Essential Customer Success Activities

Essential Customer Success Activities

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Essential Customer Success Activities

Customer Success is a series of interrelated activities performed throughout the customer relationship lifecycle. The most effective customer success initiatives include activities from onboarding to expansion with an emphasis on assuring customers’ successful use of products. Typical customer success initiatives include multiple success-focused activities, yet nearly half of companies focus on just one or two.

Essential Customer Success Activities

Customer Success Activities Defined

Customer Success Activities Commonly Used

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Essential Customer Success Activities

Customer Success is a series of interrelated activities performed throughout the customer relationship lifecycle. This article identifies and defines critical success activities.

Treat Your Service Portfolio as a Product Line

Treat Your Service Portfolio as a Product Line

Service and success programs are a significant source of revenue. To assure that they yield their maximum revenue potential they must keep pace with customer needs and expectations.

Formal Product Management of Service Portfolios

Treat service portfolios as valuable offerings by assigning dedicated program management resources to keep offerings up to date and relevant. Consider the following:

Develop service and success portfolios that span delivery silos (Support, Success, Education, Professional Services, etc.).

 

Assign a full-time dedicated product manager to lead program management activities for the service / success portfolios across service disciplines and related product families.

 

Establish goals and objectives for the service program manager based on performance and revenues directly associated with sale and renewal of service and success offerings.

 

Grow the team of portfolio product managers to keep pace with the size, complexity, and financial performance of the service portfolio.

 

To assure that your service and success portfolio remains relevant to customer needs review and update offerings on an ongoing basis.  Consider adding new offerings and enhancements as customer needs evolve.  Be certain to define and articulate the value of all offerings and reinforce service benefits to help sustain customer relationships.

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Related Articles

How to Measure Net Recurring Revenue

Net Recurring Revenue is a comprehensive indicator that reveals the extent to which you are retaining, expanding and growing customer relationship value. Examining the specific underlying elements that contribute to the calculation of Net Recurring Revenue provides the necessary insights to identify the root causes of churn, attrition and contraction. In addition, examining the reasons for revenue growth presents opportunities to embrace and expand practices that encourage expansion of relationship value.

read more

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Support Pricing Benchmarks

Setting the correct price for your support programs begins with a baseline understanding of what your market will bear but ultimately the price must be based on the type and level and entitlements offered. The average prices for support programs range from 15.6 percent for a basic level of support to more than 26 percent for a high-end premium offer.

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Stop Selling Support and Start Selling Success

Stop Selling Support and Start Selling Success

It is no longer enough to attach a support program to a product sale. Effective Success Sales teams must be able to establish long term service relationships that last and grow well beyond the initial sale.

Success Sales Effectiveness

Success sales effectiveness is optimized when Sales teams are knowledgeable of service programs and can articulate a compelling value proposition for long term service benefits.  To maximize sales effectiveness, companies must establish formal success training programs.  Consider the following:

Establish a formal success sales curriculum to instruct sales representatives responsible for selling services (direct and through partners).

Instruct sales teams in the identification of success opportunities.

Provide opportunities for instructor led classroom and virtual training.

Supplement core training with periodic updates delivered through self-paced instructional videos and/or periodic live webinars.

Include coverage of core offerings, value proposition, use cases and overcoming objections.

Supplement sales training with supporting tools and reference materials.

Establish competency-based testing to verify sales representative knowledge. (internal sales staff and partners).

Assure that all service sales staff have been full trained, and their knowledge tested.  Monitor sales effectiveness by measuring initial service contract sales (attach), renewal rates and the rate that service revenue grows from expansion selling.

For additional insights into how to effectively market and sell services, consider the following featured report:

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Related Articles

How to Measure Net Recurring Revenue

Net Recurring Revenue is a comprehensive indicator that reveals the extent to which you are retaining, expanding and growing customer relationship value. Examining the specific underlying elements that contribute to the calculation of Net Recurring Revenue provides the necessary insights to identify the root causes of churn, attrition and contraction. In addition, examining the reasons for revenue growth presents opportunities to embrace and expand practices that encourage expansion of relationship value.

read more

Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

Technology service programs are evolving to offer new value and benefits such as use and adoption assistance and resources to help attain successful outcomes. As technology service programs change service marketing must evolve beyond selling the initial service engagement and focus on sustaining and growing relationship value.

read more

Treat Your Service Portfolio as a Product Line

Service and success programs are a significant source of revenue. To assure that they yield their maximum revenue potential, treat service portfolios as strategic offerings in the corporate portfolio by assigning dedicated program management resources.

read more

Support Pricing Benchmarks

Setting the correct price for your support programs begins with a baseline understanding of what your market will bear but ultimately the price must be based on the type and level and entitlements offered. The average prices for support programs range from 15.6 percent for a basic level of support to more than 26 percent for a high-end premium offer.

read more

Your Support Value Proposition is Out of Date

Your Support Value Proposition is Out of Date

Changes to product licensing – perpetual to subscription – will change the services and benefits customers need and expect from you. Make sure that your value proposition is up to date and relevant to the way you license products and deliver services.

