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  • 8 min read

The Importance of Strategy in High-Touch Customer Success

We discuss the importance of linking your product's value proposition to your clients business objectives through being strategic in your approach to customer success

Connecting your product to what matters most to your customers' businesses is super important. The key to making customers care more about your vendor relationship is by making yourself incredibly relevant to a specific set of high value objectives that your clients care about.

To get there we’d need to understand why they're using your service in the first place. Customers choose your product because they believe it can help them with their problems or needs. So, it's vital to know what those needs are. By understanding these needs, you’re building the value case for why new and returning customers should continue to use you over competitors and also have the ability to quantify it in a meaningful way.

To get to a position where your strategic value proposition is well understood and defined, start by figuring out why your customers are interested in your product. Maybe they want to save money, do things faster, or try something new. Every customer might have different reasons. Learning this is the key to linking your product to their business goals. 

Once you know what drives them, it's time to understand their main goals. What are they trying to achieve with their business? Are they aiming for growth, doing things more efficiently, making customers happy, or avoiding risks? Knowing this helps you tailor your service to fit their goals better. These objectives will form the basis of your relationship. Your discussions will be the vehicle to point out how you are directly and positively influencing their ability to meet these outcomes. Also known as becoming strategically important to your customers.

Start by asking the right questions. Talk to your customers about what they're trying to accomplish and what challenges they're facing. This helps you understand their needs better. See this article where we discussed how to ask strategic questions to uncover these goals.

Once you understand their needs and goals, you can then begin linking your product to the goals that they’ve outlined to you. Explain how your product can make things easier, save them money, or help them grow. Share examples of how your product has helped other businesses like theirs.

In short, connecting your product to your customers' goals is all about understanding what they need and showing them how your service can help them achieve it. This is particularly important in high touch customer success. Now you might be asking how do you then create the link between the customers stated objectives and your product?

The most effective way of delivering this linkage is through the use of success planning. What is success planning? Success planning is a form of documenting the path in which acustomer can take to achieve a given set of objectives. You can use Retentional’s strategic success planning software to build your own free success plans for your customers.

A success plan is made of the following:

  1. A big overarching objective

  2. A set of initiatives that will help the client achieve this big goal

  3. A set of actions under each initiative that the client and the CSM can take to help meet an initiative

By completing the set of initiatives, the client will in theory have used the product in the best way possible (100% of it) to hit that big goal. The discussion of completion will occur in your regular catch up calls or during your business review. By this point you will have built up an amazing set of proofs that clearly outlines the link between the usage of your product to the success of your client in helping them meet their goal(s).

Now that you understand the importance of linking your product to your customers' goals and have grasped the concept of success planning, let's delve deeper into how high-touch customer success teams can become strategically important to their clients.

High-touch customer success goes beyond simply providing support or troubleshooting issues. It involves building strong relationships with customers, understanding their unique needs, and proactively guiding them towards achieving their business objectives.

In theory, a customer engages with customer success teams because they want to tap into the resources and strategy that the high-touch customer success teams can offer and take the time to truly understand each client's business, challenges, and goals. This deep understanding allows them to provide customized recommendations and support that directly align with the client's objectives. Success plans are the vehicle in which this would be packaged up and delivered to the customers.

High-touch customer success teams act as strategic partners to their clients. Rather than just being reactive, they take a proactive approach by anticipating potential challenges, identifying opportunities for improvement, and offering proactive guidance and support.

Communication is the foundation of high-touch customer success. Regular check-ins, progress updates, and strategic discussions help ensure alignment between the customer's objectives and the services provided. These ongoing conversations not only strengthen the relationship but also allow for adjustments and refinements to the success plan as needed.

In addition, high-touch customer success teams play a crucial role in driving adoption and usage of the product or service. By helping clients fully leverage the capabilities of the product, they maximize its value and impact on the client's business objectives.

Furthermore, high-touch customer success teams serve as advocates for their clients within their own organization. They bridge the gap between the customer and other departments, such as product development or sales, ensuring that the client's needs and feedback are heard and addressed. Retentional takes this into consideration through its Success boardfeature where external departments and the C-Suite can see how a specific client's success plan is developing.

Overall, high-touch customer success teams play a strategic role in helping clients achieve their business objectives. By understanding their needs, providing personalized support, driving adoption, and serving as advocates, these teams become indispensable partners in their clients' success journeys. By then linking deeply with your clients objectives through the use of effectively built success plans, the CSM elevates their own value in the eyes of the customer. This is where you want to be when it comes to winning repeat business.

Check out so you can become a strategic customer success manager that exceeds their Net Revenue Retention goals.