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The What, Why, and How of Customer Success



Customer success seems to be an ever-building topic. It can be just as complicated as your customer's needs. For this quick read, we broke customer success into three parts: the what, why, and how. 

What is Customer Success? 

Customer success is the business methodology of ensuring your customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your products or services.

I like to think of it as the process of ensuring that your customers feel that they are getting what they paid for, and with the help of customer success, they will become "experts" in the product, service, or platform. It is like starting a new job and having a trainer show you the ropes. There is a big difference between a trainer, and a customer success representative, a trainer at work will help for a couple of days or weeks, then it tapers off. The representatives will always be there when you have questions, comments, or concerns.

"Customer success refers to the way your business helps customers derive the most value possible from your products or services. It means prioritizing your customers’ satisfaction and ensuring they are always progressing toward their goals. Customer success centers around the idea that a win for a customer is a win for your enterprise, too." -Totango

Why is it important?

Customer success is tied to your bottom line as it helps prevent customer churn. It drives customer growth, adoption, loyalty, satisfaction, and customer advocacy. A good customer success process will enable you to develop better products and therefore boost revenue. 

The are many reasons for companies to adopt customer success. It will give you the ability to manage the end-to-end customer journey, and it is a proactive approach to developing, growing, and sustaining relationships with customers. The success of your business is inherently intertwined with the success of your customer.

How to design a customer success strategy

A customer success strategy is not easy. Worldwide, the number 1 challenge cited by Customer Success professionals is the lack of clarity from senior Management about the group's role. So, we wanted to make it easier for you. We broke down our typical approach into five parts:

  1. Desired Outcome
    When you are working with a new customer, you both must have a clear understanding of the desired outcome of using your product, service, or platform.

  2. The customer Segment
    To effectively master customer success, you first need to truly understand who your customer is. Every person, organization, and department is different. The way you deliver a customer success experience should reflect that same attitude. When you start working with a customer, you will need to define the right mix of human and technology. 

  3. Milestones 
    Next is to come up with success milestones for your customer. It could be as simple as being able to log in or using a feature. You will want to come up with these miles stones for your customer success representatives and your customers to see growth along their journey. 

  4. Success gaps
    When you are setting expectations with your customer, you will need to be clear about the success gaps to overcome together. Overcoming the gaps is essential for your customer to recognize what they will be getting from your sessions with them, what they will learn, and the capabilities they will have when they master your product or service.

    While you are setting up the expectations with your new client, it is crucial to talk about your product's present limitations. For example, maybe your platform does not have a specific design capability currently. You must make this limitation known AND ask for their feedback on what they would like to see when they add the feature.
  5. A time-data-event-based plan of action
    The last part you will need to create is a plan of time-data-event-based actions (what a mouthful) your customer success organization will take across all the stages of the customer lifecycle. Why do you need this? It's essential to your organization to have your customers progress to experts. 

    Think of it like college. A professor will have a curriculum that is time-based, data-based, and at the capability of their students for them to be successful. We do the same thing with our customer success.  

    "Customer Success doesn’t just happen; it needs to be part of a comprehensive strategy to successfully onboard your customers." - What the First 90 days of Customer Success Should Look Like

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Don't worry if you are feeling overwhelmed. Many of our customers felt the same way before partnering with us. It is normal when you are starting a new business unit. Trust us, it gets easier the more you do it and when you work with the experts. 

We have been doing sales and customer success for 30+ years. We work with clients in a broad spectrum of businesses. If you want to talk with us about our capabilities and if you would benefit from our teams - fill out the contact us form here: Contact Us

If you want to learn more about customer success, check out our ebook! 


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