From Product to Subscription-Centric Value

The benefits promised from post-sales services need to reflect the needs and expectations of customers.  Support and post-sales service benefits can be so much more than commitments to keep technology up to date or the speed that issues will be responded to.  Customers need and expect that your products will positively impact their business.

Consider how the elements of your service value proposition must change as you switch from product-centric perpetual licensing to subscription services.

Recommendations

 

  • Make sure that your value proposition is aligned with the way that you license products and deliver services.

  • Structure your value proposition to convey how your services will help customers use your products (onboarding and adoption) and apply them effectively (success services) to yield tangible business outcomes.

  • Evaluate your current service offers and consider what if any new services are required to meet customer needs and expectations.

  • Train and enable sales channels (direct and partners) to articulate your services value proposition.

  • Reinforce service value throughout the customer relationship – not just prior to renewal.

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The eight fundamental Success Marketing and Portfolio Management practices are defined and described within this report.

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*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

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Related Articles

How to Measure Net Recurring Revenue

Net Recurring Revenue is a comprehensive indicator that reveals the extent to which you are retaining, expanding and growing customer relationship value. Examining the specific underlying elements that contribute to the calculation of Net Recurring Revenue provides the necessary insights to identify the root causes of churn, attrition and contraction. In addition, examining the reasons for revenue growth presents opportunities to embrace and expand practices that encourage expansion of relationship value.

read more

Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

Technology service programs are evolving to offer new value and benefits such as use and adoption assistance and resources to help attain successful outcomes. As technology service programs change service marketing must evolve beyond selling the initial service engagement and focus on sustaining and growing relationship value.

read more

Treat Your Service Portfolio as a Product Line

Service and success programs are a significant source of revenue. To assure that they yield their maximum revenue potential, treat service portfolios as strategic offerings in the corporate portfolio by assigning dedicated program management resources.

read more

Support Pricing Benchmarks

Setting the correct price for your support programs begins with a baseline understanding of what your market will bear but ultimately the price must be based on the type and level and entitlements offered. The average prices for support programs range from 15.6 percent for a basic level of support to more than 26 percent for a high-end premium offer.

read more

Essential Customer Success Activities

Six Customer Success Activities You Need

Six Customer Success Activities You Need

Customer Success is a series of interrelated activities performed throughout the customer relationship lifecycle. The most effective customer success initiatives include activities from onboarding to expansion with an emphasis on assuring customers’ successful use of products. Typical customer success initiatives include multiple success-focused activities, yet nearly half of companies focus on just one or two.

Essential Customer Success Activities

Customer Success Activities Defined

Customer Success Activities Commonly Used

Source: Customer Success Practices and Metrics Study (December 2018)

Featured: Customer Success Practices and Metrics

Customer Success has become a widely used and universally accepted term to describe a variety of customer-focused activities. The term has many meanings: A department; a team; a role, a business strategy. Unfortunately, the broad use of the term has obscured the diverse and complex activities that underlie a potentially transformational initiative. This study examines the approach companies use to organize, deliver and measure their Customer Success initiatives.

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How to Measure Net Recurring Revenue

Net Recurring Revenue is a comprehensive indicator that reveals the extent to which you are retaining, expanding and growing customer relationship value. Examining the specific underlying elements that contribute to the calculation of Net Recurring Revenue provides the necessary insights to identify the root causes of churn, attrition and contraction. In addition, examining the reasons for revenue growth presents opportunities to embrace and expand practices that encourage expansion of relationship value.

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Customer Success – Why Services Should Lead

The industry is buzzing with talk of customer success, what does it mean for Services? Service organizations are in a unique position to drive customer success initiatives. Who better than Services to understand the challenges customers face in using products and the gratitude that can be earned by helping them.  It is time for Services to take a leadership role in driving the principles of customer success across the company.

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Support or Success – What Type of Post Sales Service Portfolio Do You Need?

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5 Principles for Service Success in 2020 and Beyond

5 Principles for Service Success in 2020 and Beyond

There are many approaches to achieve service success and each company must chart its own unique course. Regardless of the path, there are five principles that all companies must embrace.

