Customer Success Management

The goal of Customer Success Management is to provide the customer with a successful experience – and not just during the purchase. The customer should be supported throughout the entire customer journey in achieving their goals. To achieve this, the use of customer surveys is just as recommended as the analysis of internal data and expert assessments in order to optimize all points of contact between the customer and the company.

 

Successful customers – successful companies

Customer success management is an important part of experience management – the customer experience is therefore at the center here. In particular, it is about meeting, if not exceeding, the customer’s expectations of the buying experience and product. This feeling of success on the part of the customer – because they achieves what they want – is in turn a decisive source of sales and thus corporate success. Here, probably the greatest challenge is to strike a balance between the company’s capabilities and the target group’s expectations.

Customer Journey

Customer success management does not start when the customer buys a product or service, but deals with the entire customer journey. Even before and often after the purchase, there are countless points of contact between customers and companies that should be known and actively shaped. This is essential to learn about and understand customer perceptions of the various stages of this “journey”.

Which touchpoints exist during the customer journey can be determined by interviewing internal experts? Based on the AIDA structure, the touchpoints can be easily understood in the first step:

Attention: How does the customer become aware of the company or a particular offer? Advertising, SEA, SEO, social media and other marketing methods play a central role here.

Interest: How is the customer’s interest aroused? To build trust, all relevant information should be provided, as well as advice or support if necessary.

Desire: How does the product become the best answer to customer needs? Well thought-out, value-oriented arguments help to convince the customer of the added value of an offer.

Action: How is the revenue potential of the purchase optimally exploited? How is the call-to-action made? Once the customer has decided to buy, the right negotiation tactics can enable a successful and at the same time profitable conclusion.

Direct and indirect contacts

The touchpoints do not always have to consist of direct contacts with advertising material, the company website, or sales. Indirect contacts such as recommendations or reviews from third parties are also becoming increasingly important – especially in the online context. Since every customer can in turn pass on his or her assessments and experiences with the product or company, it is particularly important to follow the customer journey even after the purchase has been made in order to guarantee success in the long term.

 


Touchpoints and their importance

Once all touchpoints have been identified, the next step should be to select the most important ones from these contact points. The influence of the touchpoints on the following three aspects can be used as a central evaluation criterion:

  • Initial purchase/new business: At which touchpoints can new customers be acquired?
  • Extension/cross-selling: Which touchpoints create opportunities for selling additional or related products?
  • Churn reduction/retention: Which touchpoints support customer retention?

Of course, the reverse question can always be asked: Which touchpoints need to be optimized in order to lose fewer customers or to activate up- and cross-selling potentials?

Internal and external view

The next step is to find answers to the questions posed above. In a survey, for example, customers can directly evaluate how they perceive the various touchpoints and how satisfied they are with them. This external view should be supplemented by the opinions of internal experts and compared with data on consumers’ actual behavior at the touchpoints. This combination of internal information and market research can be used to determine the perception quality of the individual contact options very reliably.

 

The evaluation of the various touchpoints also makes it possible to uncover stumbling blocks, as well as needs that have not been considered, and to derive optimization potential and levers from this. In addition, experience dimensions should be defined that describe different perception components of the customers. For each touchpoint, criteria can then be defined per experience dimension that must be met. In this way, the touchpoint can be better designed according to individual customer needs, for example, visually, haptically, or in terms of the service offering.

Implement and measure success

After relevant levers have been identified, their implementation follows. The more concretely it has been defined how the touchpoints and thus the customer experience are to be designed, the more precisely and thus better the implementation is possible. Also of great importance for successful long-term customer success management is the continuous monitoring of all measures on the basis of defined and easily verifiable KPIs, as well as regular adaptation to changes such as new customer needs, competitive conditions, or product innovations. This ensures that customers receive the best possible support in achieving their goals at all times and at all touchpoints.

 

Project examples

  • Identification of relevant touchpoints along the patient journey with development of omni-channel communication tactics and closed-loop marketing framework for a leading life science company
  • Derivation of the customer journey for a software-as-a-service provider with analysis of the churn relevant touchpoints and derivation of an outside & inside sales concept to increase customer retention

Roll & Pastuch supports you with your Customer Success Management

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or require further information.

Michael Marquardt ist Associate Partner von Roll & Pastuch
Dr. Michael Marquardt is Associate Partner heading the Medical Technology and Information Technology practices of R&P. He has experience from numerous market strategy, sales and pricing projects for multi-national conglomerates to SMB and start-ups with local projects in USA, EU and Asia. Mr Marquardt publishes regularly in international expert journals on his expertise topics and holds a PhD in Motivational Psychology and a MBA. He studied at University of Konstanz and NYU.