They say "two is better than one," and when it comes to building excellent customer experiences, that phrase couldn’t be more accurate. When your team works together, that’s when the magic happens — and your customers will feel it in every interaction.
What’s the key to achieving those moments of magic for your customers, even as your business grows? Making it easy for your team to work together.
5 ways to scale customer success with front-line collaboration
First, meet our customer success experts:
1. Align on desired goals and outcomes
Sarah: It’s important to stay aligned internally on shared goals for your team, and externally on goals with your customers.
Internal goals – Establish your customer journey early, revisit it often, and make sure everyone adds their distinct value on that journey. At Front, we set company OKRs, Objectives and Key Results, and team KPIs, Key Performance Indicators (more on OKRs and KPIs). We display our team progress on dashboards near our desks.
External goals – Encourage your customers to pick a goal that resonates with them, and anchor on that throughout their journey. For example, after onboarding you can see if their goals were met or on track. Then two quarters in, you can ask if that goal has changed and why. At Front, we give customers a list of common goals teams often choose from if they need ideas.
Taylor: The connecting point between company objectives and customer’s goals are your people. At SalesLoft, we also set OKRs on a quarterly basis. We use the following method of thinking to set these goals.
Focus on your team – What unique skills, interests, and passions does each teammate bring to the table? Learning their personal goals will help you make the most of their passions in serving customers.
Map those interests to services for parts of the customer journey– This gives each teammate the ability to work on something they care about while improving customer experience. For example, if you have a teammate who loves to be on the phone with customers and solve problems live, have that person run Office Hours to help customer questions on the fly.
2. Close the feedback loop with customers
Taylor: It’s less about closing the loop, and more about keeping the conversation going with the customer. Our Success team leverages tagging in Front for context and future adoption touches.
For example, if a customer asks about certain functionality, we tag the email in Front with that topic. That way, weeks or months from now, we can ask questions about how they’d use it, or let them know it’s shipped!
We also use this process to let customers know about strategic webinars we’re leading on that topic. We want to talk to our customers about what we know they care about most.
Nicole: Automation is key for enabling your team to have time to close the feedback loop as you scale. Our NPS responses are tagged with key words from their comments, but we bring it to the next level by engaging the customer. We offer a 30-minute conversation to discuss feedback to everyone who is a passive detractor, and it’s garnered a lot of traction.
These insights are brought back to our Product Managers and directly influence the roadmap. When something ships, we can also follow up with those who requested it to get additional feedback.
3. Collaborate across departments for the next best action
Aaron: Support is the portal into better product, marketing, and sales experiences. Get your entire team involved in customer support, and you’ll see everyone making better decisions across the board. You can do this easily by creating a period of time where other teammates can jump into the support queue.
Sarah: Find a process that moves a customer issue or question seamlessly between departments. It may be a different process for bugs, escalations, or commercial questions. Then find a solution or tool that enables that process.
For our team at Front, we drink our own champagne and leverage Front for this. That way items get the internal attention they deserve, but our customers only see the response they need. It’s kind of our little secret – while they get a single response in less than 2 hours, in the background, the message got the attention and input of our product and support teams, too.
4. Distribute meaningful data across teams & departments
Taylor: Surface trends among your customer base to tell a story about what your customers need. Monitor trends in customer requests to expose parts of the journey where there may be friction, or where customers love your service.
For example, by analyzing messages tagged as "Customer Wins" in Front, we surfaced a trend that customers were delighted by receiving video, rather than email responses to their questions. We’ve pivoted to make that channel a priority across teams.
5. Create a shift to a customer-obsessed culture
Nicole: Give exposure to those who may not necessarily get regular customer interaction by sharing customer stories with the broader group. Have every department bring a story that exemplifies customers first, that way everyone can benefit from what they have to say.
Sarah: Bake in customer feedback and stories throughout your virtual and physical office space. At Front, we do this in a few ways:
Presenting 5-minute customer stories during weekly All Hands with the entire company
Printing and hanging logos on our customer wall for everyone to see
Bringing in customers to give lunch and learns about the cool ways they use Front
A shared Customer Feedback inbox in Front, where the entire company can scroll through any time
Collaboration is the key to great customer experiences
Give these 5 methods a try for your customer success team. By creating scalable processes that make working together simple, your whole team will feel empowered to give customers an excellent experience.
Written by Vishal Vibhaker
Originally Published: 17 April 2020