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How should a Customer Success Manager engage customers for their success?
Before we discuss how to engage customers for their success, we need to first understand what customer engagement is. We believe that customer engagement is a process and a partnership between two organizations which enables the vendor to listen and effectively manage the individual needs of their customers.
With that in mind, good engagement begins with sales. At a minimum two questions must always be answered and on file for every customer:
1) Why did the customer purchase?
2) What does success look like for that customer?
Once these questions are answered, the kickoff is key to setting the stage for engagement. While most people focus on making progress in boarding during kickoff, it is much more than that. If we know what success looks like and we know why the customer purchased the product to work towards that success, we can focus onboarding efforts to directly work towards the goal in mind.
By aligning on these questions and starting high level with organizational goals, it is easy to expose the plan for the product in the first steps of post launch. This step helps expose success gaps (read Lincoln Murphy’s views on Success Gaps –http://sixteenventures.com/succe… that might be present, and provides the platform to discuss challenges in a positive way. This ensures both sides (vendor and customer) are on the same page for what is to be achieved moving forward. It also sets the bar that can constantly be gauged and ensures that all future communications are aligned to the original purpose. The onboarding process then runs smoothly and helps remove barriers of adoption that members of the team might experience. Engagement and value can’t occur if the entire team is not invested and on board.
Once the above has been accomplished, we have created the opportunity for engagement to occur. The “why” and “what” are understood and the customer’s goals are now the important focus of the overall product use. Some suggest that analytics help create engagements; however, analytics are only available after implementation and don’t ensure that the relationship between vendor and customer start out with the same end goals in mind. Managing the relationships from the very beginning to develop the partnership is key to building trust and ensuring customer engagements can take place.
There’s more where this came from. Keep the questions rolling!