Six Steps to Effective Customer Success Planning
Customer Success doesn’t just happen. It requires intentional, meaningful engagements across the product lifespan. Take these 6 steps toward more effective Customer Success Planning.
Sounds obvious, but it isn’t always: Customer Success Planning starts with how your customers (not your company) define success with your products and services. When you clearly understand what your customers’ expectations are, your organization can then align resources to help them achieve their desired outcomes.
It is possible that a customer’s expectations will only “scratch the surface” of what your product can do, or what they can do with it. This is the most fertile ground for nurturing Customer Success and growth — because when you can augment their desired outcomes with an enticing and useful positioning of what’s possible, you’re exceeding expectations.
The Success planning and management process is ongoing — from the initial Sales engagement, through product adoption and use, to value realization. Knowing this, you can help your customers define and achieve their desired outcomes by developing success plans.
To accelerate time-to-value, sustain long-term relationships, and drive recurring revenue, leverage these six steps to effective Customer Success planning:
- Engage customers to understand their needs and expectations of your products. Use automated (e-mail, web-based surveys, etc.) or direct engagement (phone, video conference, on-site) methods.
- Identify customer-focused success criteria and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
- Work with customers to develop a success plan. Use the plan as a basis for aligning resources and setting expectations for service types and levels.
- Define journey maps to attain specific outcomes. Introduce the practices and methods necessary to achieve defined goals. Journey maps may address the needs of many customers or be tailored to the needs of a specific customer.
- Establish success metrics to indicate progress against a success plan or journey map. These may be standalone indicators of success or part of an overall customer health metric.
- Keep success plans up-to-date and relevant through periodic business reviews to assess progress against the current plan. Regular interactions may be conducted informally or through Executive or Quarterly Business Reviews. (EBR / QBR).
How effectively do you help your customers plan for success?
I’m here to help you get the answers you need.
Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about the best ways to engage and retain your customers. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.
Healthy customer relationships require an ongoing dialogue through digital media, self-help, communities and direct interaction with Support and Customer Success team members. This article introduces eight customer interaction best practices to engage and retain your customers.
Customer engagement is vital to long term positive relationships with customers. This article introduces the five essential customer engagement practices necessary to develop, retain and grow customer relationships.
You have a lot of customer data, but does it tell you everything you need to know about how to engage and sustain long term profitable relationships? ServiceXRG CEO Tom Sweeny explains his three critical customer relationship value metrics — why they matter, how to calculate them.
Company executives understand that selling services alongside core product offerings leads to greater alignment and customer value, while subsequently decreasing the likelihood of customer churn and loss of recurring revenue. Well-defined services and the means to sell them are imperative. so why is selling services so difficult? This article introduces 10 ways to help Sales teams sell services.
Our research has revealed that nearly a third (32%) of Support demand stems from questions related to either installation, configuration, or setup. This understanding gives companies an immense opportunity to reduce this demand—and we see two major keys to ongoing Support issue prevention.
Incomplete case records diminish Support’s ability to identify root causes of support demand and plan mitigation efforts such as enhanced self-help, product improvements, and training. This article describes how poor support case closure practices lead to missed opportunities.