Remember how exciting buying your first car was? I do. It was shiny and new and had that fresh car smell. I had researched the one I wanted and day dreamed about all the freedom I’d have to go anywhere once I had the car.
Imagine then when that day finally came to get the keys, instead of handing them over to you the dealer instead sat you down to explain how every part of the car worked. Before you could drive the car away you’d have to read all the manuals and understand how an engine works. You’d really have to study and understand everything about the car before you could drive off. Finally you’d be required to understand the organizational structure of the car dealership and how they operate in order to be able to reach out to them when it was time to service your car or get help.
It certainly would not be a smooth or frictionless experience.
The whole process of learning everything about the car before you could take possession would be quite uninteresting (for most) and make the car feel very complicated and the whole experience less exciting. Would you remember exactly how the dealership was organized and run in order to service your car? Why should it be so complicated to get help if required?
Perhaps you would start wondering whether you bought the right car and whether a car is even worth it. Should you just fly to your destinations instead? Or take the train or bus?
A bit of an exaggerated illustration I know however it’s not far off from how software vendors normally operate.
When Customer Success organizations spend time trying to educate the customer on every part of the product, or have customers learn everything about their organization, their processes and who to reach out to when help is needed, they are inserting a lot of unnecessary friction into the adoption process and making the product more complicated than it needs to be.
Rather than placing the burden of learning everything about your product and organization upon the customer, Customer Success can use their understanding of the customer to seamlessly fit the product into the customer’s environment making the entire product adoption process as frictionless as possible.
How does Customer Success do this?
First, understand your customer. Know clearly what they want to achieve so you have the desired outcome or goal foremost in mind.
Then, together with your understanding of their organization, culture and your customer journey (ie. the path to successful product adoption), determine how best to fit the various steps of your product adoption methodology (i.e. your success plan) into their environment as seamlessly as possible.
Essentially fit, or translate, the activities of the customer journey into their cultural vernacular and organizational processes so they don’t have to learn everything about your organization and product in order to get started. Make the adoption process smoother by figuring out for them what elements of the product they need to know about in order to achieve their goals and how to do that in a way that they’re most familiar with.
In doing so Customer Success is using its understanding of the customer and its experience in successful customer deployments to offload the burden of additional learning from the customer to drive adoption more efficiently.
Do not place the burden of learning everything about your product and your company to drive product adoption on the customer. Make the process as seamless as possible by understanding the customer and determining how best to fit your product into their organization so they quickly learn and use it, and it feels easy to them while doing so.