Business Basics
Make your customer the hero: 4 tips for an impactful customer success team

Make your customer the hero: 4 tips for an impactful customer success team

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Which company do you want to work with: one that takes your business for granted, or one that consistently works to make sure you’re getting the most out of their product?

Jason Hainsworth, BILL’s VP of Customer Success & Account Management, spoke with us about how the BILL customer success team serves as a proactive partner in our customers’ success, and how that contributes to long-term customer loyalty.

But this approach doesn’t just work for BILL—you can apply these principles to your own organization to create a team that will keep your customers happy, loyal, and successful.

What does a customer success team do?

“Our mission is to become the benchmark in customer experience for the ever-changing needs of SMBs,” Hainsworth explains. A customer success team is focused on maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty for the long haul. “If you’re winning, we’re winning,” summarizes Hainsworth, “and we’re going to do it in a way that develops you as a lifelong customer—and oftentimes as a friend.”

Customer success is largely about helping customers get more out of the product they’ve already purchased. As Hainsworth explains, “The biggest challenge that we face is ensuring that our customers are gaining full value from the products that they have, and even suggesting new tools to help with new problems. This is valuable whether they are early on in the process, or they’ve been with us for years.”

4 tips for effective customer success

What makes a customer stick with a new product? At BILL, we’ve discovered a few key tips that make a big difference.

1. Invest in customer success

It’s hard to run any team on a skeleton crew—especially one as vital as customer success. That’s why BILL is doubling down on this department. Over the course of four years, we’ve increased from a team of 11 to a team of 86. That’s 86 consultants focused on helping our customers reach their goals.

2. Make your customer the hero

Every individual customer has their own job to do, and they want to do it well. That’s an opportunity for a smart customer success team to find new solutions. “We ask, what are your goals and objectives for the fiscal year? And we work on ways to help them meet those goals,” Hainsworth explains. “The people that we’re often interacting with are controllers or VPs of finance or even CFOs—and our goal is to make them the hero,” he says.

They talk to the customer point person to learn about their business goals and objectives, then outline a plan that becomes the joint outcome plan, and work towards accomplishing it together.“ At the end of the day, if we’re helping our customers meet and exceed their financial goals, they’re going to be sticky on our products, and they’re going to be advocates for life,” Hainsworth explains. “If a controller can go up to the CFO and say they saved the company money, that’s a victory for them, and we helped them get there.”

3. Show customers the full value of the product

A customer might be interested in a single feature of a new software and not realize the whole potential—a customer success team member can help open their eyes. One way to do this is by having a conversation with the customer, but another method is to monitor their use of the product to see what features they are underutilizing.

Hainsworth explains, “One big thing is making sure that our customers have fully integrated BILL into their accounting software, because that can make a big difference in their success.” Not every customer completes this integration on their own, so the team follows up to make sure it’s in progress.

4. Anticipate customer needs

“We have a proactive approach to customer success,” Hainsworth says. “Our customer support team has to be more reactive, and we sometimes send people their way for quick adjustments and break fixes,” but ultimately the customer success team needs to be several steps ahead. This means following up frequently, asking questions, and learning what each individual customer needs.

The team also keeps up with larger trends. According to Hainsworth, “We ask our team members to stay up to date on industry trends, needs of financial professionals, and keep up with the latest ideas that could be helpful to customers.”

The goal is long-term success

“At the end of the day, we’re helping our customers be successful and solve their business challenges,” Hainsworth says. “That’s how we know we’re doing our job.”The impact can be significant. “Automation through BILL can sometimes save a company the work of two or three employees,” Hainsworth explains.

This in turn could save small and midsize businesses extraordinary amounts of time and money—and make them want to keep using BILL. By putting customers first and using an outcomes-based approach to customer success, BILL shows customers that they matter, and that we’re invested in their success.

Written with assistance from Jason Hainsworth, BILL’s VP of Customer Success & Account Management.

The information provided on this page does not, and is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice and is for general informational purposes only. The content is provided "as-is"; no representations are made that the content is error free.