Develop a Customer Journey Strategy: Examples and Tips




  • Develop a Customer Journey Strategy: Examples and Tips

    Customers want to see the value of your product or service—fast. They bought your product to solve a specific problem and if they are unable to achieve the desired outcome, they may churn.

    By helping customers achieve their own goals using your product, you’ll create loyal customers for life. And loyal customers are incredibly valuable, as they often spread positive word-of-mouth about your company and help secure future revenue. To retain customers long-term, you’re going to need a clear strategy. Here are some ways to create a customer journey strategy that will help you foster lasting customer relationships.

    How to Make a Customer Success Strategy that Demonstrates the Value of Your Product

    A good customer journey strategy focuses on helping customers achieve value at every step of the customer journey. Here are some strategies that are useful for four different stages of the customer journey:

    Onboarding

    Onboarding is the first stage in the customer journey and is a critical period for customer success. New customers must see a fast time-to-value, which is a measure of how long it takes them to receive the desired value from your product. Every day that customers don’t see their desired value increases the risk of churn. You must teach customers how to use all your product’s features so they will receive value from your product as soon as possible.

    In order to guide customers through onboarding, you’ll need to measure the progress of both your KPIs and those of your customers. This could mean measuring your time to value to ensure customers onboard quickly and effectively or considering whether all users have successfully completed onboarding. This way, you can spot customers who stay within the onboarding period too long. You can also watch KPIs that indicate a customer is not seeing their desired value, such as infrequent use of specific features.

    Goals to focus on:

    • Meeting timelines to ensure onboarding progress stays on track.
    • Always providing an excellent customer experience.
    • Help customers fully adopt the product and make sure the promised value is being delivered.

    Segment the following customers:

    • New customers pending onboarding
    • Currently onboarding customers
    • Recently graduated from onboarding status

    Best practices:

    • Ensure that all client notes are passed from the sales team so your CS team thoroughly understands the customer’s goals.
    • Drive customer advocacy by providing a simple, effective onboarding process.
    • Proactively manage customer communications.

    Get your customers through onboarding quickly by helping them see the value they’re looking for. It will meet the customer’s primary demand and solidify a positive relationship.

    Adoption

    Customers spend most of their time in the adoption phase using and enjoying your product. Your goal for adoption is to ensure that customers continue to get the right value from your product and to raise customer retention and satisfaction rates. You should also strive to help them see new value as you expand to offer new functionalities.

    Goals to focus on:

    • Ensuring each customer is achieving their desired outcome long before it’s time for renewal.
    • Monitoring important KPIs, such as license utilization, product usage, and adoption rates.
    • Paying close attention to any customer feedback.
    • Using health scores to determine which customers may need more attention and which ones benefit from upsells.
    • Engaging with customers frequently.

    Segment the following customers:

    • Customers that are no longer in onboarding.
    • Customers with a significant drop in their usage or frequency.
    • Customers who use your product the most.

    Best practices:

    • Develop and follow a standardized customer adoption user manual.
    • Introduce new features and functionality, then monitor users’ progress in adopting them.
    • Measure and monitor adoption rates.

    Adoption is an ongoing phase and the one customers will remain in for the majority of their subscription. Be sure to have constant visibility of customer health during adoption and stay in touch with customers.

    Escalation

    No matter how good your product and service are, you will eventually receive a customer escalation. The quality of your response to escalations can determine if you will retain the customer, and a positive escalation experience can actually improve the customer relationship.

    To begin, equip your team with the necessary tools and information to help them detect, respond to, and resolve escalations in a timely manner. Nothing frustrates customers more than unresponsive service when they have a problem. Monitor escalation tickets to ensure they are closed on time and track how long it takes your team to resolve tickets on average. After escalations are resolved, collect customer feedback and make adjustments as needed.

    Goals to focus on:

    • Working to reduce the number of new escalations by taking proactive, preventative measures.
    • Tracking escalation trends.
    • Resolving open escalations as quickly as possible.
    • Gathering customer feedback.
    • Monitoring customer health after escalation.

    Segment the following customers:

    • Escalation by status.
    • Escalation by reason.
    • Recently closed escalations.
    • Repeat customer escalations.

    Best practices:

    • Prepare for any escalation by establishing effective procedures for handling such a situation.
    • Establish who to reach out to when a problem occurs.

    The customer success team should create escalations whenever a customer does not meet their KPIs and work to resolve the issue quickly. Being proactive with customers helps to minimize the need to create an escalation in the first place.

    Renewal

    You want customers to feel ready to renew long before their subscriptions expire. Customer renewal rates directly affect your growth, so having the ability to forecast renewal rates and identify at-risk customers is critical.

    KPIs to watch during the renewal phase include the number of customers past the renewal date, low customer health scores, and last year’s cost of churn per quarter. If you’ve provided value throughout the previous phases of the customer journey, the renewal phase will go much smoother.

    Goals to focus on:

    • Boosting renewal rates.
    • Prioritizing at-risk renewals.
    • Checking that renewals are happening on time.

    Segment the following customers:

    • All customers renewing this quarter.
    • At-risk customers.
    • Customers that canceled during this quarter.

    Best practices:

    • Create a standard contract template.
    • Define the steps of renewal as sub-stages using status attributes.

    Follow these tips and you should see high renewal rates and increased customer loyalty.

    Optimize Your Customer Journey Strategy with Comprehensive Software

    The best way to track KPIs, segment customers, and use best practices at every stage of the customer journey is with a customer success platform. This is powerful software that can run automatically triggered tasks that you’ve configured to improve your team’s workflows.

    A CS platform enables you to operationalize processes throughout the customer journey by defining customer success objectives and identifiers. You can automatically assign tasks to team members, program events to be activated on demand, or streamline how you gather customer information. No matter how you use it, the right customer success platform helps you implement customer journey best practices immediately.

    You can also generate specific tasks that are SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. These tasks give your teams all the information they need to support and contact customers. They pull data from customer accounts and provide metrics for each customer. This provides a real-time view of every customer’s account status and health. It saves time and gives every team member insight into each account and the steps that must be taken.

    The best customer success software is results-oriented and goal-focused at each step of the customer journey. This means the software’s key features— the ability to consolidate and share customer data, track customer health, and respond to key changes in customer status— are designed to help you achieve specific, measurable customer success goals.

    Give your customer success team top-down support, including a customer success platform that has the functionality they need to perform their roles effectively. Then, it won’t be long before you start to see higher rates of customer satisfaction at every stage of the customer journey.

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