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Posted by Emily Hayes on Jan 30, 2018 8:42:00 AM

For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.

For instance, it was fun eating the Halloween candy you should’ve been handing out to trick-or-treaters.

But, a rumbly tummy and eggs all over your house are natural parts of the reaction.

Among those of us in Customer Success and customer loyalty, the same thing applies.

If acquiring and thrilling customers is our main action, then finding and dealing with bad customers is just as important.

It’s not fun. In fact, it stinks. Bad customers are still customers after all, and they’ve willingly agreed to give you their money.

As profitable and valuable as loyal customers are, bad customers can be equally as damaging. They're costly to service in both dollars and hours, and in the end they’re likely to damage your brand and reputation.

So someone has to deal with them.

Posted by Emily Hayes on Oct 10, 2017 8:33:00 AM

Access has always been very good at customer relationships. We wouldn’t have experienced steady, uninterrupted growth for 30+ years if we didn’t have a good product and track record with clients.

We retain about 98% of our clients annually, and have an NPS score that rivals the best companies in the world, not just our industry.

So why would we need a formal Customer Success effort?

The truth is, we want more for our clients. Sure, they’re satisfied with us, but we want them thrilled. More than that, we want their customers, members, and employees to be thrilled.

When their annual budgets come due, we want keeping their relationship with Access to be a no-brainer that everyone from the CEO on down can agree upon.

As such, we recognized the need to formalize our efforts around retention and satisfaction.

And guess who got to lead the charge? Yours truly.

Posted by Emily Hayes on Jul 11, 2017 8:21:00 AM

Sometimes change stinks.

New Coke.

When the "Most Interesting Man in the World" turned into one that was just "Sort of Interesting."

That one time a major retailer dared to change their logo.

We often can't handle change. Why can't things just work as they are right now?

Welcome to the world of an executive. To these folks at the top, life is best left to a series of small shifts and adjustments. Major change isn't often needed. The machine only needs tuning.

If you had hundreds of employees whose hopes and dreams, families, and financial stability relied on your choices, you'd be pretty cautious too.

What if you, regular employee, see an opportunity to help your company? Something that might require a bit of change?

If you're a frustrated sales rep, customer service pro, account manager, or just an employee who's concerned with customer churn, you might have an interest in Customer Success.

Customer loyalty is struggling for a reason. Being reactive to issues isn't enough but it's what most companies settle for. There must be more resources dedicated to sniffing out problems before they arise, and ensuring customers have optimal experiences.

That's Customer Success. It's a different approach, one that requires dedicated resources and investments.

One that your risk-averse superiors may be hesitant to adopt.

You're the right person to lead it. And I can help show you how.

Posted by Emily Hayes on May 23, 2017 9:47:00 AM

You have to give a lot of credit to new technology companies. They've brought so many good things to life.

Like emojis, automated vehicles, and drones that can deliver online purchases in a matter of hours.

Let's not forget those selfies that superimpose animals ears and noses on faces.

One area technology companies deserve a ton of credit is the concept of Customer Success. Not customer success, but a formal Customer Success department, position, or even just an effort.

Whether they created this concept is probably up for debate. But it can't be argued that they've brought it to the forefront.

It's taken off so much that it's considered an essential part of any SaaS (software as a service) company.

It makes perfect sense in SaaS. Since everything is online, there's a ton of data that reveals exactly how a company is using a product. It's easy to push out notifications and updates to account owners, admins, or even regular users. It helps that these companies can create a standard, universal onboarding process as well.

As a result, Customer Success can track and identify any weak point, error, or warning sign that might cost the company an important account. The process can almost be automated!

But what about the rest of us? 

Can a formal Customer Success effort work for anybody?

Posted by Emily Hayes on Apr 18, 2017 8:19:00 AM

Recently I wrote about how everyone in an organization, in some way, owns customer satisfaction. Even if you never interact with a customer directly, the work you do impacts them in some way.

The article was written around the premise of formalizing customer success. You know, a person or department dedicated solely to ensuring customers are happy and sticking around.

"But I've got good customer service; why do I need a formal customer success team?"

It's usually the first question I get when talking to people about Customer Success. To most companies, there are some procedures in place for ensuring customer happiness and retention. 

The question is valid. Having a customer service department and account managers to respond to customer issues has been the status quo for decades.

Most companies get by well enough simply putting out customer fires when they arise and answering questions when they can. 

But, then again, why is customer loyalty in such a dismal state? Why do trillions of dollars change hands every year due to brand hopping? 

Something is missing, and the answer is a formal, proactive effort to ensure customer success

So how can you know if it's time to get serious about customer success and put some dedicated resources to it? 

Start with these five signs: Loyalty Statistics The Ultimate Collection

Posted by Emily Hayes on Mar 14, 2017 8:36:00 AM

Let me ask you a question: Who owns the customer experience at your company?

Who's responsible for making sure people return again and again?

Account managers, probably.

Maybe the folks in customer service.

Or you might have a specific person with Customer Success in their title, like me.

One of those, or some combination of those, is responsible for the customer experience, surely.

The answer is