The At-Risk Customer Success Group – Part 01

All of us have seen surprising posts on social media from respected Customer Success leaders about their search for a new job.  Not only are they suddenly looking for a new home, so are their teammates.  The CEO of a prominent corporation openly stated that he didn’t believe that companies should have separate Customer Success groups at all, that CS was everyone’s job, and therefore he “blew up” his company’s team.  What happened?  Why would a company obliterate its Customer Success group?  Economic pressure is the most commonly quoted driver, but I think we need to look deeper to find what’s really going on in our profession.  When the bulk of the income and profitability for the company is coming over time from long-term income streams, there should be no question about the need for a dedicated and accountable customer retention group.  What, then, is the inherent message in the group layoffs?  Could you and your team be an At-Risk Customer Success Group?  Unfortunately, yes.  What can you do about it?

Facing facts

When you analyze the reasons given by companies who have removed their customer success teams, three factors stand out:

Dollar sign in center of eyeThe failure of Customer Success to directly and necessarily be connected with strategically significant sustainable profitability streams

The failure to manage perceptions about the Customer Success group within the Company

The failure of the CS group to leverage their data

On the following pages, we’ll discuss these three factors as well as the warning signs that a Customer Success group could be at-risk — and what you can and should do about it.

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