Regular followers know that I am an ardent fan of a customer versus vendor centric approach when it comes to driving customer success.
It is by far the most effective and efficient way to expedite adoption, drive revenue and further solidify customer loyalty.
The servicing of customers in alignment to the natural path to successful adoption also improves the customer’s experience setting the foundation for long-term relationships.
How then does a company build a customer centric approach?
What is a customer centric, agile, business model?
A customer centric, agile business model in the context of Customer Success is specifically an operational model founded on repeatable customer success and that continually improves based on observable feedback as customers are adopting and using the software technology.
That is, it’s a business model that operates around the customer and their journey allowing for operations to be aligned in the most efficient manner possible to support customers as they experience and use your software.
The more a company understands its customer journey and the corresponding business model, and the better the business is set up to operate in a quick and well-coordinated manner to continuously improve customer adoption, the more efficient and successful Customer Success will be.
Why is this the case?
Customer success is by definition a huge mandate.
Making customer’s successful with software involves broad skillfulness (product education, project management, human psychology just to name a few) and can vary wildly from customer to customer.
Some customers have no problem adopting technology, they are ready to go and the process is quite seamless.
Others may not be as well versed and have different needs to adopt software and are slower in doing so.
A one-size-fits-all adoption approach is not possible, nor is it possible for Customer Success to personalize every customer deployment for an ever, increasing customer install base.
This mutual exclusion between standardization for scale and efficiency, and personalization for an improved customer experience and loyalty, poses a real challenge for Customer Success.
This is where an agile business model, built around the customer journey and observing what is working for the majority of customers, as well as the challenges faced by individual ones is so powerful.
It pulls information about what is and is not resonating with customers as a whole, allowing Customer Success to build out process and methodology that makes it seamless and easy for all customers to adopt software.
At the same time, Customer Success can determine where to focus and prioritize on an individual customer basis when required.
Where customers veer from the norm, progressing faster or slower than average, Customer Success can respond to those needs in a very tailored manner, producing better experiences for customers.
Customers that have a better experience move more efficiently through their journey, which allows Customer Success to operate more efficiently and be more proactive.
With the customer journey and agile operations in place, as well as a customer funnel observing how customers are progressing through their journey, Customer Success can fix bottlenecks that are impeding progress and manage customers as an aggregated whole in the most efficient manner.
Looking at customers in aggregate and creating a deployment framework that all customers can follow and tailor support only when needed, allows Customer Success to scale at large and solves the mutually exclusive challenge.
Customer centric, agile business operations allow Customer Success to be more aware of what’s working for customers.
It allows them to build a success journey for their customers that ensures adoption is happening in the most seamless and effective manner, and align operations accordingly to deliver that experience with agility.
The ability to observe and fix bottlenecks that block adoption success, and to improve operations in accordance with customers as they evolve and use your product, allows for tight alignment with the adoption journey.
Addressing scale through a standardized deployment approach and addressing personalization to meet individual customer needs, this makes for a very successful and efficient Customer Success organization!