Driving Incremental Service Revenue from Customer Success

August 8, 2016 Paul Chilensky

I have participated in several discussions around how to manage your Customer Success organization and the value it brings to your customer base and company. And a question I hear quite often is – is there opportunity to also drive incremental service revenue from your Customer Success staff?

Traditional Professional Services offerings such as training and consulting services will likely always be offered on a cost basis, as these services are key to a successful new customer deployment, as well as ongoing training for new employees or new business processes.

When it comes to your Customer Success organization, we all know the key responsibilities of a CSM is to develop a positive relationship with the customer, track and address issues and ensure full product adoption.  Where I believe you will find opportunity is by understanding your customer’s business environment and how using your software creates outcomes that contribute to the success factors of your customers.

Some of the areas to focus on are:

  • Identify your customers Success Criteria – the desired outcomes with your product.
  • Provide training to your Customer Success staff on your customer’s business.
  • Evaluate and determine gaps within your customer that can be filled by your Customer Success team. For example:
    • Instilling and managing best practices with your software
    • Driving and managing your customer’s Key Performance Indicators
    • Monthly or quarterly Executive reviews focused on achievement of your customer’s Success Criteria
  • Consider pricing this service as an annual Customer Success Management offering and depending on your sales model consider multiple offerings that fit your small customers up to the enterprise level.

Things to consider while evaluating new service offerings within your Customer Success organization:

  • Where do we lack skills or capabilities that prevent us from being knowledgeable of our customers business?
  • What services are customers requesting which currently don’t exist?
  • What services are our competitors offering vs our services portfolio?

In addition, solicit input from Product Management, Sales and Engineering on your new offerings while ensuring full evaluation of the following:

  • Benefit
    • Revenue
    • ROI
    • Synergy with current offerings
  •  Investment/Costs
    • Training
    • Marketing
    • Recruiting for specific skill-sets
  • Risks
    • Impact to current service offerings
    • Impact to brand and service strategy

These are just a few areas that your organization can start to explore. Have you driven incremental revenue from your customer success department? If so how?

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About the Author

Paul Chilensky

Paul is an accomplished executive with a proven track record of building highly efficient, revenue driven, and customer-centric service organizations servicing customers in over 40 countries with early stage startup organizations to multi-million dollar publicly traded companies.

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