Customer Success Department Tips

What is customer success? It’s become a hot topic in recent times, and a lot of companies with inter-business, customer relations are beginning to put a lot of money and focus into it. They research the most proficient and effective ways to optimize in this area.

Naturally, they turn to their customer service and support departments as a good place to start. But, as a customer support or service specialist, you may be a little unsure of what exactly ‘customer success’ entails.

Well, allow me to demystify the term, because while it sounds odd, it actually isn’t that big of a leap from where you’re at now. Basically, it’s used in circumstances where customers are corporations themselves, rather than private individuals or consumers. A whopping eighty percent of all transactions in the business world are in fact between other companies, rather than between companies and consumers.

Think about it; the conducting of any business, the production of any product, or the rendering of any service requires a multitude of B2B transactions between specialized businesses in a number of industries. Your company doesn’t provide its own internet service, manufacture its own paper and ink, or build its own copiers, right?

So, as a customer success specialist, let me give you a couple of tips that makes the transition from dealing with individuals, to dealing with corporations on a personal work level.

#1 – Greater concern about the bottom line

While individual consumers are absolutely concerned about the bottom dollar when it comes to business –– corporations are even more concerned about this. They expect to get what they paid for, and they won’t tolerate less than competent billing and financial handling. Corporations are running a business, so any financial concerns they have with transactions between their business and yours have far greater consequences on many more people.

A normal customer service instance accounts for the bottom line and assures retention of one customer. But the bottom line with a corporate relationship is greater. Corporations ensure their business success by reducing overhead in their use of your service. This increases the lucrativeness of their business which leads to a more stable and possibly more profitable relationship with your company in the future.

And, speaking of representing a group rather than an individual …

#2 – Account for the multitude

When you deal with a corporation as a customer, the people you deal with directly represent a host of individuals with a common goal and business interest (but with many different philosophies about life, the universe and everything else). That said, when gaging reactions and responding to these corporations, targeting the individual with whom you speak with isn’t going to necessarily guarantee success. You must also determine, intuitively, what the concerns and mood of the greater group they represent may be.

This may seem obvious, but when you think about it, it really does change how you handle the human element of service.

#3 – Concern over image

Individual customers often aren’t that concerned about some kind of image they have as part of the service or product. A corporation, however, has an image to uphold with the public, their investors, and their customers in general. Their image is determined in a large part by the service or product they produce, especially customer service.

Image is affected directly by the services they provide. So, when relating on a personal level to corporations, show concern for the image they want to uphold and the image you want to convey.

Customer success at the end of the day is made up of many components, including customer service and support. There is a difference when handling individual customers vs big corporations, hopefully these customer success department tips will help you out!

Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe