Customer Success Managers are the workforce of the experience and subscription economy.
Born in the Software as a Service (SaaS) sector not that many years ago, customer success has become an indispensable function in small and large technology organisations that target mostly enterprise customers.
Getting to success is part art and science. The latter relies heavily on data – usage data and how it can be tracked and grown. Good method comes into it too. That success can be quantified through customers (or users) of a technology platform, using a platform and deriving value from it.
Usage is the currency of the customer success manager who in turn is the custodian of success.
Customer success management can be practised and perfected over time. Many activities can and should be automated but ultimately it is the skill and passion of the people delivering the service that makes the difference (the art).
My approach to customer success, from a method point of view, takes the best from The Lean Startup approach. I wrote about that here: Lean startup methodology applied to successful enterprise technology adoption. Tim O’Reilly, CEO O’Reilly Media, sums up below what I tried to do: apply the methodology to a great challenge I face daily in my role in customer success – successful enterprise technology adoption.
“The Lean Startup isn’t just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business…it’s about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do. I imagine Lean Startup principles applied to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world’s great problems. It’s ultimately an answer to the question ‘How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn’t?” Tim O’Reilly.
The approach is also, as you may have noticed, very much in sync with the success hacking approach.
All posts I’ve written on customer success:
- Lean startup methodology applied to successful enterprise technology adoption
- Enterprise technology adoption – Use cases are the currency of success
- Launch like a boss – bringing consumer startup practice to your enterprise technology platform
- Connecting customer advocates to drive product strategy and customer success
- Scaling your customer success efforts online – a guide
- Building user success managers
- Role of the customer success manager
- State of Customer Success – Learnings from Pulse 2017
If you’re not sure what a Customer Success Manager is I put this slide deck together and shared it on SlideShare some time ago. You could see it as a primer :)