Essential Customer Success Activities

Essential Customer Success Activities

BLOG

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

Recent Posts

Beyond NPS: Eight Metrics for Support and Success

High Net Promoter Scores as the desired outcome of Support and Customer Success interactions, while positive, is not enough because they it does not connect service delivery excellence with tangible business outcomes.

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.

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.

Scaling Support Delivery

Scaling Support Delivery requires the digital transformation of support and an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Digital transformation includes human-assisted, self-assisted and fully automated support transactions. This article defines and introduces key characteristics of the digital transformation to scale support delivery.

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.

Chatbots for Technical Support – Are They Working (Survey)?

Chatbots for Technical Support – Are They Working (Survey)?

Self-service and support automation are not simply a means to save money – each interaction is an opportunity to reinforce a customer relationship and sustain loyalty.  The burden of delivering a positive experience now lies with the tools and content we offer.

Do you use chatbots for technical support? 

Are they successful?

Please answer a few very quick questions about your current use (or intention to use) chatbots for technical support.

See You Next Time – This Study is closed.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Open” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” start_after_trial=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag]

Login to Access the Full Report

If you don’t have an account, create a free* membership.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Closed” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag]

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Open” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” start_after_trial=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag]

Login

*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.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Closed” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/wcm_nonmember]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag]

Related Articles

Scaling Support Delivery

Scaling Support Delivery requires the digital transformation of support and an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Digital transformation includes human-assisted, self-assisted and fully automated support transactions. This article defines and introduces key characteristics of the digital transformation to scale support delivery.

read more

The Digital Transformation of Support

The digital transformation of support is defined by an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Digital transformation includes human-assisted, self-assisted and fully automated support transactions. This article defines and introduces key characteristics of the digital transformation of support.

read more

Is Assisted Support Demand on the Rise – Shift Demand to Self-Help and Automation

If your support demand is on the rise and exceeds your current ability to handle it through assisted channels, let automation and self-help share the load. Whether you have well-established self-help capabilities and just need a tune up, or if you are about to launch a new initiative to introduce automation capabilities this article provides resources and insights to help.

read more

Chatbots for Technical Support – Are They Working (Survey)?

The ability to provide automated interaction with customers by chat has been available for years. The power and potential of today’s chatbots offers a wide array of customer service and technical support opportunities. For many companies the question is not if they should deploy chatbot automation for technical support, but rather, how to make chatbots successful. Do you use chatbots for technical support and are the successful?

read more

Self-Help and Automation – Risks and Rewards

Companies that apply self-service and support automation can yield significant benefits, but not without risks. This article examines the risk and rewards associated with Self-service and support automation initiatives.

read more

Digital Customer Experiences (dCX)

Many customer touchpoints with your company are conducted digitally through web self-service and automated tools. It is imperative to consider how customer experiences are impacted by services delivered through digital channels. This article introduces how to define and measure Digital Customer Experiences (dCX).

read more

How Organizational Structure Limits Your Ability to Achieve Service Outcomes

How Organizational Structure Limits Your Ability to Achieve Service Outcomes

The current organizational structure of your Services team and alignment with other customer facing resources may inhibit your ability to retain customers and expand relationship value. Organizational alignment, increased cooperation, and shared goals are key to customer retention and revenue expansion initiatives.

The State of Service Organizations

Service organizations are optimized to achieve task-based service objectives such as case closure efficiency, onboarding and adoption milestones, case deflection, and attainment of target Net Promoter Scores.  While these are all important objectives, they are inadequate goals if not directly aligned with the attainment of strategic outcomes such as retaining customer relationships and growing account value. 

Companies that focus on attainment of transactional tasks may not be able to maximize retention and expansion of customer relationship value.  Sub-optimized organizations may:

  • Archive transactional success but miss opportunities to identify customers at risk.
  • Create delivery efficiencies though self-help and service automation but fail to deliver services necessary to help customers adopt and use products effectively.
  • Establish new relationships but fail to retain them for more than a year.
  • Provide a timely accurate response to a support issues but miss an opportunity to upsell additional services.

Characteristics of sub-optimized service organizations may include the following:

Narrowly Defined Customer Experience Strategy

The lack of a well-defined and coordinate Customer Experience strategy perpetuates inefficient and siloed organizational structures.  When specific teams and individual are not held accountable for contributing to overall CX strategic objectives revenue and retention opportunities will be missed.

Siloed Organizational Structures

Service remains predominantly siloed with separate departments for Support, Education and Professionals Services and are often separate from Product Management, Sales and Renewal teams.  Siloed organizational structures inhibit the ability to provide coordinated and efficient resource allocation to deliver the services necessary to sustain healthy customer relationships.

Lack of Common Goals

It is unrealistic to expect that teams will regularly coordinate activities if there are no incentives to support this behavior.  The lack of shared goals that transcend organizational boundaries assure that teams will focus their efforts on the tasks and activities they are goaled on.

