Chapter 16 A Conversational Approach to Customer Success

In the previous chapter, we looked at having conversations with customers primarily as a reactive activity. We explored, from a customer support perspective, how teams can use conversations in order to listen to customer concerns (and feature requests) as soon as customers voice them. However, as many of you already know, those aren’t the only types of conversations you should be having with customers after the sale. Today, in addition to having a customer support team that reacts to customer issues as they arise, you should have a customer success team that proactively engages with customers and helps them become as successful with your product as possible. Not only will it result in a better customer experience, but it will help improve your business’s bottom line.

Depending on the industry you’re in (and the specific data you look at), the cost of acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than the cost of retaining an existing customer, according to Harvard Business Review contributing editor Amy Gallo. “It makes sense: you don’t have to spend time and resources going out and finding a new client—you just have to keep the one you have happy,” Gallo wrote in a 2014 article.

Meanwhile, the probability of upselling an existing customer (which we’ll learn more about later in this chapter) and getting that customer to buy from you again is around 60 to 70%, while the probability of getting ...

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