Humanizing your Customer Success Strategy

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How can B2B tech companies define what success looks like for their customers? The truth is that there is no one-size fits all approach to defining customer success, as each business has, and should have, their own unique goals to map back to. At the same time, however, there should be an obligation for executives and customer success leaders to work towards one crucial idea – businesses should prioritize humanizing their customer success practices in order to create more genuine, long-lasting relationships with their clients. Let’s explore the different ways that businesses can add a more human element to their customer success practices below:

1. Be a partner, not a vendor

One of the most common mistakes that customer success practitioners make is that they present themselves as vendors and/or salespeople to their clients. This, inherently, has some truth to it – after all, they are employed by a software vendor – but this should not be the core function of any B2B client relationship.

On the contrary, customer success professionals should be acting as true partners to the clients. This means that customer success should go beyond just traditional metrics used to monitor the “health” of a client relationship, such as how often your product is used, how it is used, and the number of services adopted by your client. Instead, customer success teams need to take this a step further, asking questions about how your products and services are contributing to short and long-term successes for your clients. By investing time and planning into understanding how your services fit into the success of your customers, customer success teams can position their product not as a nice-to-have tool, but as a crucial component and partner for their clients’ growth.

2. Grow the relationship from transactional to interpersonal

Instead of approaching each client as a contractual obligation, customer success teams must approach clients in a way that reframes the relationship from a transactional one to an interpersonal one. From the implementation to the (hopefully avoidable) offboarding stage, it’s vital that you get to understand your clients not just as business people, but as human beings too.

Building these human connections within your customer success practice is essential to ensuring you have ample opportunities to nurture, grow, and retain your client base. Customer success teams that focus on the relationships they have with their clients are in an enviable position, as achieving high growth and retention rates are inherently easier to do when client morale is high. In short, investing time to understand more than just your clients’ day-to-day jobs, headaches, and responsibilities helps move your relationship from transactional to interpersonal, a crucial step in helping humanize your customer success practices.

3. Join the customer journey with your client

You may have done it one, ten, or a hundred times, but it’s important for you to be there for your customer along every step of the customer journey. By running the proverbial race with your client, customer success teams can build a relationship with more empathy, knowledge-sharing, and genuine connection compared to if they were simply coaching their client to run the race themselves. Customer success teams should take the time to share these experiences, celebrate successes, and learn from their failures in order to further humanize and create more robust experiences for their customers.

In conclusion, humanizing client relationships are the key for B2B customer success teams to go from effective to essential in the eyes of their customers. By joining the customer journey with their client, creating more interpersonal relationships, and framing themselves as essential partners rather than strictly vendors, customer success teams will become both more human and more essential in the eyes of their clients.

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