What does CS as a culture really mean?

I have read several things on LinkedIn and elsewhere proclaiming that real customer success is a culture, not a team.  I agree entirely but what does that really mean?  Here’s 15 things I think indicate a customer success culture at different stages of development of a B2B SaaS company.

  1. The business opportunity is defined in terms of the goal/value the company delivers to customers.
  2. The value it delivers to customers is central to the company’s raison d’être: it’s purpose, vision, mission. 
  3. Identifying the characteristics of customers that can, with the right support, achieve their goals is an important element of an ideal customer profile.  
  4. The company invests to build and maintain a  deep understanding of the goals, work and challenges facing its chosen customers. 
  5. Product-market fit is defined in terms of the customers achieving their desired outcome.
  6. Guiding the customer to their goal(s) is central to the product.
  7. The company constantly strives to deliver, profitably, a great customer experience. 
  8. The entire engagement cycle (marketing, sales and customer success) is defined in terms of the goals and challenges facing the customer at each stage and how the company helps solve them.
  9. An initial goal is agreed with the customer as part of the sales process.
  10. A robust, repeatable success process exists fro help key contacts in every customer achieve their goal.
  11. The company builds an understanding of the causal links between what the customer does, the success they achieve and its own performance.
  12. Guidance for customers goes beyond how to get the best from the product, helping them with process and organisational problems they face in achieving their goals.
  13. Progress towards and achievement of customer goals is a key metric for the company.
  14. Leaders make clear the relationship between customer outcomes and the work of everyone in the company.
  15. And for the brave … the company’s pricing is based on the outcomes it achieves.  

What factors do you think indicate a CS culture at work?

One thought on “What does CS as a culture really mean?

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  1. This is a great summary of the ingredients for a CS culture Dave! I agree with all your points. For point 5, this is unfortunately often not yet the case but hopefully this will evolve. For point 14, I would add that leaders need to continually join the dots between customer outcomes and the contribution of ALL in the company and for this, leaders need to continually drive and reinforce all of your points. For point 15, I’m looking forward to this brave and bold evolution:)

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