Limited Coordination

Siloed organizations do not actively coordinate activities throughout the customer relationship lifecycle.  The lack of coordinated action is often the result of narrowly focused practices to achieve specific tasks and silo-specific goals with little or no incentives to promote cross-functional cooperation.

Sub-Optimized Resource Utilization

Use of overlapping and complementary resources from post-sales teams are not coordinated or pooled to drive customer success or achieve service delivery cost-efficiencies. 

What is Your Optimal Organizational Structure?

There are many ways to organize and align teams and resources.  Which organizational model do you use today? Is it optimized to achieve your strategic objectives?

Organizational Transformation is Inevitable

As companies refine their customer experience strategies and recognize that retention and relationship growth are paramount objectives, organizational transformation is inevitable. 

The imperative to successful organizational transformation is to organize teams and resources in the most efficient means necessary to achieve clearly defined strategic objectives. This process begins with the articulation of the customer experience strategy followed by a description of how specific roles and teams will contribute to expected outcomes.  Consider the following transformational imperatives.

Get Ready for Change

Change can be difficult especially when it challenges current operational and organizational norms.  When you can recognize the conditions that require change you can prepare for a smooth transition to a new operating and organizational model.  Consider the following indicators that signify change is necessary:

  • Customer Demand – Customers express explicit need for better coordination between service entities and enhanced responsiveness to product needs.
  • New Leadership / Vision – Service or corporate executives edict.
  • New Revenue – Pursuit of new revenue opportunities from new service sales (up-sell | Cross-sell).
  • Customer Retention – Effort to stem customer defection due to product and or service deficiencies.
  • Competition – Competitors (partners and/or product competitors) offer differentiation from coordinated service offers.
  • Product Transformation – Changes to product demand new types of customer engagement and/or programs.

Overcome Inhibitors to Change

Inevitably there are reason not to change.  Consider the reasons that may inhibit changes to the alignment of teams and individual resources. Consider the following inhibitors to change and develop a response to address each:

  • Incentives – The specific goals of teams and individuals do no foster cooperation. Individual and team goals and incentives may need to change to drive new behaviors.
  • Executive / Corporate Philosophy – “Technology first”, “we never did it that way before…” “let the channel do it…” attitudes inhibit organic service transformation. Change the culture with fact-based evidence to justify the reasons for transformation.
  • Lack of Vision – Lack of visibility into opportunities or risks of not making changes diminishes executive support. Make the case for why change is necessary.  Quantify the net benefits to change.
  • Parochial – Views that protecting organizational “turf” is more important than corporate growth. Convert detractors of change into champions by convincing individuals that the change will result in a net personal benefit.
  • Rapid Growth – No perceived need to change during growth. It is hard to make the case for change when all performance indicators are positive.  While change during high growth periods may not be necessary or possible, be prepared for when growth slows.
  • Too Busy –When there is a justifiable reason to change, then everyone can make the time to do what is right. Make the case that the benefits of change are worth everyone’s time.
  • Risk Averse – Change for the sake of change is never a good idea. All changes should be well thought out and understood.  A good plan should outline the risks versus rewards.

Transformation to a Future State

Transformation to a future organizational state demands that there is a clear vision for what this future state organization will accomplish with clear goals, objectives and measures of success.  This process begins with the articulation of the customer experience strategy followed by a description of how specific roles and teams will contribute to expected outcomes. The successful determination and transformation to the optimal organizational structure depends upon the successful definition of the following:

Established CX Strategy

Clearly Defined Organizational Goals and Outcomes

Well Defined Service Programs

Optimized Service Capabilities

Means to Measure and Improve Performance

Read more about The 5 Principles of Service Success

Featured: The Transformation of The Service Organization

ServiceXRG examines the current state of service organizations and the forces at work that are driving organizational transformation. This study reveals how the isolated service silos of the past need to evolve into unified entities to drive Customer Success.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Open” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” start_after_trial=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag]

Login to Access the Full Report

If you don’t have an account, create a free* membership.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Closed” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag]

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag admin_label=”Success Enterprise / Team – Open” shortcode=”wcm_restrict” plans=”success-enterprise-plan, success-team-plan” start_after_trial=”off” _builder_version=”4.1″ z_index_tablet=”500″ box_shadow_horizontal_tablet=”0px” box_shadow_vertical_tablet=”0px” box_shadow_blur_tablet=”40px” box_shadow_spread_tablet=”0px”]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag]

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Open” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” start_after_trial=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag]

Login

*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.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Closed” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/wcm_nonmember]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag]

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

read more

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

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.

read more

Support Imperative: Track and Report Defects

Support Imperative: Track and Report Defects

If a customer took the time to report an issue, Support has the obligation to document this event.

Defect or Design?

Many technology vendors define defects based on internal definitions and design specifications and not necessarily on customers’ perceptions of an issue that they perceive to be a limitation.

In some instances, a perceived defect is a legitimate product limitation and other cases is caused by user error, improper configuration, or a combination of non-defect related circumstances.

