experience, is easier said than done. It shouldn’t be, and we think it’s obvious but it’s not to everyone. At times it can feel like you’re hitting your head against a brick wall when nobody wants to listen or is thinking about what the impact to the customer is.
If you find yourself in a position where you need to push customer centricity further up the agenda, then here are 5 ways you can bring about improvement:
At any given opportunity throw in the customer perspective. What I mean is, if you have it top of mind, you can then be the customer representative in any conversation. Here are a few examples:
Finance wants to change a process that makes it easier to collect payments, how does that benefit the customer?
The tech team want to make a change to IT solutions to use for meeting virtually, how does it make it better for customers?
Marketing are keen to push out information about a new product or feature, but is it scheduled so that it doesn’t confuse the customer?
There will be opportunities to evangelise most likely, even with the CS team. How often should we engage with customers? Our treatment model is X but the customer pushes back. That’s fine, we’re here to service them, not the other way around.
All levels of the business need to hear about the customer too. Legal, Finance and all backend operations.They are not usually on the front line speaking with customers so they need to be educated. That leads me onto my next point.
Do not assume everyone knows what Customer Success is here to do. Gently educate. Do the rounds, make friends and influence. From the ground up, educate on what Customer Success is and what it’s not. We are not Customer Service representatives, educate them on why and they’ll never make that slip again. Have one on one conversations, attend team meetings, present in a company meeting. Get out there and educate.
People need to hear information more than once, and also best delivered in different ways too to get the full impact of the evangelism and education. Over the longer term, refresh and update, reeducate. It’s laborious but it will pay dividends and you’ll soon develop a tribe who think more about the customer first, know what on earth CSM’s do everyday and the understanding continues to deepen.
A further step deeper that helps with educating is collaboration. Invite members from other teams to team meetings, actively look for projects that you can partner on to find a solution for both teams. Really grasp the perspective of that team you’re collaborating with and it won’t take much to build a strong partnership, winning battles, creating opportunities and finding solutions to problems.
Issues rise up all the team in Customer Success and very often it requires help from outside the team. If you’re influencing internally or you haven’t started yet, think strategically about which pain points you and the team need to resolve as a priority and work from there. Priorities change all the time too but there may be some big ticket items that really need focus and deepening relationships and collaboration with another team would be highly beneficial. Of course present your case carefully. They’ll be thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’ So be thoughtful in your approach.
If you have an idea for what you’d like for me to write about in more detail from this blog post please contact me.