Customer-centric Growth by Lincoln Murphy

Customer Success is a Simple Concept (Don’t Overthink It)

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 has evolved as my understanding of Customer Success has evolved.

The definition of Customer Success is very simple.

And here it is…

Customer Success Defined

Customer Success is when your customer achieves their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company.

Two quick things to note:

  1. Desired Outcome is their Required Outcome – or what they need to achieve – plus their Appropriate Experience – or how they need to achieve it.
  2. I said “interactions” rather than “use of your product” because there’s more to your relationship with your customer than just their use of the product (even if it’s the primary interaction)

That’s it.

That’s all there is to the concept.

To quote Nicolas Cage’s character Roy in Matchstick Men…

Simple is Safe

My definition is powerful (IMHO) because of it’s simplicity.

It is this simplicity that has enabled it to be accepted by thousands of companies around the world.

My definition doesn’t have anything to do with a specific business model, market, customer type, or technology.

It’s not predicated on an impossible universal understanding of “success” for the Customer (like “ROI”), but rather a knowledge that “success” will be different across different customers, companies, markets, products, etc.

It’s simple.

It’s easy to wrap your brain around.

It’s effective at communicating what we’re doing here.

Unfortunately there are many…

Misguided Definitions

Any definition that is specific to any of the things I’ve mentioned isn’t a definition of Customer Success, but rather an individual’s interpretation of this concept – right or wrong – for their unique situation.

Definitions of this incredibly powerful business concept that are specific to any one type of industry, operational model, etc. I feel do more damage to the Customer Success movement than help.



Customer Success is Universally Transformative

A narrow definition keeps this universally transformative concept tucked away in the niche wherein it was defined.

As we exit 2017, how many companies outside of SaaS 1) know about Customer Success and 2) if they know about it believe it’s for them? Few. The answer is few.

And that’s because so many people work really hard (even if inadvertent) to keep Customer Success associated with SaaS… to everyone’s detriment.

If you feel the need to come up with your own definition of Customer Success, more power to you, just please think bigger than your own little corner of the world.

It’s in everyone’s interest that Customer Success be recognized globally as something that any type of business in any region of the world can leverage to thrive.

Exit mobile version