This post is based on an interview with Diana Sandoval, Customer Success Manager at DOZ.
You can follower her on Twitter @diasandia.
The DOZ team continues to expand both in its French headquarters in Lyon and its North American office in San Francisco.
One of the most recent hires is Diana Sandoval, DOZ’s Customer Success Manager. Diana works with DOZ’s clients around the world and focusses on ensuring that they meet their marketing goals and grow their businesses. Yet while Diana works with clients to help them reach those marketing goals, and while DOZ remains at its heart a marketing-focussed enterprise, Diana is definitely not a marketer.
She is, though, someone who sees the benefits of aligning a company’s marketing strategy with their customer success strategy. I sat down with Diana by Skype to understand more about how these benefits can emerge, and I started by asking her just how we can define customer success in the first place.
What is customer success and what is a Customer Success Manager?
Although the function of customer success varies, the ultimate goal is the same: a successful business with happy customers.
Take a look at this [Diana shoots me a link to the image below.]
This is the Google Trend for the term ‘Customer Success Manager’. As you can see, the term Customer Success Manager only really started trending on Google in July 2012, but it’s been trending up ever since. Being that customer success is a fairly new function, the role differs from business to business.
Why should companies consider employing or working with a Customer Success Manager?
Well to start with, it is good business. According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, finding a new customer can be up to twenty-five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It make much less sense for companies to spend their time and resources acquiring new clients when they can instead focus on keeping current clients happy.
What sort of return can a company expect from keeping current clients happy?
The research suggests that iincreasing customer retention rates by just 5% can see increases in profit of 25% or more.
Wow. So retaining clients is good business, but how do you do it?
The key is creating an exceptional customer experience. Get that right and you’ll retain existing clients and enjoy those 25% profit gains, perhaps even more.
You know I was at a Customer Success Summit recently with Ray Wang, the author of Disrupting Digital Business. He gave a talk where he explained that, in his opinion, businesses are no longer just selling products and services, businesses are selling experiences. The role of a Customer Success Manager is to create those experiences, and customer success teams work with clients on a regular basis to constantly improve those customer experiences.
So where does this cross over with the marketing side of a business?
Since customer success teams are typically working with clients they have insight that can help marketing teams generate customer success stories. But there’s more opportunities for marketers to contribute to customer success than just helping out.
For example, marketers can use the data customer success collects to build tailored marketing campaigns and deliver better value to the client.
Or marketers can monitor usage of a product to help them better understand how clients are interacting with that product. This helps identify which features are under used and offer avenues for the customer success team to help clients take advantage of what they have.
Marketing teams and customer success teams can work together to produce training materials in the specific areas where training is needed most; this helps the client become more successful.
So you’re talking about customer success teams and marketing teams working together? Getting closer?
I am. Marketing and customer success teams need to work closer together because for both teams a successful client is worth more than a lead. A successful client is more likely to to become a super user.
A super user?
A super user is a customer that knows the product well, uses the product often, and shares their passion with others, leading to referrals.
Like a fan? Or a brand ambassador?
More like a brand ambassador than a fan. Fans love you, brand ambassadors sell their love for you to anyone who will listen.
But more than that, super users are important because not only do they generate referrals they also will provide valuable insight and feedback about the product. This super user/company relationship is a win-win for both client and company. By building and implementing customer success ideals the company is helping clients address their pain point and helping the client achieve their business goals and vision.
Is your company working with a Customer Success Manager? How closely to your customer success and marketing teams work together? Let us know how things work for you on Twitter!