How many Customer Success Managers (CSMs) do we need to give our customers their Appropriate Experience (AX)?
What happens if we ramp sales?
What happens if a bunch of customers upgrade? Downgrade?
How much excess capacity do our current CSMs have?
When will we need to hire more CSMs?
Is our Customer Success Management team too big?
Those are just some of the questions I get from Customer Success leaders all the time.
How to solve this? Let’s dig in.
Companies struggling with growth are the ones that try to figure out how to spend as little as possible to acquire customers. The companies growing like crazy have figured out it's not about how much you spend, but the efficiency of that spend. They … [Continue reading]
Time to First Value (TTFV) is a commonly used Customer Engagement metric to measure the efficiency of the customer Onboarding process, but not generally a Sales KPI. But it should be. How can we hold Sales accountable for the customers they bring in … [Continue reading]
Time to First Value (TTFV) is a commonly used Customer Engagement metric to measure the efficiency of the customer Onboarding process. Unfortunately, the way this metric is used is almost always wrong. Time to First Value (TTFV) is the amount of time … [Continue reading]
You think the AHA! Moment during Customer Onboarding is a positive thing. But it's not. AHA! moments are only a positive thing if you’re searching for something… perhaps aliens or a missing sock. At the end of this journey you discover what you’re … [Continue reading]
Theres one major reason your Customer Onboarding sucks and it is something you can easily fix with little to no engineering or overhead. Fix the Emotional Disconnect that happens during Customer Onboarding. You see, Sales and Marketing create … [Continue reading]
Customers ghosting you during onboarding comes up from time to time... you've probably experienced it yourself. Someone said that when this happens they kick it back to Sales since they have the relationship with the customer. This is unfortunately a … [Continue reading]
When there is a legitimate reason for a customer to interact with you – based on helping them to get value from their relationship with you – but they are not… we say, in the parlance of our times, that they’re ghosting you. But… sometimes what you … [Continue reading]
When there is a legitimate reason for a customer to interact with you - based on helping them to get value from their relationship with you - but they are not… we say, in the parlance of our times, that they’re ghosting you. You could say they are … [Continue reading]
Onboarding is perhaps the most critical phase in the customer journey - if nothing else, it sets the tone for the relationship - and is too important to just slap together and hope it works. Please ensure you're giving the Onboarding process - and … [Continue reading]
Customer Success starts with acquiring customers that have Success Potential. Customers that have Success Potential are said to be good fit customers. This is the opposite of bad-fit customers that cannot get value from a relationship with us now or … [Continue reading]
Getting your customers to buy more from you is awesome. Remember, you’re in business here and getting customers you’ve already spent money to acquire and serve to then expand their relationship with you - giving you more revenue - just seems like a … [Continue reading]
Customers buying more from you is awesome. I mean, you're in business here and getting customers you've already acquired to expand their relationship with you just seems like a super-efficient way to grow. And it is. So when you have customers that … [Continue reading]
If you want to grow fast, don't do what most companies do! When most companies want to eke out some quick incremental growth, they'll often have their sales people turn to their existing customer base to make some sales. After all, you have a captive … [Continue reading]
When it comes to Customer Growth or Account Expansion (upselling & cross-selling), I assumed people knew that... ...you don't have to hurt the relationship with your customer to hit your numbers. ...it doesn't have to be a difficult slog that you … [Continue reading]
If you missed it, I'm done talking about churn. If you have a churn problem, read this post and follow my directions. Churn won't be an issue for you anymore. Now we can move onto GROWTH! And the first order of business is understanding the … [Continue reading]
Churn... ya boring. Yawn. Time to move on. I'm so over talking about churn and if you really understand what Customer Success is all about, you should be, too. Churn is so easy to get rid of... you just have to do five simple things. If churn is a … [Continue reading]
Let's talk about Customer Engagement, specifically one part of the Communication Model, which is my BEAST Message Framework for creating messages that actually engage customers. It's really interesting that we communicate all day long - with our … [Continue reading]
Let's talk about Customer Engagement, specifically the Communication Model. We communicate every day, all day. We communicate with friends, family, co-workers, industry peers, customers, vendors, celebrities, trolls, politicians, restaurants, … [Continue reading]
Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company. If you focus on Customer Success, churn will not be an issue. At least in theory. To take that from a simple theory to your Operating … [Continue reading]
Sales is part of Customer Success. Like it or not. No, I don't mean the Sales organization should report to the Customer Success Management org. I mean that Customer Success as an Operating Philosophy, as a way of doing business, includes sales. It … [Continue reading]
Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company. As I've said before, Customer Success as a concept is very simple. Don't overthink it. But I always have to unpack one piece of that … [Continue reading]
As you can probably imagine, I'm asked all the time what the best Customer Success KPIs are. What metrics should you use to know if your Customer Success initiative is working. Here's the deal. I'm not an analyst... I'm a consultant. Companies hire … [Continue reading]
When it comes to Customer Success, I've seen a lot of things. I've seen what works (and what works REALLY works... it's amazing). Unfortunately, I've also seen what doesn't work. A lot. In 2017 I heard "Customer Success doesn't work" way more than I … [Continue reading]
Customer Success is a very simple concept that you'll really want to overthink. Resist the urge. The beauty of this concept is in its simplicity. Implementation is another story, though. But the concept is simple. My definition of Customer Success … [Continue reading]
I've been battling more and more misconceptions when it comes to Customer Success than the fewer that I expected. I assumed as Customer Success became more well-received, moved more into the mainstream, and simply became more common that we'd all … [Continue reading]
I work with companies around the world as a Customer Success consultant, I speak at events, and I do workshops. I'm constantly teaching others about Customer Success. And even more, I'm constantly learning. My understanding of Customer Success is … [Continue reading]
I've said this before, but it is worth repeating; Customer Success is not limited to one part of the customer lifecycle, and Customer Success Management is not limited to simply helping the customer get up and running at first or to save them from … [Continue reading]
There's a myth in Customer Success Management that you must conduct Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) or Executive Business Reviews (EBRs) with your customers. This myth is propagated by those who only work with high-touch customers, by software … [Continue reading]
Customer Success is not limited to one part of the customer lifecycle, and Customer Success Management is not limited to simply helping the customer get up and running at first or to save them from churning later. Rather, when a company has Customer … [Continue reading]
Most companies just getting into Customer Success start by defining roles (well, one... Customer Success Manager), then they try to figure out the size of the "book of business" the CSM should handle, etc. That's wrong. But I won't leave you hanging! … [Continue reading]
The traditional Customer Success method of simply looking at what a customer pays us and giving them a particular level of 'touch' is old and outdated. It's time to logically segment customers based on Appropriate Experience (AX). For context, on … [Continue reading]
Proper Customer Onboarding isn't done to prevent churn; it's done to ensure the customer achieves their Desired Outcome. Retention comes from that. But what is "proper" customer onboarding? Let's find out. For context, on Friday, May 19, 2017, I did … [Continue reading]
The age-old issue of Customer Success and Sales alignment, only this time focused on segmentation. This is my attempt to definitively address this eternal quandary. For context, on Friday, May 19, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) … [Continue reading]
From a Customer Success perspective, this is the wrong question to ask. You must "focus" on all customers since proper Customer Onboarding is critical for all customers to achieve their Desired Outcome. The way you operationalize around all of your … [Continue reading]
One of the great Customer Success questions - regardless of how many answers are given or by whom - that refuses to ever actually be answered is who should handle upsells... sales or Customer Success. This is my attempt to definitively answer this … [Continue reading]
Carefully. One of the biggest drains on Customer Success Management resources is customers that have not had their expectations properly managed and having to work around that. Avoid that where you can by doing things correctly from the outset, but … [Continue reading]
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 … [Continue reading]
Luckily this type of thing is rare, but with Customer Success as our operating philosophy, or Customer Success Management as our operating model, we need to work within the confines of our customer's comfort zone... not ours. This is a … [Continue reading]