Why Customer Success Practices Fail. And 5 Things You Can Do About It.
When it comes to setting up a Customer Success practice, any organization will face no shortage of complex stumbling blocks, from establishing an effective framework, to identifying the right people, processes and tools to provide a strong foundation. However, where many organizations hit a wall is not so much in the early planning stages, but in the “selling” of Customer Success to their internal stakeholders. In fact, anyone tasked with championing the cause should come prepared to meet resistance.
Building the Case for Customer Success
The value of investing in Customer Success can be difficult for some organizations to envision, particularly those that run lean or are still tied to legacy transactional business models. Because the results aren’t easy to immediately quantify, some stakeholders may perceive it as a risky investment. Furthermore, with the responsibility for Customer Success spanning disciplines and departments – from sales and marketing, to support, engineering and more – it won’t be easy to get complete cross-functional buy in. But you’ll need it, because for your Customer Success practice to be truly effective, your charter must be embraced by the entire organization.
When making your case for Customer Success, your argument will be more powerful when you communicate the tangible value that can be realized for your organization and for your customers as a result of the transformation. Justify the shift towards a customer-centric business model by focusing on the competitive benefits (accelerating customer time to value and outcomes with your solutions) while also presenting the economic rewards (reducing costs and securing more recurring and untapped revenue streams).
5 Points to Keep in Mind When Getting Buy-In for Customer Success:
- Define what customer success means to your organization. Identify the business’ strengths and weaknesses, and consider the expertise or technology that you’ll need to acquire.
- What will an investment in customer success cost and from which departments will you draw your budgets? Understand that the goal should be a customer success practice with C-level support.
- What is the potential value (revenue) related to customer success? What are your benchmarks (in the near- and long-term) and measurement metrics?
- What are the existing departments, data and processes that can best influence customer success? What technologies will you use to integrate these silos and deliver a unified customer experience? How will you make these tools extensible to customers?
- Identify the risks of doing nothing to transform customer engagement, and the factors, both internal and external, that can influence your success.
Be sure to also address the impact of rising customer expectations and the changes brought on by today’s consumption-driven economy. These market forces have made it critical to tie everything to the business outcomes of our customers. Customer retention is optimized when value realization occurs for customers – not just once, but consistently throughout the relationship lifecycle – and that’s why standing up a customer success practice is so important today.
Learn More About Selling Customer Success Within Your Organization
To hear more about building a convincing case for implementing a customer success practice within your organization, watch an on-demand recording of the SuccessTalk webinar, Making the Case for Customer Success.