3 Strategic Pillars Customer Success Leaders Should Be Thinking About Now

October 14, 2016

Burke Alder

Customer Success Strategist

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As a customer success leader, you spend everyday making sure your team is working towards creating the ultimate customer experience for your customers that drive renewals and expansion revenue.

Let me suggest taking a step back as you go into the fourth quarter and look at big-picture ideas that not only affect your team but your entire organization.

Moving into a New Quarter

We’re starting off the fourth quarter (for most), which is the perfect time to review what went well this past quarter and what you can change before the ‘crunch time’ of Dec.

So where do you start?

3 Strategic Pillars You Should Be Thinking About

In this post, we’ll help you wade through the ‘noise’ and identify areas of focus for the fourth quarter.

Having a game plan in mind for the end of 2016 and the start of 2017 will not only help your team be more productive and efficient.

When company leaders are sure about goals and strategies that they have in place, a trickle-down effect occurs with managers, team leads, and, ultimately, with customers. It drives focus and confidence, which are two key attributes of winning teams.

Here are three of the most important things customer success leaders should be thinking about now:

1. Making the Customer Success Department a Critical Pillar of Your Company’s Business Strategy

At ClientSuccess, we believe that customers should not only be first priority for your customer success department, but they should be first priority across your entire organization. We like to use the phrase “the customer is true north” which means that every part of the company, from product to sales to HR, is built around what customers need to be successful. As a customer success leader and someone who plays an important role with the executive team, you need to be thinking about creating a culture of customer-focus across all departments.

This starts with the support of executives across the company—all the way up to your CEO. Customer success can become a pillar of innovation and communication if you have true support from everyone in the company. This will become evident in new success stories coming out of marketing, higher referral rates during new sales deals, and more efficient invoice processes. When all departments are working together towards customer ‘true north’, you’ll quickly see how customer success becomes the catalyst to profitability growth.

2. Have All Key Customer Success Metrics Defined and Tracking

Now is the time to really take a step back and check the numbers. Are you tracking critical metrics correctly? Is there something missing that you or your team members need to understand in order to be most effective? Could there be an easier way to collect or visualize the data you have?

Perhaps there are areas where you haven’t considered collecting metrics or data yet, or have identified as areas of need, but haven’t yet taken action. Make sure you keep it simple. These could include usage patterns, NPS scores, and interest in new product features. Make sure you are tracking feedback and comments from all users, whether the sentiment is positive or negative.

Tracking these critical metrics and the overall customer health will not only give you a better idea of where to focus time and energy in the upcoming months, it will also give your counterparts a better understanding of how customer success is impacting your business as a whole.

3. Build a Culture of Customer Retention and Growth

This should be an ongoing goal of any customer success leader. Creating a lasting culture of customer goodwill and trust is a natural way to help feed renewals and expansion revenue. There are multiple ways to keep this top-of-mind:

  • Know your client’s definition of success. Move past what to why.
  • Know how your product drives your customers goals and KPIs.
  • Stay engaged with customers even when there is no real action needed on your part

There you have it—three strategic pillars that can help you step back to then help you launch forward into the fourth quarter with customers at the heart of the strategy.

Check out some resources below for more customer success best practices and insights for how your organization can create a winning culture of customer success:

eBooks:

5 Ways to Surprise & Delight Your Customers

3 Steps to Putting Customers First

Blog Posts:

4 Personalities of Great CSMs

3 Simple Strategies to Build Strong Customer Relationship ROI

Learn more about how ClientSuccess can help your company develop a strong customer success methodology and strategy with easy-to-use customer success software by requesting a 30-minute demo.

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