The Beginner's Guide to Communicating Value in Customer Success
If you want to reach your customers, you must change your strategy and focus on value communication.
According to FinancesOnline, nearly 334 billion emails were sent on a daily basis in 2022.
A closer look reveals the average person sends and receives 121 business emails per day!
When 74% of people hate being shown irrelevant content, Customer Success Managers need to work harder first to reach their customers and then to keep them engaged.
This is why value communication is so powerful.
When CS Teams communicate the "Why", rather than the "What", their content remains relevant, which in return, cultivates customer engagement and retention.
This guide will cut through all the noise and show you exactly how to communicate value to your customers.
Value - Simple Secret to Reaching Your Customers
A couple of weeks ago, I activated a new upsell campaign that was significantly different from our previous campaigns.
This time, the approach was value-centricity; The emails offered value to all customers, including those uninterested in upgrading their subscriptions.
The results have been incredible - a 150% increase in upsell lead generation and the highest engagement rates the company has ever seen from automated campaigns.
The secret is quite simple.
As I mentioned, each email focused on the value instead of features.
In this blog post, we defined the value of a product or service as its ability to:
Assist the customers with a specific Job to be Done.
Help the customers succeed at their jobs and gain a positive reputation within their company.
Value Communication is, therefore, communicating the value and the benefits of your product.
It's about focusing on the "Why" of your product instead of the "How" or "What."
The Golden Circle Model by Simon Sinek
If you haven't heard about Simon Sinek's Golden Circle Model, please watch this TED Talk and get his book - "Start with Why."
Here's the reason why you should prioritize the TED Talk over this blog post:
Sinek's model has completely revolutionized the way I communicate with customers.
Whether I respond to emails, engage with them proactively, or lead a QBR, my primary focus is on the Why of the product and my customer.
Following Sinek's definition, the "Why" is the purpose of your company (and product) as it relates to your customer.
Why does your company do what it does? Why is it here?
Why are you in Customer Success? Why do you work in your company?
Why do customers buy your product?
"How" is the strategy for achieving the company's business objectives and the customer's desired outcomes.
How is your company going to fulfill its mission?
How is your customer going to achieve their desired outcomes?
The answer to both questions is straightforward:
by selling/buying the product.
Put differently, the "How" is the differentiated value proposition of your company - how is your product different from your competitors? How is it better?
Lastly, the "What" is the product you're selling.
The Golden Circle Model as seen by CSMs
Now that we understand the Golden Circle Model, we can apply it to the world of Customer Success in the following way:
The value(s) of your product and the reasons why your customers chose you over your competitors.
The processes and actions you and your customer need to take to achieve their desired outcomes.
The benefits associated with the use of the product.
Features available to your customer.
Let's take an example:
Erika is a CS Leader whose goals are to promote customer success internally and externally, enhance customer experience, and ensure that her customers' businesses flourish.
After a long market research, she decided to proceed with a certain CRM platform for a couple of reasons:
It's easy to use, and the implementation process is short.
Erika will gain access to best practices customized to her CS Team's progress and its KPIs.
Tracking data and identifying trends is much easier with the platform's excellent reports and dashboards.
As soon as Erika completes the purchase of the CRM platform, she is introduced to Allison, her Customer Success Manager.
If Allison genuinely wants to help Erika succeed, she needs to start with understanding Erika's "Why" (i.e. the value of the product as seen from Erika's perspective):
Promote Customer Success internally and externally.
Ensure Erika's customers are successful.
Enhance customer experience.
Once achieved, Allison's next step is
to strengthen the connection between Erika's "Why" and the product's "Why" and "How."
Put differently, Allison must address the importance of the product and its features as they relate to Erika's goals,
starting with the second goal - ensuring customer success.
Here is what product-centric communication looks like:
"Hi Erika, I thought you might be interested in our new and improved Dashboards! Instead of the older Dashboards where you had to add your own metrics, you can easily select the metrics from a dropdown menu. Here is our complete guide with everything you need to know about this feature".
What do you think about this email?
I think it's heavily focused on the "What" - the new dashboards instead of the "Why" and "How".
Let's look at a value-centric email:
Hi Erika, how are you doing today? During our Kickoff Meeting, you mentioned that you use data to measure the success of your customers. Realizing how much time this process can take, I thought you'd be interested in our new Dashboards. Instead of spending time looking for data and adding it as metrics to your Dashboard, you can now easily select the metrics from a dropdown menu or use our system's suggestions, generated based on your goals! To demonstrate the difference, when I generated a new Dashboard for you - it took me one minute to find out that your churn rate has decreased by 10% from last quarter."
What do you think about this email?
Not only did Allison make this email personal to Erika,
but her main focus was also on the benefits of the new Dashboards, answering the following question:
What's in it for Erika? Why should she care?
Here is the hard truth:
It's not about you. It's about the customer.
The key factor for success in the Customer Success field is incredibly obvious.
In fact, it's in our title - the focus on the customer and their definition of success.
Nonetheless, so many CSMs and CS Leaders refuse to accept it;
Instead of focusing on the customer's definition of success, they try to impose their company's definition on the customer.
The result? disengaged customers who end up unsubscribing to your emails and ultimately, churn.
If you want to succeed in the CS field, you must take on the customer's perspective.
Before any interaction, you need to ask yourself:
What's in it for the customer?
Is the interaction important to them? Why is it important? Will it help them achieve their goals?
Customers will remain engaged and retained only when you make the connection between what they care about (the "Why") and your product (your company's "Why" and "How").
In this blog post, we covered the theory behind value-centric communication and why it's critical for Customer Success Professionals.
In the next post, we'll dive into the practice of value-centric communication with the ultimate ways to communicate value to customers.