Customer Success: Customer Engagement Across the Entire Lifecycle

Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company. Those interactions occur across the entire lifecycle. I define Customer Success Management as the process of moving customers toward their ever-evolving Desired Outcome. Again, across the entire lifecycle. You can’t have Customer Success without engagement across the lifecycle. For context, on Friday, May 19, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video is embedded below and below that is the transcript (edited for better readability) that answers the question.

How to keep customers engaged post-training?

He goes on to say: We’re running into the issue of customers diving straight into our tool, post training. But then we have severe decline two to four weeks after that training. I have several ideas brewing to tackle the problem. But been reading a lot of your blogs
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Customer Success: Working with Customers that don’t like Technology

Luckily this type of thing is rare, but with Customer Success as our operating philosophy, or Customer Success Management as our operating model, we need to work within the confines of our customer’s comfort zone… not ours. This is a thought-provoking question with, hopefully, an equally thought-provoking answer. For context, on Friday, May 19, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video is embedded below and below that is the transcript (edited for better readability) that answers the question.

What if our customers don’t like technology?

I see this sometimes for sure. People will say, you know this customer segment something of farmers may fit into this. Again, generalization. Our customers don’t like or this market they don’t like technology. You know, they’re not very tech-forward. I did some work in the oil and gas, or with the companies in
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Customer Success: How to Tell Customers What to Do

For many Customer Success Management teams, it’s easy to fall into the trap of ‘just let your customers figure it out.’ In fact, it’s easy to think that’s in their best interest. Leave them alone and they’ll discover what they need to on their own. But in most cases, that’s the exact opposite of what you need to do. For context, on Friday, May 19, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video is embedded below and below that is the transcript (edited for better readability) that answers the question.

Should we tell customers what to do?

Zoe had a similar problem as Joshua in the previous question, and she said that they called the customer and asked why their use declined. They found that the biggest issue was they didn’t know what to do next. She said they
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How to Get Customers to Help Define Engagement Models

Don’t hide from your customers. Don’t pretend you know everything. Talk to your customers and figure out from that discovery process what your engagement model should look like. You can then extrapolate segment-based models or, for some customers, create unique engagement models just for them (if it makes sense). For context, on Friday, May 19, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video is embedded below and below that is the transcript (edited for better readability) that answers the question.

Is it appropriate to ask a customer how often they would like to meet?

Some customer segments, possible the ones that may not pay us very much, if we ask them that question they might want to meet all the time. And here’s the thing. I see this actually, unfortunately, sort of frequently. How often do our … I run
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Lincoln Murphy Customer Success AMA – May 5, 2017

On Friday May 5, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video is embedded below and while there seems to be an audio/video sync issue, the audio is crisp and listening to this will be time well-spent. If you don’t want to watch or listen, I got the entire AMA transcribed (and cleaned it up a bit for readability, added links, etc.) and posted that below. I answered 20 questions! Like and Follow me on Facebook so you can be notified the next time I go live. Right now, I’m planning on doing another Facebook AMA on May 19, 2017. But follow me just to be sure.
The audio and video are a bit out of sync, so just listen, don’t watch. Or… just watch… but that’d be weird.

Question 1 – Setup Fees

The first question is from
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The 5 Fatal Flaws of most Customer Journey Maps

Customer Journey maps are a favorite tool of Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Success Management (CSM) professionals around the world. Very often, they are elaborate, colorful maps – some look like movie storyboards or even children’s board games – that take the customer on a journey to nowhere. Very often, they are elaborate, colorful maps – some look like movie storyboards or even children’s board games – that take the customer on a journey to nowhere. What journey are you mapping? If it’s not the one that takes your customer to their Required Outcome in an Appropriate Way (together, those two things make up the customer’s Desired Outcome), then it’s a map to nowhere for the customer… and to churn for you. Honestly, from a true Customer Success Management standpoint, we shouldn’t even be talking about maps at all. Instead, we should be talking about something more like a
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The Cost of Bad Fit Customers: The $1.2M Churn and Burn to Learn Mistake

Do you need to churn and burn customers to learn? A lot of people in startups think so. In fact, a lot of people in companies of all shapes and sizes think so. Think you need to churn and burn through thousands of customers before it starts to have a negative impact on your growth velocity and costs? I’ll show you why that’s just not true. If you think churning and burning customers so you can learn is the way to go, sit back and let me tell you a fun little story about an expensive lesson that didn’t need to be learned. In fact, what I’ll share is why startups need to build-in Customer Success from the ground up, and established companies need to bring Customer Success into their universe ASAP. First, I have to acknowledge what Steve Blank famously said: “Your startup is essentially an organization built to
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The Cost of Bad Fit Customers: The $1.2M Churn and Burn to Learn Mistake

Do you need to churn and burn customers to learn? A lot of people in startups think so. In fact, a lot of people in companies of all shapes and sizes think so. Think you need to churn and burn through thousands of customers before it starts to have a negative impact on your growth velocity and costs? I’ll show you why that’s just not true. If you think churning and burning customers so you can learn is the way to go, sit back and let me tell you a fun little story about an expensive lesson that didn’t need to be learned. In fact, what I’ll share is why startups need to build-in Customer Success from the ground up, and established companies need to bring Customer Success into their universe ASAP. First, I have to acknowledge what Steve Blank famously said: “Your startup is essentially an organization built to
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Customer Success Goals: Cohorts, Metrics, and Prioritization

I asked the VP of Customer Success what her goal was for the Customer Success Management (CSM) organization, and she said, “to ensure customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with our company.” That’s the definition of Customer Success that I developed, so I obviously loved that answer for this reason. But I didn’t like it because that’s not actually a goal. That’s their purpose. That’s why the CSM org exists (in fact, it’s why the company exists), but it’s not a goal. A goal is something that’s meaningful, actionable, and reachable; it’s an objective and a timeframe. And if you’re a Customer Success leader who wants to get a “seat at the table” with other executives, you need to be able to tie your goals with those of the company and become so important – so valuable to the rest of the company – that you need
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Contents of an Awesome Customer Success Playbook

Customer Success has been clearly defined and what goes into Customer Success Management has been fully documented. But when it comes to certain aspects of Customer Success Management, there are still a few things that remain a bit mysterious to some. A great example of that is the concept of the Customer Success Playbook, the sports analogy-based workflows, processes, interventions, etc. – called “plays” – to run with the customers when something happens. I haven’t talked about Customer Success Playbooks much, and here’s why. While there are high-level Customer Success frameworks like those I use with my clients, the way we orchestrate and operationalize a Customer Success-driven Growth strategy is different enough across companies, products, and customer segments, that trying to create a one-size-fits-all Customer Success Playbook that works for all companies is never going to – or should never – happen. But my lack of coverage of this subject doesn’t mean
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