Here’s a term you may not have heard yet: customer success (CS). What is it? It might be easier to define it by what firms are not doing rather than what they are doing.
For example, only 14.8% report that their CS focus is comprehensive, geared to the entire lifecycle of the customer, according to How Impediments & Under Organization Lead To Limitations In Customer Success, a study from Strikedeck, the provider of a customer success platform, with research done by Service Excellence Research Group.
The remainder focus on fragmented efforts, seeking only to retain customers and minimize the number of service or support requests, the study says.
One tactical problem is that 41.5% provide no formal onboarding services. Of those that do, 66.7% seek to ensure only that the customer can access the product or service. Only 47.3% assist with product set-up or configuration.
Transactional email programs play a great role in onboarding, a factor this study does not address. Failure to deploy email when bringing new customers onboard drastically reduces the ability to upsell, cross-sell and generally drive loyalty.
Another challenge is a lack of systems and tools. Of the firms surveyed, 30.3% have limited tools for logging cases or capturing customer contact information (presumably including the email address, increasingly becoming the key identifier and the door to all future interactions).
Then there is the more fundamental issue of faulty organizational structures.
Only 12% have so-called CS departments. Of those, however, 81.8% say it’s just a renaming of their service unit. And a mere 18.2% say CS is independent from service or support.
What’s more, of these respondents, 88% report being part of larger departments, including 58% in the service group, 29.3% in sales and 12.2% in technical support.
But let’s say you’ve established a stand-alone CS department and are committed to serving customers and garnering revenue from them across their entire lifecycle.
Here are the possible KPIs you could be using:
From the sound of it, the concept might change before most firms are fully using CS.
Want to get ahead of the curve with CS? Strikedeck has these recommendations:
The study is based on a survey of 308 companies and follow-up interviews with some of these.