Journey. Experience. Lifecycle. You can use any number of terms to talk about how to manage, interact with, or map out a plan for working with customers. But to me, it’s more than just a phrase. I spend the majority of each day balancing the management of both Marketing and Customer Success for LinkPoint360. And whether you’re talking about acquisition or nurture, there is no One Size Fits All solution to engaging with clients pre or post sale. But let’s have a little fun while I share my own approach to working with LinkPoint Connect users.
(The Customer) Journey
Just the Same Way
Whether you are trying to sell a product to someone new or reiterate why someone should remain a customer, you can work with people Just the Same Way to answer the key question: What’s the point? What are you trying to achieve with a solution? What problem are you solving? For the marketing side, education is needed to explain a problem (or solution) that a prospect may not realize. On the retention side, you need to be able to evaluate whether the same problems still exist or if workflows and needs have evolved. It is critical to identify client goals up front and maintain a sense of the goals (even if they change) throughout the customer journey.
Don’t Stop Believin’
Nothing is static. A pain point today may be overshadowed by different business needs tomorrow. Where is a client headed? How did a prospect get to where they are now? Be ready to evolve with a prospect or customer with your products and services as well as your approach to account management. Don’t Stop Believin’ that you can identify obstacles in advance or find a solution to an issue. It helps my team to be as proactive as possible; try to identify the red flags before they occur such as monitoring account usage, case metrics, and the inquiry volume.
How do you show that you are loyal? Sure, you want clients to be loyal to you and your company (since the opposite would result in churn which is, of course, bad). But what can you do to show you Faithfully want to help them get the most out of what you offer or what they purchased? It is always important to find ways to grow your business. But providing a consultative approach to customer (or even a prospect) interaction that looks at solving problems or supporting initiatives can go much farther to nurture account retention than the sometimes-simpler approach of an upsell. Putting customer need first can make your faithfulness tangible and foster customer loyalty for the long term.
Any Way You Want It
How do you cater to your customers? And how do you draw the line between overpromising and underdelivering with prospects and clients alike? Sometimes Any Way You Want It isn’t the best option for a client. Where it makes sense to customize or (in some cases) complicate a project to achieve the best outcome for a customer, go for it. But I have found it can also help to question a request and recommend keeping things simple. Put the client’s best interest in mind and make sure that the offered outcome is one that can be executed as promised.
It happens. Sometimes a client will simply decide to move on. Or a prospect will choose another solution over yours. In these unfortunate situations, my teams take the time to reflect on exactly what happened or how we arrived at the outcome. When going your Separate Ways, look for lessons you can learn. Are there things you could do to improve the client experience? Would it benefit the business to expand features, offerings, or product lines? Are there trends in feedback that deserve greater attention? And of course, did we do whatever possible (within reason) to make that account successful?
There are numerous platforms designed to optimize customer success and retention efforts. And there is certainly no shortage of opinions on the best way to engage with and help your client base. I have found that one of the most effective strategies to managing the customer journey is to get to know the customers as people with specific goals. I genuinely enjoy consulting on best practices, solving unique use cases, or even working with at-risk accounts to improve usage or fix issues. The key, for me, has been to be personal and approach each situation with Open Arms and an open mind.
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