How Startups Develop a Customer Success Strategy
Do your customers love your product or do they tolerate it? To answer that question, you may need to ask another question:
How much work do you do to make your customers successful?
You can never have too much customer success, and you can never put too much effort into creating it. But to elevate your product from tolerate to love — or from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” — that takes more than just goodwill, friendly service, and timely support.
Customer Success is the newish name for a company’s collection of customer onboarding, retention, and upsell strategies. It’s probably the most critical factor for growth at any stage, and it’s one of the more misunderstood and overlooked concepts in business.
In 20-plus years of creating successful products, I’ve spent my fair share of time creating successful customers. Here’s what I’ve learned about developing an effective Customer Success strategy, whether your company is just getting started or you’ve already got a ton of customers in “like” with your product.
What is Customer Success and how do you get it?
Like I said, Customer Success is a collection of strategies to bring customers in, keep them in, and sell them more.
If you’re coming in cold to Customer Success, here’s a piece I wrote recently to explain it all in about five minutes. Customer Success is not a sales initiative, it’s not a support initiative, but it basically closes the loop between those two areas. It falls under product, and it touches almost every area of the company.
There is no single best Customer Success strategy for your company. There’s the best strategy for you, and there’s the best strategy for everyone else. How you establish Customer Success within your organization will depend on what your company is ready for and how your customers interface with your company.
So while there is no magic bullet, there are guidelines, and those guidelines start with goals.