Being Successful at Customer Success Management
Customer success management (CSM) relates to customer support and customer relationship management, but in a different way. This term is reserved primarily for a new trend toward subscription services such as cable TV, web providers, or software providers that don’t provide a physical packaged product. Without a product to point to, you need a different plan for finding and engaging customers and increasing sales.
According to “Here are the 4 Steps to Customer Success,” posted on CMSWire.com by Tom Murphy, the term CSM came about in response to a surge in subscription services as a revenue-generating aspect of a business, rather than another cost center aimed at improving customer satisfaction. Most consumers are familiar with the subscription services commonly associated with the media and entertainment industry, including satellite or cable TV services or satellite radio. However, publishing, computer and software providers, and healthcare services are also heading in this direction. As more businesses move toward offering subscription services, there could be an increase in spending that may even improve the economy.
Murphy indicates that a customer success officer is part of the CSM team and is responsible for showing customers how to use their subscription services in order to find the greatest return on investment (ROI). In addition, a well thought-out CSM plan can support that customer success officer with finding new customers, improving sales, and providing additional value to their existing customers. As suggested in the article, a good plan might include identifying the types of customers that you want to attract, customer needs and demands, and the ability to collect the data and monitor the metrics behind your efforts.
Many businesses turn to customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to monitor customer behavior in addition to marketing and sales activities. Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics® CRM can also support social media and other online interactions, providing a well-rounded view of multi-channel marketing efforts. A robust CRM solution can provide an efficient way for customer success officers to collect and analyze data from your CSM program.
Subscription services appear to be an emerging trend for an expanding array of businesses. If your business is heading in this direction, be sure to have a CSM plan in place. Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions for more information about using available technology to be successful at CSM.