The Quest for 6-pack abs and Customer Success
By Ellie Wu
Ready to get serious about successful customers? Heads up, there are similarities between CS and the quest for 6-pack abs.
IT TAKES ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF PATIENCE
New strategies are unleashed and it's followed by the wave of excitement and a swell of expectation of all that is possible. It is reminiscent of the enthusiasm seen at gyms around Jan 1st every year or as summer approaches. Although having goals is always good, hoping for a "quick fix" to get your customers on track without considering what's needed for the long haul is like expecting your six-pack to appear (and stay) after a few weeks of regimented dedication. You'll be setting yourself and your team up for disappointment from likely failure and unrealistic expectations.
YOU'LL NEED A FOUNDATION OF STRENGTH
Six-pack abs, aren't rewarded solely through crunches and sit-ups. They are a holistic reflection of you and a trophy of thorough persistence. Similarly, you cannot have an effective Customer Success organization that goes at it alone and without the commitment from the rest of the organization. There has to be dedication from the top down aligned around and toward Customer outcomes. Kudos to Gainsight as they continue their thought leadership in CS with the recent re-organization which I cover in a previous post.
TRACK, ANALYZE, AND ADJUST
Many organizations are still figuring out what to track and/or where to start. Similar to the benefits of maintaining an accurate food log balancing nutrients for the coveted six-pack, the correct metrics for your customers and business (1) guides you closer to your goals (2) helps you make the necessary adjustments along the way (3) build confidence in challenging judgement calls with data. A strong CS Ops team is key and this topic was highlighted in last week’s Customer Success Meetup.
Too often, I've seen and heard Customer Success teams lament feeling like an afterthought where resources are still prioritized for the Sales & Marketing and the focus on organizational goals are clouded. Customer Success doesn't have the same hoopla around is often viewed as the unglamorous underbelly of companies where tedious work flows. Using our six-pack goal analogy, doing this would be like going to CrossFit, Orange Theory, Barre (fill in your favorite workout craze) and then heading to the Cheescake Factory (with or without your food log). Sure, you feel good about breaking a sweat, but does the workout alone get you to your goal? The saying goes, 'Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.' So, I say:
"Sustainable profitability is built through Customer Success, not sales alone"
What do you think?
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