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Customer Success Playbooks: The Missing Chapter in Your Revenue Blueprint

Justin Newhall December 14 2022
Customer Success Playbooks: The Missing Chapter in Your Revenue Blueprint by Justin Newhall, Fractional CRO at House of Revenue

Customer Success (CS) is the keystone to revenue success in today's markets.

Satisfied customers who enjoy their interactions with your brand are more likely to return for additional purchases, refer friends and family to your business, and have a high lifetime value.

Unfortunately, the inverse is just as true: dissatisfied and frustrated customers won't come back, won't spend more, and may even spread the word that your company provided a poor experience.

Because Customer Success is so crucial, companies must develop playbooks that govern customer experiences and have quantifiable metrics for improving and assessing CS. However, fewer than two-thirds of companies have a clearly defined Customer Success strategy.

If your company is part of the 37% that doesn't have a clear Customer Success Playbook, you may struggle to hold onto clients, gain new customers, and scale your business. Change that today by reading this quick guide on our Customer Success 2.0 model and how to make Customer Success a stronger and more clearly defined element in how you do business.

How to Build Your Revenue Blueprint With Customer Success 2.0

Customer Success 1.0 models were passive or reactive. Companies that offered software, service, and SaaS product offerings would give customers how-to guides and manuals. There might be occasional product walk-throughs or demos, especially for customer support calls or reactions to problems. But these models aren't satisfactory; they aren't engaging, proactive, or built to optimize Customer Success.

Customer Success 1.0 models aren't satisfactory; they aren't engaging, proactive, or built to optimize Customer Success.

A Customer Success 2.0 model, on the other hand, uses a combination of modern tools and customer-first philosophies to proactively ensure that customers are engaged and satisfied during every stage of their interactions with your brand — before, during, and after purchase. This style of customer service builds better customer-service provider relationships, less turnover, and more potential for revenue growth.

The 5 Must-Have Components of a Modern Successful Customer Success Strategy

1. A Unified Go-To-Market Strategy

Whether your company is large or small, it's essential to have buy-in from all internal stakeholders when changing your processes. Your Customer Success managers need to have a seat at the table when you're discussing broad Go-To-Market strategies. With their input, your teams can anticipate potential problems, ensure there's a smoother rollout, and minimize the risk of frustration and churn.

For Example: Simply priming customers with resources regarding future changes and options allows customers to acclimate to the change (and know your CS team has their back). 

Many companies don't have a unified Go-To-Market strategy because leaders in traditional roles and structures don't see the point. CS is too new and may not have a clear role or set of responsibilities. Resolve this by discussing the role of Customer Success in customer retention and revenue growth.

After all, according to Retention Science, "Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by [up to] 95%."

Once that number gets everyone's attention, you can start discussing Customer Success's role in strategy and how cross-team planning sessions should function.

2. A Sustainable Funding Model Supported by Premium Offers

To scale your revenue and prioritize Customer Success, you and your teams need to be invested in helping your customers succeed in their own ventures.

Learn more about your customers' needs, limitations, and budgets by researching:
  • Customer pain points
  • Customer needs
  • Funding models with the best success
  • If new potential programs substantively address customer needs

This research allows your teams to create premium products that match the needs of your market while simultaneously deepening relationships with your customers. You can prioritize projects with the best ROI and table projects with a low chance of reward. 

This process isn't even that costly. 

Most Customer Success teams cost less than 10% of the company's ARR, so they quickly pay for themselves.

3. A Customer Success Talent Engine

If you're going to prioritize Customer Success, then you need the right people in your Customer Success teams: quick thinkers who can follow processes but also customize the journey to meet the needs of individual clients on their list. Not only do you need to find and train these individuals, but you need to create a workplace that retains them.

Follow these four steps to create the right CS team for your company:
  1. Identify: Track which CSM characteristics and capabilities lead directly to positive customer outcomes, so you know what to look for in new hires.
  2. Attract: Build your recruiting process to find individuals with the right characteristics. Reach out across internal and external networks, and use analytics to refine your messaging and offers over time. 
  3. Build: Training is another route to developing CS teams with the right characteristics and capabilities. Develop custom training plans and learning journeys so current employees can hone their skills over time.
  4. Retain: Those learning paths can correlate with career advancement pathways. Offering rewards, incentives, and long-term career options can help retain employees, leading to smoother customer journeys and less turnover.

4. Advanced Analytics & Digital Tools

Power your Customer Success efforts with modern digital tools to cut down on manual tasks and provide insight into the success of different initiatives. With intelligent analytics tools, your teams can predict churn, identify opportunities for cross-selling and upselling, intervene with at-risk customers, and refine processes over time.

As you browse for the right software solutions, look for platforms that:
  • Automate Tasks: This speeds up customer onboarding, increases employee satisfaction, and reduces potentially costly errors. We use the HubSpot Service Hub in our client engagements.
  • Track Data: Your chosen tool needs to be able to parse through lots of data to provide valuable insights about increasingly granular trends. This is crucial for everything from marketing to retaining key accounts.

5. A Customer Success Philosophy Embedded Across the Organization

A robust customer-centric philosophy brings all of these moving parts together. Marketing teams, sales teams, and even non-customer-facing product managers must prioritize Customer Success throughout every project to encourage customer loyalty and ensure there are no gaps in a positive customer experience.

After all, 86% of buyers value a great experience so much that they're willing to pay more for it, and everyone on the revenue side of the business should value that.

Build Your Custom Customer Success Playbooks with House of Revenue®

At House of Revenue, we specialize in helping companies reorient their processes around customer experience and Customer Success. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create modern Customer Success playbooks and strategies for your business that will help you scale.