Downtimes are an opportunity to lean into your customer base. Leading Marketing and Customer Success functions join forces to execute a retention play that turns customers into a top growth engine. Here are 4 actionable ways to begin earning customers for life.

It costs seven times more to attract new customers than it does to retain existing ones. Research also shows that a 5% increase in customer retention can generate up to 125% in profits.


Given the current economic conditions, customer retention is more important than ever before. Do you have an insight into your customers’ experiences with your brand? Begin determining your customer experience benchmarks with this tool.


Download the Customer Experience Benchmark Tool Here.


Act proactively rather than reactively. Get ahead of your competitors by taking mitigating actions – even if your business hasn’t been directly affected by the downturn yet. As discussed in this post, CMOs are uniquely positioned to own the customer experience.


In downtimes (or anytime, really), marketing leaders can most effectively deliver top-notch customer experiences by partnering with Customer Success to deepen customer relationships. Get tighter with Customer Success than ever before to shift your focus to helping the existing customer base succeed. Together, make a plan to align strategies, tactics, and product offerings to the shifting demand.


Marketing and Customer Success can benefit exponentially by sharing resources to understand customers’ needs and how best to grow those relationships. Marketing can leverage Customer Success to make the customer experience more rewarding and scalable. Customer Success possesses invaluable relationships, and customer knowledge thought which customers for life are made. If you’re going to execute a stellar retention play, start by partnering with Customer Success (here’s a more in-depth post for CS leaders).


1. Proactively Provide Information


Continued usage is critical right now. Marketing can contribute by developing campaigns that help people optimize their usage of your product. Think about creating educational resources and filming a series of explainer videos. Nearly every video conferencing platform has been sending tips on holding better remote meetings. How could that translate to your business?


One way to disseminate this information is through email. If you do not already have a customer newsletter, now is the time to start. Build on the platform you truly own. If LinkedIn went away tomorrow, you’d still have your email list. Work with the Customer Success team to understand the common areas where customers seek help and show up in their inboxes each week with value-adding insights and tips. Shift your focus to helping the existing customer base succeed. Remind them why buying your product was a smart decision.


2. Enable Your Customers


If you don’t already have a Knowledge Base, now is the time to develop one. People want on-demand self-service more than ever. They don’t have an IT department down the hall right now. They’re likely working odd hours from the comfort of their home.


Enable customers with an archive of content around common issues, or around newly identified needs due to changing work conditions. Topics could be as complex as an obscure product setting, or as seemingly basic as changing billing information. This initiative is another opportunity to collaborate with Customer Success to identify FAQs and develop standard answers. An added bonus is that it frees up CSMs to focus on issues that require more depth and key accounts.


Remote work appears to be having at least one benefit. People are making more of an effort to connect with their peer network. Help your customers form personal connections by helping each other. Start a LinkedIn group to inspire others like this one. Identify advocates who are willing to participate in online forums or even help as you develop explainer videos and other content. Often the best ideas or ‘hacks’ come from users.


3. Show Customers That You’re Listening


Customer experience is the intersection of Marketing, Customer Success, and Product. Don’t leave your Product teams out of the loop. Another way to ensure that customers are successfully using your product is to examine data aggregated by Customer Success teams to help shape the evolution of your product.


Listen to feedback from customers to uncover new insights. Given the evolving work environment, people are using technology in new or increased ways. There may be easy adjustments or enhancements you can offer to address the needs of a workforce that’s learning to do their jobs from home.


Don’t rule out opportunities for customer expansion. Customer needs may have shifted along with their business model. Partner with Customer Success to identify leading indicators or trigger events that point customers who may benefit from add-on products or additional licenses. Armed with that information, develop subsequent workflows to execute on those opportunities.


4. White-Glove Treatment From Home


Take this opportunity to show your key accounts some extra love. This is an extremely stressful time. What can you do to ease the strain or at least put a smile on their face?


Here are a few ideas:


  1. Have a ‘work from home’ survival kit delivered
  2. Offer to do an account review to help them optimize
  3. Send a food delivery gift card and invite them to a virtual lunch
  4. Host a Q&A for their team
  5. Simply call and ask how they’re doing


Whatever you do, go out of your way to show customers that you appreciate their business.


Play The Long Game


In the short term, focusing on customer outcomes may not have a substantial impact on lead flow. However, in downtimes, it pays to play the long game. Focus on customer outcomes, which will create loyal, more successful customers. Those customers will become customers for life and are better candidates for cross-sells and upsells. Moreover, they are easily converted into advocates who will promote your brand and be sources of referral business.


It’s not a question of whether marketing should be giving mindshare to customer experience; it’s how much marketing should be investing. After all, research has found that experience-driven businesses grew revenue 1.4x faster and increased customer lifetime value 1.6x more than other companies in the past year. Execute this well, and you can turn your customers into your best growth engine, even in a recession.


Start by evaluating where you stand against customer experience benchmarks with this tool. Then, to continue the conversation on proactive ways Marketing can partner with Customer Success to deliver outstanding customer experiences, contact SBI to schedule a conversation.


Download the Customer Experience Benchmark Tool Here.



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