It's time for the real conversation - Customer Success 2.0
We like to believe that only truly great things are worthy of ending. The Roman Empire, the Gold Rush, the Apollo mission, Sesame Street (no, this one is still going).
Goodbye Customer Success 1.0
The subscription economy presents huge rewards to B2B sectors but it also brought many challenges like a daunting product complexity in disguise, features! Low adoption rates and customers leaving out the door, destroying the LTV/CAC chase, justifying by large any customer success program.
What's the problem here? Poor Customer Success strategy ends up relegating the function to a mistreated brother of Sales, ending up serving secondary goals and prosecuting churn rates endlessly.
Now imagine that sweet spot of business empowerment where the organisation is able to understand the customer needs on a deeper level, generating customer value repeatedly and, last but not least, accelerating the revenue growth rate like a Tesla on steroids.
Embrace Customer Success 2.0
McKinsey did an excellent job summarising the new paradigm for Customer Success. Moving past solely focusing on controlling churn rates, the CS function has much more to offer as a growth engine.
But let's take it even further: the Customer Success philosophy cannot be put in a box and remain constricted by the boundaries of the customer success management function.
Think about your startup, your organisation as a multi-stage rocket (the one that survives). You might be tempted to think that your product or solution is the payload, the cargo to be projected into the stratosphere. Well, not quite. Your customer is the precious payload - something you'll have to protect during your journey to new heights.
Why is that so? Your vision will have to be executed by stages, gaining momentum as you navigate through the challenges of the subscription economy. The customer is the everlasting presence on your right shoulder, a demanding reminder of the goals you're setting along the way. Customers validate your idea, give you insights about untapped opportunities and provide the much needed traction to the next stage (remember the advice from that last VC?).
Ok, cool, rockets and subscription models but where is CS in all that? EVERYWHERE! Customer Success is the fuel, pervasive in the organisation, protecting the payload and lifting the entire rocket to its destination. In the bottom line, it means:
Retention - customers keep buying from you.
Expansion - customers buy more from you.
Advocacy - customers can't wait to recommend you to as many people as possible.
This new paradigm elevates Customer Success to a philosophy widespread in the organisation, guided by the CS Management function. It has as main responsibility the creation of a customer map - the insights generation machine - providing a clear picture of the current status of the customer base but also revealing the paradise around the corner.
That ideal future is only built upon answers collected from data, market expertise and "gut" feeling. What is your market differentiation, when the average has been raised throughout the competition? These very insights.
Main engine start. Booster ignition and liftoff!