How do you begin to assess how successful you are likely to be with your customers ahead of the customer success journey?
Taking this approach, perhaps you can even determine if you should embark on the journey or not.
A good place to start is probably the end point. Stephen R Covey, author of the The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, nails it in his second habit:
Begin with the end in mind.
How difficult or easy customer success is likely to be and therefore how your strategy and plan needs to reflect this has a lot to do with these two factors: intent and purpose.
I often use them as a prioritisation criteria. Once you determine a customers intent and purpose with your technology, you could decide on what level of support to provide them, or if they even get it.
They’re not the only two factors by any means but I often start with them. Here is the matrix I use.
I do this in the context of key stakeholders or stakeholder groups.
For instance you’d expect that the person or team that made the main decision on your product will have a clear intent and purpose.
But what about other key stakeholders, sometimes more important ones? They may not view it at all in the same way.
What is purpose?
You have a clearly defined vision and definition of outcomes you mean to achieve with the product.
What is intent?
You actually mean to put the technology to use in a specific way. You’d be surprised but sometimes, especially with technology suites or bundled functionality, the intent is not there in totality. Sometimes where a person/s had no involvement in the decision, they have no intent to use it. Or at least the intent has not been given the chance to form.
Absence of any one of these will require different tactics but thats for another post.
As mentioned there are other factors to consider before embarking on or in prioritising your success journey with customers. For example, I had a brief conversation with Shawn Riedel who replied to a post on LinkedIn when I shared the matrix. I’ve captured the relevant bit below:
- Shawn Riedel
- Stephen I think these make a lot of sense to add to other decision matrices [emphasis added]:
People: X – Desire Y – Skills
Process: X – Impact to Revenue Y – Modularity of Process
Modularity of Process actually tells us how ingrained the process is and if it can be lifted or changed with minimal impact.
Technology: X – Effort Y – Complexity Optimal Outcome actually ends up in the lower left corner for this one. Least complex, least effort will result in a better outcome.
- Totally think these could work. Next step would possibly be to create a multi-dimensional matrix. Point being to aid prioritisation and decision making
What do you think? Does the approach make sense and what factors would you use?