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3 lessons on Customer Success Management in 2012

On Tuesday evening I attended another great CSM Forum event in San Francisco organized by Mikael Blaisdell. Speakers included customer success and customer advocacy professionals from Xtime, Yousendit and Marketo.

My favorite 3 takeaways:

1. Mikael’s Customer Success Maturity Model

I have heard it before but this time I took copious notes!

There are 4 maturity stages of responsibilities of Customer Success organizations.

1. Firefighters

2. Facilitators

3. Account Maintenance

4. Owns 100% of the Customer Relationship

An organization may or may not be in the same level of maturity across Strategy, Process, People and Technology.

Where does your company rank? You can use the matrix below to score yourself! Please share with the community!

Of the speakers at the event, Yousendit was the most mature of the three. Their CSMs own 100% of the customer relationship and are compensating CSM reps based on usage, upsell and NPS scores.

2. “Customer retention is revenue retention.”

This too I have heard before from Mikael, but it’s worth repeating. And it closely aligns with our own motto that “recurring revenues” is really about delivering “recurring customer value”. Value first, and revenues will follow.

3. “The main reason for churn is not properly launching customers in the first place.”

Time and time again we see that the root cause for churn is a failed onboarding process which leaves a customer underutilizing your solution and your features. Finally, frustrated with the lack of value delivered, the customer will cancel.

Lastly, I just wanted to leave you all with some additional materials. There was a really good discussion during the Q&A which, which were answered in recent Totango studies.

Enjoy!

Ellis Luk

I'm the marketing and communications manager at Totango - but you can call me Chief Content Officer. When I'm not writing, you can find me obsessing over memes, debating grammatical usage or getting distracted by the latest Tumblr gif blogs. Customer love starts with a friendly hello!

  • Brian

    Thank you so much for posting this, Is there a definition for each of the maturity stages that can be shared?

  • Brian

    Thank you so much for posting this, Is there a definition for each of the maturity stages that can be shared?

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