Whether or not the root-cause of an issue is truly a defect as classified by Engineering, what matters most is what the customer perceives.

If a customer perceives that a product is defective it will affect the tenor of the support transaction; will possibly influence a customer’s satisfaction with a support transaction; and may have broad implications for the relationship between the company and the customer.

See the article titled Customers think that your products are buggy – Now what?

Support Imperative: Track and Report Defects

If a customer took the time to report an issue, Support has the obligation to document this event.

Carefully and fully document defect related cases and the associated impact on customer satisfaction, future product purchases and subscription renewal rates to detect early indications that product defect rates are impacting the future of customer relationships.

Next Steps

ServiceXRG offers a wealth of expertise through coaching and research to help you define measures of success and to benchmark your performance.  Please review other reports and articles related to Metrics and contact us if we can help.

More Metrics Articles

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Open” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” start_after_trial=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag]

Login to Access the Full Report

If you don’t have an account, create a free* membership.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Closed” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag]

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Open” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” start_after_trial=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag]

Login

*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.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Closed” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” _builder_version=”3.19.8″]

[/wcm_nonmember]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag]

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.

read more

Chatbots for Technical Support – Are They Working (Survey)?

The ability to provide automated interaction with customers by chat has been available for years. The power and potential of today’s chatbots offers a wide array of customer service and technical support opportunities. For many companies the question is not if they should deploy chatbot automation for technical support, but rather, how to make chatbots successful. Do you use chatbots for technical support and are the successful?

read more

Support Demand: Problem or Opportunity?

Support Demand: Problem or Opportunity?

Is it a good thing if customers need support or is this a problem? The need for support is inevitable and communicating with your customers is always a good thing. What distinguishes support as good or bad is based on how you respond and what you learn from each customer interaction.

Support Demand

Support demand is a function of three factors, the quality of the product; the knowledge and expertise of the user; and the availability of support.  Products that are released to the market with defects will result in higher instances of support for each unit sold.  Customers that do not have the proper skill set to use a product are more likely to need assistance.  These two factors alone, however, will not necessarily create support demand.  Support demand is intimately tied to support availability. 

How Support Supply Drives Demand

If customers can freely access support, with few if any accessibility issues, requests for support will be higher.  If support is fee based, or is difficult to access (long hold times, slow responsiveness, etc.) then requests for support will be lower. 

It is important to note that the demand for support and the request for support may not be synonymous.  There may be a significant demand for support created by one or more of the factors noted above yet support accessibility may limit the actual number of support requests.  The rate by which support demand translates into support requests will vary by the urgency of the customer’s need and the availability and accessibility of support assistance.

See the Article: The Demand for Your Support is Larger than you Expect

Support Demand: Problem or Opportunity?

Is it a good thing if customers need support or is this a problem?  The need for support is inevitable and communicating with your customers is always a good thing.  What distinguishes support as good or bad is based on how you respond and what you learn from each customer interaction.  If a customer needs help and you do not respond – this is bad.  If all your customers need help, this will drive up costs and erode margins – this is bad.  When a customer has a problem and you address their needs – this is good.  It gets even better if you can leverage a customer interaction to enhance your products and identify opportunities to strengthen the relationship with eh customer and find ways to expand the relationship.

Maximizing the Benefits of Support Delivery

Each support transaction has an associated cost and potential benefit.  Support must be able to maximize the benefit of each support interaction.  The net benefits from support delivery must be equal to or greater than the cost of providing this support.  The value of these benefits is often difficult to assign a set dollar value to and will probably not convince the CFO to increase support funding. Nevertheless it is important to assure that support strategies are designed to maximize and measure the benefits of support delivery.

Recommendations

  • Build awareness across the company that each support interaction is an opportunity to strengthen a relationship with a customer and provides a “touch-point” to help sustain existing customer relationships.
  • View support transactions as a chance to build or reinforce your reputation for backing your products with accessible and effective services.
  • Use customer interactions as a means to monitoring customers’ level of product use and adoption.
  • Leverage each support interaction to enhance the product by fixing defects, enhancing usability, increasing performance or adding new capabilities.
[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Open” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” start_after_trial=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag]

Login to Access the Full Report

If you don’t have an account, create a free* membership.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Closed” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag]

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Open” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” start_after_trial=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.100″]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_open_tag]

Login

*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.

[et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag admin_label=”Not Logged In – Closed” shortcode=”wcm_nonmember” _builder_version=”3.19.8″]

[/wcm_nonmember]

[/et_pb_df_wc_restrict_content_close_tag]

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.

read more

Chatbots for Technical Support – Are They Working (Survey)?

The ability to provide automated interaction with customers by chat has been available for years. The power and potential of today’s chatbots offers a wide array of customer service and technical support opportunities. For many companies the question is not if they should deploy chatbot automation for technical support, but rather, how to make chatbots successful. Do you use chatbots for technical support and are the successful?

read more

Pin It on Pinterest