Written By: Contender Solutions
Customer success management can be a critical part of a company’s success. By helping customers achieve their goals, businesses can earn repeat business from customers they’ve helped, create case studies to demonstrate their value to others, and gain valuable word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied customers who share their stories with others.
Traditionally, customer success officers (CSOs) or customer service leaders would be the most concerned with customer success management best practices. However, chief information officers (CIOs) can play an important role in improving customer success operations as well.
Why Should CIOs Care about Customer Success Operations?
Whether delivering software-as-a-service (SaaS), IT platforms, IT consulting services, or any other IT service, there are several reasons why CIOs should care about customer success operations, including:
- How the Customer’s User Experience Can Make or Break Business Relationships. The user experience (UX) for a company’s IT services can have a major impact on business relationships. Because CIOs have such a strong influence on UX, they play a key role in customer success operations.
- Because CIOs Know the Right Systems to Improve Customer Success. A CIOs intimate knowledge of key IT systems and solutions that could solve major customer challenges makes them an invaluable resource for improving customer success.
- Customer Success Strongly Impacts the Business’ Bottom Line. By following customer service best practices and improving customer success, CIOs can help their own business’ bottom line. Happy customers are more likely to drive long-term success and attract new business—which means more money for the business to spend on C-suite bonuses, IT departments, and other things.
In short, following customer success best practices is a CIO best practice.
Our Top 6 Customer Success Best Practices for CIOs
Here are a few customer success management best practices for CIOs to follow:
Prioritize Data Security
To protect your own business and safeguard a customer’s gains, it is vital for CIOs to do whatever they can to improve data security—both inside their own company and the customer’s.
According to an IBM/Ponemon Institute study, a data breach costs an average of $3.86 million. Protecting customers from such breaches is a must for ensuring customer success.
Focus on Enabling Business Agility
How quickly can the customer adapt to new business opportunities and challenges? A key SaaS customer success best practice for CIOs is to help their customers find and implement software solutions that increase business agility.
Frequently, this can be done through the use of automation or robust, all-in-one IT platforms that allow customers to simplify their operations management. Agile customers are more likely to succeed since they can adapt to changing situations faster.
Modernize the User Experience for Employees and Customers
Everyone in the tech industry has probably encountered a software or other IT resource with a frustrating user experience at one point or another. Whether the software was simply archaic, poorly optimized for the platform it was on, or badly designed in general, a bad UX can ruin productivity and engagement.
So, imagine how the customer feels. Taking the time to examine the user experience and make modifications that improve it can go a long way. Good UX makes IT resources easier to use so they’re more valuable to the customer.
Share Customer Data Across Teams
IT isn’t the only department that has to work on building customer success. However, if other departments don’t know what a customer’s biggest issues and priorities are, how can they help customers achieve success?
Sharing data across teams helps keep other business units informed and aligned with your customer’s priorities and needs. So, using an internal reporting tool can prove to be a key customer success management best practice!
Prioritize Workflow Efficiencies on All Teams
How can the customer’s workflow be improved to create new efficiencies? CIOs can help customers improve their operations by identifying ways to improve workflows—such as adding workflow automation software.
By prioritizing workflow efficiencies across all of the customer’s teams, CIOs can help customers build business agility and reduce the risk of error.
Find the Right Tools and Platforms
Every business has unique needs. While taking a one-size-fits-all approach to IT service and operations management might be easier, customizing the tools and platforms a business uses to their customer’s needs provides a better long-term ROI.
So, it’s important for CIOs to:
- Closely examine their customers’ existing IT assets;
- Consider their business goals; and
- Identify the best tools and platforms for adding on to (or replacing) their customers’ IT assets to meet those goals.
This approach may take more effort, but it can have a lasting impact on customer success operations.
The Top 4 Customer Success Tools to Consider
Speaking of finding the right tools and platforms to drive customer success, what are some key tools to consider?
ServiceNow is one of the most successful platforms for IT service management (ITSM) and IT operations management (ITOM) for a reason. The platform allows users to easily manage projects, workflows, teams, and customer interactions with a wide array of built-in tools and a massive library of integrations.
Users can even create custom integrations for proprietary solutions—making ServiceNow ideal for customers that want to keep using the tools they’re familiar with.
2. Data Dashboards
Before driving customer success, it’s necessary to be able to measure it first. Here, having a data dashboard solution like BrightGauge, Klipfolio, or Microsoft Power BI can help visualize data so that it is easier to consume.
Some data dashboards also include automated key performance indicator (KPI) report generation tools that can be shared with customers so they can see the impact of your company’s efforts.
3. Workflow Automation Tools
What tools can be introduced to a customer’s business processes that will help them automate their workflows? Adding automation tools can be a major customer success best practice. However, there are far too many tools to list them all here.
The choice of tool to apply to workflow automation should be dictated by the specific process, the customer’s goals, and the tool’s compatibility with the customer’s workflow management platforms.
4. IT Monitoring Tools
When a customer’s success depends on the availability and stability of IT services and tools, monitoring their IT environment is a must. IT monitoring tools that can analyze a customer’s IT environment and generate alerts can be invaluable for ensuring the speedy resolution of IT issues.
In particular, monitoring tools with predictive analytical capabilities that can estimate when IT asset wear and tear would necessitate replacement can be incredibly useful for reducing the risk of IT service downtime.
Maximizing customer success through IT services can be a challenge. However, with the right tools and support, CIOs can make a major difference for their customers.