Customer Service is a fundamental principle to Customer Success. Ensuring a customer is heard, listened to, and delivering to meet the customer’s needs is essential to providing great customer service and ensuring customer success.
One of my earliest memories of learning about customer service growing up in a small town in North East Pennsylvania was working at Friedman’s Men’s Store. Friedman’s was known for providing superior service and had customers driving in from Philadelphia and New York just to shop with him. The very first thing I remember related to his customer service was when I was very young. My father was a doctor and worked long hours, he had shopped at Friedman’s several times over the years but hadn’t been into the store in a while.
Phil, the store owner, reached out to my dad and asked if he needed anything. My father did in fact need to get to the store however he was unable to get there during the store hours. Phil recognized his customer had a problem and wanted to ensure that his customer would have excellent service, and offered a solution.
“How about I pick out a number of suits and bring them by the house one evening. We can see what you like. I’ll fit you and have them tailored. Then I’ll bring the suits back to your house once they’re ready.”
With this move, recognizing his customer’s needs, not only did Phil ensure he had a customer for life, he made a nice sale. My father probably bought more than he would have, had he gone into the store because when someone delivers above and beyond it’s a natural human tendency to reward the service provider.
Customer Success is an organization in an IaaS/SaaS/PaaS, AMS type of business and there is often someone who is responsible for the customer success. However, CUSTOMER SUCCESS is the responsibility of everyone in the business. There are so many moving parts in our businesses with customers we collectively need to think about how actions are helping to provide our customers with the customer services we would like to receive. For instance, assume there is an incident in our customer’s business, we are troubleshooting. We find that all the systems supported on the provider’s side of the operation are operating properly, but the customer is still having issues. Technically the provider’s support has been achieved, and as long as the support team is able to conclusively show the problem isn’t in the provider’s systems the support job is complete. However the customer isn’t operational and that means they are losing money, losing time, possibly losing customers, and not able to provide their customers the level of support their customers expect.
The above situation is an opportunity to provide White Glove with exemplary customer service. The provider won’t always be positioned to help but often will be on the phone with the customer team while they continue to troubleshoot and if we take the opportunity to actively listen, often the provider support team will have knowledge that can help the customer troubleshoot the situation on their side faster and come to resolution more quickly. I’ve seen examples of this where OS or Network resources are able to provide insight about a traceroute failure and even help solve problems where similar issues occurred.
Remember every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to provide customer success, whether its eyes on glass, identifying a monitoring notification, or ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of billing. The better customers are serviced the more opportunities you have with your customers.