Here at Bazaarvoice, I’m proud to say we were one of the first to create and lead a best practice now prevalent throughout the digital marketing, eCommerce and SaaS industries, known as “client success.”

What exactly is “client success”? How do Bazaarvoice Client Success Directors work and why do they matter? Here are three examples of how we are leading the way in utilizing this best practice.

First, our Client Success Directors (CSDs) act as both principal liaisons and marketing consultants to the individual clients with whom they partner. They learn our clients’ day-to-day business inside-and-out, then create consumer-generated content (CGC) plans which deliver value, based on both our 11 years of expertise and the critical data we gather daily to help our clients meet both immediate and long-term goals.

The solutions we provide must become an integral part of an active consumer connection, which is best managed as an actual living, breathing, consumer-generated content (CGC) program. To achieve maximum returns, there must be continued focus, care, attention and feeding of the program.

One way our CSDs best interact with our clients is by coaching them on relevant best practices and showing them how to optimize CGC, as well as showing them how to drive interaction with consumers, create response plans, derive further insights and ultimately, increase conversion rates.

A concrete example of how this can be done effectively occurred with one of our biggest clients, a major credit card company, which was facing issues and complaints around how consumers viewed pending transactions. Cardholders were submitting a number of negative reviews, complaining they couldn’t actually see pending transactions, which made it very difficult for cardholders to manage their balances.

Once a decent number of these negative reviews came in, the CSD and the client worked together on a response plan. They chose to spotlight a number of the complaining or negative reviews, and posted responses directly from the credit card team. The responses were written in an authentic and empathetic tone, letting cardholders know that the credit card team had heard their pain, and was actively working on a solution.

Then, our CSD pushed the client to take the plan one step further, by highlighting one of those negative reviews with a response, which would then be displayed at the top of all listed reviews. Initially, this felt counterintuitive to the client. Why would they want a negative review to be featured first?

However, by trusting their CSD, the client soon saw that the featured review began to get many helpfulness votes. New visitors to the site were able to see that the credit card company was actually listening to its consumers, and was actively working to solve the issue. This not only raised overall brand equity for the credit card, but it likely helped curb more negative reviews and submissions on the same issue. Why pile on if you see the company is already working on fixing the problem?

Bazaarvoice recently did a study where we found that when a company responds to a negative review they can see a 157% lift in overall sentiment. Leveraging the partnership and guidance of a CSD allows our clients to reach that level of successful outcome in response to a difficult problem, in addition to many more advantages in improved brand identity, reputation and overall good PR and customer service for the company.

Another way we are leading the charge on client success is by developing a formal framework to achieve annual goals and objectives for both our established and new clients.  About six months ago, we rolled-out a formal framework for client success based on our 10+ years of relationships and experience. It outlines a structure that starts with an initial discovery process. This discovery process yields a set of recommendations that we then review with the client to establish a commitment for working together to achieve and deliver on the client’s objectives. We do this on an annual basis for each and every client. We then plan ahead with the client for the calendar year to devise strategies and tactics that support detailed goals and objectives – whether for sales, conversion or perhaps more visits to their website.

Our more holistic approach involves not only consumer feedback for products, brands and retailers, but also social media, advertising, data-gathering, analysis and much longer-term collaboration and partnership opportunities. Each and every day, our clients face the challenge of identifying best strategies throughout an increasingly-crowded field of potential avenues on how best to connect with consumers. Our partnership with them as Client Success Directors has become integral in helping them navigate those challenges.

Finally, our clients develop much more exciting, active and positive relationships with consumers by showing shoppers that their opinions really do matter – not only via reviews and email feedback – but also by simply asking the right follow-up questions. The way you ask for a review can change or improve a product or line, develop new iterations and even eradicate issues and problems with products our clients may normally not even know about. The content consumers share is truly an asset, and can even be leveraged for marketing creative, so companies can highlight the voice of their consumer to authentically support a message or theme. I often say, “Think of CGC and a reviewer as simply another copywriter on your staff.”

Our mission is to be the catalyst for long-term success for our clients and become an invaluable strategic planner who works intensely alongside our clients every step of the way. In a future blog, we’ll highlight more client success stories to show how these ongoing relationships are currently working and producing long-term results. To learn more, go to http://www.bazaarvoice.com/case-studies/