Relationship Management is a tricky business. People’s feelings and opinions are intangible and there are no set rules to account management. The most important part of Customer Success is listening. I mean that literally such as when you’re in conversation but also figuratively like Social Listening. While there are no rules to Customer Success — because “success” varies between product and goal — there are still tried and true practices that work.
And many that do not. Here are three ways you can sabotage customer relationships.
Calling Too Often
Calling customers — actually getting on the phone — is crucial and proven to be an effective touch point in customer-facing fields, however, one call too many can change the climate and landscape of the customer relationship. The key to not overcalling customers is to vary your touchpoint types. Does everything have to be a call? What is most effective as a call vs an email? What does your customer prefer?
Having Pointless Meetings
Scenario: You finally get a customer on the phone and you haven’t overwhelmed them previously with too many calls — so they’re eager and excited…but something goes wrong. The conversation falls flat; you’re getting short, disinterested responses, long pauses or dead silence and the customer seems happy to get off the phone — not necessarily excited about next steps.
In the same way that meetings with your team members benefit from being small and short, organized conversations with customers are a must to ensure effectiveness. Walking into the call with an agenda, setting expectations around the agenda and ending the call with follow up plan and positive affirmation — “This was great, I’m excited to work with you further” — can go a long way.
You can contact someone too much and you can also contact them too little. Give your customers some space but not too much — if your customer forgets who you are and forgets the value of having a dedicated CSM, their customer experience suffers. If there are customers who don’t necessarily need constant support, they’ll still appreciate a check-in. Ask them how things are going, if there are any new developments in their business and if they’ve heard the latest about the company. Even your best, most engaged customers, need to be nurtured — you don’t stop watering a plant just because it’s healthy, right?
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