What are the 1st Steps Towards Establishing a "Customer Success" Structure?

Chris WrightChris Wright Sr Director - Global OperationsFounding Member | Scholar ✭✭
edited May 22 in Sales & Revenue Growth

For organizations without "Customer Success" departments, what are some easy first steps to move in that direction (versus upheaval of entire org or conflict with Sales)?

Best Answer


  • Chris WrightChris Wright Sr Director - Global Operations Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    Thank you Thomas. Appreciate the response and insights!

    And I like the suggestion of getting foot in the door by focusing first on large complex customer accounts where we can prove the concept and get buy-in from our Sales partners...

  • Phil NanusPhil Nanus Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Chris Wright - There is an 8 minute webinar on a CS maturity model. Focus on Phase 2 vs. Phase 3 and 4. In phase 2 there is a matrix managed CX or CS initiative which is often focused on Voice of Customer. This helps cement the Customer culture in your company. It starts to get 'real' in Phase 3 and 4.

    Biggest insight - You must go top down instead of bottom up when you hit Phase 3. Customer Success will break glass, and if you don't address the conflict up front you are pushing the hard conversations further down the line.

  • Steven ForthSteven Forth Managing Partner Member | Enthusiast ✭

    Customer success does need new skills. How are people helping management and HR understand the new skills needed for customer success? Customer success is very different from customer support but not everyone can articulate the difference.

  • Steven ForthSteven Forth Managing Partner Member | Enthusiast ✭

    Reading @Phil Nanus above, I am interested in how people are using CX to improve CS. And having written that, I am reminded of the fellow who insisted we have NAMs (Non Acronym Meetings).

  • David PerraultDavid Perrault VP Product Support and Customer Care Member | Scholar ✭✭

    @Chris Wright I recommend you first try to agree the scope of what Customer Success might be for your company and its end goals. Once this is established, it will provide you the foundations of how you want to structure it and operate it.

  • Doug CavinessDoug Caviness VP Strategy & Partnerships Member | Enthusiast ✭

    In addition to the TSIA resources, another good primer on the topic is the book, 'Customer Success' by Nick Mehta, which I've found really helpful for creating a shared understanding across internal silos.

  • Kirill MarkelovKirill Markelov Service Development Manager Europe Member

    Hi Chris, what we did as first steps

    • we took one big account where we felt increasing difficulty to renew managed contract
    • we agreed on the root cause being no effort done internally to increase and demonstrate the value
    • we drawn customer success journey with the customer
    • we placed RACI on our side of the journey and (surprise!) a lot of "R"s went to customer success manager which we didn't have
    • we brought decision-makers around the table and gave them 2 options: we invest in CSM for this contract or we lose X amount of business on next renewal cycle
    • we got it and already at that point had a good idea of what this person will be doing

    I am oversimplifying here, but advice from Thomas to focus on large and complex accounts was really helpful for us.

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