What are the key components of a customer success program?

StevenForth Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭
edited July 2020 in Customer Success

Customer success is very different from customer support. The former is focused on understanding your customer's business and how you contribute to their success. The latter is more about your own products and services and how to use them. Customer success is focussed outwards on your customers. Customer support inwards on your own solutions. In many organizations, customer support is subsumed into customer success.

I expect everyone in this group is very aware of the distinction. Given this, what are the core ways customer success delivers success to customers?


  • Jaime Farinos
    Jaime Farinos Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    Hi Steven,

    Yes, indeed Support is different from CS, but there are several over arching concepts that seem valid for both, e.g. delighting the customer, driving value realization, influencing the customer to partner for life and helping in resolving business challenges etc.

    Support has evolved much over the years. It used to be more of a cost center and new trends advocate for Support being a revenue generating engine that helps drive customer success. Support services are also being enmeshed with professional services, micro services etc. This is an interesting, even if already 2 yrs old, article from Mckinsey:

    Customer success used to be more of a role that helped with renewals, but now it has become more than a role, more than an organization and is turning into a philosophy, a mindset and a new way of establishing and nourishing relationships to make customers advocates.

    And here is another also showing how CS is the new growth engine:


  • John Loiacono
    John Loiacono Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    At AWS, we focus on three key components, and we use the acronym JOE to remind ourselves and others what those three components are: (1) Our customer's Journey to (and within) the cloud; (2) Our customer's desired Outcomes; (3) Definition of and Execution on the plan to achieve those outcomes... JOE.

    Recently, my team have implemented OKRs to create a sharper focus on customer Objectives and the Key Results we must drive to help them meet those objectives. Organizing around OKRs has not been easy, as we all have had to climb a steep learning curve, but this mechanism is starting to yield results, and we are continuously working to improve it in monthly and quarterly reviews.