Which might be a tough pill to swallow. Especially for those of us who hold that high EQ that’s so invaluable to the customer service industry. But in Customer Success, as we strive to be strategic in order to build and maintain efficiency — a one-size-fits-all approach to customers can do more harm than good.
It’s important to begin tiering customers as early as possible. Even if the initial grouping is as basic as Group A and Group B. Tiering can and should be scaled as the customer base grows and as your CS team gets a better understanding of who buys and why they stay. There are a few things to keep in mind when tiering your customers.
- What does success look like? You probably have a clear idea of ideal success with your product but that doesn’t mean your customers are using your product the way you intended or that their favorite thing is also your favorite thing. Keep your vision of success but take into account what’s working and drawing in your customers. Those who are giving you rave reviews, who use your product often or who need it to solve a large problem and are happy with the results — those are your successful customers at this moment. That is what success truly looks like according to data.
- How did your successful customers become successful? Identifying the key behaviors of successful customers is a crucial point in building the same success across the rest of the customers. Now, what can you replicate it? Make the playbook, print copies and give it out.
- Who’s left? Of the “Not-Successful” customers, what behaviors are they displaying? Which are close to those of the successful customers and which are far from it? Based on those behaviors which action should you take? For group one, your best customers; your playbook should dictate how you maintain their momentum — and if possible make them even more successful. Perhaps there is a group in between that can be coached or upsold. And then, often, there’s a group of “At risk” customers, who are in danger of churn. There is a different playbook for them all together.
So by now, the statement “Not All Customers are Equal” might seem less harsh. In this scenario, no one gets treated poorly or left behind. Your customers are real people who all have different experiences with your product and behave differently from one another. While it can be harmful to make too many divides, you owe it to your customers to work to understand them instead of throwing them together.