How have webinars helped to build the Customer Success community for Strikedeck?

customer success

Table of Contents

Introduction

 

Cliché but true: Customer success is vital for the success of any business.

You can have the best team and the most brilliant product, but if you don’t know how to get buyers, then you really don’t have anything worthwhile.

If customers don’t gain impactful, meaningful, measurable results from a company, they would simply decide to try someone else.

 

This is a given: The only way to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace is by building a relevant customer partnership. You simply cannot afford to get your customer success strategy wrong. 

 

Business leaders get it!

They understand that they need to evolve from brand ambassadors, lead generators to become architects of customer success across the entire customer lifecycle.

 

But in reality, they falter.

Only a scanty number of B2B marketers (just 23%) admit that their marketing activities meet customer-first needs. Others largely stumble to deliver on their promise.

 

Here’s another thing

Contemporary buyer’s journey is becoming more intricate with a swift increase in touchpoints and stakeholders.

 

Gone are the days of tolerant obliging buyers. Buyers that were happy to let businesses decide the what, when, and where of products are a thing of the past. Customers who didn’t mind doing the leg work for obtaining precise information for making complex and multifaceted purchasing decisions no longer exist.

Now buyers are calling the shots. Customer expectations are no longer easy, simple, or effortlessly manageable. Customers seek transparency and expect buying experiences to be open, personalized, and instant. They demand to be treated as partners and not targets. Modern-day customers are firmly parked in the driving seats and leading the trends. They know exactly what they want. Thanks to technology they have better access to varied resources. They don’t wait for companies to contact them anymore. They are quick to compare and evaluate the different competitor’s products thoroughly before making the informed decision of buying. And what’s more. They don’t shy away from leaving reviews.

To top it up, they expect similar self-directed seamless experiences that they get to enjoy as consumers on platforms like Spotify, Netflix. 

 

So, the picture emerges as:

 

The Challenge: Marketing leaders are still staggering to operationalize customer needs in their marketing organizations. The need of the hour is to actively design and undertake cohesive cross-channel customer engagement strategies to drive buyers to achieve set business targets.

 

The Objective: Businesses need to engineer customer-centric engagement strategies for traction and scaling, taking into consideration the unique and individual buying journeys of customers. At the same time, leverage technologies to provide on-demand dynamic contextual experiences across multiple digital touchpoints. In simple terms, to deliver personalized engagement to customers for a great experience to earn brand loyalty.

 

The Truth: The onus for customer engagement is definitely transferring from sellers to marketers and there is no easy or one right way to realize this. Studying and mapping buyers’ journeys can certainly offer some beneficial insights. But marketers usually struggle as the transition from product-oriented campaigns to customer-centric engagement poses scale problems.

 

So, what needs to be done?

 

Businesses need to come to terms with the new buyers and step up their game and reinvent themselves. They ought to unlearn their old ways and adopt marketing strategies that are not just relevant but immediately accessible to individual buyers. They need to build a customer success community, driven by the needs and behavior of buyers rather than what a company thinks a customer wants. They need to adopt customer-centric strategies that are consistent across all their marketing platforms and channels, website, and delivered outcomes.

 

What does it take to get buyers? 

 

Webinars are an excellent way to get it.

 

Meeting the expectations of new-consumer-style requires streamlined webinars that completely align with the needs and expectations of the customers.

 

And this is where my stint with Strikedeck as Marketing Director came in handy.

 

Working with serial successful entrepreneurs who have built some amazing products with global traction and successful acquisition is always a dream come true. It’s a great learning experience to work with such founders and companies. 

 

As Marketing Director of Strikedeck, I got the opportunity to manage the global marketing operations with an elevated profile of looking after business development for APAC and Europe. I joined Strikedeck at a point when it was close to two years in its operations. It had already developed traction, gained momentum with customers, and proven itself with significant ‘revenue’ milestones.

 

It was time to scale up!

 

Thanks to my deep and varied expertise in the field, having started my own startup and successfully conducted consulting gigs for B2B, SaaS startups, I was prepared with actionable insights to take up the challenges at Strikedeck head-on.

 

Surprisingly, the story that unfolded wasn’t what I had expected. Here’s what I discovered:

 

  • The marketing base was already established. 
  • Most of the marketing materials were readily available.
  • Blogs, Infographics, Podcasts, eBooks were in the process of materializing. 
  • Industry-standard templates were being developed to help build the customer success industry.
  • Webinars were being executed while several more were in pipeline. 
  • Sales materials were developed, providing support to the sales team on daily basis as per the requirements.

