One-Size-Does-NOT-Fit-All

By Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer

August 16, 2018

New customer acquisition and demand generation just seem to get all the love when it comes to commercial spend and resources. Meanwhile, the vast majority of company revenue and growth in a given year will come from existing customers.

The result? Typically, customer success programs have to settle for using commercial content from the customer acquisition side, or improvise their own communications with a comparably limited budget.

In fact, nearly half of companies surveyed by Corporate Visions invest less than 10% of their marketing budgets in messaging and content in key customer success situations like renewals and upsells. Meanwhile, less than half make the effort to develop customized content for these selling situations, with the majority using the same messages regardless of the customer relationship. Basically, customer success teams are put in the position of having to fight for approaches and tools that are tailored to their objectives and outcomes.

Despite all this, customer success has emerged as a key growth engine—a separate category that demands attention. Its rise in stature comes in the wake of research that continues to validate its importance, including a well-publicized finding from Bain & Company which found that a 5% boost in customer retention could increase profits by 25% or more.

As customer success becomes a main stage act, the question is whether it should be treated the same as customer acquisition or as a separate category—an area of business requiring distinct messaging, content, skills competencies, and coaching strategies.

It’s worth asking, for instance, if the same training approaches and messaging techniques that work for new customer acquisition hold up in a customer success context—when you need to renew customers, get them to pay more, and expand the relationship? Or do these situations have their own unique pressures and demands—their own distinct buyer psychology—that customer success teams need to understand and tap into?

Just because the majority of companies—58%, according to a Corporate Visions survey—see no need to differentiate their messaging and content between new customer acquisition and customer retention/expansion doesn’t mean a one-size-fits-all approach is right. In fact, research reveals it’s quite wrong. Customer success does require a distinct messaging and customer conversation approach, because the demands of the key customer success situations are radically different from that of new customer acquisition. Treat them the same at your peril.

This eBook explores how to navigate three must-win customer success moments—renewals, price increases, and upsells. And, it provides three science-backed, tested and proven approaches to handling these conversations deftly.

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