As an early stage startup, you worked HARD to close your first customers. It was a magical moment, the stars are aligning, you saw light at the end of the tunnel, (insert additional startup cliches here). That revenue bar in your accounting software became visible for once, but how gut-wrenching would it be to have your customers try your product for a month, only to leave because your product wasn’t up to their standards.
Let’s face it, your product is likely not ready at this point (Reed Hoffman of LinkedIn said that your launch product should embarrass you, and I agree). You’re asking your customer use something that isn’t perfect, having them adopt it long-term and provide you with feedback is critical at this stage.
It’s likely that they’ll have a lot to say during your first review meeting with them. With existing priorities in your pipeline, their feedback might not even be implemented right away. On top of that, you also have internal customers (sales, engineers, etc) asking for features to be prioritized for the next batch of “potential customers”. Balancing critical feedback and keeping the customer engaged are the first things companies should focus on after closing a sale. There are tons of ways to do this, but below are some of the most critical and easiest to execute when your team is still relatively small:
1. Have a Customer Success/Post-Sales with you at your sales meetings:
If you think having someone internal there may jeopardize your deal, then you should really think about how you’re selling. By having a CS there to map out the customer’s journey sets a realistic expectation for everyone. It’s also good for the customer to hear another voice besides the sales team to give them that extra assurance.
2. Set a realistic expectation: maintenance, feedback sessions, check-ins:
You’re busy, they’re busy, everyone’s busy. Companies have priorities, and a new app that their boss told them to try out will not be on the top of their list. Don’t just tell your customers to contact you if they need anything, they won’t. During onboarding, ask for a point of contact, and set some meetings ahead for feedback.
3. When issues arise, get your sales team involved:
Just like in the sales process, it’s always good for customers to hear from different people in your company. When a problem arises, it’s a no-brainer that your CS team get on it right away, but hearing multiple departments would go a long way in easing their worries. It’s also good for the sales team to know about potential problems as they onboard new customers.
At GROM, we believe that our all-in-one workflow solution addresses a problem that has plagued the medical device industry for the past decennia; communication. In the bespoke medical device market, roughly 19% of orders are improperly made due to instructions being lost or unclear. We take our customers very seriously, because we are aware of how much blood, sweat and tears goes into every customer that adopted us. Having a clear post-sale plan to take care of your first customers, this is one of many reasons why our customer retention rate is consistently above 95%.