The Four Pillars of Customer Success

Scott Snowden
Scott Snowden
Business & Technology Strategy
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When software companies are too product-focused, they tend to lose sight of the additional pieces that lead to customer success. The reality is, business results and sales numbers aren’t the only indicator of customer satisfaction and their loyalty to your product or service.

Customer success is defined by other aspects of business, including product or service usage, customer strategy, and support interactions. It goes beyond your initial interaction with a customer and is strengthened by ongoing engagement and discovery.

We’ve listed below the most important components supporting customer success to help you identify where you can refine your process.

1. Understanding Customers - Think Long Term

Product-focused companies only explore customer goals in the adoption phase. Instead, learn about your customers’ long-term goals, even the ones that don’t directly correlate with the use of your product. This can inform the potential range and longevity your product could have throughout a customer’s use. Even if your product doesn’t meet a customer’s needs today, there’s no reason it shouldn't tomorrow. 

Unbiased interviews, surveys, and focus groups are all great ways to understand your customers and their intentions with your product. Findings can be used to build detailed user personas segmenting customers by behaviour or type. Not all customers are the same, nor will they be using your product for the same reasons. The next step will be to analyze their behaviour– customer data should be used to wield real-world results. 

2. Seamless Support Interactions - Ongoing Engagement and Discovery

Customer loyalty is established through ongoing engagement and discovery. The end to end experience you provide with your product is important, as well as how easy, how quick, and how comprehensive it is. The support process should be strong not only at the outset of product adoption, but also as their strategy with your product evolves. 

3. Product Documentation - It Shouldn’t be an Afterthought

Product documentation is often the last consideration– it’s not fun for tech companies. Regardless, documentation is critical to your overall customer success story and needs to be maintained with each product release. It should be comprehensive and user-friendly, so determine the best channels to support your customers. Would video tutorials be more useful than a guidebook? Would an interactive PDF be more effective than a webpage? Is it searchable? Don’t forget to continually seek feedback from its users.

4. Equip yourself with the Right Tools

You shouldn’t create your customer strategy without support. Equip yourself with the right tools, ones that think about customers holistically and set you up for long-term success. Helpful tools may include the following.

    • External perspectives: An Agency and a Stakeholder Group

    • Analytics engines that keep personas relevant, not on the shelf: Sitefinity Insight

    • A CRM to engage and better understand customers: Salesforce, HubSpot

    • Connected data and BI: Salesforce 360, Microsoft PowerBI     

    • Targeted and personalized data collection and outreach: Salesforce Pardot, HubSpot, Mailchimp

Find Your Own Customer Success

Check out our Case Study pages and find out how we have helped clients such as SNAP Financial and PI Incentives implement solutions following these pillars. 


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