What do customer success, customer advocacy and account-based marketing have in common? The answer is the Customer. And together they form the foundation of the Customer Experience.
Research from SiriusDecisions shows that 80% of buying decisions are based on customer experience. To better cater to customer demands, B2B companies are beginning to focus on metrics such as customer lifetime value to build advocacy and keep their company top-of-mind with a solid customer experience.
So what exactly is the mission of each group in the organization and how can they come together to create a positive and sustaining customer experience?
Foundation of Customer Experience
Let’s begin with Customer Success. Many companies, in particular SaaS-based companies, have embraced the role of Customer Success. The main idea is to drive product adoption and deliver product value thereby increasing customer retention or reducing churn. This role might be slightly different from organization to organization and it may include customer on-boarding, customer support, training, and communicating the needs of the customer to internal stakeholders. This Amigo sets the stage for the customer lifecycle value, creates, and identifies a Happy Customer.
Customer Advocacy is when a customer is genuinely excited about your product or service and is willing to share this feeling with others, usually in a proactive way. It may take the form of one or any combination of activities such as case studies, sales reference calls, videos, social media and user community posts, event speakers, advisory boards, analyst and investor relations, as well as, media/PR support. This Amigo helps customers share their experiences with a brand.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) focuses marketing and sales resources on a defined set of targeted accounts and executes personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each account. It is about being focused on the customer’s needs and deploying the most effective marketing tactics available to nurture value-added conversations with key customer stakeholders. This Amigo aligns marketing activity with account strategies.
Tying Them All Together
Now let’s look at how these three Amigos come together. Customer Success creates and identifies a Happy Customer. The Customer Advocacy team engages the Happy Customer with activities to share their positive experience with your brand. ABM deepens the relationship between the company and the customer, adding relevance to the on-going customer conversation.
A satisfied customer is ready and willing to help you win new business. Put that advocacy to work in the buyer’s journey, and those happy customers become your most effective sales assets.
Customer advocacy can be leveraged in ABM to move a prospect further along the sales cycle. For example, the use a case study or video interview of a happy customer and their success demonstrates value of your products and services to an ABM prospect.
We now have come full circle in the customer lifecycle. Together, these three Amigos of Customer Success, Customer Advocacy and Account-Based Marketing, invest in the long-term and on-going success of the Customer.
Seamless Communication Through CRM Integration
How then can the communication among these three groups flow seamlessly? Through CRM integration! Ceridian did just that! By integrating their CRM (Salesforce), customer success platform (Gainsight), customer engagement system (Influitive) and customer reference management portal (RO Innovation), Ceridian was able to maintain a seamless customer experience, improve workflows and measure the return on advocacy with certainty. Listen as Carlos Gonzalez, VP of Customer Success Operations at Ceridian explains the impact this has had:
“The Ceridian XOXO program delivers the best customer experience in the HCM industry… Data integrated between Salesforce, Gainsight, AdvocateHub and ReferenceView provides Reference Managers with real time insight into availability and customer sentiment so the right customers are engaged. These efficiencies help our customers extend their professional network while also giving prospects the information they need to partner with Ceridian.”
-EVP CCO, Ceridian (Ceridian XOXO Program: The MVP Customer Advocacy)