5 Promises That Define B2B Customer Success

We work with many of the largest technology companies, helping them bolster the experiences they deliver to customers, often focusing on their (business-to-business) B2B relationships.

With the shift from on-premise to cloud-based software, technology providers have had to focus even more on customer experience. Why? Because customers buy more incrementally and make renewal decisions more frequently, forcing tech vendors to ensure that customers are continuously getting value.

This shift is not unique to the technology industry. Many B2B companies are realizing that customers aren’t buying products. Instead, customers are making purchases in the expectation that they will achieve some value from the provider’s products and services. We call this a shift to “Value-As-A-Service (VaaS).”

In the world of VaaS, B2B companies must change how they interact with customers. Instead of relying on sales-oriented account management teams, they are creating customer success organizations. These groups are focused on making sure that customers achieve the value and outcomes they expect.

Unfortunately, many customer success organizations still look a lot like old fashioned account management groups. While there are many changes that need to be made, one of the things that can help is to commit to delivering on a set of customer promises. To help organizations start this process, we’ve identified a set of five promises that customer success organizations should make and keep:

  1. Understand My Business: Know how your products/services will help your clients business succeed.
  2. Find & Share Relevant Best Practices: Expose clients to meaningful opportunities for them to create new value with your products and/or services
  3. Prevent Known Issues & Obstacles: Make recommendations that will avoid problems in the future.
  4. Orchestrate Value Across Your Silos: Provide seamless access to appropriate resources across your organization.
  5. Don’t Surprise Me: Anticipate client’s upcoming needs and let them know what to expect during their entire lifecycle.

The bottom line: B2B loyalty depends on customer success.

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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