Achieving Customer Success | Part One


Customer Success in recent years has gone from a buzzword to a movement. Exceptional customer service has always been a priority but now, with the new era of digital enablement, customers are demanding more than ever. Customers expect to interact when, where and how they want to through a more individually personalised experience.

These customers are also seeking companies who can understand their internal drivers and help them achieve their goals and expectations. Companies need to adapt and tailor interactions, products and services to align closely to the individual needs of their customer.

The rewards for a company that can provide this include:

  • Increased Customer RetentionQuality customer interaction builds engagement and long term relationships. Satisfied customers do not tend to move to a competitor unless a compelling value proposition can be made.
  • Increased Customer Acquisition – Successful customers will advocate your business. Word of mouth is the most effective way in acquiring new customers and is even more important if there is little or no product or service differentiator to your competitors.
  • Increased On Sell – Understanding your customers’ drivers and objectives will uncover valuable up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
  • Operational Improvement – The more you understand about your customer, the more you can proactively engage rather than just react to outcomes. Planned engagement is considerably more efficient and opens up the potential to utilise automation tools to drive marketing, sales or service interactions in a personalised way.
  • Shared Success – Through a Customer Success program, shared success goals between your company and your end customer can often be identified. Joint success will lead to a high degree of customer investment and loyalty.

Leading SaaS providers such as Salesforce market the concept well, their interest is to sell an enabling technology platform through a subscription based business model issuing licenses per user/month. Their logic is to drive user adoption through a platform that can enable and as the platform expands so does an increase in subscription licenses. A key advantage to this model is only minimal investment is required before value in proven. This is a key win message that resonates with many companies that have had poor experience with traditional CRM, where up front costs are weighted heavily on initial implementation and user adoption has been low due to functionality not living up to expectations.

Even though a technology platform is a core component to enablement, Customer Success is much more than just technology procurement. The analogy of one size fitting all couldn't be further from the truth and every organisation will have unique objectives and challenges. The strategy and implementation needs to be tailored to the circumstances and aspirations of the company accordingly and external know-how is often required to support throughout the process to achieve optimum outcome.

Why not check out Part 2 of my blog that outlines a list of considerations for achieving Customer Success, and how the right supporting services provided in an integrated manner can add value to a cohesive and quality outcome...

Chris Whitbread
About: Chris Whitbread

Chris is a Principal Consultant in the Salesforce space for SMS. He is passionate about customer experience, digital transformation and outcome of enablement.