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A deeper dive into the Customer Success Manifesto (Part 2 of 2)

After taking a moment to digest the first 3 customer success secrets: value over customer management, customer actions over words, real-time sensors over historical snapshots — let’s move on to the final three guiding principles from the Customer Success Manifesto.

Contextual engagement over periodic check-ins

With the rich context that live data streams provide, best-in-class companies also engage with customers in a whole new way.  They operate on the customer’s cadence, not theirs. They no longer depend on periodic check-ins and call customers according to their own internal review cycles to inquire if they’re doing fine. Best-in-class companies know when a customer needs attention and why, and they are able to engage with customers intelligently – and in the moment – based on their specific situation.

Unbounce is a company that truly gets the importance of engaging users at the right time with the right message. They apply the principle of contextual engagement to educate their users when they are inside the app, so their outreach has context and is meaningful to customers.  In the words of Ryan Engley, Director of Customer Success, this has helped them “build more authentic relationships and better engagement” with their users.

All customers over only high-value customers

As technology disrupts and democratizes industries, today winning companies serve a wide range of customers, from small and mid-size businesses to large enterprises.  And with business models such as land-and-expand and freemium, best-in-class companies do not view customer success through a traditional low-touch / high-touch account management lens.  They have innovated their customer success processes and invested in technology to make sure that every customer (no matter how big or small) is successful, engaged, and getting the attention they need — in a scalable yet contextual and personalized way.

All users over buyers and decision makers

Today, power has clearly shifted from executive relationships to users.  Customer success and loyalty is driven not from the top but by end-users. Leading customer-centric companies clearly recognize this new reality and have deep connections with their customers that go way beyond buyers and decision makers.  They focus on creating value for every user.  They work hard on building passionate users – the best “lock-in” for a recurring revenue business.

Zendesk is a poster child of these last two principles.  According to Sam Boonin, VP of Products, the company was “founded to deliver software to small businesses… to deliver what was normally only available to customers who spend a lot of money and give that to anyone who can find our website and sign up for a trial.”  From the beginning, Zendesk has been committed to empowering and driving value for all of their users and they’ve successfully “turned this into a scale business.”  In fact, some of Zendesk’s largest customers like Groupon and Airbnb started out with few users that have grown with them over time.

What are your thoughts?

Read the first 3 secrets to customer success.

Kaiser Mulla-Feroze

I'm the CMO at Totango. I love the challenge of bringing new products to market. Before Totango, I spent over 12 years at salesforce.com across products, marketing, and business development. I had the most fun there during the early days when we were establishing salesforce's product leadership position. I'm looking forward to doing the same at Totango.

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