In a fast-paced and competitive marketplace, your business might struggle to sustain customer loyalty. However, research shows it’s five times less costly to retain existing customers than to gain new ones. Since customer retention is cost-effective, more and more businesses are hiring customer success agencies to help them build and maintain strong customer relationships.
If you’re looking to hire a customer success agency, you must first understand how your business will benefit from experts in customer success before drafting a standardized hiring process. Next, consider your business needs and working model to establish the customer success agency you need.
What Is a Customer Success Agent?
Customer success agents ensure all customers derive value from what they paid for. A customer success agent stays close to the customers, ensuring they feel happy about the product or service they’ve purchased. Success agents are there from the time customers set their eyes on the product, to their purchase, and throughout the product’s lifetime.
Customer success agents employ a proactive approach, focusing on identifying any occurring problems and helping customers achieve their goals. Ultimately, their role is to help you build solid long-term relationships with your customers. Also, they offer meaningful solutions to your customers and ensure customers have excellent experiences with their purchases.
And even if the role of customer success agent is only ten years in the marketplace, it has an estimated annual growth of 34%. This is primarily because of an increasing number of cloud-based and SaaS businesses.
What Do They Bring to Your Business?
Customer success agencies have many responsibilities to improve and sustain lasting customer connections. This section will discuss some fundamental responsibilities of customer success agencies and explain how your business can benefit from these responsibilities.
1. Promoting Customer Retention and Loyalty
Customer success agencies focus on improving relationships with customers and enhancing customer loyalty. To improve customer loyalty, you must understand your customers’ needs and goals. What do customers hope to get from your service or product? Will you fulfill their goals? Is there anything missing?
The most successful customer retention approaches involve addressing the emotions and concerns of your customers. Research shows that consumers with an emotional connection to a business have a lifetime value that’s 306% higher than average customers. The same research also shows that shoppers who have an emotional connection to a company spend twice as much as consumers who are “satisfied.” But, of course, you simply can’t address the emotions and concerns of your target audience without talking to them about their needs and goals, so this should be a top priority for all customer success agencies.
2. Training and Onboarding Customers How to Use Your Product
Although traditionally, companies have primarily focused on sales pitches, customer success agencies take a different approach by spelling out your product features and solving customers’ problems. While your product might be exceptional in solving a customer’s issues, your customers will only get the most out of it if they know how to use it.
Many businesses were too afraid to explain how to use their products to customers in the past. But many companies are now seeing the flaws in this strategy. Acting blindly confident about your offerings and your clients’ abilities to use them out of the box might help you land your first sale—but what about generating additional sales?
If customer loyalty and retention are your top priorities, engage with your target audience more openly. Customers might not know how your product can help them achieve their goals because they haven’t used all features. This may force them to switch to your competitors for their next purchase because they may feel your brand isn’t the right fit for them or think you misled them. This is where a customer success agency comes in handy.
Because customer success agents have an in-depth understanding of your products, they can explain how customers can use your products successfully to derive maximum value.
3. Care for Your Customers
Customer success teams can be dubbed “relationship teams” because they need to build rapport with customers. Their job is centered on an intuitive understanding of processes, outstanding listening skills, and when it’s ideal to hand the customer over to another team. An effective customer success agency can care for your customers by bridging the gap between customer support and directing customers toward solutions for technical or billing issues.
What Makes a Good Customer Success Agency?
Taylor Dipo notes, “Don’t doubt abilities until you know the value they hold.” Customer success agencies may seem trivial, but they can to guide customers through successful experiences while maximizing the value of their purchases. As more businesses have adopted consumption and subscription-based formats, the focus has shifted to ongoing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The goal is no longer to make one-time sales but to build a lasting relationship with customers where everyone’s goals and needs are continuously being met.
It’s a delicate balance to master—the customer success agency’s job is to work on behalf of your customers and your brand to determine how your brand best fits into the current needs of your customers. As products and demands change over time, a customer success agency can continue guiding your customers towards the most suitable options for their needs.
An effective customer success agency offers the most efficient way to build and maintain customer loyalty. However, a great customer success agency shouldn’t feel like a sales team advocating for their own agenda but should take time to listen and analyze every unique situation to build customer trust.
Honesty is fundamental to customer success. As customer success agencies build rapport, conversations with customers will be more organic, offering insights that lead to more value, even though that doesn’t entail additional revenue.
Unfortunately, you won’t know how effective a customer success agency is until you measure its results. Typically, a good customer success team can help you improve your customer retention rates, lower churn rates, and suggest invaluable product upgrades. The most effective way to optimize those areas is to monitor the metrics.
One proven indicator of customer success is leveraging surveys to determine the average customer satisfaction score (CSAT). You can conduct these surveys through emails, phone calls, or even embedded in your offerings. You can also ask questions, such as “How are you likely to refer us to your friend?” Here, your clients can score their experience on a scale of 0-10, and you can use the results to determine your Net Promoter Score (NPS).
The NPS is just one of the metrics you can use to calculate your customer health score, which shows your customers’ loyalty and overall “health.” These measures can help you determine the success of the customer success agency you’re working with.
Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring Them
To hire an effective customer success agency:
Understand your mission for customer success. Before you start the hiring process, you must first define your mission for customer success. Start by determining what’s the primary purpose of your customer success role. Here, various functions may come to mind, such as:
- Facilitating the adoption or use of products purchased.
- Upselling, cross-selling, or expanding customer accounts.
- Improving customer renewals.
Typically, upselling and cross-selling are in the jurisdiction of sales. However, a great customer success agency can aid their goals by determining how customer goals and needs change and what products or services may suit your customers at different stages in their lifetime. This creates a seamless transition between customer success and sales, ensuring a frictionless customer experience.
- Carry out background research. An effective way to find the right customer success agency is to check past customer feedback to see what your company has done well. The goal is to use metrics and data to hire the right customer success specialists to deliver a fantastic customer experience that supports, engages, and delights your customers throughout their purchasing journey.
- Don’t forget to track results. You collect tons of data from your customers. But also, you must establish if your hiring process is effective. It’s critical to analyze your past decisions to determine where you made mistakes in your past hires. The more relevant your criteria are, the better decisions you’ll make when hiring a customer success agency. Here are a few metrics successful businesses use to measure and analyze the success of their customer success hiring processes and programs:
- Time to hire
- Cost per hire
- Ramp time
- Quality of hire
- Early indicators or new hires’ performance
- Retention rate
- Performance metrics once ramped
- The ratio of voluntary to involuntary employee turnover
Don’t feel the pressure to track and master all these metrics at once. Start with two or three metrics, then analyze more as your hiring process matures.
Leverage Zight (formerly CloudApp) to Offer Personalized Customer Success Experiences
Customer success teams and agencies work with a good deal of software, from graphic design to data analytics tools. However, leveraging Zight (formerly CloudApp) can allow your customer support team to interact with your customers personally by offering tailored visual content.
For instance, the team at Gainsight uses Zight (formerly CloudApp) to reduce 2-3 typed customer interactions into one HD video or GIF, eliminating the need for customer success agents to type out lengthy responses. In addition, personalization sets Zight (formerly CloudApp) apart from other software. It can help your team send messages specific to each customer’s needs by allowing you to add a personal touch to every customer interaction. Discover how Zight (formerly CloudApp) helps you close customer requests three times faster.