You create products and services for your customers. So why make Customer/Client Success an afterthought up-sell service package, instead of being your service norm? You spent so much marketing time, money and hustling effort to acquire your new clients, the least you can think about is rearing them into one-off quick wins after all that hard work.
Consider where you were and where your then-prospects were before the first handshake. A typical buying cycle takes two-three months before winning them over to your side. How would you like them to remember the actual relationship from the day-one service proposition they read about you? Every customer is very demanding and a trial-balloon expert, but that should not be an excuse to not ALWAYS give it your best shot, right?
This is absolutely not a call for naive business suicide, but when you leave your services at the mercy of technology alone as a solution or simply base the “option” of a long-term strategic partnership on initial client impressions, you run the risk of losing the business to your competitors who spent just as much effort conversing and converting the clients you already call your own.
Alberto Brea of OgilvyOne couldn’t have been more accurate when he wrote the following:
- Netflix did not kill Blockbuster. Ridiculous late fees did.
- Uber did not kill the taxi business. Limited taxi access & fare control did.
- Apple did not kill the music industry. Being forced to buy full-length albums did.
- Airbnb did not kill the hotel industry. Limited availability & pricing options did.
- Amazon did not kill other retailers. Bad customer service & experience did.
- Technology by itself is not the real disruptor.
- Being non-customer centric is the biggest threat to any business.
As a business partner, you do not just walk awhile in their shoes. Brand stewardship is no longer about look-and-feel compliance and style/design alignment, but about creating transformative shared values–which is why your clients came to you in the first place. You already know that campaigns that do not offer sustainability and follow-through are bound to fail, so lead your clients’ hands away from the false promise of one-off quick wins.
In the end, client success is shared business success. It entails great power and greater responsibility, but the best part is that you already won the first battle by earning your client’s time and trust. Wouldn’t you rather work towards sustaining the partnership than to return to trying to win their hearts and minds belatedly?