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Customer Success – Not just for customers!

by | Jun 18, 2019

Customer Success is not just for customers, apply it internally too to ensure your own success. By effectively implementing Customer Success best practices within your own organization, you can help drive your company towards its business goals.

Let’s start with the basics…What exactly is Customer Success? It is the Jedi-like focus on ensuring that the Customer is successful. Sounds intuitive and obvious, doesn’t it? But what does it really mean? It means that you take the time to understand your Customer’s market demands, business goals, and product(s) strengths to build a strategy and service that addresses those needs and, more importantly, addresses those needs preemptively.

For Customer Success practitioners this is second nature to us. We do it subconsciously every day, every minute. We employ a methodical approach, identifying pain points, discovering solutions, and measuring outcomes. We put ourselves in the shoes of our customers and advocate for them within our own companies. Why don’t we also do that for ourselves within our own organizations? Customer Success isn’t just for customers it’s for you too.

One of the biggest challenges we face is elevating Customer Success internally. We all inherently know that Customer Success is important, certainly to the Customer, but also to your company’s growth. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it. Why? Customer Success provides value to a company through things like increased customer satisfaction, increased retention and increased sales at renewal. The trick is that the true value is realized in the long term. As an example, compare this to the Sales teams where there is a perception of almost an immediate benefit to the company. Companies tend to focus on short term gains rather than see the value of the long road.

Many Customer Success leaders struggle with this. Externally, we successfully and effectively build relationships and collaborate strategically with executives every day! Why can’t we do that internally? Do what you do best…learn your customer. In this case, it’s each leader in your company. Here are some examples:

  • Sales: Show that you can provide insights into the untapped needs of the customer to generate new sales
  • Marketing: Bring solid references and testimonials from your efforts in building those customer relationships
  • Product: Give valuable real-world feedback about what parts of your product/service work and what don’t
  • Finance: Quantify the importance of the customer’s lifetime value (LTV) and the avoidance of increased customer acquisition costs (CAC) in how it affects the top AND bottom lines
  • Executives: Establish that through all of the above, Customer Success is invaluable in maintaining and growing the business

We need to help ourselves be successful just as we help our customers be successful.

We already have the skills in our toolbox. Identify your company’s pain points, work with internal stakeholders to develop and implement strategic solutions, provide recommendations to help drive your company’s success, measure outcomes and, most importantly, report back the results. Do this and tie it back to financial results and you will have a seat at the executive table.

Customer Success is not just for customers, it’s a fundamental approach to business success!