What is customer success and how can you use success principles in your service?

What is Customer Success? Help Your Customers Achieve the Outcomes they Want and Get Long-Term Loyalty in Return [Definition Post]

Zoom out: A handful of years ago, tech companies, looking to move their early adopters into raging fans, hired on customer success teams. Since then, the idea of helping customers get the biggest bang for their buck has bled into almost every industry. 

Still, though, the line between customer success and support tends to get a little blurry. People, and companies, often have their own idea about what customer success should look like. And, executives waver between a proactive and responsive approach to solving customer needs. 

But, isn’t helping your customers succeed in the mission of every successful business?  In fact, growing companies are 21% more likely to prioritize customer success than companies who show little to no growth. It’s time to learn what customer success is, and how you can apply its principles in your contact center. 

What is customer success? 

Customer success is providing proactive strategies, training, and advice to your customers so they can realize the full value of your products and services. 

It places focus on lasting customer relationships rather than simple, transactional moments. 

“Instead of ‘win the customer,’ the focus has shifted to ‘show the customer the path to value.’”

Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer for Harvard Business Review

Customer success is about understanding your customers’ desired outcomes, then helping them reach those outcomes. And it isn’t confined to companies with a team of success managers. In reality, the success of your customers doesn’t fall to one specific group of individuals. 

Every company can benefit from taking a proactive approach to customer experience.

Here’s how to use three pieces of the customer success model to improve your overall CX. 

1. Determine what success looks like for customers.

Use customer surveys and agent interactions to get to know the types of customers who contact you. ID different customer groups and build personas around them. Then, define the outcomes (what success looks like) for each persona. (Learn more about how to ID your customer groups, over here).

2. Use data to predict and remedy common problems.

Review your call recordings and transcriptions to see where common pains pop up in your customer journey. Then, proactively solve for them. 

3. Offer more training materials and self-service options.

The more your customers know about your products and services, the better their chances of reaching their desired outcomes. 

The average contact center waits until a problem pops up, then solves it. Focusing on customer success is like installing smoke detectors in the house instead of waiting to put the fire out after it’s up in flames. 

The more you understand your customers’ goals, the more proactive your customer experience.
For more tips on how to set goals and objectives to help your customers succeed, jump to our article on picking customer service resolutions that stick.