Customer Success in a B2B2C (Partner / Value Chain) Scenario

Customer Success is defined as our customers achieving their Desired Outcome through their interactions with our company.

Think of that definition of Customer Success as your Operating Philosophy.

That philosophy can be extended to the greater value chain or ecosystem you work within.

Every entity in the partner/distribution value chain has a Desired Outcome.

It’s up to you to discover what that is and facilitate the achievement of that (ever-evolving) Desired Outcome, and it all starts with getting clear on Success Potential for each link in the value chain.

Let’s dig into this…

For context, on Friday, May 5, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video (audio only… sorry) is embedded below and below that is the transcript (edited for better readability) that answers the question.

The B2B2C Customer Success Value Chain

Nicholas sent in an email. Has a question on B2B2C. “What are some ideas on improving our client’s relationship with their clients to drive customer success?”

How do we help our customer’s customer be successful? Now we’re getting somewhere.

Our customers have a Desired Outcome. We know that.

Here’s the secret. Their customers also have a desired outcome.

We can take two paths when we’re selling to somebody who is going to be selling to somebody.

We can ignore the fact that there is an end customer. We can focus only on trying to get our distributor, our partner, our whatever it is that we’re working with or just our customer who has customers.

We can just focus on their needs and hope, hope, hope beyond hope that they do what is necessary to make their customer successful because if that doesn’t happen then our customer is going to churn or instead of just relying on hope and faith, we can actually try to understand what would be necessary to ensure that their customer is successful and give them the tools, give them the training, give them the resources, give them the help in order to make sure that their customers are successful.

I’ve gotta be honest, though.

The number of companies out there that have a Partner Success program or are looking at things this way are few and far between, but those that have done this, those that have actually figured out how to ensure those that are representing them out in the market, their resellers, their partners, or just those that are using their product with their customers … The ones that are thriving are the ones that have figured out how to make this work.

That all starts with understanding that across this value chain everybody has a Desired Outcome, everybody has a required business outcome. Everybody has an Appropriate Experience.

If I’m an accounting product and I sell either to or through accountants to businesses or individuals, if I can help that accountant do more of their core business, have a better relationship with their customers, then my product isn’t just going to be seen as a nice-to-have add-on that they may or may not really work to get customers to use.

But, if I can give the accountant something that allows them to do more of their core business, if I can be their trusted resource, I can be the place that they turn to for compliance understanding, I can make sure that they have the tools necessary to reach out before tax day, etc. my position in their world changes dramatically.

If we can set all of that up, then I’m ensuring that my accountant partner is going to be successful because I’m ensuring that they will ensure their customers are going to be successful.

It really comes down to understanding the Desired Outcome of everybody across the value chain and operationalizing that to the extent possible.

Look at in the middle of that value chain somebody sitting between us and the end user.

Let’s help them do more of their core business and really set them up for success.

That usually means giving them the tools necessary to make sure that their end customers are getting as much value as possible.

Don’t just leave them hanging.

About Lincoln Murphy

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