 

This was simply incredible!

 

The enterprise standards established within the early years of operations were strikingly impressive. It is not easy to achieve such levels in the initial stages. Businesses struggle for years, sometimes for 7-8 years, to set up such a remarkable marketing base.

 

What particularly struck me was how Strikedeck had diligently built customer success communities through customersuccessnetwork.com. When you focus on building customer engagement it becomes easier to give back to the customers and take it forward. 

 

I realized building a customer success community is more about giving back to the community without expectations. Having said that, it is also about striking the right balance between building the customer success community and building the brand simultaneously. Needless to say, it is a challenging task.

 

Here’s how you can aspire to build the community:


  • Develop Brand and Community Separately

 

Though both the things are interlinked. One’s success contributes to the others. Building a community will inevitably grow your brand and business. But it is vital to focus on it individualistically. While we were building Strikedeck, we worked to build its customer success network independently.


  • Build Substantial Resources for the Community

 

One of the important ways to promote the community is to build useful, helpful, and relevant resources for their consumption. Be well-versed to have a detailed understanding of their pain points, topics of interest, key needs, and evolving informational queries across their buying journey. This can be done by exploring multiple media channels and platforms like podcasts, blogs on customer success, eBooks on customer success folks, interviewing customer success leaders, and so on. The idea is to develop the network software as per the requirements of the community.


  • Provide Valuable Help and Support ‘as and when’ Needed

 

Track and analyze buyer’s queries and needs and be prepared to address them sufficiently. For example, Customer success folks wanted to know the standard presentation template they could use across different levels – from individual team members to managers to leaders. Or if the relevant customer success templates can be used for reviews. Focus on the buyer’s changing needs, priorities, environments and be informed to handle them.


  • Build Networking

 

One of my favorites and an absolute necessity for building a strong customer success community. Networking and collaborating which entails peer-to-peer learning, learning from experts and experienced leaders can really work wonders.

 

Again, I would like to give the example of Strikedeck. It had a great network of customer success leaders and we took the route of webinars and meetups to further build it up. We conducted one-on-one interviews, panel discussions, expert talks pivoting around the needs of the community. This promoted a seamless and constant flow of information across the workforce.


  • Offer Relevant Guidance

 

Unlock relevant and sufficient guidance for people who are interested in building their careers in customer success. Lead your rich resources and content towards providing value to the community which will ultimately drive more engagement. At Strikedeck, we conducted regular webinar series for the same.


  • Extend Offline Support

 

To get the ball rolling, it is important to give back to the community in all ways possible. A good way can be to offer offline support to people to help build and advance their careers and job prospects by providing relevant references.


  • Streamline and Curate your Webinar Calendar in Advance

 

Building the webinars/events in advance will not only make you better organized but can also be an excellent way to keep the interest of the customer community alive. You can have them excited about what’s in store for them. Do take care to keep the community learnings at the forefront of your plans. Planning ahead can also help you take the course of corrective actions if the need arises.

 

Mind you, it’s all evolution and not revolution till you reach solid solutions!

 

But the story doesn’t end here. There’s more…



Strikedeck founders being customer success leaders themselves onboarded the governing council to kick off more aggressively. I was fortunate to get the opportunity to build the website right from coding to designing. And it was particularly satisfying to see some of my efforts fueling the community in a big way.

 

Our Achievements: 

 

  • We successfully executed over 20 webinars and 10 meetups across different parts of the world.
  • While there was a team front coordinating the activities from the US, I got the chance to spearhead all the community-driven activities for India with favorable results. 
  • I executed the first-ever meetup for Customer Success in India that was hosted in Bangalore. The event garnered great interest and support from customer success folks that people even traveled from across the country to attend it.
  • The overwhelming response encouraged us to extend it to Pune which was also a great success.
  • The success and achievements of both events created the launchpad for the customer success community to take off extensively, so much so that Customer Success Network today has around 10,000 active customer success enthusiasts.

 

This is certainly not the end of the story. I simply wanted to highlight some of the key learnings I gained from building the customer success community for Strikedeck to help you understand the roadmap – from making a fresh beginning to reaching the notable level of over 10,000 folks. I haven’t gone into the granular details of what it takes to build a successful community through webinars, online meetups and virtual events. I hope my understanding will make you think of webinars/virtual events as an effective channel to build a successful community network. I will drill down deeper on the point-to-point execution of my webinar strategy in my next set of blogs.

 

Stay tuned!

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