We are halfway through 2021, and the economy is starting to shake off the pandemic-induced lull. But that doesn’t mean we are in the clear yet. A lot of businesses and consumers are still very cautious about money. This doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to buy. It just means they are being a little more careful about how they invest their dollars.
Recognizing that new B2B customers are a little slower to open their wallets, organizations ought to focus their attention on retaining and growing revenue from their existing customers.
But as any Customer Success team knows, this is easier said than done. Customer retention and expansion require proactive assistance that drives customer health and favorable outcomes. With Customer Success Managers (CSMs) routinely juggling as many as 50 or even 100 accounts each and more than 2 million in ARR, providing proactive assistance to every customer is simply impossible.
Even when CSMs prioritize proactive outreach, low customer engagement via email and phone calls is very common. This means that Customer Success Reps are spending a lot of time chasing customers and not a lot of time helping them. In fact, the average Customer Success Manager spends almost 40 hours a month sending emails to customers. This is very time-intensive when CSMs should be focusing on what they are really good at—establishing relationships and driving outcomes.
Clearly, businesses need innovative solutions to expand team capacity, boost engagement rates, and proactively drive customer health in hopes of ultimately retaining and growing revenue from the base. This is why a lot of organizations are exploring Conversational AI in customer relationship management to help them through the second half of this year.
What Conversational AI Does for Customer Success Teams
Conversational AI offers Customer Success teams several advantages. By autonomously delivering personalized messages to customers at scale, Conversational AI helps CSMs offload proactive outreach.
What’s even better is that AI Assistants are better at grabbing customer attention than your best Customer Success Rep. This is true for a few reasons. Namely, AI Assistants can deliver unique messages until determining customer intent without getting tired. Customer Success Reps usually give up after a few tries to focus on higher-level work. Not to mention that AI Assistants consistently deliver messages that follow best practices established by billions of interactions. That’s a level of experience that even seasoned CSMs don’t have.
Beyond efficiency and engagement rates, Conversational AI is wonderful at pushing contacts to take the next best action that helps businesses generate revenue. For instance, a lot of technology companies employ a subscription model. These tech companies want to retain their existing customers by getting them to renew their subscriptions—or better yet, to deepen their relationship by buying new services, expansions, or upgrades. Of course, this only happens if customers are happy with the offerings and service. By strategically targeting points in the customer lifecycle, Conversational AI can help address low-product usage to stymie potential churn or drive interest in upsell opportunities.
These AI-driven capabilities are perfect for organizations looking to keep and expand customer revenue during the second half of the year. Revenue is top of mind as the economy begins to recover. And Customer Success is well poised for ROI via keeping and growing existing customers over attracting new revenue streams via Marketing and Sales.
Of course, other businesses suffered heavy impacts from closures due to the pandemic. Sports, media, and entertainment companies are prime examples. These organizations relied on in-person experiences which were simply not prudent activities during the height of the pandemic. Now that things are reopening, these businesses are hyper-focused on attracting former customers and fans.
Scalability is key here; which is why media and entertainment companies often rely on email campaigns to reach large audiences. While this has its uses, these mass-blast email campaigns are impersonal and promotional. AI Assistants, on the other hand, engage fans in two-way conversations that feel real. They can answer questions, share important updates, and even schedule a call with a Customer Rep. This is welcome help for Customer Success teams hoping to renew season ticket holders and discover opportunities for expansion, like bulk ticket purchases.
H2 can be a stressful time as businesses look to end the year strong. And with the past year and a half, that stress has multiplied. Conversational AI for Customer Success can help businesses do what they need to do to be where they need to be.
Interested in reading more about Conversational Customer Success? Check out the 451 Research Report: Augmenting Customer Success with Intelligent Virtual Assistants.