The Art and Science of Continuous Goal Alignment in Customer Success

Every Customer Success Manager (CSM) and Head of Customer Success has felt it at some point: the nagging sense that although Goal Discovery is essential, something is missing in the process of keeping those goals continually aligned.

You know it’s important, but somehow staying in-sync with your customer’s evolving goals seems elusive. Perhaps it’s the ever-shifting nature of the goals themselves, or maybe it’s the difficulty in recognizing when and how to reassess them.

Whatever the challenge, it’s a common pain point, and it’s time to unravel it.

The truth is, Continuous Goal Alignment is not just a strategy; it’s the backbone of creating a meaningful relationship with your customers.

Without it, you’re merely dancing around the edges, never fully engaging with the dynamic nature of your customers’ needs and expectations.

In this post, I’ll break down the essence of Continuous Goal Alignment and share insights from our latest episode of Impact Weekly to help you master this critical component of Customer Success.

Customer Success Podcast: Impact Weekly Episode 39

If you want to go deep on this topic, listen to this episode of our Customer Success podcast, Impact Weekly, that comes out every Wednesday. You can listen below or on your favorite podcast app:

Reminding Customers to Update Goals

One of the simplest, yet most effective, ways to stay in touch with your customers’ evolving goals is to remind them to keep you in the loop.

Your customers may not automatically think of updating you when they’ve changed their focus. If you remind them why it’s vital for you to know their latest goals, they’ll be more likely to keep you informed.

At the core of this approach is joint accountability. We teach this in our Impact Academy Customer Success training, emphasizing that we’re in this together with our customers.

Without mutual commitment and transparent communication, it’s impossible to fully understand what your customers need and want, and that disconnect could lead to misunderstandings and missed opportunities.

We’re a TEAM here

How do you know when it’s time to reassess a customer’s goals? The answer lies in being attuned to TEAM Prompts: Triggers, Events, Actions, and Milestones.

These can be clear indicators of changes that might affect the customer’s ability to achieve their goals.

For example, if a customer is switching from an outbound model to an inbound model for Sales, that change would have a profound impact on their goals and strategies.

Recognizing this shift and adapting to it is essential for maintaining alignment and supporting your customer’s new direction.

The podcast episode has many other examples where TEAM Prompts apply.

Making Goal Discussions Natural

Talking about goals shouldn’t feel forced or robotic. It must be an integral part of your regular interactions with customers.

The key is to have a framework that allows for natural, organic discussions about goals and the challenges and opportunities they present.

Remember, it’s a two-way street. While you’re there to help your customers achieve their goals, they also have responsibilities.

Part of their end of the bargain is to keep you updated on any changes to their objectives. When you frame it this way, you create an atmosphere of collaboration and trust that benefits both parties.

The Three-Pronged Approach to Continuous Goal Alignment

Continuous goal alignment is both art and science, but it really boils down to three things:

  1. Remind Your Customers to Keep You Updated: Communication is vital; never hesitate to ask for updates on changing goals.
  2. Look for Triggers: Stay alert for prompts that could indicate changes in your customer’s ability to achieve their goals.
  3. Create Natural Discussions Around Goals: Build a rapport that allows for honest and comfortable goal-oriented discussions.

Make an Impact… Weekly

Don’t miss out on the insights that could revolutionize your partner relationships. Ensure you’re at the forefront of customer success management by subscribing to our Impact Weekly podcast.

Every Wednesday, we delve into a new aspect of customer and partner success, equipping you with the knowledge you need to thrive in the multi-channel landscape. Subscribe now, and let’s keep learning together.

About Lincoln Murphy

I invented Customer Success. I focus primarily on Customer Engagement. Learn more about me here.