Written by Natalia Kawana
Software development is an intense, expensive process requiring the talent and vision of a skilled team of developers. But no matter how good your product is, you need an expert sales department to push onboarding and bring customers onboard. In the past, the final step of the progress was often neglected: customer success. In the modern market, top-notch customer success and a smooth handoff from sales to customer success are essential to satisfy customers and maintain a competitive edge in the software industry.
According to Wikipedia, “Customer success is the business method ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service. Customer Success is relationship-focused client management, that aligns client and vendor goals for mutually beneficial outcomes. Effective Customer Success strategy typically results in decreased customer churn and increased up-sell opportunities. The goal of Customer Success is to make the customer as successful as possible, which in turn, improves customer lifetime value (CLTV) for the company.
The Customer success phase nominally begins once you’ve made a sale and begun customer rollout. However, in reality it begins much sooner. You take your first step to achieving customer success by asking the right questions and ensuring you understand what a prospect hopes to achieve, when they are having their first contact with your product or solution, even before they become your customer. From there, customer success continues through the sales cycle, product adoption and its lifetime use. Support lines, FAQs, and effective customer onboarding tailored to your users are essential components in granting customer success and satisfaction when adopting your software.
In the past, rental licenses of minimum 12 months or perpetual licensing were the norm. If a customer purchased new software for their organization, they didn’t have much recourse if they struggled to achieve success. They’d sunk hundreds of thousands or millions into it, and now they simply needed to make it work.
Those days are long gone.
In an era of free trials and SaaS and monthly subscription models, adopters may drop a product and spread negative word-of-mouth without leaving their office chair. Even after you’ve made the first sale, you must continue to empower your customer to succeed. And as obvious as it may sound, this is largely not the case: we still see worrying figures where 14% of all IT projects fail, whereas 31% don’t meet their goals and 49% were late (ask spoke).
While the costs of bad customer success can be terrible to you and your customers, good customer success is a boon. Do you want to help salespeople convert new leads and reduce sales effort? Then turn every customer you can into a loyal advocate for your brand.
Do you know how to foster brand loyalty? It starts small, by making sure that your customer consistently leaves interactions with your sales and support departments satisfied. Consistent, positive results even on the smaller everyday interactions will build trust in your brand and leave customers more likely to return to you. Ultimately, every positive experience they have with your company makes them more likely to recommend your products to their friends and associates. Between their continued patronage and willingness to do your marketing for you, customer success should pay for itself.
Long term benefits of working closely to your customers to grant their success are increased revenues, better references, and long-term predictable business, all of which will also help you expand your business to other customers.
Customer Success starts with building a relationship between your software and the customer in the sales process. It’s not enough to sell your customers on your product; rather, you need to give them a blueprint for success and a strong understanding of the onboarding process.
First, your sales professionals need to understand what success means to each customer. When one customer’s goals are different from another, they will also have a different definition of success.
Once your sales team understands their goals, they need to help the customer understand how they can use your product to achieve their goals. Ideally, there won’t be any questions left; they will walk away knowing exactly what their journey with your company will look like. This process should include preparing customers for onboarding so the handoff will go as smoothly as possible.
The handoff from sales to customer success has always been a difficult issue without clear solutions, but we are now more sensitive to this topic. Increasing competition to provide the best customer experiences and growing skills at providing them have fueled each other in recent years, so the issue became more and more relevant. Modern, digital solutions such as Newired make it easier, more affordable, and more practical than ever to provide first-rate customer satisfaction.
Digital Adoption Solutions, also known as DAS, change the game by streamlining and automating large parts of the onboarding process. With a DAS guidance in place, anyone can onboard and learn difficult processes on virtually any web application, meaning anyone will be able to actually adopt the application and follow processes correctly and consistently on their everyday tasks they have to perform, at work or simply at home. A DAS will not only guarantee that your application is used, but that it’s used consistently and correctly.
In addition, a DAS allows you to add warning messages, interactive quizzes, videos, articles and other useful resources connected to your software. You can even make better use of existing resources, such as your training and learning centers, and place useful content on the place they’d be most useful on the screen. The end result is that your users enjoy greater convenience while much of the burden on sales and support is automated away.
With the growing complexity of modern software, no single person can know all there is to every problem a customer may have. Where simply hiring more support staff doesn’t solve the inherent challenges in providing fast, accurate answers to customers, DAS digitalize many of the most difficult aspects of software support, and follow users through the process they don’t know, taking them hand-by-hand towards success. In this way, intelligent digital adoption solutions enhance software onboarding and support for software users, providing better short and long term results. To illustrate, our customer Synertrade has registered a reduction of 40% of the training time on their software after adopting Newired, while also enjoying a reduction of other 40% on their weekly support tickets.
For starters, Newired gives customers an instant, interactive resource for any issue they might face during onboarding. By use of features such as tooltips, and step-by-step guidance added as overlays, Newired offers clear, visualized guidance. By adopting DAS, you can make the best in clear, in-depth, step-by-step instruction available to everyone who adopts your product. This also provides an efficient, standardized means for an organization to automate the training process. Compared to traditional training methods, DAS can drastically shorten the time-to-competency of employees, improving overall profitability. Not to mention, since DAS provides new users with the tools to solve most of their own problems and self-train, it fosters independence and software literacy.
By employing software to meet the majority of user needs, your sales and support departments won’t face the impossible task of being human encyclopedias. Rather, they can provide more intuitive or specialized guidance when such things are necessary. With volume and breadth of support interactions going down, your support department can be empowered to both cut costs and improve the user experience.
Companies are moving to Newired for a variety of key reasons such as:
Contact us to see about trying a free demo of Newired to see if it’s the digital adoption solution that your company is looking for.