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5 Tips To Building an Effective Customer Success Organization

5 Tips to Building an Effective Customer Success Organization

Before you identify the roles and structure of a customer success team, you need to create a culture of customer success. Here's how to do that.

Today, more and more businesses are adding customer success roles and departments in order to meet rising customer expectations. Customer experience is more important than ever, with 77% of all customers saying the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Businesses know customer success needs to be a priority since it’s cheaper to retain customers than acquire new ones. Regardless of your role and title, it is critical to think about customer success in order to deliver the greatest value to your customers. 

I meet with many Salesforce customers who, as customer success champions in their organizations, focus their companies around the needs of customers. Many executives hire and devote time and resources to make customer success initiatives a priority. But, they often don’t know how to begin to build a customer success team within their business. 

As businesses build out their customer success teams they should keep in mind these five tips:

1. Put customers at the center of your business

Before you identify the roles and structure of a customer success team, you need to create a culture of customer success. Many businesses out there claim to be customer-first, but it isn’t enough to broadcast customer-centricity without delivering. You need to use a customer-centric mindset to build and invest in technology and people that will enable you to put the customer at the center of everything you do.

2. Build success metrics

Building success metrics into your organization is key to measuring the effectiveness of your programs. Define what success looks like for your customers and empower your success teams to drive this vision for customers across your organization.

At Salesforce, we always look at customer adoption metrics that include how often customers use our solutions and engage with our success teams and programs. Many businesses also look at customer retention as a metric to define the success of their customer success programs.

3. Understand your customers’ needs

We’ve worked with more than 150,000 customers over the past 20 years and we know that, while every customer is different, there are similarities across different customer segments. When building out a customer success organization, collect feedback from your customers early and often. This will help you identify and understand common customer needs. Success teams are on the front lines with their customers and understand how they’re using your products. 

Read the Listening Strategies series to learn more about the philosophy that informs customer experience processes and strategies in CSG.

4. Invest in scale

Support your success teams by investing in the latest technology. The future of customer success needs to be directly tied to customer behavior and to providing support for customers in the channels they already use. Many businesses do this by creating a knowledge base, bots, or in-app support. CSG uses technology built into the Customer Success Platform to provide intelligent, proactive support.

5. Enable internal teams

Identify the roles in your success teams, and define the scope of those roles precisely. If you don’t, you may find your success managers (SMs) adopt different customer-facing roles. Decide what to offset with technology like automation and educate teams across the company on the value an SM brings to your customers. Use success metrics to identify the key areas where your teams can have the greatest impact. 

Want to learn more about how Salesforce created a best-in-class Customer Success Group? Download the report to learn more.


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