How to Make Customer Success a Discipline

Walk in to almost any corporate office in the United States, or anywhere in the world for that matter, and you’re likely to find some sort of propaganda claiming their dedication to customer service. 

Maybe it’s a poster in the break rooms. Maybe it’s painted on the walls of the cafeteria. Maybe it’s even an official part of the company’s mission statement. 

But real customer success comes from something much deeper than a simple mantra printed on a t-shirt or a strategically placed dposter. 

On this episode of Customer Success Leaders, we sit down with Tanya Strauss. Tanya is the Director of Customer Success Strategy and Operations at ServiceNow, and she joined us for this episode to talk all about, among other things, the 4 components that define customer success.

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Customer Success is a Job

It’s a job. 

Meaning, it’s something that individual people do. 

Hopefully they’re doing it well by delivering outcomes and helping customers deliver outcomes, but before customer success is anything else, it’s a job. 

All the talk of placing customers first is pointless if there’s not anybody on the ground to actually do the job.

Customer Success is a Department

The next logical step is creating a customer success department. 

It’s a job, yes, but it’s also a department, meaning there need to be strategies, processes, budgets, and resources made available to enable customer success.  

And the COVID-19 pandemic has made customer success and customer experience all the more crucial, because companies are relying on each and every one of their customers to keep the business running. 

Having a bunch of people really dedicated to customer success means nothing if your organization isn’t putting for the resources to actually enable your customers to be successful.

Customer Success is a Discipline

Enabling great customer success isn’t automatic. 

No company, on day one, is the expert of delivering unparalleled customer success. It’s not in anyone’s veins, or DNA.

Podcast quote by Tanya Strauss 1

Customer success is, like most other things in business, a discipline. Meaning that it’s something that needs to be practiced, honed, perfected, and constantly improved on. 

This also means that your customer success is never perfected. You never reach a point where you say, “We’ve got this figured out, we don’t need to work on this anymore.” 

Imagine Lebron James winning another NBA title and saying, “I don't need to practice anymore. I don’t need to train. I’ve got this game mastered, there’s nothing left for me to improve on.” 

Sounds absurd right? 

Of course it does. Because Lebron understands that there is ALWAYS room for improvements.

Customer Success is a Cultural Value

Bottom line: if customer success isn’t baked into your company’s culture, it’s going to be really hard for you to get it right.

Podcast quote by Tanya Strauss 2

When people talk about your company, and your company’s culture, what are they saying? That the people are nice? That the office is hip? 

What if the first thing that people said about your company culture was that you were completely obsessed with delivering the ultimate customer success experience in EVERYTHING that you did?

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