Best of May – 8 Must-Reads on Customer Success

Welcome to another monthly round up of the top 8 articles in customer success. This month we discover some fundamental answers to major questions on the topic of customer success, witness the powerful connection between growth in SaaS companies and CSM, and even learn about the similarities between customer retention and farming. Let’s get started.


1. 3 Thing Customer Success Management Is NOT

The meaning and purpose behind CSM is a widely discussed topic, along with its wide breadth of responsibilities and advantages. But, because this field is rather new, many customer success professionals come from the traditional sales and marketing professions. It is important to know where to draw the line to keep your success team as effective as possible with a clear goal separate from project management, pipeline management and customer support. I also recommend the author’s interesting portfolio approach to accomplishing customer success.


2. Customer Success Evolves to Deliver Customer Satisfaction, At Scale

Catherine Blackmore, VP at Oracle Marketing Cloud and a well-known persona in the field of customer success, offers a few personal tips on customer success. In this article she focuses on the powerful bond between customer success and the SaaS business model. I am very impressed by how she connected churn and on boarding to a specific way of implementing CSM.


3. 5 Tips to Evolve Your Customer Success Best Practices

This article presents 5 great tips on how to implement the best practices for CSM. Some examples include: applying a Revenue Lifecycle Management (RLM) outline and development model to measure where you are today, the balance between values and outcomes, the design of customer journey, and the key components of customer success.


4. 3 Elements Your Customer Success Management Strategy Can’t Do Without

After reading this article, understanding your customers’ needs will be a breeze. The author touches on the sensitive points of reading your customer’s mind and identifying pitfalls before they happen, which is especially crucial for SaaS businesses. In addition, learn about the three vital features of a great CSM: centralization, customization, and bridging between analysis and action.


5. Interview With Shreesha Ramdas on Customer Success

This interview with Shreesha Ramdas, founder and CEO of Strikedeck, a startup in the field of customer success, touches on some key issues in the field. Ramdas is asked rather basic, rudimentary questions that many of us in CSM struggle to find clear answers to.  Important topics are covered in the Q&A such as embarking on the customer success management journey, and how to begin working on customer success.


6. The 4 Traits of a Great Customer Success Mindset

How great would it be if every customer you had understood how lucky they were to receive your service? Well make it so! The author wrote a guide on how to turn an underappreciating customer into a satisfied one. CSMs who have a sincere interest in achieving a better understanding of their customers, and the problems their industry faces, will relate to customers on a much deeper level. This philosophy will create the pathway to forging a lasting bond between customer success managers and their customers.


7. Customer Success – The Farming Paradigm (With GIFs!)

This is a very creative article comparing customer success to farming. By looking at the tactics used by farmers to nurture their seeds and plants, we can see that similar methods are used by CSMs to cultivate a new client. Guy Nirpaz calls it “the farming paradigm,” a short and fun read.


8. 5 Signs You Are Excellent at Customer Adoption

Customer adoption equates to higher renewal revenue, which means it’s all about adding more loyal customers in order to ensure your company’s long term success.

A loyal customer is an individual who uses a product often enough that they become dependent on it. The usage can be daily, weekly, or monthly, and that usage frequency can be defined as a characteristic of good customer adoption.

Mark Silver is the Lead Author and Editor of SuccessFULL. SuccessFULL was created in order to be a spurce of news on the fascinating developing world of customer success. On SuccessFull, Mark shares his thoughts on customer success issues, with the hopes to foster a discussion and interaction with anyone interested. The goal of the blog is not to one-directionally publish information, but to create a full engagement between many voices, so that we can all learn from each other.