If you’re like most companies, you’re probably comfortable understanding the role your support organization plays in the overall health of your business.  You’ve probably heard of Customer Success, you may even realize that you need a Customer Success team, but it can be hard to articulate the business value of Customer Success or why it is so critical to insure your company is able to meet your long term business goals.

When I tell people that I work in Customer Success, one of the first question I ask is “Do you know what Customer Success does?”  I hear answers such as “No!”,  “You’re part of support?”, “Do you demo new products?”.  The answer is, Customer Success is many things, too many companies, but the main goal is to focus on Adoption, Business Value, Maximizing ROI, and partnering with our customer to define Metrics and KPI’s that will allow them to articulate the story of their success throughout their organization, particularly to their executive leadership.  It’s about standing in the background and helping your customer be the hero.  And, when I follow that with, “A happy customer, and successful customer, is much more likely to be repeat customer” the light bulb goes off.

As the business landscape continues to move towards a recurring revenue model, it’s nearly impossible for any organization to be successful unless they dedicate resources to ensuring their customers are getting value from the products or services they’ve purchased.  Traditionally this was most common among SaaS companies, but today we’re beginning to see that this is just as important for companies across a wide range of business models.  Whether you’re looking to reduce attrition across your MRR lines of business or improving renewal rates of your service contracts, being proactive have been proven time and again to have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Even customers that sell products with an estimated life expectancy where Sales often calls when it’s time to upgrade are finding that having a Customer Success team in place enables them to increase their average sales and make higher dollar sales more consistently.  This is possible because in-between sales cycles, your success team is proactively ensuring that your customer is using your product, happy with it, and if they are beginning to consider competitors, you’re already top of mind for the customer and your sales team is able to get in front of them more quickly.

Whether it’s B2B or B2C, customers today expect to treated like an individual, they want to do business with companies they trust and can rely on, and they want to be in business relationships where they feel valued.  Don’t we all?  As business people, we know that it’s much less costly to keep a customer than acquire a new one.  We also know it’s easier than ever for customer to move from one company, one product, one service, to another.  The efficiencies we’ve gained as the world has gone digital, has also made relationships more important than ever before.

A strong custom Customer Success team allows you to take your relationship with your customer to the next level.  One which moves away from one of vendor/buyer into one of a true partnership where each side see the other as a key ingredient to their success.  It helps to break down the walls of mistrust that are built when expectations are unclear, and it will help both sides of the business relationship feel valued and heard.