The HubSpot flywheel is the most comprehensive approach to attracting, converting, and keeping customers, due to the holistic nature of focusing on true satisfaction throughout the entire customer journey. So once you've implemented a robust customer service strategy as a complement (and addition) to your marketing and sales methodology, how can you be sure that your customer experience has improved, and that your business is benefitting? There are a few ways to calculate the results:
1. Look at your contract renewal rates and customer churn
For SaaS and tech companies especially, customer retention is crucial. That's why it's so important to focus on keeping your existing customers happy, rather than leaving them out in the cold just to allocate resources on obtaining new ones.
To understand if your upgraded customer service efforts are having an affect, there are two crucial data points to look at: contract upgrade rates, and inversely, your customer churn. What percentage of existing customers are not only renewing their contracts, but investing in upgrades? This can be an indicator of overall satisfaction with your products, and even more so with the support they receive. If you find that many customers are downgrading in terms of features or usage rates, you may want to evaluate if maybe they feel they are not getting enough value or service for what they are paying.
Customer churn relates to the amount of customers who simply don't return, cancel contracts, or choose not to renew subscriptions. There are a few ways you can calculate customer churn, but a simple formulation looks like this: Take the number of customers you start with at the beginning of the month (or year), and the number of those customers who cancel or don't return. Divide the starting number, by the number of churned customers, and you'll see your basic churn rate. Now to account for new customers in your churn rate, take the total number of new customers obtained in the month (or year). Then take the number of those new customers who churned and divide it by the total amount of new customers. You can then compare the churn averages between existing customers and new customers to see if there is a discrepancy.
2. Talk to your account managers, and/or customer service representatives
Each part of your business doesn't exist in a vacuum, and it's important to communicate between departments in order to understand if development is reflecting the wants and needs of your customers. Your account managers and customer service representatives should keep track of common complaints, positive feedback, or wishes expressed by customers.
It should be fairly apparent to them if your existing customers are noticing and appreciating an elevated level of customer service. If you have implemented a way for customers to provide feedback about service, this information can be valuable in understanding how effective your customer service is.
Part of your service strategy should not just be how to keep people happy with existing products and services, but also about how you can utilize that valuable customer relationship in order to further develop your own business and offerings.
3. What are people saying about you?
Reputation management and social listening can also be good tools when evaluating how effective your customer service is. That's because when you provide excellent service, people tend to notice and talk about it - and even more so when the service is bad.
If you are monitoring social media for mentions of your products and brands, or you're finding your company is receiving and increase in referrals (which may be part of a service or loyalty program you have), you can evaluate the impact of your efforts. Measuring sentiment online can keep you on top of how people speak about your company, and whether they are saying good or bad things.
Social credit and word-of-mouth referrals are increasingly a crucial element of marketing and sales, and understanding how existing customers speak about you - and if they are recommending your products or services - can be one of the best indicators of your customer service performance.
While implementing customer service as part of your flywheel customer support strategy is a great start, you need to understand the impact on your business. You should see customer satisfaction reflected in reduced churn rates, upgrades, feedback, and online sentiment. Then you can measure the effects, and how customer service strategy directly impacts your business's bottom line.
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