Archives for October 2015

A Foolproof Way to Get Testimonials Without Asking for Them

A Foolproof Way to Get Testimonials Without Asking for ThemPersonally, I’ve always found it difficult to ask for testimonials. It just doesn’t come naturally to me.

In fact, one of the reasons I like doing calls on Clarity is that the platform closes the loop with the client for me, asking for a star rating and optional comments; to me, that part alone is worth 15% of the revenue from those calls. It’s operationalized and I don’t have to think about it.

But that’s just for Clarity calls; outside of that system, I’m back to square one… asking for a testimonial.

And of course, my clients are pretty much in that same boat, too. Some people are better at it than others, but asking for a testimonial is not always the easiest thing to do. It’s especially difficult when you just do it in a haphazard way… which results in doing it even less often and then,… not at all.

That’s why you should operationalize the process. But I’ll be honest, even if you have a strong system in place, if there’s still a human involved – on either end – the process becomes a bit bumpy.

I suppose you could just wait and hope testimonials roll in organically, but that seems like a bad idea.

Luckily I’ve got a foolproof way of getting testimonials.

In fact, the other day I was talking to some folks at a well-known search optimization software vendor about Customer Success at a high level when this very tactical question came up; how to get testimonials.

We were talking about how Customer Success leads to increased customer advocacy – and we know social proof is extremely valuable (if you do it right) – but these high-level discussions get derailed when you’ve run into low-level tactical issues in the past.

Well, like I said I’ve got this great way to get testimonials, but I assumed what I knew about this was what everyone else knew… but I was wrong.

Once I told them how to get testimonials without asking for them, I could sense that perhaps I knew something they didn’t. Perhaps this technique I use all the time with super-awesome results wasn’t as widespread as I thought.

So I decided I would share it with you… but pay close attention; there’s no TL;DR version of this and all the details matter. RT;WT (Read The: Whole Thing).

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Success Milestones and the Path to Desired Outcome

success-milestonesI talk about Success Milestones all the time, not just in the context of Customer Success, but in the context of the overall success of my SaaS clients and the companies I work with.

The concept of Success Milestones is a relatively simple one to grasp, but the power and the value of this way of thinking are often overlooked or misunderstood. Let’s fix that.

Since I’ve never really defined Success Milestones, what better time to do that than right now.

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Customer Accountability: Pushing Back to Drive Them Forward

customer-accountabilityA little while ago I introduced the concept of the Success Gap and how customers can use your product to the fullest and still not achieve their Desired Outcome.

And as the vendor you can either ignore the phenomenon and let customers fend for themselves and maybe not achieve the desired outcome – at which point they’ll blame you – or you can take the initiative to try to help them with a bridge for that success gap.

You can do that by bringing in experts, providing content, giving discounts on third-party courses, or building those bridges into the product.

But at some point you also need to let the customers know that they are accountable for some portion of the results.

In fact, one of the things we have to do as part of an operationalized Customer Success initiative is to tell the customer what they need to hear – not what they want to hear – so they do the right thing.

Which means we have to be realistic with our customers about what is on their plate – and what is on our plate – and who’s ultimately responsible for the success of the customer.

This is called Customer Accountability and it’s the missing piece in your Customer Success strategy.

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This Customer Acquisition Mistake Can Kill your Growth

Brazil flagTambém disponível em Português por Mathias Luz

This Customer Acquisition Mistake Can Kill your GrowthCan the customers you’re actively going after actually achieve success with your product or through their interactions with your company as things are today? If not, that’s a problem.

The reasons they might not achieve success range from their readiness (they don’t have the necessary data or internal processes to support our tool internally), technology requirements (we’re built on top of Salesforce and they don’t use Salesforce), or it could be that your product simply doesn’t have everything the customer would need to be successful.

This came up recently when I was talking with the founder and CEO of a SaaS startup on Clarity about their customer acquisition strategy and he said “agencies are our Ideal Customer.”

Then he told me that they currently lack the ability for an agency to do roll-up reporting across all their customer accounts, which, as he put it, is “a critical piece of functionality for agencies.”

I almost passed out at this point… but I gained my composure – and some oxygen – and was able to help him. The following is based on that conversation and I know it will help you, too…

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