5 Principles for Service Success

There are five principles of service success. Every company must have an established CX plan, attainable goals, well-defined offerings, optimized service capabilities and the means to measure and improve performance.  These five principles establish the foundation from which to define, execute and achieve tangible, positive service outcomes.  Each principle is described below:

Established CX Strategy

A well-defined Customer Experience (CX) strategy must describe the experience you wish to create with your customers and the means by which you achieve stated outcomes.  A well-defined CX strategy should include the following elements:

  • Clearly stated objectives about the type of experiences you wish to create for customers.
  • The expected outcomes from delivering these experiences.
  • The potential negative implications from not providing the stated customer experiences.
  • The practices and methods to be used to deliver targeted customer experiences.

See All Articles Related to Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Success (CS)

Clearly Defined Organizational Goals and Outcomes

A CX strategy will be executed by individuals and teams and it is imperative to clearly define the roles and responsibilities for everyone involved.  It is imperative to clearly define the roles and responsibilities for everyone involved with the execution of the CX strategy.  Organizational goals and outcomes should include:

  • Clear identification of all teams and individuals responsible for execution of the CX strategy – note that responsibility may cross organizational boundaries and include Sales, Services, Product Teams, and other groups.
  • Defined goals and objectives for teams involved with CX.
  • Individual goals to clearly describe how everyone will contribute to the attainment of team, organizational, and corporate objectives.
  • Incentive structure to reward exceptional performance.
  • Sustained performance management process to monitor individual and team performance to targets.

See All Articles Related to CX and Service Strategies

Well Defined Offerings

Offerings define the rights and entitlements customers receive and the price they pay.  The blending of rights to use a product and service entitlements through subscription programs and the opportunities to extend service portfolios with success programs requires careful definition of well-defined service programs and offers. Consider the following:

  • Determine if service entitlements will be combined with the rights to use a product or offered for a separate fee.
  • Establish the service entitlements customers need and want to effectively adopt and apply your products.
  • Determine which entitlements will be included and which will incur an additional fee.
  • Establish a pricing and payment model to define how customers pay for add on services.

See All Articles Related to Service Offerings

Optimized Success Capabilities

The ability to attain strategic outcomes and execute the CX strategy will rely on your ability to deliver services efficiently and effectively.   Optimization of success-focused service capabilities must include a commitment to the following initiatives:

  • Focus product capabilities and services on defining and achieving customer success.
  • Reduce service events through improved product quality, monitoring and proactive corrective actions.
  • Create opportunities for customers to serve themselves through self-help, communities and service automation.
  • Develop tools and content to streamline new customer onboarding and drive ongoing adoption activities.
  • Transition staff from reactive issue resolution to high-touch account management activities.

See All Articles Related to Service Capabilities: Support and Customer Success

Means to Measure and Improve Performance

Service success must be defined and measured.  Few companies will maximize performance immediately and the attainment of desired outcomes will take time to achieve.  It is imperative to implement ongoing and meaningful monitoring of key performance indicators with the means to take corrective actions to improve performance.  Consider:

  • Establish the metrics that will indicate performance against targeted outcomes including churn rate, satisfaction, Net RR, service efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Review individual and team contributions to attainment of performance.
  • Identify inhibitors to performance and develop corrective action plans.
  • Conduct regular team meeting to review performance and introduce corrective actions.
  • Review goals, measures of success and performance targets and timelines with executive sponsors and gain buying to execute.

See All Articles Related to Metrics and Measures

Featured: NET RECURRING REVENUE - Using Recurring Revenue to Identify Customer Service Opportunities and Risks

This report provides detailed instructions for defining, measuring and applying NET RECURRING REVENUE to identify customer service opportunities and risks.

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*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

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Related Articles

How to Measure Net Recurring Revenue

Net Recurring Revenue is a comprehensive indicator that reveals the extent to which you are retaining, expanding and growing customer relationship value. Examining the specific underlying elements that contribute to the calculation of Net Recurring Revenue provides the necessary insights to identify the root causes of churn, attrition and contraction. In addition, examining the reasons for revenue growth presents opportunities to embrace and expand practices that encourage expansion of relationship value.

read more

The Tangible Impact of CX and Customer Success

A well-defined CX strategy combined with an effective Customer Success (CS) operating model can yield significant and tangible benefits including retention and expansion of existing relationships and the strengthening of your product and service reputation.

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Support and maintenance portfolios have been the foundation of many post-sales service offers, yet Support offers alone are no longer adequate to sustain and growth customer relationship value. Modernization of support portfolios and the evolution to customer success-focused programs and offers is the future of post-sales service portfolios. This article will help you to determine what type of post sales service portfolio you need.

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Effectively Managing Distributed Support Teams

Geographically distributed teams are common for many industries and companies, but recent events have created the necessity for more individuals to work from home. For support and service operations that rely on centralized call centers the shift to a distributed workforce introduces new challenges – both technical and administrative. Here are some of the things to consider for effectively managing distributed support and success teams.

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