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The Four Pillars of Customer Success

While we don’t want to show all our cards right now… it’s not a big secret that Imarc is going through a rebrand. At the center of that rebrand is our passion for earning client results. That passion has always been there, but after 27 years it was important to us to re-evaluate and ensure that it was coming through fully (stay tuned… more will be revealed in the coming months).

Due to our steadfast dedication to customer success, we’re excited to share how it has helped drive us and propel our agency forward. Here are the four pillars we live by that can help you with your business growth.

1. Being good partners

When a company is formed, lots of strategic thinking is employed. Leaders think about their break-even costs, their ideal return on investment (ROI), how they want to be seen by others, and what they want to achieve in the first five years.
Unfortunately, in business, the customer is rarely considered beyond the persona level. However, choosing customers you have chemistry with is vital as well. Making the right partnerships means you’ll care about their future as much as they do!
We believe that we have an ethical responsibility to be good partners to our clients. Further, we know that will result in success for both of us. We recommend you do the same.

2. Investing in results

We regularly say, “Your success is our success” and we mean it. When one of our client campaigns succeeds, we shout it from the rooftops. Why? Because we adopt client problems as our own and treat them as such.
Here are ways you can get invested in your customer results from the beginning:
Define what success looks like – Success looks different to everyone. Maybe it’s a certain amount of leads or website traffic. Perhaps it’s a certain mix of lead types like C-levels and mid-levels in varied verticals. It could be a shortened sales cycle. Open the conversation early on so there is alignment on the goals and let it dictate how you’ll get there.
Decide on key performance indicators (KPIs) to track – You can’t get anywhere without metrics to prove efficacy. Building on your client’s idea of business success, do a KPI exercise and be sure they are matched with measurable goals. You can establish initial goals based on industry benchmarks or past engagements and adjust them as your wins increase.
Build tools for tracking – One word – dashboards. Build them. They’ll make it so that you can regularly check in on the progress of your work and adjust if you hit obstacles.
Report regularly – We recommend that you meet with your customer every month to discuss changes in metrics. If they aren’t improving, it’s time to regroup and change tactics. After all, even campaigns that have performed well historically need to be refreshed so that they can overcome the fatigue factor.
Pivot based on results – As noted above, obstacles happen. When an unforeseen one comes across your path, it’s time to make educated changes and you can only do this for clients if you have a way to track changes in performance.
Celebrate and build on your wins – It may be tempting to jump into a new campaign immediately after a successful project, but do yourself a favor and take time to recognize the work your combined team put in. You deserve it!

3. Collaborating

We are well aware that we can’t be as successful working in a vacuum as we could be working in tandem with our clients. Imarc Partner and Chief Revenue Officer, Katie Desmond is famous for saying, “Our most successful projects are born when we, the experts in our business work with you, the experts in yours to craft the right solution.”
It’s important to remember that you are not the expert in their business, but you can help them improve using best practices honed from years of experience in yours. That is how you can move forward together.

4. Thinking holistically

There are too many companies out there focused on “right now” sales that won’t help advance client relationships. Determining the right solutions, even if that means not selling is important. At Imarc, we take a consultative approach to understanding customer needs and provide solutions that will help them achieve their goals. Here are some ways to think customer-first.
Understand their business – Whenever you get the chance, learn. Ask questions. Your complete understanding of how your client’s business works will lead you to discover areas you can optimize. We find that the more information we have the better we can support them.
Educate yourself on their tech stack – A more specific tech-forward area to review is your customer’s tech stack. If they’re atypical, they have solutions that aren’t solving their problems and holes you can mitigate with new ones!
While auditing a tech stack is typically an agency activity, there are relevant tools for all contributors who work with a customer.
Think about the long-term – Again, don’t just sell to sell. You want to find the right solution for their specific issue. This will endear them to you and will make you both feel great. Don’t settle for one inning when you can have the whole season.
Consider when to automate or personalize – With the level of industry coverage, it can be easy to fall for the shine of artificial intelligence (AI), but you need to be a customer advocate. Consider when AI can best suit your client’s needs and when something different like a human approach may be a better choice. Both can be employed, but neither should be suggested without deep research.
Review the full journey – No matter how perfect a process seems, there are always areas that can be made better. Make it your business to find those spots and find tailored options.
Keep goals in mind – Every solution you pitch needs to tie back to a business goal. Otherwise, don’t bring it to your client.

Imarc is sponsoring the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MTLC) event, The Data-Driven Approach to Customer Outcomes. If you’d like to talk more about customer success, we invite you to grab a ticket and say hello on May 30, 2024.

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