Customer Success (CS) has become synonymous with customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, and a positive customer experience. CS ensures the customer is at the center of the business strategy of modern B2B SaaS firms. Thus, crafting an amazing customer experience throughout the entire journey should be the ultimate aim of a business. That’s easier when you are proactive in your approach!
Who is this blog meant for?
Creating such an experience is not easy. As a Customer Success Manager, senior CSM, Head of CS, or CS leader, there must be some complex thoughts or questions that are always on your mind. Some of them are as follows:
- How to support scaling up the business?
- How to anticipate most of the customer needs?
- Avoiding difficult customer conversations in the first place?
- How to turn a CS firm into a more organized and mature one?
Outreach is a marketing tactic at its core. However, you can utilize this concept to help your customer-facing team find out solutions to their problems.
What is Customer Outreach? Why is it important?
Customer Outreach is the process of communicating with customers. When you interact with your customers via different channels, you are doing customer outreach. The objective is to know what your customers need before they reach out to you. It’s much easier to delight your customer when you know exactly what they need.
As mentioned above, outreach is a marketing tactic. Outreach specialists have expertise in this area. They’re hired by firms to get and keep their customers engaged with the product/service. However, in the CS industry, a CSM touches bases with customers one way or the other. So, it is vital to guide your CSMs in outreaching your customers. Since CS is a proactive function, it makes perfect sense to carry out proactive outreach by the same team.
Customer experience is a key brand differentiator nowadays. People engage with a brand they like. It’s not only about the product and price. Hence, it’s a no-brainer that you need to invest in providing a great customer experience. Outreaching customers proactively is one way of doing it.
As mentioned above, resolving the pain point of your customers before they approach you creates a positive impression. This could help your business in the form of renewals, upsells, and referrals as well. Thus, planning a customized outreach program for different customers yields fruitful results.
How do you do a Proactive outreach?
Outreach is important. Proactive outreach is vital. Value-added Proactive outreach is critical. It becomes the sole differentiator among competitors. Thus, outreaching customers proactively, make your business stand out from the crowd.
Campaigns (as an example) provide valuable information. They enable customers to take action through either themselves or a chatbot.
Having all of your customer information in a single place, you can create the kind of microscopic searches for customers. You can identify customers based on specific behaviors or qualities. Delighting customers is made easy if you have the processes in place.
5 types of Value-added Proactive Outreach
Sometimes a good way to look at this is to see how the customer is using your products. It’s important to engage the key stakeholders in the account “from day 1.”
Webinars, strictly speaking, is a marketing tool. They help in getting more leads by engaging potential customers with your platform. However, to make a webinar successful, you need to choose a topic that solves a pain point for customers. This arises curiosity among the target audience.
Involving your CS team with marketing helps in choosing the relevant topic for the same. Try including CS experts from different firms who have been there and done that.
You can leverage your webinar by partnering with influencers/other guests. This way you can attract their audience as well.
Potential customers do not just search for costs and features in CS software. They look out for someone trustworthy as well. If you nail webinars and can build an air of trust, they’ll choose you over your competitors. For existing customers, the knowledge shared could be a solution for their pain point. Thus, if organized properly, webinars can position you as a thought leader in your industry.
Suggested Read: 5 Most Popular webinars of CustomerSuccessBox
Building a community for your customers can be a game-changer for both parties- you and them. They can engage in conversations with people who’re using your product. They can interact with peers who are utilizing your product better and getting results.
The true power of a community lies in providing relational, not transactional, benefits. Community offers a deep connection that isn’t focused on a funnel. Customers who are connected and engaged are easier to delight. CSMs can make use of this opportunity to engage customers with the product more.
The questions that you need to ask are:
- Why does your business need a community?
- Can you use peer comparison to engage with the customers?
- Would your customers find it interesting to learn from one another?
- Could you hold virtual events that provide value outside of the product?
If you’ve clear answers to the above questions about the community, you should invest in building one!
Cadence meetings and calls
Setup guidance for your CSMs about the cadence calls and meetings. These are the opportunities to know more about customers and their desired outcomes.
This type of outreach will strengthen the relationship between your CSM and the customer. Yet, it’s important to understand the do’s and dont’s while having these calls.
Setup cadence meeting guidelines. It’s important to keep the conversation in check so that it doesn’t go haywire. Some other tips to improve the productivity in these conversations are as follows:
- Don’t waste your and your customer’s time
- Shift from small talk to business talk.
- It’s good to ask for advice but it’s better to give advice!
- Be courteous.
- Do your homework about customers.
- Follow up, follow up and follow up after these calls and meetings.
- Log every touchpoint that you had.
Voice-of-customer (VOC)/customer-engagement program
The easiest way to know what’s working or needs improvement is- to let your customers tell you! At this stage don’t try to only use internal data to figure that out from the inside out. It is because then you’ll only be guessing at those drivers. When you follow up with what the customer is telling you, you will strengthen relationships by “demonstrating listening”.
“Voice-of-customer” describes your customer’s experience with your product or service. It is ‘listening’ to your customers. Gathering feedback from customers is an age-old tradition for growing the business. However, through this program, feedback collected is shown as proof to customers. Evidence that their feedback is incorporated into the product/service.
A “customer engagement program” is a strategy. This differentiates your brand from the others by measuring “how often customers choose to interact with you”. The goal is to provide customers with value that goes beyond the product. Also, offer content that is relevant and required by customers. From nurture campaigns to reward programs, there are myriad ways to increase customer engagement. You need to choose which suits you the best.
Resources- Blogs, Podcasts, Case studies, etc.
One question to ask yourself is that do you have relevant resources available at your customer’s disposal? Documented FAQs, blog posts, podcasts, customer case studies, etc. play a significant role in helping customers to solve their basic issues.
These might not seem like a regular outreach tactic. Yet, these are extremely beneficial. When you have updated & relevant content, your platform becomes a one-stop-shop for customer queries. Pitch the resource library with your potential customers and they’d love to explore them. Videos, blogs, long-form content, e-books, podcasts, FAQs, etc are some of the most common resources.
These are value-adding features for proactive outreach. A simple “I thought this might interest you” is good enough to initiate a conversation. Eventually, they’ll engage with your resources if they do find value.
Don’t reach out to the customer unless you have some value to share. Knowing exactly what your customers need without them telling you is fabulous. It’s not easy, though. Having access to real-time data is extremely important. Identifying the stage at which the customer is in his/her journey paves the way in creating unique experiences.
Proactive Outreach by your CSMs can make the customers stay with the brand for the longest time possible. Of course, there’s no point in having a conversation with your customer if you don’t have any value to add.