It Starts with Lower-Case “customer success”

wonka-philosopherThe other day during a Clarity call, a CEO of a SaaS company asked me something that I’ve never been asked before:

“What’s your philosophy around SaaS?”

I wasn’t sure what he was looking for exactly, but I had an immediate, gut-level response: “customer success.”

But when I said “customer success” I wasn’t talking about “Customer Success Management” … what I meant was – and ultimately what I’m passionate about – is actual, lower-case customer success.

That you have a Customer Success Management organization in place, and use a product like Gainsight to “power” that organization or initiative, is great. But none of that matters if you don’t first start by focusing on the actual success of your customers.

If you don’t start with the solid foundation of simply trying to solve for success with your customers, any “CSM” activities you pile on will just be glorified customer service or account management; not true Customer Success.

What customer success means to me is building products or creating services that help your customers achieve success – whatever that “success” looks like in the context of your product.

Then selling that product to customers that can be successful with your product or service, and working diligently over their time as a customer to ensure they’re continuing to achieve their evolving definition of success.

Your customer has a desired outcome, right? They want to achieve something. That’s “success” for them. Now help them achieve that. That’s “customer success” and that – by the way – is the secret to your success.

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.