Customer Success-driven growth with Lincoln MurphyBy André Scaff Last updated March 23, 2018
For our first story, I couldn’t have talked to someone better than, Lincoln Murphy from Sixteen Ventures. Lincoln is a customer success-driven growth specialist and wrote co-authored Customer Success: How innovative companies are reducing churn and growing recurring revenue with Nick Mehta and Dan Steinman. The book is considered the biggest reference for Customer Success.
You can watch or listen to the interview below, or continue scrolling to read the highlights in the post below.
“I don’t consider myself a Customer Success person, I consider myself a growth person”
Normally when talking about Customer Success, what first comes to mind is: churn, retention, upsell, and cross-sell. But what are the results of reducing churn, increasing retention, doing more upsells and cross-sells? Growth.
Customer Success is about results. It’s about making your customer successful in order to make you and your company successful, it’s not about making the customer happy. Happiness may even get them to buy your solution on an impulse, but they stay longer, buy more and advocate for us if they are being successful.
“You exist in the market because of your customer! Don’t forget about that”
It’s very easy to think about something that you would like to do and forget about what the customer really needs.
You end up adding, what you consider, an awesome feature that will drive your customers to success, but in the end, did you talk to them? Did you ask them if that will make them successful?
Always make sure you are looking at the customer’s point of view, that being a marketing campaign, sales outreach, add a feature or any other interaction that affects the customer.
“Customers evolve, change and grow and so should we!”
We need to be evolving, growing and changing with the customer. We need to have a product that isn’t just good on day one for them, one year later when they have grown and evolved it’s still good for them and it’s gonna be good for them as they grow.
Delivering success to your customers is an ever-changing process.
If there are things that you don’t know, you guess, you experiment and you test! The important is that you do that in a customer-driven way.
“Start with the basics”
You don’t need to have a structured department to have results with Customer Success. Start small, allow yourself to test things.
Start with what you know, take success potential, for example, you don’t need to have all the fits designed to start applying them, list what you know and test what you don’t know. If you don’t test you won’t be able to develop it and find what a technical or experience fit means for your company for example.
For big companies, it needs to be top-down, ideally the CEO so he can more easily rally the teams and companies around Customer Success. Some companies start testing out with small teams or departments and it can work, but if the culture doesn’t change it will be an uphill battle.
- Focus on the customer
- Know what the customer’s required outcome is
- Know what the customer’s appropriate experience is
- Focus on churn mitigation
- Try to make the customer happy
- Mistake customer success for something else, like account management for example
- Try to fit customer success into an existing framework
Customer Success is
Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company.
Customer Success isn’t
About Making customers happy. Just another name for support, Account management or even anything that is post-sales. It is bigger than that.
Stay focused on your customer and you will do great. Try taking a step back in any given process of your company, and think: How is this going to benefit my customer? Is my customer going to be more successful because of this?
Remember Customer Success is all about results, bringing more money to your company, making it grow. You don’t have to know everything from the beginning, start small, take what you know and test what you don’t know. The most important thing is that you do something, don’t limit yourself because you are missing some information, the difference between not having anything and having something is literally infinite.
Stories has a mission: spreading the word of Customer Success worldwide. How? Talking to people who are on the frontlines, working, failing and especially driving growth through Customer Success.
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