Customer Management

What is Customer Success?

Customer success is a business strategy where customers achieve their goals and thus success while using your products and services. Customer success is characterized by a deep CRM and will further increase customer satisfaction.

Customer Success is important for every business

The success of your own business depends significantly on the success of your customers. If your customers are satisfied and can attribute their success to your products and services, they will continue to use them in the future and are likely to recommend them to others. That is what Customer Success is mostly about: ensuring your customers achieve their goals by using your products and services.

Advantages of Customer Success

1. Customer Retention

Renewal decisions are based on perceived value. By focusing on customer success you will help customers realize more value in your products and services which will lead to increased renewal rates and longer customer tenures, both of which increase a customer’s lifetime value and help you drive growth and profitability.

The number of available options out there combined with low switching costs have commoditized many markets. By adding value to customer relationship beyond product and service you can alleviate some of the pressure on product delivery and introduce a buffer for errors that will be acceptable to customers.

2. Expansion

Customer success provides better visibility into customer goals, making it easier for you to identify and convert valuable up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. And, by keeping you actively involved with your customers’ goal fulfillment, success creates an intrinsic association between your customers’ success and your product, which makes them more likely to extend and expand their relationship with your company.

3. Operational Improvement

Customer success increases customer predictability by giving you insight into developing issues. Without a customer success perspective, you are just looking at an outcome. With a customer success focus, you can uncover drivers of that outcome, which will help you with recurring revenue predictability and capacity planning.

4. Customer Acquisition

An effective customer success strategy gets customers to recommend your product, refer customers, and provide testimonials. This good will and third-party validation helps you accelerate acquisition velocity, grow market share, and sometimes helps you open the door for new market development.

How does customer success work?

There are three elements needed for Customer Success to be effective. These include a customer success solution (e.g. a tool or software), a team and manager of customer success employees, and a customer success strategy.

1. Customer Success solution

To proactively manage all interactions you have with customers, you'll want to implement a customer success solution on your team — meaning customer success software and tools. It helps you bring customer success to the forefront so you can ensure you have happy customers who want to remain customers, refer their friends, and tell their network about your business and offerings.

2. Hire and train a customer success team

You'll need a person (or, preferably, a team) of people working on customer success. The number of representatives and managers on your Customer Success team will depend on the size of your business and available resources.

3. Create a customer success strategy

Depending on the product you sell and what your customers need from you, your customer success strategy may vary a bit. However, here are some universal steps to creating a Customer Success strategy for your team:

  1. Establish a customer success team.
  2. Implement the appropriate customer success tools and software.
  3. Identify your customers' end goals (and why they need customer success).
  4. Create a roadmap for success to explain your business's expectations and goals for customer success in both the short and long term.
  5. Share and implement the strategy on your team, and ensure everyone knows what's expected of them individually and as a team.
  6. Analyze your results — Do your customers have the tools and support they need to succeed?
  7. Make modifications to your customer success strategy and the team as your business and customer base grow.