OK, apologies for the clickbaity headline, but it’s not every day the word ‘ridiculous’ is used to describe what you and your team do, and instead of hurting you it’s a reason to smile and feel happy about a job well done.
That’s what happened to us recently, and if someone had opened a few bottles of fine Champagne we couldn’t have been happier. (Well, maybe….!)
We were going about the business we love here in the Poppulo Customer Success team when someone, on a LinkedIn group, started a thread with a question asking members for feedback on what Poppulo offers. Actually, we didn’t notice the dialogue at the time as we were happily engrossed in doing what we do for our amazing customers, but we were tipped off later by one of our colleagues.
The LinkedIn feedback on the Poppulo product was, as usual, really positive, but then a grammatical variant of ‘ridiculous’ popped up, happily in the form of a delightfully positive description of the service our Customer Success team provides our customers. The client’s view of us was short, it was sweet and we’ve never looked at ‘ridiculous’ in the same way since.
Here’s how we were described: “A ridiculously helpful team at Poppulo that couldn’t do more for you”. Rarely have the difference between an adjective and an adverb been so happily celebrated. (Admission: we did raise a glass or two!).
It wasn’t the only comment giving a great shout out for what we do, but it did spark interest and curiosity, especially from companies and organizations who were either not yet customers or who were in the process of partnering with us.
As a result, we found ourselves in unfamiliar territory: being asked what makes our Customer Success so highly regarded meant that we ourselves had to stop and think about what we actually do that makes it what it is. This was a bit strange for us because we’re not a navel-gazing lot, we’re a team of doers, and what we do is whatever it takes to make our customers as successful as possible. Simple as that.
We’re aware that Customer Success is relatively new as a concept and has grown out of the service as a software SaaS industry, and definitions about what it is can vary. We know too that cynics can view it as just another industry buzzword.
Well, here at Poppulo we’re not overly concerned about definitions or whether something’s a buzzword or not. We’re concerned with one thing and one thing only, and that’s constantly working on creating the strongest, most committed and engaged partnership with our customers to help them become even more successful. It’s our Number 1 priority. If that’s a definition of Customer Success, we can live happily with that.
On a practical level we’re like a cog in a wheel that links other departments in the organization – sales, marketing, finance, product, ops etc, and we’re the team that engages with the customer at every stage throughout the customer lifecycle journey.
When we stopped to look a bit more closely at what we do – and we’re always looking to see how we can be even better – I reached out to my team to get their thoughts on what Customer Success means to them. There was a marked similarity in their responses, with the word ‘partnership’ appearing throughout, and summed up in this view from one of the team: “Customer Success is about keeping our promise to delivering value from our solution through a Best In Class service – we join our customer in their journey to achieve their goals and objectives, but we don’t just stop there,we continue delivering constantly upon that promise and build long-standing partnerships”.
That word ‘partnership’ also resonates very much with me and it was further cemented across the team with everybody agreeing with another response: “Customer Success is working with the customer,not for them, which drives me to do my best for every single customer”.
When I think of Customer Success a tweet by Lincoln Murphy – author of Customer Success – is never far from my mind, because it so closely reflects our beliefs: “you can focus on Adoption, Retention, Expansion or Advocacy...OR...you can focus on the customers’ desired outcomes and get all of these”.
That’s so pertinent, as all too often businesses can get lost focusing on so many things while losing sight of what they should really be trying to achieve for the customer, which at the end of the day, along with having an engaged and happy workforce, is all that matters.
Ridiculously obvious, really.