March Reading List for Customer Success Professionals

A sampling of the best Customer Success and Customer Experience articles from early 2016

There are a ton of great resources out there addressing how to provide the best customer experience. Here's a round up of a few of my favorite articles from the past few months. Let me know what you think or if you've got some to add!

1) Customer Experience Herd Mentality and the Fear of Missing Out

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This is a brilliant (and relatively quick) read that emphasizes the need to understand your own company culture and purposebefore attempting to follow the footsteps of the “greats” who’ve done it before you. 

Key takeaway:

“The problem with herd mentality is that we think we know what success looks like because we base it on the industry leaders - because they must be doing something right to be leading the pack. But just because it works for one doesn't mean it works for others. Just because the Zappos culture and business model work for Zappos doesn't mean they will work for others.”

2) Are your customers successful, or just happy?

For all you B2B SaaS companies out there, you already know that step from 10 customers to 100 customers is a big one. This piece, written by Steli Efti, addresses that leap and how a “happy” customer versus a “successful” customer makes all the difference in growing your business.

Key takeaway:

“Happy customers like your product. Successful customers receive value from your product.”

3) Customer Loyalty - no longer a given, but can still be achieved

Conviction + Trust + Satisfaction + Loyalty + Goodwill + Commitment + Delight + Experience = Customer Success!

What are the steps we, as businesses, can take to put customers at the center of our operational strategies to drive customer loyalty? This article highlights what customer loyalty means in 2016, as well as the technology needed –and now expected– to enhance the customer experience.

Key takeaway:

“Investing in predictive apps and technology that will lead to a personalised service is thus no longer just a nice-to-have option. In the era of the customer, it is now a must-have.”

4) Customer Self-Service Do's and Don'ts for Your Business

Successfully implementing customer self-service requires both an understanding of your customer base and a commitment to making that person's experience with your business as great as possible. This article lists a few self-service best practices to follow and mistakes to avoid when setting up self-service tools.

A key takeaway:

"Companies that provide rich support media online, including visual aids such as images and videos in addition to clear instructions and how-to guides, can help customers get back to business quickly. This improves customer satisfaction and frees up support agents, who can then focus on helping customers with more complex issues. It's a win-win situation."

5) 2016 Is The Year Of The Millennial Customer: Is Your Customer Experience Ready?

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If you haven’t read Micah Solomon’s look at 2016 as the year of the Millennial customer, take a few minutes to check it out. It’s a thorough write-up of how Millennials are driving customer experience expectations. And as we’re almost three months into 2016, let’s see if his evaluations are ringing true.

Key takeaway:

“Millennials demand self-service, algorithmically, and crowdsourced customer service options. Building the right experience for this new generation of customers requires you to think hard about an uncomfortable subject: where human employees are helpful to customers, and where they just get in the way.”

There ya have it, folks. The top 5 articles highlighting customer success and customer experience best practices, observations, and trends for the early part of 2016.