More than any other part of a business, a customer is its lifeblood. Without quality and consistent customers, a business cannot function. While businesses should also endeavor to treat their employees with respect and understanding, they need to apply those standards to their customers as well. It is often said that there is no such thing as a bad client. While this is certainty debatable, bad clients become that way due to mismatched expectations, overpromising and underdelivering, and attitude issues. If you are able to set your customers up for success though, you’ll be able to make sure that they don’t turn into bad clients.
This can be done through the use of a customer success journey. Simply put, this is a mapped process that allows you to put yourselves in the shoes of your customers. Instead of creating pre-made ‘touch points’ it takes a look at the overall customer journey more holistically and tries to set them up for success. Because it comes from a place of empathy, this process ultimately allows you to better connect with your customers and understand their problems. One you are able to do this, you can tailor your product and service offerings in a way that help you solve their problems, and not just serve your own processes.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have your own processes in place. Every good business has standardized protocols in place to make sure that everything runs smoothly. However, putting every single one of your customers into a pre-packaged box or plan can sometimes make them feel like you are more interested in promoting your own solutions than actually helping them solve their problems.
That being said, a customer success journey keeps all of these factors in mind. While you want to have a personal blueprint for the stages of the customer journey, it dissuades the use of totally pre-made funnels. This enhances customer experience by helping you identify the stages in your customer’s interaction with your company. By doing so, you can better optimize the customer experience at each stage of the customer lifestyle. This allows you to better get at managing desired customer outcomes and allows you to remove any potential roadblocks or barriers to customer happiness.
Taking a more holistic view of the customer journey is a great way to enhance the customer experience. Furthermore, it allows you to reduce the amount of customer service needed. After all, if a customer feels like their needs are being addressed then it is unlikely that you will have to bend over backwards to meet their needs after they are already disappointed in your product and service offerings. This will also save you money in the long run because you won’t have to address the needs of irate customers. Following the customer success journey will also allow you reduce customer churn and promote repeat business; two things that will help you stay profitable even during the most trying of times.
While it may take some initial upfront investment to change your processes to more directly address the initial needs of your customers, the payoff will be more than worth it. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it will also lead to better customer outcomes and happier customers.