Let’s talk about the customer journey from the Customer Success Management perspective and see what tools and techniques can be used to make your customers happy in every step of the way. All Start-ups usually have to go through similar steps to acquire and retain new customers, especially in the SaaS industry.
This is a long journey, but it is worth it because at the end, customers will be happy and they will buy your products. Beware that the journey might end at any of the 5 steps if your customers are not satisfied. Furthermore, it will require much more money and effort to acquire a new customer than to keep a paying one. Now, let's start:
Step 1: Product trial
Your marketing and sales people have done a great job bringing your product to prospect’s attention. Now, this is the time for them to test if it will effectively solve their problem. If you are a small to medium-sized company, you can provide extra-care at this stage and make a short introduction to the main features of your product by video call. Tools like Skype, Face time (Mac) or join.me are great for that and can be used for free. They allow you to share your screen and demonstrate how your product works. As a Customer Success Manager (CSM), when I had the feeling that a trial user was having issues, I was simply using join.me to schedule a video call and solve the issue by sharing my screen. Many times, this was more efficient than a simple call or an email.
Step 2: Onboarding
The trial went well and the trial user is finally ready to become a customer. At this stage, it is essential to make a smooth transition and be there for the customer as they start using the product. What I recommend is to directly call the customer after the first week or two and “check” if they need help. They are usually happy to hear from you and may already have several questions. This is what happened when I started using Zendesk, my account manager simply called me to check how I was doing and if the product I had chosen was answering my needs. This is by far the most efficient way to detect any issues and create value for customers right at the beginning. Another important tool is the online self-help platform. Companies like Zendesk include it in their Customer Support platform and the CSM and his team can easily switch between replying to customers emails and creating new, educational content. Customers can then go to the self-help website and learn how to use your product, watch video tutorials and communicate with other customers to solve their issues. This way, your customer support team has more time to deal with urgent issues.
Step 3: Adoption
The early stages of your product use are very crucial. It is important that the customer feels that he can always ask for some help if it is needed. An easy way to keep in touch is to create regular email campaigns informing the customer about the latest features and also checking if everything is going well. Hubspot is a company doing it in a very efficient way. Their platform is really helpful because you can track the emails you have sent to all of your customers and see if they have opened and read them. The first months after onboarding, it is also good to call the customers personally and check how everything is going. What is even better is a site visit. This way, you can easily identify the common issues but also get some insights into their business which can help with your product development.
I am passionate about human psychology and health and I am thrilled to share the experience and knowledge I've aquired working as a CSM. Day after day, I could see how much the great relations I had with customers were bringing me and how it was helping the business I was growing with. If you are also interested in those topics, don't hesitate to get in touch with me!