You spend your days preventing customers from churn. But how are you protecting you and your team from churn? While Customer Success is a new and exciting industry, not everyone is convinced about its value. As Customer Success professionals we face both ways: we must demonstrate to customers the value of our product, and also to management the value of our CS services. This is our challenge and our opportunity.
Mikael Blaisdell, in the article Customer Success and Value-‘Provability' shares, “the true goal of Customer Success is getting the decision-makers at both the customers and our company to acknowledge and confirm receipt of the tangible value that we deliver. It’s about money. That’s the proof of value that counts.” I recently had the privilege to join Mikael and Mark Pecoraro of CS Leadership on a panel for the “The At-Risk Customer Success Group” session at Customer SuccessCon West. Mikael shared stories about entire Customer Success (CS) teams being let go. His perspective is that because CS professionals often shy away from metrics, data, and financials, their teams are are sidelined, disregarded, and seen as an unnecessary expense.
Having worked in customer enablement for 20 years, I know this problem well. No one quite understands what we do and the impact we have. We are often seen as a cost center and when budgets get tight, guess who’s first to go? I personally experienced this when I led a Customer Education group at a startup. Even though I shared the quarterly metrics of course attendees and survey feedback, I didn’t connect the dots to the business bottom line. As a result, when cost cutting was needed, management didn’t understand the value my team provided. My entire team and I were let go. Don’t let that happen to you. Make sure you are seen as an investment, not a cost with these three keys to prove your value.
3 Keys to Prove your Value.
Track your efforts. Don’t wait to implement a customer success management system. Instead, get started with whatever tool is at hand; a spreadsheet will do. It’s important to define your processes and customer touch points, so track the activities you and your team perform to help customers be successful. Then document what your team spends their time on. You want to understand how long customer