Customer Success: No One Left Behind

Sei Mani insight

Customer Success: No One Left Behind by Leon Benjamin, 24th May 2017

Customer Success Manager is one of the most frequently searched job titles on LinkedIn in 2017.  Not surprising given the unrelenting shift of software in the cloud, that’s now being sold on a pay-as-you-go basis. The days of selling 10,000 licenses, and not caring if ten or a thousand people use it, are well and truly over.  High adoption is not just important, it’s mission critical.  Without it, cloud solution providers will simply go out of business.

All cloud software producers assign Customer Success Managers (CSM) to deploy, adopt and embed their solutions in their customer’s organisation, typically free of charge. This makes complete sense because if a high percentage of employees use the solution then customers will renew their subscription, and in time, buy more licenses, and the resulting revenue easily meets the cost of CSMs.

Let’s be clear.  CSMs do a great job to ‘move the adoption needle’ but their approach still relies heavily on the customer doing a lot of the legwork themselves, and often due to delays and other pressing issues, customers leave it too late to execute properly.  Suddenly a year later, they can’t justify funding renewal because too few people are using the solution.

We take a different approach.  We provide an on-demand virtual Genius Desk, manned by experts who take on the customer’s identity and respond to coaching, product and technical requests for support in around 2-3 minutes.  The way we coach people on collaboration applications is a closely guarded secret, but it results in extraordinary levels of user buy-in.  We’ve never been called back by a customer to fix low adoption.  It’s a one-time effort, and adoption continues well after we’ve completed the assignment.

In most cases, we will if necessary, touch every person in the customer organisation, so that No One is Left Behind.  This leaves our customers with a much smaller, manageable responsibility of business-as-usual operations.

There’s something else.  What happens when customers don’t want high adoption because it costs more?  We write investment grade business cases that describe the value of the customer’s investment, and that make the cost of our services seem trivial.  Our model is simple:

Our customers call us when they need expertise to dramatically improve the adoption of their enterprise collaboration apps, and when they need strategic guidance on modeling robust business cases to secure investment.

Our alliance partners call us when they need an ‘adoption service wrap’ as part of the sale of collaboration apps to their customers.

Senior leaders call us when they need independent advice on how to create digital transformation or digital workplace strategies that are built to last. We help them understand how good their company is at collaboration currently – and how to change culture going forward.


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