What Is Customer Success Management and Why Does It Matter?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 25, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Organizations may use a variety of practices to ensure their clients feel satisfied with their products and services. Customer success management is one approach that a company can take to strengthen its relationships with consumers and take proactive measures to minimize the problems they encounter with a brand. Understanding this method can help a business implement it effectively and improve its perception among members of its target audience. In this article, we review what customer success management is, highlight why it's important, discuss how to implement it effectively, list five elements of this approach and include tips for this strategy.

Related: What Is a Customer Success Manager?

What is customer success management?

Customer success management is a business strategy for monitoring customers' interactions with the organization and ensuring that a company delivers products and services that address consumers' requirements and concerns. The primary focus of this method is to ensure that clients achieve success when using a company's products and achieve the outcomes and solutions they desire. This management practice is relationship-focused and aims to align the hopes of the consumer and the business to produce results that are beneficial for both parties.

Related: The Difference Between Customer Success vs. Customer Service

Why is customer success management important?

Customer success management is important because it can improve the relationship between consumers and a brand, ensuring that both customers and companies benefit from product transactions and long-term business. This practice allows organizations to account for their target audience's requests and proactively eliminate the issues they may encounter. It encourages organizations to address clients' desires and requirements and, as a result, motivates customers to remain loyal to a particular company. This means that effective customer success management can increase revenue, improve renewal rates and minimize churn.

Related: How To Create a Customer Success Manager Resume in 8 Steps

How to implement customer success management effectively

Here's a list of steps professionals can follow to implement customer success management effectively:

1. Understand how customers define success

When trying to provide customers with support, it's important to evaluate what they require help with and how they define successful use of a product or service. Acquiring this information may involve administering a survey or conducting a focus group to learn more about a company's target audience's priorities and goals.

Professionals can also speak with clients at conferences or professional events or contact experts within their network to gain their feedback and input. Understanding what customers look for in a product can help an organization integrate these features or outcomes into their items and services and prepare for the customer success process.

2. Focus on customer success early

Companies may find it easier to implement this business method if they focus on it early within the organization's development and integrate it into all of their product development projects. This helps integrate this strategy into the culture of a company and the mindset of its team, encouraging all employees to focus on optimizing customer success.

It may also benefit a company to involve the customer success process early in a client's interaction with the brand. This means that before a prospective client subscribes to your services or purchases a product, a company highlights the importance of customer success in its marketing, sales and customer support strategies.

3. Plot out the customer success process

Customer success may involve several departments within a company, so it's important to identify how clients may interact with various groups throughout the customer success process. An organization may consider plotting out this series of interactions to understand the transitions between departments and the tools and systems professionals may use as they interact with the customer or contribute to product development and execution.

This can help track the tasks that customer success agents handle throughout this process and ensures that they address all aspects of this strategy, such as feedback loops and decision-making circumstances. A company may highlight elements of this process that increase the impact of the customer success journey, such as problem-solving tactics and upselling opportunities.

4. Consider how to add value

Customers may interact with a brand for a variety of purposes, including sales calls, newsletters, negotiation, upselling and customer support. Professionals may have the opportunity to add value at every point of contact with a client and understanding how to do so can benefit the organization and the consumer. There are a variety of ways organizations can add value when communicating with clients, including:

  • Providing product or service training

  • Suggesting new features

  • Focusing on their successes

  • Offering marketing resources such as podcasts or blogs for them to review

  • Discussing best practices

5. Reach out to customers proactively

A primary aspect of customer success management is accounting for clients' potential challenges or requests and handling them proactively. This may include contacting them before they reach out to the organization with a concern or question. Customer success agents can also discuss various value-adding elements with clients and subscribers so they know when the organization updates its products or offers a new training program.

Rather than relying on reactive methods to combat issues after they arise, proactive communication can help clients feel informed and understand a company's continual progress and development. It can also be an important value-adding tool that professionals use to introduce new features and increase subscription renewal or customer retention rates.

6. Track metrics and customer success performance

Once an organization implements customer success best practices, it can monitor various metrics to ensure that these strategies are having a positive impact on clients and their interactions with the brand. These measurements can provide a company with insights regarding the performance of their customer success methods and highlight potential areas for improvement.

