Success and Community go hand-in-hand.
Customer success is all about ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service. Similarly, community is really about ensuring that members achieve their desired outcome while a part of your community. Both customer success and community center around customer/member conversion, satisfaction, and retention.
So it’s little wonder that close collaboration between these two departments can lead to improved customer/member satisfaction and can increase customer retention.
“Having a well-planned, efficiently functioning, and highly engaged community will ensure that a Success team’s job of maintaining a positive customer relationship is easy to achieve,” says Chaordix’s Community Success Manager Judy Garvey.
How, exactly? Glad you asked! Let’s dig a little deeper.
When a customer has stopped using your product, it’s likely they’ll leave your entire company ecosystem — unless you have a community.
Giving the customer value in the form of community (whether they are an active customer or not) can extend that relationship, and hopefully lead to them signing up as a customer again.
Similarly, having a community can also kickstart relationships with potential new customers too.
“One major benefit I’ve seen so far in how working for a Community-Led company improves Customer Success is that it naturally (and authentically) extends the customer lifecycle,” says Commsor’s Customer Success Manager Katelyn Gillium. “Through the community, I'm able to build authentic relationships with our customers as community members first, before they ever even decide to use Commsor.”
“We've built ways to form relationships with our members that extends beyond a specific circumstance, product, or service,” she adds. “We're prepared to meet people wherever they are in their member (and customer) journey."
And whether or not that community member ends up being a customer — or even if they stop using the product for whatever reason — they still live within our broader community of interest.
“As their work changes professionally, either in the tools they use to support their community or if they happen to transition to a different role at a different company, they can more easily circle back to learn more about how Commsor might meet their evolved needs because they're still very much a part of our community.”
Active and well-managed communities can yield unique insights about customers.
“Creating a space for customers to interact with one another, ask questions, and share valuable information about their individual user experience can help guide Success teams to improve customer experience, reduce churn, and improve customer success strategy," says Katelyn.
Success and community objectives mirror each other in most companies. “Just like the Community team and its members, the Success team is also trying to build authentic relationships with customers while being proactive in creating a space that meets their needs,” says Katelyn.
Combining efforts and streamlining similar processes can improve results and lead to customer satisfaction.
Judy explains how open transparent communication is an important aspect of collaboration between community and success. “Sometimes bringing the Success team in can also help provide a different perspective to help solve community-related problems.”
For Katelyn, the winning element is having an ecosystem that supports its customers.
“At Commsor, all of the different arms of our ecosystem come together to support Community Managers, regardless of where they are on their journey.
“For Customer Success, in particular, I often interact with individuals and teams that have varying levels of understanding when it comes to community. Thanks to our ecosystem, I am able to share the various resources we provide with them, such as C School, our Creator Guild, Meetsy, our Strategic Services, and more,” says Katelyn.
Katelyn can also rely on other experts in the community to help her and our Success team best support customers throughout their journey, she adds. “By tapping into different skill sets and levels of expertise within the community, I'm better able to empower our customers and ensure their success within their organizations,” she says. “It's a win-win-win."
Here’s how to effectively measure the impact the community can have on the Success team.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measurement of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. Assessing if this score is higher for customers who are active members of the community vs. customers who aren't is a great way to see the tangible impact the community has on Success.
Sure, acquiring new customers is great, but keeping the ones you have is equally important. Community-Led Success teams will consider which of their customers have stayed or left, and track which ones are active in the community to discover how the latter can help aid in retention.
This is arguably the most significant metric in the customer success strategy. Success teams rely on renewals to predict the long-term stability of a product or entire business. Adding a community layer to this metric — calculating which renewals come from active community members vs. customers who aren't active in community — will offer invaluable insights into the customer experience.
Katelyn offers her top tips for Community-Led Success:
The CLG model unpacks how making community a core part of your business can impact the bottom line.
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