clientsuccess-superbowl-customer-success-blog

The Super Bowl is just a few days away. You’ve been cheering all season for your favorite football team, and hopefully they represented well. If you’re lucky, maybe they made it to the playoffs, or even luckier, made it to the big show—the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl Stage and Customer Success

Every year, NFL teams across the nation start the year with the goal of a winning season and the dream of making it to the big dance—the Super Bowl. This year’s stage is set with the Broncos taking on the Panthers. What do these two teams have in common? We know they have grit, determination, strategy, perseverance, passion, and camaraderie. They have a coach that believes in them and pushes them to be better. And yes, these two teams have great players. But the players themselves aren’t all that matters – it’s the entire team fighting together for victory.

So what does the Super Bowl have to do with customer success?

While the ultimate goals may be different, the underlying themes are similar. So with the Super Bowl being a few days away, I think it’s a good time to draw those similarities for you. Below are six strategies your company can use to arrive at the Super Bowl of customer success:

6 Strategies to Arrive at the Super Bowl of Customer Success

1. Have a Strong Customer Success Vision

A winning football team always has a vision and a purpose for what they want to accomplish. They have a mantra, and they stick to it all season. They start the season with the Super Bowl in mind, and they work hard every game, continually being reminded of the expected outcome.

Ensure your customer success team has a strong purpose, even from the very beginning of a customer relationship. What is the end goal for revenue, for customer satisfaction, or for customer engagement? By knowing the vision, you can more easily manage to the expected outcomes.

2. Alignment From the Top Down

Winning a Super Bowl doesn’t happen unless every player is aligned from the top down. The team owner, the head coach, the assistant coaches, and all the players need to know their roles and how their goals help the overall team win. Every person contributing to the win needs to be aligned.

Customer success is no different. From the CEO to the Customer Success Manager (CSM) to the marketing assistant, everyone across the company must be aligned to customer success goals and must know how their roles fit into the bigger picture.

3. Develop a Strong Customer Success Game Plan

No football team ever goes into a game without having a plan. Coaches and players watch endless hours of footage from previous games. They pour over strategies and tactics, draw out plays, and go through the game plan in detail so every player knows what’s expected on and off the field. Sure, things change throughout the game and calls are made on the spot, but the overarching game plan remains in tact.

Make sure you develop a strong customer journey game plan. Ensure that every member on your team understands the strategies, the tactics, and knows the journey inside and out. The only way to win is to have a proactive plan for your customer’s success with your company. And just like in football, nothing will ever go as planned so make calls as needed, but never lose sight of the overarching strategy of making your customers successful.

4. Achieve Daily Customer Wins

In football, every single yard and play matters. It would be impossible for a team to get on the field and attempt a touchdown for every play. Football games are won by feet and yards, not by running the ball down the field for a touchdown every time. Small wins throughout the entire game by both the offense and defense helps a team win and progress to the Super Bowl.

It’s the same with customer success. Approaching the relationship with only the renewal in mind won’t get you to the Super Bowl. In fact, it won’t even get you to the playoffs. For your customer success team to be successful, you must coach your team to achieve daily, weekly, and monthly wins for your customers. Wins can be in the form of adoption of new features, expanding relationships by going deeper and wider into the organization, or increasing the level of users utilizing your product or service. A small win could even include getting your customers to sign up for an upcoming event or webinar to further their knowledge about your company’s products or services. The point is, engage constantly and work to achieve incremental wins throughout the entire customer journey – not just big wins.

5. Get in the Red Zone, Make Touchdowns

Most football teams can make it to the 20 yard line pretty easily, but pushing the ball across the goal line takes a different level of skill, drive, and focus. Getting the ball in the red zone is critical to the team’s success. If a team can’t get the past the red zone to the goal line, then nothing else matters – they won’t win the game, let alone the Super Bowl.

In customer success, it’s critical to help customers achieve major successes. When you can truly understand your customer’s goals and what it means for them to be successful, then you can help push them into the red zone and make touchdowns.

6. Develop a Process that Can Be Measured, Improved and Repeated

Football teams can’t improve if they don’t know their weaknesses. They continually watch stats for their entire team’s performance – as well as each player – and they manage accordingly. Coaches conduct drills that challenge players to get better in certain areas, and they train to maintain and improve the areas where they already excel to keep their competitive advantage when they face competition.

Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” As a customer success leader, you need to develop repeatable and scalable processes that can be measured and improved. How does your customer success team perform? What are similarities across your team members? What are the strengths? What could use improvement? Knowing areas where your team needs to improve is critical – you will never get better and your customers won’t be as satisfied if you’re not managing your weaknesses and constantly looking to improve through better processes.

How Do You Prepare for World-Class Customer Success?

How are you preparing for the Super Bowl of customer success? What are the strategies and plays that your company runs in order to put customers first in everything you do? Preparing for the Super Bowl of customer success takes dedication, a strong vision, and a team that executes. But most of all, it takes passion for putting customers first and making them look like heroes.