Customer Success: Customer Engagement Across the Entire Lifecycle

Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company. Those interactions occur across the entire lifecycle.

I define Customer Success Management as the process of moving customers toward their ever-evolving Desired Outcome. Again, across the entire lifecycle.

You can’t have Customer Success without engagement across the lifecycle.

For context, on Friday, May 19, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video is embedded below and below that is the transcript (edited for better readability) that answers the question.

How to keep customers engaged post-training?

He goes on to say: We’re running into the issue of customers diving straight into our tool, post training. But then we have severe decline two to four weeks after that training. I have several ideas brewing to tackle the problem. But been reading a lot of your blogs and wanted get your take on staff in the health care industries.

The customers sort of go through training, they dive into the tool, and then just a few weeks later they’re not using it. You know. So how do we fix that? I would say your training needs to be fixed probably. A lot of what happens is we overwhelm our customers. So there’s a really good chance that you’re giving your customers way too much. And that, by the time that they get back, they get in, a lot of that stuff either doesn’t apply immediately or they forget it.

So, that’s again without knowing exactly what your situation is. That’s something I see quite a bit of. We need to sort of scale back. It’s sort of counter intuitive. But we actually need to scale back in what we give our customers right at first. There’s a tendency to want to over deliver. Especially in the technology world. I find this to be incredibly true.

We really want to over deliver with our customers. Almost wow them. That wow moment idea gets blown out of proportion. We want to like wow them up front with all this stuff. We want to give them everything. And the reality is, we tend to overwhelm.

There’s this concept in back in the sort of what we would call internet marketing, that was even pre-internet marketing of this selling content, selling information. So info-marketing. What people would actually sell books and training manuals and stuff. There’s this concept called, “Thud Factor.”

That as soon as you bought something, you know. Six to eight weeks later, the UPS person would show up and you would hear this “thud” when they dropped all of this material that you bought. Right, so you would feel really good that you just made three payments of 299 or something for this gigantic stack of material that you will never go through.

Thud factor.

We don’t need to do that these days. We don’t need to impress people with the amount of content, information we can give them. But what we need to do is give them an Appropriate Experience and get them to start getting value out of their relationship with us. And then keep them getting value in that relationship with us over time.

So, don’t overwhelm. I think just with training we have a tendency to do that.

The other thing is, we tend to let especially if we’ve trained them, we tend to then let customers just do whatever they want. And that sounds great. Let your customers do whatever they want. The reality is, our customers are gonna do whatever they want anyway. So, our job is to provide them some guidance. You know, when they come out of training, have a 30/60/90 day plan, that says this is what you’re gonna do.

And if it’s a daily use kind of product, then this is what you’re gonna do on a daily routine.

So have a very specific plan in mind. Be prescriptive. Tell them what they need to do. Joshua also provided a couple of examples of things that they were already trying.

  • Gamification
  • More tailored and specific end user communication pre and post training
  • Deeper project manager engagement
  • Expanding training with ongoing and refresher points

Gamification is something people want to jump into but I think is generally not necessary.

Some of the other suggestions there are things that Joshua was already thinking about, were, you know, kind of in line what I said. Giving more guidance. I would take it a step further and just say be very very specific. Give your customers, especially when they come out of training. Again, maybe go back and look at the training. Are we giving them too much?

Could we pare it down into something that, maybe they do two or three times a year. But it’s smaller chunks. And it’s going to give them just what they need to start getting value over the next 30/60/90 days. And then we can do more training down the road.

I think we have to think about this from our customer’s perspective. And that means getting out of our own way. Moving our ego aside. Stop thinking about all of the investment that we have in our amazing product. That can do so many amazing things. But if our customers are starting here and our product is here we’re trying to give them everything here. We’re missing out on taking them from where they are to where they need to be.

And that’s the thing. We need to meet our customers where they are, and move them along the path. I think that’s the best way to look at this. Is don’t overwhelm.

Be prescriptive.

Be very clear with our customers.

And when they come out of training, and that training should probably be pared back a little bit. They’re gonna have an exact plan on how to be successful.

About Lincoln Murphy

I am a Customer Success Consultant focused on Customer Success-driven Growth. I wrote the Customer Success book which you can buy at Amazon. If you need help applying Customer Success-driven Growth principles in your company or would like me to speak at your event, please contact me. Also, connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

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