In this blogpost:

A successful company focuses on the success of its customers. Because what is good for your customers is also good for you. But how do you ensure that your organization will build on customer success?

What is a customer success plan?

Let’s start with the beginning. Customer success means striving to help your customers achieve their desired goals with your products or services. It translates into business strategies designed to support your customers during the purchase process while reducing churn.

In a customer success plan, you define what customer success looks like for you and what the steps are that your customer contact teams must follow to help your customers achieve their goals.

With this plan, you can accurately collect customer feedback , track people’s behavior and needs , and map the customer journey from start to finish.

The insights gained help your team further determine what actions and resources are needed to ensure customer satisfaction.

But what is the difference between customer success and customer service?

The terms customer success and customer service often lead to some confusion. Because if you already have a customer service team supporting your customers, do you need a customer success framework?

The answer is yes. There is one crucial difference between the two: customer service solves your customers’ problems while customer success anticipates their needs, challenges and questions.

A customer success roadmap is meant to better understand your customer, it gives your team guidelines to act on. The roadmap also focuses more on your customer’s needs and goals than on the desired business outcomes. It’s about your customer, not your business.

Summarized:

  • Your customer service handles questions and problems from your customers;
  • Your customer success team tries to anticipate common frustration points so that customers successfully achieve their goals.

What’s the point of a customer success plan?

Reasons enough. Among other things:

→ You reduce churn

Churn is the number of customers who stop purchasing products and services or cancel their subscription.

Customer departures are not good for your turnover, so reducing churn is essential for companies that want to operate successfully and grow in a highly competitive market.

Your customer success plan will give you a better understanding of why your customers are leaving and help you prevent that. With the right plan, you’ll highlight all users’ pain points and develop a strategy to reduce frustration.

→ It stimulates acquisition

A good customer success plan will also help you acquire new customers . It’s no surprise that word of mouth still works really well.

People love to share success stories and recommendations, which can have both a positive and a negative effect on a particular business.

Investing in a solid customer success plan helps you both attract and retain new customers.

→ It ensures an increase in turnover

One caveat: more customers, more money. Customer retention and customer acquisition have a direct impact on your revenue.

High customer satisfaction leads to increased loyalty , positive word of mouth , repeat purchases , and long-term relationships, all of which impact your company’s bottom line.

Step-by-step plan: this is how you build a customer success plan

Convinced, but don’t know where to start? The steps below will help you set up a solid strategy.

Step 1: make sure you have clear your customer’s end goal

Be the first to determine what your customer’s end goal is. What makes him extremely happy? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is our view on the customer experience?
  • What values drive this vision?
  • How far or close are we from this vision?
  • How can we close the gaps?

When you have a goal in mind, it helps you:

  • Get a clear picture of how you want to develop your customer success plan
  • Keeping in mind the gaps between the current and the desired state
  • Have necessary action steps and priorities in order

Take the time to research your customers’ needs and adjust your actions accordingly. Have you set your goals? Then follow four steps to come to a customer success plan:

  1. Identify the risks of your current customer journey. Investigate with your team where your service provision falls short. Do your customers drop out immediately after they are onboard or already somewhere in the purchase process? Collect data, including from feedback tools.
  2. Determine the value-based result you want to see. Ask your team how they want to impress your customers. How does this fit into your broader vision? What resources in money, technology and people do you need to achieve this?
  3. Make sure every person on your team is responsible and accountable for at least one task. Owning the project will keep them engaged. You’ll start with a simple task division , but over time you can move to advanced management tools to monitor your progress.
  4. Select the stats you want to track over time.
  5. Decide with your team what your definition of success is. When is your customer successful? What instruments do you use to measure success? Use this to put together your correct KPIs .

Step 2: Build a customer success team

To implement your customer success plan you need a dedicated team. Your roadmap is a future-oriented document and to make it a success you must ensure that it is supported throughout the organization.

In other words, the power of building a roadmap is breaking through silos and unifying perspectives on customer success across the company. However, this is not an easy task to complete.

Step 3: Appoint a customer success roadmap leader

And that person has strong strategic and communication skills. He or she has a holistic view of the vision, the stakeholders involved, the available budget and the market requirements. Typically, product managers are the bearers of customer success processes. But they do need a whole team of professionals behind them.

One of the roles you should definitely have at the table is that of data analyst . And don’t forget your UX team , because they know exactly how to design certain things.

Your product manager should be someone who is able to bring different backgrounds together. Finding the right person to lead this process is probably the most valuable investment you can make.

Finally

A customer success plan is vital for sustainable business development. It helps you identify service pitfalls , but also improve your internal collaboration . Taking the time to create such a plan will ensure a successful future for your business.