Like we have goals to accomplish in the to-do list and it has a predefined roadmap laid out to achieve it, a customer success plan is no bummer! It focuses on reaching the business outcomes of the customers, which can’t afford any excuses of delay, whatsoever! You know that the customer has some serious plan to achieve and that’s why they are up to buy your product. Now it’s time to make a customer success plan that delivers the success you promised!
Why do you need a customer success plan?
- This plan will keep the customer success manager aligned with the objectives of the customers.
- The defined customer success plans have room to improvise when they are not doing good.
- Customers can see the early value as per the set defined plan, to trust their business with your product.
- It steers clear of the probabilities of churn.
- Increases the way for upselling, cross-selling the products.
- The followed plan shows the progress in the estimates of recurring revenue.
- The success plan lets you be consistent with efforts to reach the outcomes.
- The customer success plan keeps you ready for sudden changes in the expectations of the customers. It helps to know if a tweak is possible in the roadmap or not.
- In place of the entry of crossroads during the execution of outcomes, you get to prepare for such situations in hand if there is a customer success plan laid out to save time for execution.
- It aids in being planned for the next milestone once the first is reached rather than spending additional cost and time at that point without a customer success plan.
Suggested Resource: 90-day Customer Success Plan Template
What’s necessary to have before you create a customer success plan?
- Figure out what value they receive through your product beyond the features they use.
- When you need any specific information about their needs and if it is unclear, get on a call to interview or start a poll to seek out the missing information.
- Have a conversation with the stakeholder to understand the pain points and the business outcomes much more clearly and cross-check if that is what they are looking for.
- Make the customer success plan public to all those to whom it concerns. Let them see the progress as and when it is ongoing and that is being transparent. So keep that loop on!
Let’s create a customer success plan now!
Describe their objectives
Knowing what they expect out of the product is crucial and that must be clear at least by the onboarding process. And a strategic discussion can get you there. If they are unclear about it, come to the point together.
Next is to figure out if those expectations are achievable or not. Then, segment the customers to put them in each group with specific expectations. Note that not all customers are alike and every segment needs a tailored customer success plan to steer them away from churning.
Now is when you prioritize the list and begin to address them accordingly as you move to execute with actions.
Actions should be on fire!
The goals are still in mind and, indeed, you can’t execute them if you do not know them exactly. But what drives the goal into a reality is that it has to be actionable. Lay out the processes that help you to reach there. So, plan out the process to not just meet the goals but to exceed them!
Metrics for expectations.
Goals and expectations are different altogether. As the expectations can vary timely but the goal is fixed. Each of these expectations is measured using the metric to see if it is attained or not.
The customer health score is dependent on meeting expectations. Address these concerns right away when you see that the reality doesn’t meet expectations.
Get the strategies right!
After doing the background research with the data you need to create a customer success plan, track and monitor all the steps. So, you’d need a timeline to stick to it with discipline and the team to monitor it at all stages.
A metric must be predefined to know its efficiency whereas the team must be set to track the metrics at each stage. Schedules should also be tracked to see if it is executed at the right time or otherwise an action must be taken to work on it. Sometimes, you’d need a customer success plan template to monitor so that you have covered all the aspects of the planning.
You got a plan, it’s time to execute!
Upon implementation, have a regular meeting, quarterly business reviews, and receive feedback from the customers.
Winding it up!
It is riskier to not have a customer success plan. As it has high chances of the customer to churn when they don’t receive success timely and is the pitfall where you don’t want to be trapped in. Take their objectives seriously by avoiding being overly ambitious. Use appropriate metrics that don’t mislead you with false signals and always keep a space for improvement in the customer success plans as nothing in the world is perfect!