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Customer Success 2.0 Secret Ingredient: Culture


We’ve emphasized the value and importance of executing customer success methodologies here previously. But how do you leverage this model and have it deliver maximum benefit for the customer and the company? How do you develop company-wide participation and excitement for customer success?

We think customer success comes from a variety of inputs, but above all, it’s about culture.
Plain and simple, customer success has to be baked into your corporate culture. Everyone in the company — not just the obvious customer-facing roles — needs to be a champion of customer success so you can successfully drive your efforts to empower your customers and grow your business. This is not the task of an individual team. It needs to be ingrained in everyone throughout the entire company.

How do you do this? It’s simple — and complicated. And it’s hard work.

  1. Align responsibilities.
  2. In Customer Success 2.0, everyone has the same goal: making your customers incredibly, ridiculously successful. Start collecting the right customer usage data and metrics on success. Once you do this, make KPIs visible for all teams to focus and align responsibilities. Every function has a role to play. To help everyone improve each other’s effectiveness, align the responsibilities based on the data. At AppDynamics, we also incentivize team members to drive success through various ways detailed here.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 8.29.53 AM

  3. Drive accountability.
  4. Technical support resolves customer issues quickly, effectively, and graciously. Relations teams are proactive and identify critical accounts at adoption and when there’s renewal risk. Professional services and education teams deliver seamless, relevant training and services that bring ROI for the customer. Customer success is not one singular department. Each and every department drives success. And it is only through the committed, synergistic, integrated efforts of all departments that Customer Success 2.0 is achieved.

  5. Take pride in your efforts.
  6. You are directly impacting your company’s top line!

Always remember: This is not just a feel-good exercise. There are real and significant financial benefits to be realized. You’ll reduce the cost of sales as you expand into your existing customer base. It’s cheaper to sell to an existing customer than a new one, a fact that is compounded when customers have the best experience possible. You’ll reduce churn and increase loyalty. Customer advocates bring greater value — and revenue — to your business by buying more and telling others about your awesome product.

The same idea goes with your internal culture, where transparency is key for success. Customer success teams should have a regular feedback loop cadence between their team, the customer, and upper management. Teams also should accurately report on the health of their accounts so if an account becomes critical, all hands start helping. Over-communication should never be an issue.

Last but not least, when you’ve pushed your culture in the right direction and your teams are pulling together and it all starts working, celebrate your success! At AppDynamics we send an email to the entire company with every account win. Though the salesperson’s name is tied to the account, they acknowledge every person who helped drive the sale — sales engineer, customer success, executive team, legal, administrative — everybody.

By aligning teams and responsibilities with key business metrics that drive business growth, you’ll soon see a sense of pride and camaraderie swell within your organization. Each team will take ownership of directly impacting and influencing the success of the customer base — and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that excitement? Each individual will celebrate the advancement of a new customer since they have in some way, large or small, made an impact.

The post Customer Success 2.0 Secret Ingredient: Culture written by appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog from AppDynamics.

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