Establishing Roles and Responsibilities to Drive Customer Success

February 29, 2016 Kia Puhm

Establishing Roles and Responsibilities to Drive Customer Success

In last week’s blog post, I talked about the importance of mapping the customer journey to drive adoption and a positive customer experience.

This week, I want to focus on how SaaS companies can allocate resources to support the customer journey. This involves determining the resources and skills required to support your customers so they efficiently and successfully embrace your product.

The best way to make this happen is through an account coverage model, which provides clarity about roles and responsibilities to support and drive the customer journey.

A strong account coverage model articulates who is involved with a customer account, the responsibilities for each role to ensure active coverage during each step of the journey, accountability for each role, and how handoffs are handled so there are no gaps of ownership for the customer along the way.

An account coverage model is important because it provides a customer success team with a structured way to drive customer adoption in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

It provides companies with knowledge about the skills and roles needed to drive adoption for each account, as well as who needs to do what to move the customer forward.

It also delivers clarity on everyone’s roles and responsibilities so they are aligned to the customer journey. This alignment ensures there is a focus on doing work/activities that make your customer successful. It eliminates duplicate work, allocating too many people on an account, or worse, leaving a customer to fend for themselves if there are gaps in account ownership.  

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As a company explores how to embrace a strong account coverage model, here are some of the key considerations:

  1. Itemize the skills required to support activities within each step of the customer journey. This creates alignment to drive the success of your customers, and it ensures your people are focused on the work that supports the customer.

  2. Map out the skills to roles and responsibilities and reference them against the roles within your organization. Are all the skills outlined covered in one or more roles? If not, do you need to change the responsibilities of existing roles to add required skills, or add new roles with the missing skills to support your customers? Worse, are resources spending time on activities that are not required to move the customer forward? Eliminate those unnecessary activities.  This exercise drives clarity on roles and responsibilities so everyone knows what they need to do and how each activity helps the customer reach their goals.

  3. Outline the account coverage model: Once you know the roles required to drive adoption, outline when and how the roles phase in an out of the account to support the customer. This ensures that throughout the entire journey, the customer has the resources (people and tools) that they need.

With a responsibility matrix mapped out, a company can outline how to plan and resource an account. Will there be dedicated roles on the account or a mix of dedicated and supporting roles? Will there be a main point of contact throughout the journey or different ownership of the account along the way? Will all accounts be resourced in a similar manner or differently depending on your customer segments?

There you go! You now have some guidance on how to embrace an account coverage model that drives customer adoption and success in the most efficient way possible - otherwise known as a win-win proposition for everyone involved.


The post Establishing Roles and Responsibilities to Drive Customer Success first appeared on Kia CX Consulting.

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About the Author

Kia Puhm

Kia Puhm is an entrepreneurial executive with 21 years of experience leading strategic corporate initiatives. She has held executive positions in account management, customer success, services, and support at companies such as: Oracle, Eloqua, Adobe (Day Software), Intelex Technologies, and Blueprint Software Systems. Kia has pioneered the art of Customer Experience by leading businesses through the transition to customer-centric organizations. Her methodology provides clients with a disciplined and sustainable approach to increasing customer lifetime value & loyalty.

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