Vendors have tremendous opportunities to empower and elevate their customer success and customer support teams to create triple-win outcomes.
What is the Triple-Win?
The triple-win is when you empower your customers, your employees and your organization to reach their targeted outcomes. This is achieved by transforming how you engage customers so that all parties achieve their respective outcomes with less time, effort and resources.
It requires eliminating low-value, resource-intensive, repetitive tasks that waste time and sap energy and motivation. Instead, you should strive to empower customer-facing teams to focus all their efforts on higher-value tasks that really need added value human soft skills and expertise.
The Challenge Today
Let’s face it, in most organizations there are lots of wasted resources and loss of time. When companies have not yet scaled and orchestrated their customer-facing operations, staff are often involved in low-value, repetitive tasks that are a waste of their real talent. This has a negative snowball effect on all three impacted parties:
- Staff are often so busy fighting fires that they cannot focus on the more strategic, value-creating tasks that genuinely help customers. This also results in staff feeling demotivated.
- Customers are disappointed in their experience and annoyed by their dependency on your organization to help them.
- Your organization faces high churn due to poor customer experience, negative emotions and lack of outcomes.
So how can this negative vicious circle be stopped to create a positive viral spiral of triple-win outcomes?
3 Steps To Create Triple-Wins
To break out of reactive firefighting to elevate the role of customer success and support to proactive, added-value engagement, try pilot-testing these 3 steps with a subset of your staff and customers. Measure the results to identify what works in your organization and then iterate based on the results.
Step 1: Free up staff time by eliminating, delegating or automating low-value tasks.
The only scalable way your team can focus on high-value tasks is to remove the low-value tasks that sap their time and energy.
Identify all the low-value tasks your customer-facing team performs today. This may be done using a method such as the Eisenhower Matrix to identify over time those tasks that are important and urgent. Then – and here is the hard part – either stop, delegate or automate them. Then over time, measure what happens:
- If there is no drop in customer health (whatever leading indicators you may use to measure that), you have identified and removed a huge waste of staff time and skills.
- If there is a drop in customer health, you may have confirmed that what you perceived as low-value tasks are however important. These tasks should then be optimized via iteration in a scalable and impactful way.
Step 2: Empower Your Customers to Drive Their Own Success.
What has become clear from the recent Zoomin Executive Roundtables is that most customers yearn to solve their problems by themselves. They do not want to always be dependent on your customer support or success teams. They want instant, real-time access to the tools and information to deploy, adopt, and support your application in their organization.
Empowering customer self-sufficiency requires that you make it easy for your customers to locate the resources they need to achieve success. Customer teams need to identify the exact content that customers need, making it available at the right time in the required format (e.g. text, video, interactive guides, etc.).
You will likely need to invest in tools that enable you to capture and manage content and identify what content is most important to customers. By measuring the impact on your customers’ ability to achieve success on their own, you will be able to prioritize which content you maintain and which content is no longer relevant.
Building, delivering, and maintaining content for your customers requires considerable effort from your teams. Once you make a critical mass of pertinent content available to customers, they will become more autonomous in solving their own problems. Consequently, this reduces their demand for your services and thereby helps to scale.
Step 3: Focus Your Staff on Delivering High-Value Engagement
After scaling and eliminating unnecessary tasks and empowering your customers to achieve their own success, you need to focus your teams on performing the high-impact engagement and services that only they can deliver. Much like doctors rely on nurses and other professionals to perform critical functions, your team needs to protect their precious time and access to their expertise by directing customers (and other internal departments) to the available resources, tools and content.
Your team should then focus on high value-added engagement:
- Building trust and long-term relationships that drive win-win outcomes
- Helping customers discover new growth opportunities that they have not previously envisaged
- Providing high-touch engagement that results in customer gains and vendor renewals, expansion and advocacy
- Delivering services that require unique product, process and domain expertise that cannot be delivered via automation
- Teaching customers new knowledge and skills within their domain
- Providing domain expertise that differentiates your company from competitive vendors
Empowering customers to achieve success on their own is in the best interest of your customers, your employees, and your organization.
- Your customers want to quickly solve the easy problems on their own. They only want to rely on vendors to help with expertise they do not have themselves around the domain, product, organization, process, or adoption. They want to be challenged to learn something new from you.
- Your staff want to feel motivated. They want to build positive relationships that help customers achieve greater results than they can achieve by themselves.
- Your organization wants the efficiencies and cost-savings that come from scalable customer facing functions that result in win-win outcomes for customers and vendors.
By transforming your customer-facing staff from firefighting to proactive expert mode and empowering your customers to help themselves, this creates a triple viral spiral of mutual growth where everyone wins: customers, your staff and your organization!