Marketers are constantly in the pursuit of happiness. However, turning customers’ frowns upside down is easier said than done. Lynn Tsoflias, VP of customer success at small business CRM provider Insightly, shared her secrets for keeping customers smiling and satisfied.
Remember, customer success equals company success: Happy customers are lucrative customers, and having their needs met is what makes customers happy. So instead of fixating on their own bottom-line goals, B2B marketers should focus on helping their customers succeed, such as by increasing customers’ revenue or managing customers’ projects.
“Making sure that they’re satisfied in their goals and what they see as success is really important,” Tsoflias says.
Make a good first impression: Marketers only get one first impression. So when offering a free trial, it’s important for marketers to assist and educate leads about how their products will benefit them personally. Not only will having a better understanding boost customers’ satisfaction, but it will also make them more inclined to discover new product features and continue to use the product over time, Tsoflias says.
“The training could be a document, a video, an email communication, or a webinar,” she says. “I always think, ‘That person is so busy. Maybe they’re good with technology, maybe they’re not. What kind of tools can we provide to help them learn our product?’”
Engage in a conversation: When asking customers for information, it’s important to offer them value first, Tsoflias says.
“It’s more of a dialogue,” she says. “You’re getting information that then helps you communicate with them.”
Listen and learn: Sometimes what customers say they want isn’t what they really need. So, marketers should listen to customers’ problems and dig deep to better understand how they can help their customers, Tsoflias says.
View your customers as consumers: B2B customers and B2C customers want the same things: a simple product that’s easy to use. Tsoflias says that this is especially true for small businesses. As a result, she encourages B2Bs to view their customers as consumers to keep their marketing simple and to the point.
“Small businesses are not looking for big, complicated enterprise solutions. They want something that’s easy to use, that they’re going to learn quickly, and help them do what they want to do,” Tsoflias says. “If I’m looking for something online [and] I don’t find it pretty quickly or something isn’t easy to use…I’m likely going to go do something else.”
Understand that everyone learns differently: Some customers learn best through audio while others consume knowledge better through visuals. Although video can an effective way to appeal to customers’ varying learning styles, Tsoflias says, it’s important to cater to each one, such as through documents or webinars.
“There’s not one thing that fits everyone,” she says. “But in general, I do a see a greater trend towards audio learning and consuming of information.”
Pay attention to what customers implicitly and explicitly tell you: Customer service feedback is always important, but companies should also pay attention to what customers implicitly say, Tsoflias says, such as through product adoption or log-in frequency. A combination of qualitative and quantitative data is also important to validate the other, she adds.
Show your customers that you value them: Customers are businesses’ most valued assets, Tsoflias says. So when companies work with vendors, they invest a lot of trust in those vendors to take care of their treasures. Tsoflias encourages companies to acknowledge this trust and convey its importance through their communications.
Have a long-term vision: All marketers want their customers to be customers for life. So it’s important for companies to focus on the long-term customer retention, rather than how many customers they gained in a particular quarter, Tsoflias says.
Consider unsatisfied moments feedback opportunities: No customer is happy all of the time. However, it’s important for marketers to learn from those sour moments by soliciting feedback to win back customers or learn for the future, Tsoflias says. She adds when a company does make a change based on customer feedback, it needs to let the customer know that they were heard.
“People want to be asked and they want to be heard,” she continues. “Taking the time to listen to them and make that phone back goes a long way.”