You may not be openly disclosing to the customers how much of their subscription is to cover the expense of the Customer Success group, but they are certainly paying for it nevertheless. If challenged, could you make the value case for the fee?
Just as you can’t safely leave the burden of adoption of the product entirely on the customers’ shoulders, you also can’t just hope that they’ll continue to see the value they’re getting. Yes, it’s hard to reliably identify ROI for your product’s features and functionality. But it can’t be left as a one-time discussion during the sales process, for the sale is never final in the subscription economy.
See the Full Picture
Customers are only one half of the Customer Success profession. For the other, how does your company’s Senior Management really perceive your Customer Success group? As a strategic asset or as a grudged cost? There have been too many Customer Success groups that have been obliterated because the CEO or Senior Management didn’t see a sufficient bottom-line contribution to justify the expense. Relying on the assumption that they’ll continue your group’s funding is a serious risk.
Most Customer Success teams now have either a direct or shared connection to revenue. It’s therefore time to get over the reluctance to talk openly about financial value. IF “Customer Success is a scientifically designed and professionally directed long term business strategy to maximize customer and company proven sustainable value,” then we need to be prepared to do the proving of that sustainable value in *both* directions.
To be a part of the ongoing value conversation, please join us in The Customer Success Forum on LinkedIn, and at Customer SuccessCon Berkeley on 18 November.