Two Tactics for Customer Success
In this article, Anastasia Ksenofontova explains why studying both the relationship and transactional insights of your B2B customers is the first step in establishing customer success.
In the B2B world, salespeople are traditionally the only reliable source of information about customers. Conversely, salespeople consider the marketing function to be out of touch with reality. Product specialists are seen as too technical to communicate directly with key customer decision-makers. The customer success function is either absent or spread out among various parts of the organization without any real cross-functional coordination.
There is also a false belief that corporate clients do not want to spend time in in-depth conversations to discuss their needs. Thus, companies gather customer feedback once a year through NPS surveys. Being filled mainly by loyal customers, the generalized NPS scores are typically excellent. Therefore, the client’s real interests often remain unknown, let alone any customer success efforts.
I firmly believe that day-to-day management decision-making should rely on current customer needs. At the same time, strategic and longer-term transformational decisions should be based on the target customer experience.
Gathering the “voice of the customer” is critical for nearly all managerial decision-making. There are two types of insights to be collected.
The first is relationship insights providing the foundation for building long-term strategies with specific clients, client segments, and the market. It is crucial to study not only interactions with our company but also with competitors. Understanding the client’s values and goals, problems, and pain points is critical at this point.
The second is transactional insights, collected through customer feedback in each business cycle stage separately: during critical phases of the sales process, after losing or closing the deal, during onboarding, during service or product delivery, and in case of client attrition. Transactional customer feedback helps to analyze specific client interactions, assess the specific teams, and conclude the future. Additionally, it helps to catch failures on systematic levels of corporate processes, products, and client segments.
Key points include:
- The customer success function
- Transactional insights
- Relational insights
Read the full article, How well do you know your B2B clients?, on Linkedin.