It’s easier to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one, which is why every brand tries to build long term relationships with their customers.
What are the keys to building these long term relationships? We asked some of the brightest minds in customer success what it takes, and here’s what they had to say:
"Customer Success and valued long-term relationships are the results of a continually evolving customer experience. Once the evolution of the experience ceases to exist so does the relationship."
- Rob Polon | Customer Success Advocate and Career Branding Specialist
"The key is to understand how your customers measure the value of your company and make sure that you as a customer success team are the conduit for them realizing that value. Be proactive, confident, and empathetic. Reduce the amount of decisions your customer has to make in a day. Leverage authentic personality."
- Brant Choate | Co-Founder at Swaid
"The key to developing long-term customer relationships is all about listen closely to and solving for the outcomes customers are hoping to achieve with your product."
- Tyler Sellhorn | Director of Customer Experience at Hubstaff
"The key to great long-term customer relationships is to develop to a mutual understanding on what success means to each party and demonstrating progress in a consistent and easily measurable way."
- Angus Yang | Senior Scale Customer Success Manager at Pendo
"Treat your contacts like people. Treat your accounts like businesses. Ask these questions and LISTEN! How are you doing? (We are living in a pandemic- humanize the interaction!) What are you trying to achieve with our platform? (Identify their business goals) When we achieve that, what impact with that have on your business? (Identify their business value)"
- Jason Passanisi | Senior Customer Success Manager at Harbr
“In my opinion, Your customers may churn, your contract may end overtime but your Relationships shouldn't"
When it comes to relationships, trust is the most important factor that can break or make the future of your relation. Although, trust cannot be formed without understanding your customer's true end goal & being relevant.
To do so, CS Professionals should learn to be aware of their own emotions, ask probing questions whenever they can, reflect on feedback received & create an environment where both parties can be candor, practice accountability, and thrive. Data analysis can help you understand the story behind any situation but It cannot tell you about the feelings attached to it. Emotional Intelligence can help you achieve that. Hence, the key to developing a successful relationship lies in the sum of Data + Emotional Intelligence.”
- Ashna Patel | Manager of Customer Success at Ascent Cloud
"I believe long-term customer relationships are developed via proactive, consistent, and strategic outreach. This cultivates trust very quickly as long as it is maintained."
-Jaden Trujillo | Manager of Customer Success at Impartner Software
"The key to developing long-term customer relationships to build trust with your customers and to deliver value. Both of these concepts are interconnected and equally important."
- Chad Horenfeldt | Director, Customer Success at Kustomer
"They key to developing long term customer relationships involves trust, transparency, and behavior change. If we can quickly build trust as an advocate for the customer, if we can be transparent through the good news and bad news, and if we can help them achieve a behavior change into how a specific product solves their problem, this will lead to long term relationships"
- Daniel Haslam | Director, Client Success at Reputation
"TRUST + Outcomes = Long-term customer partnership.
Successfully developing long term relationships as a Customer Success Manager starts with being REAL. Our clients don't want to feel heard, they want to know they are heard. Their jobs depend on driving the outcomes they are responsible for. We must challenge our product teams and the status quo, rethink processes and minimize groupthink, and at the end of the day, tell them what's really going to happen or not.
We don’t do this alone. Successful long-term relationships happen, in part, because CSMs have built the right internal/partner team with the right expertise and have kept everyone focused on completing the need.
T - Truthful
R - Responsive
U - Unified
S - Solution driven
T - Tailored
I have created TRUST as my bible for account (Relationship) management. We have to be Truthful and honest with our clients so they can trust we will be honest about outcomes and expectations.
We have to be Responsive so there is an open line of communication and we are always here to help.
We have to be Unified with our clients so we can expect the same level of engagement from each other. We have to know their goals and dreams so we can achieve them as our own.
We have to be Solution driven to find workarounds, follow product requests, push product teams, FIND ANSWERS and give them action items to reach solutions.
And we have to be Tailored to each client. Every client has different needs and expectations. So we need to be able to adjust and provide the level of engagement they need to be successful.
Being a valuable partner means that we are a differentiator in our customer’s ability to accomplish their goals. By embodying the 5 characteristics of TRUST mentioned above, we will consistently help our customers achieve their most important outcomes."
-Taylor Dipo | Senior Customer Success Manager at ClickUp