You’ll be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t talk about the importance of good customer relationships. But talking is one thing; delivering is another.
Businesses have more options than ever when it comes to choosing a service provider – and more tools at their disposal to help them compare options.
In 2021, the key to success is no longer great marketing campaigns or smooth sales tactics. It’s being able to show customers that you not only understand their needs and objectives but can anticipate them to pave the way for their continued growth and satisfaction.
That’s why Whiplash has decided to hire its first-ever VP of Customer Success. It’s an exciting new phase of our ongoing mission to provide best-in-class fulfillment to our customers.
To celebrate the occasion, we’re going to dive into the role of customer success in modern fulfillment and logistics – and why it’s so important as retailers turn toward omnichannel and direct-to-consumer distribution models.
It seems common sense that service providers want their customers to be successful. So, what does customer success mean in practice?
“Put simply, Customer Success is about ensuring customers get the most value out of their business relationship with a partner,” says Leslie Karr, VP of Customer Success at Whiplash. “It’s about discovering a customer’s specific needs, developing goal plans, and executing them using a combination of valuable insights and hands-on expertise.”
It’s the proactive nature of customer success that separates it from customer support; rather than waiting for a particular issue to arise, customer success is a wraparound strategy that mobilizes the appropriate resources over the long term to help a customer meet their strategic and business goals.
In essence, customer success recognizes that there’s no such thing as a one size fits all approach to fulfilling a customer’s needs; by working in a collaborative partnership to identify and capitalize on key growth opportunities and marketplace shifts, service providers can ensure a mutually beneficial approach to doing business.
Whiplash is thrilled to introduce Leslie Karr, who’s joining us after a career in the SaaS space that saw her manage both onboarding and success strategies for enterprise technology platforms. Leslie brings with her extensive experience in managing clients within fast-paced, high-tech environments, which made logistics a natural next step:
“I’m excited to work with Whiplash in elevating the role of customer success, and meeting our customer’s needs head-on during such a significant time for the retail sector,” says Karr. “For all the challenges that the pandemic has presented, it’s also created some massive opportunities too. We’re here to assist brands in making strategic decisions that will put them in a favorable position as we recover.”
So, why has Whiplash made the move to adopt a bigger customer success directive?
“The value proposition of Whiplash has shifted because the demand for our services has shifted,” says Karr. “In the past year especially, we’ve evolved from being a retail/wholesale fulfillment provider to catering to the much greater need for direct-to-consumer solutions.”
It’s no secret that the D2C model has seen an immense jump in popularity as retailers grapple with the effects of the pandemic. Consumers have been turning to ecommerce in unprecedented numbers, with 55% saying that they prefer shopping with brands directly. This preference is set to drive D2C sales to an estimated $21 billion in 2021.
With supply chains and distribution networks disrupted, traditional retailers certainly don’t want to miss out on this lucrative market. Many have jumped into the deep end of selling directly to their customers for the first time – but not every transition has been a smooth one.
“D2Cs – whether they’re digitally native or traditionally offline retailers – have to shoulder an immense amount of responsibility,” says Karr. “When there are no middlemen, this helps brands to cultivate a closer relationship with their customers. But at the same time, everything becomes the retailer’s responsibility; fulfillment, returns management, customer care. This can be pretty daunting, especially when there isn’t much in-house experience in managing these areas.”
By investing further in our customer success division, Whiplash will be better-equipped than ever to handle the unique demands of every retailer – no matter whether they’re a low-volume online merchant or a major retailer requiring advanced omnichannel integration.
Our customer success team ensures that a brand’s business needs are met from the moment of onboarding, building a custom playbook for your business that maps out key pathways for growth and innovation.
“Bringing Leslie on board is yet another step in Whiplash’s evolution to ensure that we stay proactive and engaged with what our customers need,” says Greg Morello, President of Whiplash. “As the retail landscape rapidly evolves toward stronger omnichannel activity, Leslie will lead our customer success team to strategize with customers on what this means for them and how they can keep delivering the very best customer experience.”