The rise of Customer Success Management

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With Customer Success Management (CSM) going mainstream we talk to Jonathan Araya, CSM Global Lead at Tek Experts, about the benefits of establishing a CSM strategy and the value it can bring to companies looking to significantly enhance the value of their customer base.

Jonathan Araya, CSM Global Lead at Tek ExpertsWhy are more companies focused on Customer Success Management?

Customer Success Management as a concept has been talked about for some time but increasingly more companies are investing in dedicated teams that are focused solely on ensuring customers get true value from their purchases, which leads to greater satisfaction, loyalty and lifetime customer value. As it continues to be a competitive differentiator more companies are now following the trendsetters and so take up is increasing and visibility is growing.

What is the value of Customer Success Management?

For CSM to add real value it needs to start with a strong foundation of knowing and understanding customers; understanding what they need from the products and services they purchased and preventing, anticipating and solving any problems they have.

But also, there’s real potential for a CSM team to be a positive force for change within companies too. They can monitor trends and customer sentiment, recognize themes and pinch points, and use that insight to propose solutions and offers to improve customer satisfaction and make products and services more attractive to existing customers and prospects.

So why aren’t more companies doing it?

Having a CSM team and the supporting processes and structure takes time, energy, manpower and money if you’re going to do it properly. And that’s a significant undertaking and in many cases is seen as a drain on resources that could be employed elsewhere.

Where companies are already doing it, they tend to focus on top-tier clients and rely on automated CRM solutions for their mid-tier customers if they support this segment at all! But mid-tier customers are becoming increasingly important for stability, growth, and revenue. So there’s a real need to apply that same high-touch approach here too. And that demands a more comprehensive and in-depth approach; it demands, even more manpower, more skills, more time and, crucially, more money. So a lot of companies are partnering with companies like ours that specialize in providing CSM services.

Why would a company want to outsource CSM?

Firstly, you can plug directly into teams that have done this before and done it well. You get expertise, experience and coverage from day one and start seeing returns much faster. An experienced partner will already have in-house expertise, be able to onboard new services and customers quickly, and be able to deliver a fully-engaged program from day 1. So the time to value is much shorter.

Secondly, you get the flexibility you could never have with an in-house team. You don’t have to worry about recruiting, training and onboarding the right people, they’ve already done it. And you can ramp up and scale back the operation as demand dictates, so there’s less impact on your bottom line and less pressure on headcount.

Thirdly, a partner will have already learned what adds the most value and what doesn’t, and focused their service on those things that have the best return. They will have gone through the growing pains that come with setting up new service lines and made sure that you don’t get exposed when you roll it out to your customers.

How do you know your CSM partner is doing a good job?

CSM should be focused on improving customer satisfaction and providing a better customer experience, which in turn should lead to improved loyalty and more sales. A company should, therefore, expect to see improvements across all of these areas and ensure their partner is measured against their ability to deliver on all of them.

What kind of future do you anticipate for CSM

CSM is only going to grow and become more important to customer retention and company profitability. Whether it’s being delivered in-house or by a partner, the future is definitely an exciting one.

Our CSM service has become a key differentiator for us and it will continue to be. Our global, multi-lingual team has grown significantly over recent years and that’s because our customers recognize the value that our CSM service can bring. We know what we are doing and we are committed to providing a world-class service that brings true value to our customers and their customers.