This can help a brand understand which of its customer success processes are effective and whether metrics, such as churn rate, have improved because of these best practices. The more an organization monitors these variables, the sooner they can address any issues that arise and continually improve their customer success process. Some helpful metrics may include:

  • Repeat purchase rate

  • Customer retention cost

  • Net promoter score

  • Customer lifetime value

  • Customer effort score

  • Customer satisfaction score

Related: 8 Key Roles in a Customer Success Team Structure

5 elements of effective customer success management

Here's a list of elements of effective customer success management:

1. Proactive intervention

One fundamental aspect of the customer success management process is proactive intervention, which allows professionals to address clients' concerns and issues before or as they arise, rather than following up after their occurrence. This may involve reforming or changing intervention modalities or creating a timed intervention schedule, such as an email survey every three months or a business review every quarter. Organizations may also perform interventions based on customer data. For example, if one step within the subscription process routinely stops potential clients from making a purchase or renewal, customer success agents can proactively intervene.

2. Evaluation

Organizations may benefit from evaluating fundamental aspects of their business, including how their customers are doing with their products and how their company is doing overall. Companies may evaluate their own performance based on the performance and satisfaction of their clients.

Even if their business appears to do well by reducing churn or increasing subscription rates, if customers don't receive what they require from a company's products or services, their long-term loyalty to the company may not last. This means that a brand can learn about how they're really doing by assessing how their clients feel about the items they purchase and whether these products provide them with the solutions they require.

3. Advancement and subscription renewal

Customer advancement and subscription renewals are integral aspects of the customer success process because the products your organization offers ideally help clients achieve their desired outcomes. For clients to continue to meet their own dynamic and ever-changing goals, they may rely on the products and services your company offers. This means that renewals or new product purchases are part of customer success when executed correctly. Customer success management may include upsells and cross-sells that provide clients with additional features and services to help them reach and maintain their objective.

4. Communication

Communication with the customer allows an organization to access the data and information it requires to meet the client's ongoing requirements and address their preferences. Whether communication involves reactive intervention or proactive status updates, sharing information and providing customer assistance ensures that the organization considers and addresses individual requests.

While these valuable instances of customer communication may seem obvious, correspondence may also include marketing campaigns and the initial interactions prospective clients have with a brand. Internal communication can also be a vital aspect of effective customer success management to ensure that all agents and employees understand the company's objectives, what employees learn from customers and the client's desired outcomes.

5. Facilitation

Facilitation of customer success includes providing the customer with a list of what they can expect from the company and the success milestones they may encounter throughout their subscription or utilization of a product. This helps the client understand the steps they can take to reach their goal and prepares them for achievements they may reach throughout the process.

This can also help the company establish its hopes or expectations. For example, is the organization is small and hoping to grow its audience, discussing expectations may include sharing the desire for clients to write testimonials once they achieve a particular goal.

Tips for customer success management

Consider these tips for customer service management:

Identify when customers require assistance

When reviewing customer data, you may be able to identify key indications early on if a customer is struggling with a particular product or service. As a member of a customer success team, you may benefit from recognizing these situations and creating a plan to help clients use your company's items effectively to help them reach their goals. This process may involve providing struggling clients with additional resources and education opportunities to understand how to yield the greatest benefits from a product or reaching out to address their concerns proactively.

Create a feedback loop for clients

Because customer success is an ongoing and dynamic process, creating a feedback loop for clients can help companies understand consumers' unique requests, objectives and concerns. Developing a loop that continuously provides customer success agents with clients' input helps these professionals keep up with subscribers' changing priorities. This can show clients that an organization is eager to adapt to help its customers achieve their goals and maintain their long-term business.

Ensure that customer success is a company-wide priority

Whether an organization has a team of customer success professionals or not, it's important to instill this value as a company-wide priority. From the marketing department to product development and design, all employees can benefit from focusing on customer success. When customer success metrics improve, such as retention rate and lifetime value, the entire organization may increase its revenue, profits and longevity. All employees may feel the positive effects of a thriving brand and satisfied client base.

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