Customer service means customer success these days, and as the field grows, more roles for leadership open up. Customer success leaders need strong visionary and management skills, but leadership encompasses many vital components when it comes to serving clients.
Many of the best customer service leaders started at the bottom of their organizations and know the inner workings of every part of their business. Leadership also requires the ability to scale and grow the business into the future of the industry. Here are 10 things customer service leaders do for their clients.
Shift Your Perspective in What Leadership Means
Management makes you focus on the turning the cogs and gears in business functionality, but leadership requires a more significant perspective shift. Your job entitles empowering others to succeed. While you still play a role in the “doing,” you lift up your team by providing resources and coaching them to success as they serve their customers.
Know Analytics Inside and Out
Analytics keeps the wheels of the internet marketing machine turning and free from awkward kinks. Place those manual data points on whatever you need to measure, and go — data tells you a lot about what your clients desire and need, as well as how they react emotionally to your content and services. Data also empowers you to adapt quickly, a trait that makes leaders 6.7 times likelier to succeed in a dynamically changing market.
Your tools and abilities also do the same for your clients and their customers—you’ll move to and develop greater tools for your business and clients.
Listen First, Talk Later
That’s right—soft skills are active components of what makes for a great customer success leader. You may think asking your clients an endless series of questions means you are solving their issues, but the first thing you should do is listen.
Open-ended questions help clients talk, but they need to feel comfortable providing radically honest feedback about your services and their experience with them. In turn, you must also deliver radical honesty to your clients. Actively listen first, and talk later when you come back to the questions. Let the client steer the conversation to help you in anticipating their future needs. Reinforce that you understand what the client communicates, so you can improve their experience.
Support Every Stage of Growth
Leverage client potential with your company’s strong skills and services. Your business must support every stage of a company’s growth. Customer success leaders embody the vision of their company, but also each client’s vision. You empower that vision while providing in-depth knowledge of the challenges your clients face in their industry.
Stay Calm in the Face of the Storm
When the client faces challenges, great customer services leaders remain calm in the face of the storm. They’re the firefighters when sparks rage out of control and rally to aid the customer, by setting proper expectations and following up with actionable solutions. Collaboration will lead to success and a stronger brand for both your company and the client.
Teach Without Lecturing
Leading customer success goes beyond doing the arduous work for the client. You must also provide them with tools to help them approach problems in better ways and offer services in new ways. The best way to propel your client forward is by teaching them.
In addition to the tools you provide, you offer up tips and best practices for your clients while paying attention to industry advancements and news. You unselfishly pass along the knowledge.
Challenge Them to Grow
While building a relationship of trust and transparency matters, strong customer success leaders also challenge their clients to grow, understanding that ideas don’t make for measurable achievements. You learn and find success by overcoming challenges.
Over time, you develop an in-depth understanding of your client’s business, services and products that enables them to consider more innovative ways to maximize quality and impact.
Guard and Steer the Customer Experience Ship
You’re a part of the client’s team, and they trust you to anticipate issues and pitfalls before a potential downfall. Excellent customer service leaders keep one eye on the horizon while monitoring the present. As they steer the customer experience ship, they make appropriate changes to the road map and communicate with transparency—as their role is also to protect.
Develop and Share Their Voice
Whether new or seasoned, your client continues to grow their brand, and in turn, their voice. A strong voice communicates an unforgettable and relatable message that you—as a customer success leader— empower, embolden and project into the social media sea of shares.
Think of Selling as Advocacy
From initiatives to tools and marketing, your company sells and upsells some more, but customer success leaders think of selling as advocacy. You advocate for your clients, so everyone wins and make decisions collaboratively that express the best interests of all involved.
These are the 10 things customer success leaders do for their clients to propel toward their vision and beyond. By following these tips, you can help your clients fulfill their potential while also providing the best services and products for their customers.