Why’d you let me do that? (The Opposite of Customer Success)

why-let-me-do-thatYour customer has a desired outcome – they want to achieve something by using your product. That’s “success” for them. It’s that simple.

But if you’ve ever used a product and said “why’d they let me do that?” – especially one where you have a direct human connection with an Account Rep or, even worse, a “Customer Success Manager” – then you’ve dealt with a company that didn’t share my lower-case “customer success” philosophy.

Off the top of my head I can think of several situations where the vendor knowingly let us do things that were absolutely NOT going to lead to our success.

And almost every time, not only did they let us do it, they blamed us for using their product wrong even though they knew that this was happening.

As you can imagine, dealing with vendors like that – given my philosophy and what I do all day – makes my head hurt.

Some of the “Why’d you let me do that” things I’ve seen are:

  • Published articles with known (identified in their system) duplicate content issues
  • Sent emails that have high spam score (their score, BTW… they knew this)
  • Were told I had less visits this week than last (but given no guidance to fix it)
  • Allowed to pay for and run ads with low quality scores (c’mon!)
  • Used a CDN with more than 80% non-cache hits (why am I using a CDN then?)
  • Was told my website was down (with absolutely no guidance on how to remedy this)

That last one resulted in an incredibly helpless feeling… I almost would have rathernot known the site was down. It would have caused less anxiety.

So here’s a quick Sanity Check for you:

Could a customer or user say “Why’d they let me do that?” about you or about your product?

If so, that’s not just a problem… that’s a churn threat… especially if there’s a competitor who follows my lower-case “customer success” philosophy and makes it all about their customers’ success.

Luckily, you can fix this… it’s simple (not easy, but simple)… what does success look like for your customer? Make that happen.

Protip: It’s probably not just using your product!

So, what are some “why’d you let me do that?” moments you’ve run into?

I help grow SaaS and Subscription companies at Gainsight by focusing onCustomer Success. Follow me on Twitter @lincolnmurphy.

This post was originally published on LinkedIn.

About Lincoln Murphy

I am a Customer Success Consultant focused on Customer Success-driven Growth. I wrote the Customer Success book which you can buy at Amazon. If you need help applying Customer Success-driven Growth principles in your company or would like me to speak at your event, please contact me. Also, connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.