Five factors in delivering award-winning customer delight

Customer success and delight are critical success factors for all companies – large and small. So why do companies struggle to achieve these success factors?  Why do many companies struggle with customer satisfaction rates that hover around the 60% and 70% rates? The answer is complicated…and simple.

We take great pride in creating customer satisfaction at Riva. Our Customer Success Team continues to achieve a year-over-year customer satisfaction rate of +98% – based on customer surveys and phone interviews. We are excited to announce that Riva won a Stevie Award for customer service excellence. As a result of our customer success, we have also received first prize as the fastest growing company on the Alberta Venture Fast Growth 50 list. Here is how Riva has achieved industry-leading customer satisfaction levels.

There are five key elements to establishing a successful customer support and success program.  They are:

  1. Getting leadership and management buy-in from the start;
  2. Understanding the customer journey to prevent support from being required;
  3. Creating processes that address your company’s projected growth curve for the next 24 to 30 months;
  4. Establishing an in-house training program so each employee on the team is up-to-date, ready, and empowered to tackle anything, and
  5. Having a disaster recovery plan in place.

Each of these elements requires commitment from top management and buy-in from each team member.

Nothing in this list is news to people involved in providing customer success. So, what makes the difference?

Execution on each of the elements!

Executing on its customer success initiatives has allowed Riva to continue to successfully grow its leading market share over the past few years. Riva has increased revenue by 51% year-over-year for the past seven years. This, by itself, is an envious growth rate.  Here is how Riva executed on each of the above key elements:

  1. Getting leadership and management buy-in from the start: It all starts with securing leadership and management buy-in from the start. This requires a commitment to bringing on the right people to lead the initiative. Riva started by choosing the right person, a person who is well-grounded and ready to take on the challenge – Victoria George.  By bringing Victoria on-board, Riva was able to capture both the technical and human aspects of customer service in one person.  But it is Victoria’s savvy management prowess that has allowed Riva to bring on a variety of staff to complement her abilities.
  2. Understanding the customer journey to prevent support from being required: Riva’s customer success agents’ objective is to engage before a client needs support. By providing free configuration set-up and assistance and user training before and throughout the trial and purchase, Riva prevents “support” from being required to solve problems – before the problems can occur. The Success Team is dedicated to improving documentation, managing data quality, and constantly addressing quality assurance for Riva Cloud and Riva On-Premise customers to ensure the customer journey is as seamless and successful as possible.
  3. Creating processes that address your company’s projected growth curve for the next 24 to 30 months: Any company that plans on growing at 25% to 35% year-over-year must address customer service directly and constantly.  Riva’s impressive growth rate is largely dependent on the customer success team being able to handle a growing list of products, maturing customer needs, and increased expectations. Riva has brought on 20+ people over the last two years and successfully achieved an annualized “customer satisfaction rate” of 98%, with many months rising to a full 100% satisfaction rate. This level of success allows Riva to remain at the top of the CRM customers’ satisfaction expectations.
  4. Establishing an in-house training program so each employee on the team is up-to-date, ready, and empowered to tackle anything: Investing to provide initial and long-term training to improve customers’ success, including improving each team member’s technical and customer service skills, is the key to growing your company’s customer satisfaction rate. Customer success is not a cost line item, it is an investment in your company’s growth. It needs to be a top priority.  Providing cross training to team members allows Riva success agents to provide customer success in a growing number of products, in increasingly diverse customer environments, without fear of not being able to help a customer achieve quick success. Training and improving the customer success team allows the sales team to sell with confidence.
  5. Having a disaster recovery plan in place: Most companies have an infrastructure and operations disaster plan in place. But does that plan apply to the availability of their customer success people and to their customers’ CRM implementations? Few companies understand they need a plan in place to help their customers overcome perceived “disasters” and this plan involves people. Riva understands the importance of CRM platforms to our customers. We understand that a well-run CRM operation within a company is critical to the overall success of that company. Because of the depth of our understanding of CRM implementations and the importance of people in the process, the Customer Success Team has developed a succession plan that allows its designated employees to “take over” if required in an emergency and not have any client go without support.  This type of planning is based on trust, technical and management competence, and commitment by senior management to continue to invest in customer success improvements.

Customer success, in many companies, is “that team that gets us out of trouble”. At Riva, the Customer Success Team does not just deliver customer success, its objective is to deliver customer delight – with incremental improvements on a daily basis. Riva’s customer delight is what helps Riva’s customers be successful and is the major contributor to so many customers coming back and wanting more of our products and services. Customers know they will always have a customer success team at Riva who is focused on helping them succeed and grow.