4 Pillars of Customer Success

By June 6, 2019Blog

Customer success is a business mindset as much as it is a practice. However, the job of customer success is typically delegated to a specific team. It can have a lot of moving parts, strategies, and metrics to consider. Such an encapsulating term can seem hard to define and embody, but we believe there are four key requirements that empower customer success teams to do their best work for their customers, and in return provide significant value to their businesses. Here are the customer success pillars to incorporate into your business.

Intelligence

Intelligence, or data, is the starting point for any customer success transformation. It’s true that you can’t fix what you don’t know, and understanding where your users are now is the first step in helping them reach their goals.

Tools such as product usage data, customer intel, and user profiles highlight your user’s successes. These tools let you know what users have been most successful with, as well as the positive metrics they’re achieving but haven’t noticed yet. Understanding current areas of user success also guides your strategy for moving them further along their current path. For example, could they be using their favorite features in a more efficient way? Could they benefit from an account upgrade that gives them access to specific features?

Intelligence helps your customer success team understand user perspectives so that product teams are able to create winning experiences and demonstrate real value.

Insights

Intelligence begins, and largely remains, with the sustomer success team. However, when intelligence comes together to form holistic views of the customer through customer health scores and journey paths, it can be shared by all teams to orient the business around the user.

Intelligence is gained through data, but insights are the actionable takeaways that result from the data. For example, user page clicks are a piece of data. On their own, they can only tell you so much. However, when different pieces of data come together to give you insights through journey paths, you can begin to take steps to improve customer success. Another prime example of an actionable insight is the customer health score. All of the pieces of intelligence, such as feature usage and login frequency, come together to give you a single insight. From the customer health score, you can prioritize which users to help first or identify segments that are most successful.

When every department has customer success as the ultimate goal, then customers feel supported by the entire organization and each function can work with, instead of against, one another.

Engagement

Intelligence and insight provide actionable steps for teams to act on immediately, while ongoing user engagement helps mold all aspects of a customer-centric business. By staying on top of changing customer needs through in-app engagement rates and customer feedback, you’re orienting your business around the customer.

Customer success is a two-way street, and an open dialogue is an important component in the customer success pillar of “engagement.” Surveys and micro feedback empower users to respond and play a role in shaping the future of the product. Harnessing the voice of the customer through engagement allows the company to improve marketing messaging, customer advocacy, sales processes, product roadmaps, and more as the preferences and goals of users evolve.

Alignment

Alignment is when customer success shifts from a single function in an organization to a shared mindset. Processes that involve all other functional areas, such as the c-suite, marketing, product, and support teams in customer success ultimately ensure a company’s success.

In order to achieve company-wide customer success alignment, though, the other three pillars of customer success must be in place. Intelligence and insights that can be shared across teams help every function make decisions based on customer success. Additionally, engaging with customers and collecting feedback bring very team member closer to current user goals.

How to incorporate customer success pillars into your business

Companies that have all four pillars of customer success in their business are able to better serve users and make customer-centric decisions with ease. How do you achieve this milestone, though? First, you need to assess which pillars you already have. What tools do you use to gather intelligence and insights? Is customer success considered in every department?

After you’ve identified which pillars your business is lacking, start with the easiest to implement. For example, gaining intelligence through easy-to-use tools is a much simpler task than undergoing a complete company culture and mindset shift. Building these customer success pillars make take time, so begin with the most tangible and actionable.

If you want to learn how to fill the gaps in your customer success pillars, schedule a demo with UserIQ and let us show you how.

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