How to measure and achieve customer success

Never underestimate the power of a satisfied customer.

Every business depends on them. No matter how big or small it may be. No matter how wide its reach.

But customer satisfaction doesn’t happen by chance. You need to understand your audience’s pain points. You need to know your team’s capabilities. You need to know how to solve problems and adapt.

In short: you need an effective customer onboarding strategy.

Why is an effective customer onboarding strategy important?

Customer onboarding is the entire process of welcoming a new buyer to your business. This is an invaluable opportunity to:

  • Make a positive first impression
  • Prove you’re professional and committed to good service immediately
  • Reduce the risk of losing customers during the early days of your relationship

The aim is to leave every customer confident in their choice. Don’t forget: they have access to a world of options when they Google any product or service.

The sooner you impress buyers, the longer you may hold on to them. The facts speak for themselves: 

  • Customers who enjoy a good experience with your business are 3.5 times more likely to spend with you again.
  • Increasing retention rates can boost profits by 25-95%.
  • Satisfied buyers are five times more likely to recommend your brand to others too.

So as well as repeat business, maximising the customer experience can help to bring in new sales from outside your target audience.

Why do you need to measure customer success?

Measuring customer success is crucial to help your startup secure a foothold. You need to know where you’re going wrong before you can deliver the best customer experience in your industry.

Analysing your team’s performance and your customer experience will help you to identify flaws in your current working methods and spot room for improvement.

Recording your support agents’ interactions with customers is one example. This offers a first-hand insight into your team’s performance across several channels (email, live chat, phone, social media, etc).

You will see and / or hear:

  • The tone of voice your employees use
  • The length of time interactions take
  • What effort your team makes to make customers feel valued and respected
  • What opportunities customers have to speak their mind or request further help
  • Whether agents act on chances to upsell or resolve issues

Unearthing insights from each of these factors will help you to improve the overall customer experience.

We discussed top customer service metrics in a recent blog post, but here’s a quick refresher:

  • Average response time
  • Average handle time
  • First-contact resolution rate

Use these metrics to measure how service affects customer experience. Spot issues before they get worse and reduces the risk of losing buyers to competitors through avoidable mistakes.

In addition, there are two other metrics you must focus on to achieve customer success: CSAT and NPS scores.

CSAT and NPS scores: two key metrics you cannot ignore

CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) scores and NPS (Net Promoter Score) are fundamental for any business. They shed light on the state of your customer experience and show how you can improve it.

You can gather data on your CSAT score through brief questionnaires. You may have seen these in your own dealings with customer service departments.

CSAT surveys ask you to choose a smiling, neutral, or unhappy face following a live chat with a support agent. You might get to assign a score to your interaction as well, using a sliding scale. HubSpot’s customer feedback tool, pictured below, runs from one to seven.

This only takes a second or two of the customer’s time but has the potential to affect their future experiences. You can match the feedback to the conversation and examine it in detail. This helps you understand what prompted their rating.

NPS is somewhat different. It shows which customers may recommend your business, using a similar measurement technique. It splits customers into two groups: promoters and detractors.

The more ‘promoters’ you secure, the more positive word of mouth you can expect, whereas ‘detractors’ will not recommend your business.

We use HubSpot to automatically send these NPS surveys via email once we’re happy that a customer has been successfully onboarded. 

We then trigger a follow up email depending on the results, and ask them what makes them feel good or bad about their experience.

After that we’re able to analyse the feedback to understand why they’re a promoter or detractor, and can delve into their historical communications and behavioural data to get a better picture of where things went right or wrong.

CSAT and NPS data should be tracked over time. See how it changes. Think about why it might have improved or worsened. 

Finally, don’t forget to keep your employees happy too.

A motivated team that feels valued will perform better in the long run. Invite them to share their views on their workplace experience. This can be anonymous if need be.

Explore ways to incentivise employees and create a winning company culture to boost morale, and motivate the team to perform to their best ability.

Conclusion

Generating leads and converting customers might seem daunting when you launch your startup. But that’s the easy part of customer service. Keeping buyers happy and willing to come back in the foreseeable future is far harder.

You have to build a strong relationship with consumers. Make sure you exceed (or, at the very least, meet) their expectations. Invite their feedback and criticisms. Listen to their complaints and suggestions. And then adapt your products and services to align with their needs.

Take the time to measure your customer success and pinpoint opportunities to improve. This will help you scale your startup and grow your customer base over time.