When customers are confused about how to get the information required to successfully adopt and use products or services, or who to reach out to for help when needed, it is pretty likely that so too are the vendors own employees.
When customers do not know how to get help, it is not because they have not figured it out, it is because the vendor hasn’t.
Role clarity is often the biggest impediment to customers achieving success and something vendors struggle the most with.
In an attempt to address that, companies diligently plan out their organizational structures, create job descriptions and build out enablement plans to get employees the requisite training they require to service customers.
But often companies are left scratching their head wondering why this is still not enough,
why hasn’t the human resource plan solved the problem?
Holistic Customer Context is Key
The problem stems from a false, or lack of, understanding of what the customer needs to be successful in the first place.
Usually the focus of resourcing is predicated predominantly around supporting product usage and the commercial relationship.
Job descriptions are thus drafted up enumerating account management, customer success management and support management skill sets and responsibilities.
But these responsibilities tend to focus the corresponding resources on discrete activities and neglect to consider how those roles should handle the customer holistically.
i.e. Is the customer solely looking to learn how to run analytics on their sales data or are they looking to use your product to analyze their sales data so that they can accurately call the quarter and improve sales efficiency?
The context in which to approach a customer is completely different in the two scenarios.
If a resource plan is based off a false understanding of what customers need help with, or it is limited in the context of holistic customer needs, then role responsibility outlines will be ambiguous too.
Create Opportunities Through the Customer’s Point of View
Opportunities are created through the customer's point of view.
When companies have a holistic view of what customers are trying to achieve, they have a better understanding of what needs to be done in order to support customers to achieve their goals.
This better understanding facilitates better resource planning and in turn role clarity is optimized.
Role clarity is anchored on the customer’s complete business and aligned to servicing their needs accordingly.
Additionally, it lays the foundation for roles to use their best judgement and knowledge of each customer to come up with context specific interactions with customers that are relevant and accretive to achieving outcomes.
Recipes for every eventuality do not require documentation, nor do roles need to follow them robotically, when customer context is available to them.
Context provides resources with the direction and guardrails to make unique, customer, appropriate, decisions depending on the circumstances.
Bottom Line: Role Clarity is Important
Role clarity is often the biggest impediment companies face in driving repeatable, customer success at scale.
To drive repeatable customer success, companies must first understand what repeatable customer success looks like and what assistance is required to support it.
Role definitions and enablement plans can then be outlined with that context in mind vs outlining role responsibilities predicated on traditional functional skill sets.
Finally, roles can use this holistic understanding of customers to provide the contextual framework within which to operate, utilizing sound judgement and customer knowledge to differentiate and elevate the customer experience.