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Customer Success Q&A

Updated: Apr 15, 2019


Customer Success Operations

As an advisor to companies and professionals I am regularly asked an array of questions regarding the practice of Customer Success.


The topics vary across the board from wanting to understand more about the profession and how to sell executives on the concept, to building and measuring a Customer Success practice, to implementing world class best practices to scale and grow, to where is the profession heading to in the future.


I thought I would share a sample of some recent questions and my responses here below.


If there is anything on your mind that you would like to ask, discuss or comment on, please drop me a line at kia@thedesiredpath.com.  I would love to hear from you!


How do you convince others of the value of Customer Success?


The research consistently proves that companies that focus on customer experience outpace revenue growth faster than their competitors. Taking that as a given, I hope we are past convincing others of the value of having Customer Success and are now at a point where we can instead quantify the value it is delivering.


In that case, tying the results of Customer Success to revenue retention and growth, operational efficiency and scaling capability (which supports projected growth) is an effective way to quantitatively prove the value of Customer Success.


It is also important to qualitatively prove impact by sharing customer success stories internally to let the various roles and functions understand how they are making a direct impact on the customer and revenue.  Storytelling is effective in demonstrating how roles and cross-functional alignment directly contribute to customer success and, by extension, the company’s and its employee’s own success.


How can you measure customer satisfaction? 


There are a number of ways to measure customer satisfaction: Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer satisfaction surveys, anecdotal feedback, product usage statistics, customer engagement statistics and advocacy to name a few of the “usual suspects”.


A customer health score is typically a combination of a number of these elements such that when combined, can indicate proactively when a customer may be veering off course.


The key to creating an effective customer health score is to understand what constitutes a “healthy customer” for the specific application of the company’s product or service and using the relevant elements that will denote customer satisfaction.


In your opinion, what is the best way to work with a customer who has requested to cancel your product or service?


First off, ask the customer why they wish to cancel and ask them for the opportunity to make things right.


If they agree, propose a way to rectify the situation and ensure that you do exactly what you say you will to correct the situation.


If they do not agree and still insist on leaving, make it easy for them to do so and offer to help. Ask for permission to contact them again in six to twelve months to see how they are progressing with their business objectives, and then contact them within that timeframe.


If there is an opportunity to partner with them again great. If not, ask for ten minutes of their time to understand why the new service or product is better and what your company could do to improve for future customers.


Where do you see the future of Customer Success heading?


I see the future of Customer Success becoming ever increasingly predictive and delivering differentiated solutions that fundamentally changes how the world operates.


With the increased maturity of tools and data available to indicate how to deliver repeatable success and loyalty, Customer Success will be predictive in driving customer retention and expansion, where serving exceptional and seamless customer experience will be the “table stakes” norm.


Customer Success will then focus on finding solutions that fundamentally drive customer businesses forward.  They will work with customers as strategic business partners to create differentiated solutions that innovate the customer experience for their customer’s customers and industries.

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