March 9, 2017
Customers hold the power in their relationships with businesses. Today, it's not enough for businesses to deliver products. Customers expect them to deliver outcomes and success.
To do this, businesses must understand who the customer is, what their pain points are in achieving their business goals, and must help them choose the right products to meet their goals. The relationship does not stop there. Businesses must ensure that a new customer is properly onboarded, and is realizing ongoing value from their purchase. Forrester data backs these statements up. 68% want vendors who “understand my business, my problems – and help me solve them.”
This is the mission of customer success teams. They actively manage customers post-purchase, to ensure their ongoing success, with the end goal of reducing churn, increasing customer lifetime value and advocacy – the latter of which influences new sales.
Most businesses pursue this mission by standing up customer success organizations. They use a health score — comprised of financial data, CRM data, product usage data, support cases, customer feedback — to track their customers. However, most company employees interacting with customers don’t have this visibility into a customer’s health which can impact overall relationships.
Totango, a vendor of customer success solutions, has a very different view of customer success. Sure customer success teams manage overall customer relationships. However, Totango believes that everyone interacting with customers must have access to customer data and their health in order to better engage with them. Employees must also be able easily, with little friction, access this information from within the context of their application.
At their Customer Success Summit last week, Totango introduced Zoe to help with just this. Zoe is an employee-facing bot that answers questions about a customer and their health. It is accessed directly from Slack and email – two applications in which employees spend a majority of their time. It can also be used to organize and project manage work to quickly – and in an agile way – help with a customer issue. It engages employees to collaborate, to resolve issues, and to make a real impact to customers
What this approach is doing, is ultimately forcing businesses to become more customer centric, and to organize around their customers and their success. The democratic access to customer data means that no employee should have the excuse of not knowing who their customers are, or how their actions can impact a customers. Unlike other customer success solutions which drive top-down actions, what I like is that this approach drives from a bottoms-up perspective, customer visibility and a customer success culture throughout the organization.