I worked full time at the Apple Store while I was in graduate school, and it taught me a lot about delivering amazing customer experiences. But it also taught me how to identify those who work best in front of the client. There are a lot of blog posts about the Apple Steps of Service and it really is a great tool, so I highly recommend you research the methodology and consider replicating it with your team. I don’t want to make this another blog post about that, so I would like to talk more about what characteristics it takes to be successful in client success. If you are growing your client facing team, it’s important to identify these characteristics in your search.
Let’s face it, to be a client advocate, you have to understand why something is important to your client. Some teams refer to this as their client use case, but regardless of the name you use, it’s important to really understand your client’s workflow and how a particular issue could drastically affect their work. This becomes even more useful in being the advocate for the client. To help your case of why something needs to be fixed and how soon it needs attention on your roadmap, it definitely helps to truly understand the importance of what you are advocating.
Building a trusting relationship requires one obviously built on honesty, so if you say you are going to follow up with your client, make sure that you do. Laying out a complete plan for successful implementation all the way from onboarding to training to best practices is a good way to be able to meet your customer’s expectations and exceed them.
The only way to become a true client advocate is to believe in your product, company and customer. Clients can tell when you are faking it, so make sure that you are honest with them and they most likely will return the favor. I have been fortunate enough to work on amazing teams who truly believe in delivering the best experience for clients. When your team, all the way from the C-suite to your support personnel believe in your product and the customer experience, and are educated in your product and client, truly amazing things will happen!
Most importantly during my time at the Apple Store I realized that everyone I worked with shared my passion and were truly enthusiastic about customer experiences. The kool aid was served up by the team members themselves and we often drank freely from it. Everyone who worked there displayed empathy, thoroughness and sincerity as well.
If you build your team with people that embody these traits, your clients will not only love your product, but love their experience as your client.
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