Guest Post by Megan Tonzi – Director of Marketing, QuotaFactory

Sales and marketing technology is everywhere. It’s great!  Let’s connect all the things!

New technologies are surfacing, merging technology companies are creating more comprehensive solutions, and, let’s face it, competition is picking up.  However, sales and marketing technology can’t survive on product alone. Because along with technology, buyers are paying for accessibility, efficient and consistent updates, ease of use, and, most importantly, training on features for increased usability.

Understanding that, the marketing and selling strategies for technology have to shift. The optimal sales and marketing process should include customer success, too.

There are multiple different tech companies that offer relatively the same solution. They may have a few different features, but their overall their main product serves the same purpose. Take marketing automation, for instance. According to Scott Brinker and ChiefMartec’s 2015 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic, there are 1,876 options in 43 categories  (double that of last year).  How do you choose?

When choosing which marketing product to buy, most people ask their network or search for reviews online.  And in those reviews and conversations, what is the one major factor people always mention?  It’s not always the fancy bells and whistles, but the service they receive — whether that be with account set-up, customer service, customer success, account exec interactions, you name it.  Three out of five Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience, according to an American Express Survey. Customer success is a very valuable aspect for technology companies that most seem to overlook or undertrain.

Customer Success for Onboarding

When you first purchase sales or marketing technology, what resources are you given?

Are you directed to a message board, or does an account executive answer your questions personally?

Does anyone check in with you while you’re implementing the new product, or are you on your own?

Having a customer success representative throughout onboarding and setup is a huge differentiator. It also helps engage new customers, helping them to see not only your product’s value, but your customer service’s value, early on.

Customer Success for Training

Does anyone follow up with you after your purchase to ensure that you’re using the product or service correctly?

If you’re unsure about some of the tech’s capabilities, does anyone from the company make a point to offer you training?

The better the users understand the product, the more likely they’ll work with the available offerings and maximize their engagement. According to Gainsight, in a recent survey of 100+ businesses, having a dedicated Customer Success team resulted in a 24 percent reduction in churn rate, which yields a dramatic increase in growth. Customer communication and engagement is a large factor in retention.

Customer Success for Small and Big Problems

When something isn’t working correctly, what options are available to you to fix your situation?

Are you at the mercy of a poorly trained customer service rep or an unmotivated account exec?  Or do you have to submit a ticket and then wait 3 days until you even receive a response?

Customer service success is not only based on response time but on the quality of the service.  Of course, quality can be defined differently for every company, but with sales and marketing technology, quality customer success is not simply offering a simple fix, but incorporating technological and strategic advice into every interaction.

Customer service reps need to be trained on how clients are using their technology in combination with their specific company processes and procedures, not just on product details.  Is there a more efficient way customers could be using your technology? Are they making more work for themselves? Is there a different product that would better complement what they’re trying to accomplish?  These issues will come up in customer service calls.

How Are You Investing in Customer Success?

Even if your company sells a high tech product, the service you provide to support that product is just as important.  According to Omnicore it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience.  So why not build upon positive experiences and interactions with your company rather than only focusing on digging yourself out of tough situations with unhappy customers.  Maximizing your positive engagements is a key factor in retention and, at the end of the day, revenue.

It’s a great thing to posses an innovative sales or marketing technology, but in order to maximize your marketability, success, and profit, you need to also have a top-shelf customer success team for your clients. Learn more about how we do this at QuotaFactory.

Do you value customer success in your company?