ABC written in chalk on a gridded blackboard

The ABCs of Customer Success

Adoption

You can’t achieve success without the understanding and adoption of your products and services by your customers. This could take many different shapes, and lots can go into understanding this. Including but not limited to identifying the unique needs of your customer segments, and the personas of users within each. What motivates people to do what you’d like them to do? How can you drive them to value realization by focusing on how you solve their jobs-to-be-done. Would you talk to a business owner the same way you speak to an end-user? Map out their desired outcomes, and help them identify the areas where successfully leveraging your service offering can ensure they meet them.  – Ashley Cooper, GradientMSP/MSP Geek

Benefits

Not every customer is fully aware of all the benefits they are entitled to as your customer, make sure they are aware of them and how to utilize them.  – Matt Solomon, Channel Program

Compassion

Show Compassion to your clients. Spend a few moments to talk to them and share in commonality. People are people.  – Kyle Spooner, IntelliComp Technologies, MSP Geek

Defined

You and your customer need to agree on what Success is. This is a shared goal you must work towards together.  – Tim Fournet, Rewst

Empathy

Incorporate empathy in every part of your process and it will shine through to your customers.  – Heather Johnson, Gozynta

Frictionless

Make it easy for your customers to be successful with you. Creating too many hoops to jump through can deter your customers from engaging with you in the ways you need them to. Make sure every step of your process is meaningful, systematic, and jam packed with value for your customer. Make it a no-brainer to engage with you.  – Johnathan Schofield, Green Cloud Defense

Goals

Theirs. not yours. Get them to talk to you about what matters to them in their business, aligning your goals to theirs is way more fruitful than trying to make theirs align with your own.  – Ashley Cooper, Gradient MSP/MSP Geek

Humble

Humble confidence – remember that customers are what made you. This might mean taking a verbal beatdown from an upset customer, but also hold that you are the “doctor” and prescribe the medicine, not the other way around.  – Aaron Kennedy, Cognition360

Initiative

Take the initiative with your customers. Every client will have different challenges, goals and definitions of success. Assess each customer’s situation independently and work to remove unique difficulties and improve their situation.  – George Smith, Augmentt

Jargon

Avoid using terms that people may not understand (but everyone loves their industry’s own jargon! “Speak their language”)  – Dustin Bolander, Clear Guidance Partners

Keep

Keep your customers with conversations. “If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitor will.”  – Philip Kotler

Listen

Meet your customers where they are.  – Alex Farling, Lifecycle Insights

Mutual Success Plans

Mutual Success Plans should be a foundational element of how CSMs work with customers.  – Rebecca Rogez, Auvik Networks

Navigate

Help customers navigate their journey and collaborate with other teams to improve service delivery.  – Bryan Chapman, Gradient MSP

Operational Excellence

While relationships can be some of the most important avenue to gaining your clients trust, there will always need to be proof in the value you add to their business. Maintain clean data through operational excellence so that you can objectively cement your position with your client. You are providing the value to their business in keeping them running, secure, and efficient and the ROIs outweigh your costs which will ultimately speak to any executive; a lot more than that emergency box of donuts you brought them.  – Kyle Christensen, Sierra Pacific Group

Pay Attention

When you experience poor customer success, dissect that experience. Make sure you aren’t inadvertently replicating that in your business. When you are “WOW”ed by an amazing experience, take a moment to feel it, and ensure you are causing YOUR clients to feel that way too.  – Jennifer Bleam, MSP Sales Revolution

Quality

Customer success will fall flat if your product just plain doesn’t work right, make sure the care for the customer experience makes it all the way down to your product development team.  – Brian Johnson, Gozynta

Respond

Make sure your clients don’t feel ignored, respond to to their requests and emails. – Will Young, Bering McKinley

Strategic

Strategic/trusted relationships are based on authenticity and truth – Developing trusted relationships with customers pays dividends both in the quality of the day to day operations and long term revenue growth.  – Vince Crisler, Dark Cubed

Transparency

Be real in both your intentions and interactions. Trust, Value and Relationships are strengthened when interactions are clear in intent and progress is shared openly.  – Stacey Geddes, Gradient MSP

Unaware

Be aware that you are unaware of more than you think when dealing with people, and so much of it is about them as a person. Be sensitive to that.  – Dave Sobel, The Business of Tech Podcast

Value

Know the Value of your client. Every bit of value, perhaps at a cost of time or money, you give a client has a return on your investment. Know what that return is.  – Allen Edwards, Eureka Process

Who are they?

Build a relationship outside of the business. Ask about their kids, spouse, interests, weekend, etc. Customers work with those they know and build a relationship with.  – Christy Perez, Cognition360

Xaern

Interactions with your client should be positive. They should xaern their account review meetings.  – Ray Orsini, OITVOIP/MSP Media Network

Yes?!

Some will say the customer is always right. I would say the customer has the right to the right answer even if the answer is no. True customer success allows for strategic and trusted conversations and not “the customer is always right.”  – Marnie Stockman, Lifecycle Insights

“Zzzzzzz…”

Don’t sleep on customer success. 90% of your revenue is driven through customer success. Even beyond that – when the economy is doing well, customer success drives new revenue. In a down economy, customer success keeps the business you need through relationships.  – Marnie Stockman (one more time), Lifecycle Insights

xaern definition to enjoy so much
Thanks Ray Orsini for teaching us a new word!

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