Definition

customer success

Contributor(s): Scott Sachs

Customer success is a strategy to assure that a company’s products are meeting the needs of the customer. Customer success includes making sure the product works properly, people know how to use the product, and there is post-sale support. Customer success requires a proactive focus that seeks to reduce customer churn.

The strategy is increasingly being used by vendors who sell software products that are purchased through a monthly subscription model. Customer success is critical to assure that end users of a product are able to use the product as promised from a perspective of proper configuration and training. Customer success is also critical to assure an ongoing positive relationship with a customer, especially when the barriers to change vendors is low.

In customer experience management (CXM) apps delivered through a software as a service (SaaS) business model, for example, there are 3 key steps that drive customer success:

  • Installation – Usually led by a professional services team, installation includes the actual set-up of the software and assuring the functionality works that has been promised in the sales process.
  • Training – Training of the users of the software in the functionality and administration of user enabled changes. This also includes informal training through user groups
  • Account Management – Providing an ongoing relationship between the company and the customer to assure that the software functions as promised, identifies opportunities for improvement, and drive contract extensions and add-on services.

The truly successful organization needs to practice all 3 steps with an eye for assuring the ongoing relationship is successful and the products continue to satisfy customer’s needs from a multitude of perspectives.

This was last updated in March 2019

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