How To Get Started with Customer Success
Introduction: Who's this Customer Success Guide For?
Chapter 1: What is Customer Success?
Chapter 2: Customer Success Everywhere: An Organizaitonal Philosophy
Chapter 3: What Are the Responsibilities of Customer Success?
Chapter 4: What’s the Difference Between Customer Success, Customer Support, Account Management, and Professional Services?
Chapter 5: Why Is Customer Success Important to SaaS?
Chapter 6: How Do You Build a Customer Success Strategy?
Chapter 7: What Does a Mature Customer Success Organization Look Like?
Chapter 8: Does Customer Success Need Its Own Tool?
Chapter 9: How To Get Started with Customer Success
If you take away one piece of advice from this Customer Success guide, let it be this: the single most important thing you need to do to get started with Customer Success is to do just that: start.
Customer Success is still a new field. Strategies are still being tested. Best practices are still being formed. If you wait around for someone else to write the supposed “be-all, end- all” owner’s manual on Customer Success, then you’ll never start, because that manual will never fully exist. It’s up to you to write your own while taking inspiration and guidance from others along the way – and become the Customer Success champion that we know you are.
Because the downfall of most Customer Success programs isn’t from choosing the wrong KPIs or team structure, but rather, from believing you must have everything perfectly in place to begin. Convincing yourself that you need to have the perfect strategy and the perfect team and the perfect processes and the perfect data from the get-go is just an excuse for complacency and inaction.
The only way you’ll ever progress is when you stop striving for perfection. You don’t need to have all the answers to start. None of us do, including those who you look to as industry leaders. Because the real secret is that we’re all learning as we go. Don’t let this fact intimidate you, but instead bring you comfort. Comfort in knowing that there are no industry trade secrets to achieving wild success in this growing field. You start the same way today’s top leaders of Customer Success once did – by showing up and doing the foundational work.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. You don’t have to do it all today. Just lay a brick. That’s how you build an empire,” says James Clear, author of the best-seller Atomic Habits.
Our utmost hope with this Customer Success handbook, is that you choose one brick – just one – to start. Figure out how you’ll implement it, and then lay it down. Until, brick by brick, you build the Customer Success organization that you thought only other, more experienced leaders could create.
Lastly, make sure you set aside time for strategic thinking. Part of starting is prioritizing the work. When servicing customers, it’s all too easy to let the daily hustle and noise eat up your time, leaving none for the big-picture thinking. So, get ready to put in the work, to make the time, and to guard that time when other priorities inevitably come knocking at your door. It won’t matter until it matters, and you don’t want it to start mattering until it’s too late.
And now I believe congratulations are in order. You’ve made it to the end of this guide – and even the conclusion to boot (you overachiever, you) – and are 100% certifiably smarter for it. You’ve chosen a field that’s bursting with potential and practitioners who as bright and ambitious as they are compassionate and spirited. We can say firsthand there’s nothing quite like being a part of the Customer Success community, which so readily and warmly welcomes and supports its members who are all figuring it out together. Customer Success is a phenomenal place to be at what is most certainly a pivotal point in time for SaaS. Never in the history of subscription businesses has the need for Customer Success been so evident and urgent. For those who recognize this and are willing to put forth the effort in this fast-growing space, success is yours for the taking.
And, when you’re ready to explore how Customer Success software can give you that proactive edge to always stay ahead, unify your internal operations, and engineer a better customer experience, we’ll be here.
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