What is your Customer Success starting point?
Every Customer Success group has a point of beginning, when the company makes the decision to create a team and a program and takes the first steps towards the goal. For some, the first task is to hire an executive leader and to turn the design initiative over to that individual. For others, the beginning phase is about the work of the Senior Management team in identifying where and how the new group will fit into the overall corporate structure in terms of its strategy, process, people and technology.
The drawback with the “hire somebody and let them do it” approach is that it can lead to miss-steps. What often happens in that scenario is that the Sr. Management team comes to the realization that the scope of their customer success initiative needs to be broader in order to obtain the maximum effect. With that wider view, they may also find that the person they first hired is not the right fit for the updated role.
For example it’s not uncommon for the initial perception of the customer success role to be limited to just reactive churn-fighting, or to only be about increasing engagement and/or adoption of the product’s feature set. While these activities are a part of the work of every CS team, the true mission of Customer Success is to build more proven value for the customers and the company alike. In order to accomplish that purpose, the CS team must be involved in much more than just repetitive churn-fighting and increasing user adoption.
To assist companies and Senior Management teams in the design and construction of fully effective Customer Success groups, the Customer Success Association has created a Customer Success Library resource — a bank of questions that should be carefully considered by all companies in the process of creating a CS group. The Questions of Customer Success are divided into four categories: Strategy, Process, People, and Technology, and are accessible by Executive Members of the Customer Success Association.
For an example of what The Questions of Customer Success resource can offer, see The Customer Success Technologies page. Currently accessible by all logged-in Basic/Free members of the Customer Success Association, the page was developed through use of the Technology category of the question bank. It shows the various functional areas of a recommended Customer Success Technology Suite together with the vendors that offer products to automate each function. If you are logged in with your Basic or Executive level membership credentials, click here to see the CS Technologies page.