Introducing The Temkin Customer Success Index

Over the last few years, many B2B organizations have created customer success organizations that focus on ensuring that their clients are happy. These companies are realizing that customers aren’t just buying their products, they’re making purchases with the expectation that they will achieve some value from the provider’s products and services.

As I discussed in a previous post, many customer success organizations still look a lot like old-fashioned account management teams. We think that to be successful customer success teams must blend account management with a strong CX mindset.

To help these efforts move forward,  we’re defining customer success as:

A set of activities focused on ensuring that B2B customers achieve the value and outcomes they desire.

As you can see from the definition, these efforts are not the domain of a single group or department, but are the responsibility of the entire organization. They can, and often should, be facilitated by a formal customer success team.

While there are many changes that need to be made to create a successful customer success organization, one of the things that it should do is to commit on keeping these five promises to customers:

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

Temkin Customer Success Index

As a result, we’ve created the Temkin Customer Success Index (TCSi), which is a measure of an organization’s effectiveness delivering value above and beyond its products and services.

The TCSi is based on asking business clients how well their providers live up to each of the five customer promises, with answers on a seven point scale (as you an see below).

To calculate the index, we first create a net score for each promise by taking the percentage of 6s and 7s and subtracting the percentage of 1s, 2s, and 3s. The overall TCSi is an average of the net scores for all five promises.

We will be including the TCSi in our upcoming B2B tech vendor research, and expect to publish the results before the end of the year.

Feel free to use the TCSi to measure your organization’s 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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