Sep 20, 2022

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Would your customer do the trust fall with you?

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This is a guest article by Srikrishnan Ganesan, CEO and co-founder, Rocketlane.

Our brains rely on memory to build expectations and trust. As a Customer Success professional, how can you provide positive memories in a consistent way?

At Propel, Rocketlane’s annual global conference for customer onboarding and implementation professionals, Customer Success expert and principal consultant at Service Excellence Partners, Ed Powers, talked about how we can create ideal, favorable customer experiences if we understand the principles of neuroscience.

A crucial way to build a positive customer experience is to build trust and credibility with them. After all, they should see you as partners they can rely on in the long term, and feel justified in choosing your product and renewing their subscription.

The potential ROI for you includes glowing reviews, solid customer case studies, and constructive feedback to improve your product and service—as well as increased retention and recurring revenue.

These four highlights from Ed’s presentation will help you improve your Customer Success approach to build more trust with every interaction.

1. Bring intensity to the game

This doesn’t require investment in new tools or drastic process changes. You just need to train your onboarding and implementation team to bring the right level of intensity to their customer engagements.

Take the post-sale kick-off meeting, for example. We all know how important first impressions are. Your kick-off meeting is your first chance to put your best foot forward and showcase how capable you are as a partner, from your presentation deck to the way you run the meeting itself. Here’s how we present our onboarding plan to Rocketlane customers using our tool:

A good kick-off experience for the customer is half the battle won. Show them you are serious about the plan. Intensity is infectious, and your customers will feel compelled to match yours and complete their activities on time.

Pando, one of our customers, relies heavily on steering committee meetings to keep their implementations on track. Their implementations are longer, and they make sure that steering committee meetings happen every three weeks. This ensures that the Pando implementation team gets quickly unblocked from whatever is preventing the progress of the implementation at a customer’s organization, as quick decisions are made.

At Rocketlane, we ask our customers two questions during the kick-off meeting, in the presence of the executive sponsor:

  1. How quickly do they want the implementation in place?
  2. What should we do if the customer’s team is not sticking to the agreed timelines?

The executive sponsor will let us know their expectations and lay out the process to follow should their team falter. Usually, they’ll agree to have you chase the relevant team members to get work done or to escalate the delay to them. I call this the “license to chase.”

In both cases, the customers clearly see that the teams take their job seriously and are thereby motivated to bring their A-game to the table.

2. Orchestrate a professional delivery experience

How you make your customers feel throughout their time with you decides how trustworthy and credible you look in their eyes. Two personal experiences as a customer come to mind.

One is with JJellyfish Consulting. They’re not a SaaS business, but they ace the delivery game. This was their plan for us:

JJellyfish Consulting implementation plan for Rocketlane

The presentation is visually appealing and easy to understand. More importantly, they built buffers while laying down the timelines of different activities and phases by accounting for any delays and changes from our end. A great demonstration of thoroughness.

The next experience was with Drift. After one of our initial calls with them, they sent a follow-up email that recapped our conversations, laid down the way forward, and linked examples and playbooks we could use to get set up. This approach would make any customer feel like they are dealing with sure-footed, trustworthy vendors.

You can also demonstrate professionalism through your communication. Send meeting notes right after every meeting with them, create joint success plans with inputs from your customers, and go to business review meetings equipped with the necessary insights and data.

3. Make it easy for customers to partner with you

Rocketlane shares feedback forms with customers to ask them about their experience with us, the challenges they face with using our product, and what is working for them. We also specifically measure CES and NPS.

We also pick up the ball when they drop it. Rocketlane is a customer onboarding tool, and an integral part of the platform is project templates. If the customer does not set up the first project template within the agreed timeline, we get them to share a spreadsheet template with us, which we then use to set up a template on Rocketlane. If they don’t have a handy template, we share sample onboarding plan templates with them, which they can use to hit the ground running.

Check in often with your customers to understand whether you’re being an easy business partner. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Does your customer feel like they are doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to using your product?
  • Are you there with them every step of the way?
  • How much of the load are you taking off their back?

4. Show character when you mess up

At the end of the day, we are a team of humans dealing with another team of humans at the customer’s end. There are bound to be miscommunications and ruffled feathers. But these are the moments when you can provide a differentiated customer experience by showing that you value the relationship, and that it isn’t merely transactional.

My Customer Success team was relentlessly following up on some dependencies with a customer when they learned that they had a sick child in the hospital. We immediately sent an apology note and some cookies. In another instance, we chased a customer for G2 reviews a little too aggressively, and they weren’t pleased. We sent an email to apologize, along with a cap of one customer’s favorite sports team and cat igloo for the pet cat of another – both of which we’d picked up on during our calls with the customers in question.

Commit to showing character when you mess up and you’ll discover your ability to turn bad situations around with good communication, accountability, and compassion.

Trust and credibility are just two ways to ensure a great customer relationship. You can learn more at BIG RYG 2022, where Rocketlane is presenting. I hope to see you there!

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