Most of you will say “Yes”.
Here is another question for you then,
“Are you busy delighting your existing customers or getting new customers?”
I am not looking for a quick answer. Give it a proper thought and then answer.
By the way I found myself busy with getting new customers.
Two recent incidents forced me to ponder over this question – may be the most important one for any business.
- While reading “Predictable Revenue” by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler. The book explains “Under-investing in customer success” as a fatal mistake done by a CEO.
- During one of our Leadership meetings the same question was asked by my colleague Abhishek Desai, “Do we show enough care to the existing customers who has been trusting us for years and paying us money? Do you put enough effort to delight them?”
Most of the founders (or CEOs) give more importance to getting new customers and under invest in existing customers in order to grow.
So, why should we invest enough in delighting our customers? Following are the obvious reasons.
- You will solve real problems for the customers and make them happy, fulfilling the promise.
- They will offer you more work as they trust you more now.
- They will refer you to their friends. This is by far the most proven sales channel for any business.
- We all know that the cost of acquiring a new customer is always higher than the cost of getting new business from an existing customer.
According to me, there are three problems, which move us away from simple logic of investing in customer success.
- Definition of Growth : For most of us, growth means more customers. There is also a sense of achievement in getting new customers over delighting the existing ones.
- Human Creativity : As humans, we get tired of talking to the same customers and listening to the same problems. We tend to lose interest in them.
- Consistency : We tend to do these things in ad-hoc manner. This is a common problem with many simple things. They are so valuable but only if done consistently, like eating healthy food.
I run a software consultancy, which builds usable software products for startups and companies.
So how have I started investing in our customer success?
- At regular intervals, I review products with product teams. Are they up to the mark?
- I keep researching around customers domains and see what role technology can play in growing their businesses. Share research findings with customers.
- At regular intervals, I connect with my customers to understand their problems and be proactive in order to solve them.
Now I just want to make sure that I do this consistently. If I am successful, I can see following things happening.
- I will be able to pass the vision of building usable products that solve real problems for customers to the product teams. In turn improving the quality of my teams tremendously.
- Increase the quality of products delivered to the customers and reduce the turn-around time.
- Customers will find our team as a partner interested in their success rather than just a vendor selling its services.
- I will be able to understand the problems of the product team and product owner and address them quickly by building effective collaboration via ecosystem.
- Digicorp will earn trust and referrals from customers.
And these returns are long term and guaranteed.
I have concluded that investing in customer success with consistency is a definite way to get more referrals and more business from existing customers.
What are your thoughts? What are the different ways in which you are investing in customer success?