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 definition and that’s Desired Outcome, or what your customers need to achieve (their Required Outcome) and the way they need to achieve it (their Appropriate Experience).
Required Outcome + Appropriate Experience = Desired Outcome
Desired Outcome is also a relatively simple concept. Unlike Customer Success, however, Desired Outcome isn’t something people tend to overthink…
… it’s something they just tend to ignore.
Well, if they don’t ignore the entire thing, they only focus on one part… the Required Outcome.
Appropriate Experience either doesn’t matter to them or is just too hard to figure out (which makes them give up and say “it doesn’t matter”).
I can’t help you if you don’t believe Appropriate Experience matters, but if you believe it matters but just can’t wrap your head around the concept, here’s something that might help you figure it out.
You’ve Had an Inappropriate Experience
Have you ever used a product or consumed a service where you got what you needed out of it – you achieved your Required Outcome – but something was… off?
The product or service did what it said it would do… but it just didn’t feel right.
You’ve been there.
We all have.
So you looked for a product or service vendor that would not just give you the Required Outcome, but would give you that outcome in a way that feels right.
And even though I said “feels right,” it’s not just a feeling… it’s a quantifiable list of requirements around the experience that – when you can’t check all the boxes – makes you “feel” like something was off.
So the vendor you started a new relationship with would help you achieve not just your Required Outcome, but give you that outcome in an appropriate way.
That new vendor provided you with an Appropriate Experience.
And then you felt successful.
Don’t overthink this concept, it’s very simple.
But definitely think about it.
Need incentive? Think about this.
How many of your customers – right now – are achieving their Required Outcome in their relationship with you, but aren’t getting their Appropriate Experience and are looking for a vendor that can give them both?
Those customers are a churn threat, even though you may see them as “healthy” or “successful” because you’re giving them their Required Outcome.
Now you know why your “successful” customers churn, fail to renew, or otherwise stop doing business with you.
Okay, now you get it (I hope)… but where do you go from here?
Here’s a list of additional resources that will help you better understand the concept of Desired Outcome, your customer’s Appropriate Experience, and how to put that knowledge into action: