“Customer success” has become quite the buzzword over the last few years. Just like a CDO (Chief Digital Officer), every SaaS company that truly wanted to be a player started to introduce Heads / VP’s of Customer Success, CS managers, and CS teams, etc.
Good for them, because it was a shift that was long overdue. We needed this shift to help ensure customer-centricity finally had a home within an organization. We need to be adopting a customer success mindset. Many of the services and products we sell today have become too complex for our customers to use at any degree of sophistication without proper onboarding and continued user education. We aren’t all selling hammers, shuffles or saws anymore. Our customers don’t buy turn-key solutions to their problems these days, but more so services that have a learning curve needing to be overcome prior to achieving the efficiency that was promised, vs. just costing time and money ultimately leading the customer to fail and jump to the next product or service.
Enter the Customer Success mindset.
Searching for the Desired Outcome
Whether you have a customer success team in place or not, you can start implementing the customer success mindset right away. Your organization can do this by simply asking one question during every interaction with your customers: ‘Do I enable this customer to achieve the desired outcome?’
The ‘desired outcome’ is a term coined by Lincoln Murphy et al a few years ago.
‘The desired outcome is very simple. It’s what the customer needs to achieve in the way they need to achieve it. There’s the desired outcome, and then there’s their appropriate experience. When you bring those two things together, you get the desired outcome.’
It doesn’t take a customer success team to introduce this mindset to your organization. Allow and enable your customers to go the extra mile for themselves (not sure if this is what was meant). Allow them to evaluate what is more important during a support interaction: your company’s reputation or being correct in that instance? When the stakes are high, you need to define at which point they have to come to their managers, executives – to you – for guidance. Answers like ‘There is nothing I can do.’ or ‘Sorry, but these are the rules.’ ‘Too bad, but it is what it is.’ Need to be exchanged for ‘Let me see what I/we can do.’ or ‘I can offer you this alternative (solution) or compromise.’
How to say no more politely
This is not about always saying ‘yes’, but about saying ‘no’ less often. Having an organization that lives the customer success mindset only requires training, employee enablement, and solution-driven attitudes towards customer interaction that ultimately lead to their success by creating the “desired outcome”
After all, the customer’s experience is largely driven by the interaction they have with you and your employees. Making sure they work towards achieving a successful deployment gets your organization a big step closer towards having a true customer success mindset.
The next step will be hiring the right customer success leaders and managers.
Do you have questions? Book a free consulting session!