The focus in growth and attention of customer success within an organization is definitely a very positive trend. Many companies, including very large enterprises, are remodeling their businesses to support customer centric organizational structures. They actively fund, staff and resource customer success initiatives.
Is there too much customer success?
Too much customer success is a problem. Or better put, relying too heavily on customer success teams to ensure the delivery of value to customers is a problem. Companies with customer centric organizational cultures are built such that everyone in the company is part of the customer success mission. The decision making and prioritization is organized so that delivering value to customers is the mission of the engineering, product, marketing, sales and customer success teams. Not just the customer success team.
Putting the customer in the center of the company isn’t just a good idea. It’s also not realistic that a single team can solely own the success of the customer. It is often dependent on the products: their fit with the needs of the customer, the quality and the experience of the services, to name just few of the additional factors.
Customer success team – the bigger picture
In most companies, there are many talented people with great skills and capabilities that can benefit the success of the customer who are not in customer success. If only there was a way to enable and enlist them into the “customer cause.”
Ask people in your company — “Who owns the customer?” If the answer comes in the form of a customer success manager’s name, then you know it’s the wrong answer. The right answer is — we all are. The team owns the customer, or better put, the company owns the customer.
Customer success as company goal
From working with thousands of customer success organizations, I’m now able to recognize patterns and behaviors that differentiate customer centric enterprises and functional organizations.
It starts with culture, mission and values, but it doesn’t stop there. It continues with day-to-day behaviors that can be encouraged within teams and individuals, unlocking the great potential that already exists within organizations.
This is going to be the topic of my keynote at #CSSummit17, on Feb 27–28 — tickets are still available at www.customersuccesssummit.com. I hope you can join me there!