Implementing new strategies and processes in a single department can be daunting. When you’re tasked with updating the way your entire company thinks about systems and strategies, it can feel almost impossible.
Some changes are just too important to ignore.
The 10 New Laws of Customer Success are more than a new way to think about the impact of your CS team. Rather, they outline a new philosophy for your entire organization. More importantly, companies that ignore the 10 New Laws of Customer Success risk stagnation and decreased valuation in the immediate future.
In short, these new laws are entirely too valuable not to adopt as soon as possible.
To help you initiate the process and create a foundation for success, we’ve outlined the three most important steps to getting started. So, let’s begin.
1. Identify a CS Ops Leader
The original 10 Laws of Customer Success helped companies understand customer success and outline the responsibilities of a Customer Success Manager (CSM). The 10 New Laws of Customer Success expand those roles and responsibilities. We know the impact of CS goes far beyond onboarding and Quarterly Business Reviews. Customer success creates a partnership between your product, your CSMs, and your customers.
With CSMs acting as a strategic partner for your customers, your Product team, Sales, and Marketing, it’s up to your company to provide them with the support they need to succeed. That’s where the CS Operations leader comes in. This person evaluates the big picture, creates scaleable playbooks and strategies that help CSMs be better at their job, and thus, help you grow.
Before you successfully launch any of the 10 New Laws of Customer Success, you need to hire a CS Ops leader. This person enjoys the details. They can evaluate every step of a customer journey, make predictions about what systems and strategies will work for which customer persona, and measure the results to optimize those systems and strategies.
A great CS Ops leader acts as the bridge between the detailed work of a CSM and the broader goals of the entire organization. Through curiosity and relentless data mining, they can improve critical success metrics like time-to-value, monthly users, and adoption rates. They can also give meaning to the data and communicate it to different departments, and your board.
It’s imperative to appoint a suitable CS Ops leader before you attempt to execute any of the 10 New Laws of Customer Success. If you have more than 5 CSMs currently, you need a CS Ops leader. But even if you’re not there yet, start your initial search. Great CS Ops leaders will be in high demand over the next few years, and you want to make sure you find the best one for your organization.
2. Secure the Right Budget
As you might expect, hiring CS Ops leaders and providing them with the resources they need to be effective requires money. Previously, obtaining the proper budget for customer success has been difficult. Executives tend to find CS as preventative work and therefore prioritize other, more proactive efforts when approving budgets. For example, when talking to the board it’s helpful to show the outputs directly tied to budget spending.
Thankfully, this perspective is changing. Customer Success leaders have worked to establish the connection between their efforts and valuable growth metrics. These metrics include Net Revenue Retention (NRR), advances in Product, and new customer acquisition. Simultaneously, board members and other executives have started to understand that without CS, growth will slow. But, more likely, it will decline over the next few years.
With this in mind, the second step to ensuring your team is successful with the 10 New Laws of Success is to guarantee the appropriate budget. Of course, this means budget to spend on tools, such as Gainsight, to support the daily activities of your CSMs. It should also include the necessary salaries to support your CS team. But, it also has additional money for investments into your company’s future.
For example, are there conferences or other learning opportunities to send your team to where they can learn new scalable success models? Are there additional tools your team needs to create more robust reporting or more intelligent insights from your current reporting? Take a look at performance metrics from the previous year to determine what additional budget would be necessary to double those outcomes. How much would be required to grow them by 5X.
As you think about how you want to roll out the 10 New Laws of Customer Success in your organization, ensure that you have the right budget to execute them successfully. Give your team the proper foundation, and prove that you’re investing in their success.
3. Remember to Stay Human
Finally, above all else, remember to stay human as you implement these 10 New Laws of Customer Success. Keep in mind that your customers are human, your team is human, and you are human too.
What does that mean, exactly? It means that you have both limitations and endless possibilities. As you imagine new systems for your CSMs, you might make the wrong choice. For example, an assumption you make from the available data may lead to a downturn in performance. Rather than determining the entire endeavor as a failure, remember that you’re human. Use it as a learning opportunity. What processes or assumptions lead you to your decision? What blind spots did you ignore? What other data can you bring into your reporting to make more accurate decisions?
Additionally, the new processes you introduce may have a learning curve for your CSMs and customers. Patience and flexibility are your friends in these moments. Ask yourself how you can better communicate value to your customers in those moments. What are some additional materials you can provide your CSMs to make their process faster? What are some incentives you can offer to help your CSMs reach their goals more quickly?
Most importantly, how can you communicate empathetically with your customers, your team members, and yourself? To truly optimize your CS efforts, you need people who are fulfilled, inspired, and supported. If you keep that top of mind in all of your decisions, the other laws will fall into place.
Learn All 10 New Laws of Customer Success
If you want to learn more about the 10 New Laws of Customer Success, check out our resource page. To hear from other organizations who have successfully implemented the 10 New Laws of Customer Success, including how they got buy-in from leadership, sign up for our webinar. You’ll hear customer stories, as well as personalized input from Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta.