How to Handle Common Customer Success Scenarios Image

How to Handle Common Customer Success Scenarios

As you grow your Customer Success Management operation, you’ll find yourself seeing very distinct patterns in what – at first glance – appears to be an endless variety of situations with your customers. When you and your Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are feeling that sense of déjà vu and you hear yourself saying “I’ve been here before” you’ll appreciate the ability to replicate and systematize your Customer Success workflows with with a system like Gainsight. That said, there are three common customer situations that are worth discussing and preparing your CSMs for right out of the gate, though. And if you’ve been in the Customer Success world for any amount of time, you’ll instantly resonate with these: The Angry customer The Silent customer The customer who believes you are their personal valet The Angry Customer Your CSMS will encounter with this type of person often. The nature of Customer Success is such that your CSMs will often find themselves in a defensive and reactionary position. Your long-term goal will be to change that to offensive and proactive, but – regardless of what anyone tells you – there’s no way to make that the case 100% of the time, predictive analytics […]

8 min readSeptember 18, 2014
How To Align Your Company Around Customer Success Image

How To Align Your Company Around Customer Success

Creating a Customer Success-Focused Enterprise While Customer Success Management may be defined as a specific department inside an organization – or even a functional role – Customer Success requires significant inter-departmental alignment. This unique roundtable webinar brings together Executives from Sales, Marketing, Product, and Customer Success to share exactly how you should go about aligning an organization around Customer Success. Specifically, we’ll cover: Defining success for your customers Understanding how Customer Success aligns with your company’s strategic direction Clearly defining each department’s role in both of those When: Recorded September 17, 10:00 AM PT Who: Nick Mehta, Chief Executive Officer; Dan Steinman, Chief Customer Officer; Mike Schmidt, VP Sales; Denise Stokowski, VP Client Services; Anthony Kennada, VP Marketing, Gainsight

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Deploying Gainsight Without Usage Data Image

Deploying Gainsight Without Usage Data

There’s an abundance of data in every enterprise.  There always has been but today, it’s much easier to extract and move around.  One of the results of this is that most organizations are becoming more and more data-driven.  Take Marketing for example.  10 years ago Marketing was perhaps the least measurable organization in the enterprise.  Today they are arguably the most measurable with the growth of Marketing Automation tools and now predictive lead scoring tools as well. Enter the new kid on the block – Customer Success.  For the most part, an organization that did not even exist 10 years ago.  But SaaS changed everything and turned the spotlight on customers and retention.  SaaS also brought additional data to the table – data about how your customers use your product.  These two forces came together at the same time and resulted in a misguided assumption – usage data was the ONLY thing that mattered in understanding and managing customer retention and trying to do anything without it was fruitless. But let’s set the record straight.  There is SO much customer health data in the enterprise that can be used to help manage retention, even without usage data.  Great insight into […]

5 min readSeptember 15, 2014
Customer Success is About Value, Not Data Image

Customer Success is About Value, Not Data

Have you considered deploying Customer Success technology but are intimidated by the condition of your data (or lack thereof)? You’re not alone – some of the biggest hesitations to moving a Customer Success project forward involve the state of customer data, including: 1) Our data is dirty – we’re not ready to touch that beast. 2) Our data is everywhere – I’m not sure where to begin. 3) We don’t have any data. Watch as Gainsight Chief Customer Officer, Dan Steinman, discusses how Customer Success technology can help your team get proactive about your customer relationships, standardize touch points, and build a scalable foundation for your company’s Customer Success operations. Specifically, we’ll cover: Consolidate risks and opportunities to consistently resolve with Customer Lifecycle Cockpit Communicate centrally to ensure nothing slips through the cracks with Calls to Action Collaborate across all internal stakeholders with Customer360 Sales, Support, and Mobile views When: Recorded September 11, 11:00 AM PST Who: Dan Steinman, Chief Customer Officer, Gainsight

1 min read
Reach the Full Potential of your Customer Relationships Image

Reach the Full Potential of your Customer Relationships

One of the realities of Customer Success that is certainly recognized by practitioners – but may be missed by most of the rest of the organization – is that it actually contains all the other customer-facing functions within it (a topic touched on previously). A complete Customer Success operation would ideally contain elements of Strategy, Business Intelligence, Marketing, Sales, Support, and Product/Service development and delivery. The bad news about that reality is that it makes the job of a Customer Success leader and practitioner incredibly difficult. The good news of that reality is that Customer Success “contains multitudes,” to quote Walt Whitman, and it therefore provides plenty of room for Dan Steinman and I both to write about “Understanding and Engaging with Your Customers” without fear of redundancy (or, contrary to the rest of the Whitman quote, contradiction). Dan’s article serves as an extremely practical how-to guide for organizing the activities of an individual and a team of Customer Success Managers (CSMs.) Its focus is on the Sales and Support aspects of the function. As a dyed-in-the-wool marketer, I have a different perspective on the approach to and implications of understanding and engaging customers. An enormous amount of customers’ attitudes […]

6 min readSeptember 4, 2014
3 Steps to Understand and Engage Your Customers Image

3 Steps to Understand and Engage Your Customers

It is impossible to understand and engage your customers in a one-size-fits-all fashion if you have more than a handful of customers. You’ve probably been told – or told others – something like this: “Here are your 150 customers, now go understand them and get engaged.” Yikes! Okay, so I’ve done this a thousand times and it still scares me to think about it. That’s why there has to be a logical approach to it. So, let’s try to create one. Step 1 – Segment your Customers Depending upon the maturity of – or your involvement with – your Customer Success Management organization, some of this may have already been done. If so, it’s likely to be clearly defined in your CRM system. Or, your company may have already segmented customers as Strategic or National or Global or Enterprise or Corporate for sales purposes – which gives you a head start, In fact, there may also be a “touch model” (more on that later) defined. A word of caution, though… how customers were segmented for sales purposes may not translate 100% to what we’re solving for here, so be sure to get clear on the segmentation that was used and adjust […]

8 min readSeptember 3, 2014
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Supercharge Sales with Customer Success

Tune in to see how customer health data can supercharge upsell and cross-sell for your sales teams. We’ll cover: Why you’ll sell more with lessons learned from successful customers How Sales can use health data before and during calls What plays available to grow customer relationships When:  Thursday 9/4 at 10:00 AM PT Who: Paul Piazza, Director of Customer Success, Gainsight Register:

165 registered
[Whitepaper] Forrester’s Measuring Customer Health Image
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Customer Success Playbook: What to do When your Sponsor Leaves Image

Customer Success Playbook: What to do When your Sponsor Leaves

When it comes to Customer Success, amazing things happen when you use – and I mean really use – your own product. Call it whatever you like – “eating your own dogfood”, “drinking your own champagne”, whatever. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. At Gainsight, we live this to the fullest. We are committed to being the best, most active, and most demanding customer our Product team will ever encounter. Let me talk about how this manifests itself with a specific example. Customer Champion Departure is a Red Flag Everyone in the Customer Success world knows that it’s bad news when your champion leaves one of your customers. The only good thing that can come out of that is that they are a great lead wherever they land. But what they leave behind is likely to be challenging. It’s possible that your product or service is so ubiquitous and so loved that this departure doesn’t change anything. But, even if that’s true, the arrival of the replacement leader might result in a different story. So, this event is ALWAYS a red flag! Because Gainsight is a Customer Success application, the details of how we handled this […]

5 min readAugust 28, 2014
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Understanding the Role of Customer Success in the Customer Journey Image

Understanding the Role of Customer Success in the Customer Journey

When you create your customer journey map, outline the process your customers take to that first “Wow!” moment and eventually onto realizing value and achieving success, you must do so with them in mind. Obviously. But how do you overlay what happens on your side to ensure that success map is followed; that your customers stay on course to move from point A, to B, to C, to… Success (and beyond)? That’s what I’m going to cover here. But, because of the myriad ways that Customer Success teams are organized and the responsibilities assigned to them, defining one consistent Customer Success process for all situations is a very difficult task. So what I will do here is define the end-to-end customer journey – from the perspective of Customer Success – assuming that all of the functional roles outlined in this previous article are separate organizations. Now, if you find yourself in a situation where you are performing some combination of those roles, the overall customer journey will be the same but the handoff from organization to organization may not happen as frequently. Okay, let’s take the customer journey step-by-step and outline Customer Success’ involvement or requirements: 1. Sales Everyone understands that […]

10 min readAugust 19, 2014