Customer Success Leader (CSL) is the person responsible for ensuring the Amazing Delivery of products and services to customers. However, what does “ensure the Amazing Delivery” imply? What kind of activities are around this objective?
For the past 20 years, I have been working in the telecommunications industry, and I realized that only one thing is 100 percent real: There is not such a thing as a perfect system. From a very cheap, small or simple CPE (Customer Premises Equipment), Cable Modem, Wi-Fi Access Point, or TV STB to an extremely expensive, huge and complex core network. No matter how many redundancy rings, or battery banks or geographical backup storage, all systems are susceptible to failure. This is the reason of Warranty contracts, penalties, the famous four nines of the availability.
Just a quick example, a few weeks ago, all the people related to telecommunication industry were shocked with the news of the hacking of the internal network of Telefonica and other important Spanish companies.
Then, considering this a tough reality, how can we ensure the Amazing Delivery? How could we get a WOW from our customers with our products and services?
Firstly, we need to admit that we are not selling non-failure systems. Also, we need to admit that we do not have all the answers and that we cannot cover all the needs of the customer.
Starting with that, we should focus our Amazing Delivery on:
- We do not have non-failure systems, but we have the compromise of working beyond we are supposed to do to solve any kind of issue.
- We do not have all the answers, but we will find who has them.
- We cannot cover all customer needs, but the ones we can, we will do our best.
Therefore, what can CSL do to get the Amazing Delivery?
There are three faces that CSL should be very aware of, and that will be useful to define the activities around the achievement of this goal.
In other words, the scanning of all customer needs and identification of those profitable ones we could supply our products or services.
Activities such as Customer relationship meetings (not necessarily in Customer facilities), workshops coordination, PoC (Proof of Concept) or Demos are key to get the intelligence we need to discover those opportunities around customer needs that maybe they don’t even know they have.
Once we closed an opportunity and agreed with our Customer that they need it and we are the right company to provide it, we should care that this must be deployed in the time and with the quality we promised.
Preparation activities, such as ensuring that all the persons that will be users of our project consent to the scope of the product, identification of the risks that could affect the delivery of the product, the communication of the requirements from the customers’ side and the impact of the lack or delay of them in the time of delivery, are critical to avoid that, during the deployment or even worst at the end of it, the customer realizes that it is not what he was expecting to receive.
Control activities, as following up meetings in order to monitor the correct implementation of the solution, constant communication with the Sponsor of the project about the progress or any alert that could affect the final result, search for solutions to unexpected situations that could appear, will be mandatory to minimize or eliminate risks to get the Amazing Delivery.
We did it! We found an opportunity, and it became a nice solution for our customer, and we received our award for it. Now we can go rest and enjoy the summer… NOPE.
We cannot forget the premise presented at the beginning: There is not such a thing as a perfect system.
We need to be sure that our users are prepared to extract the best they can from our solution. By ensuring that proper training has been provided, we are reducing the chances of crashes by wrong use of the application or what is worst, the lack of use of it, and become into a “Why did we pay so much for this?”
Ensuring the delivery of the proper documentation, including user manuals, the right communication channels, and escalation procedures, could avoid the feeling of abandoning and will reduce the risk that one simple issue turns into a bad image of our product.
Finally, feedback is a very useful way to detect not only issues of our systems but improvements that will enrich it or, even better, the detection of upselling opportunities coming from the new platform.
With these tips, we can prepare the land for a long-term-trust relationship with our customers and achieve our so appreciated “Amazing Delivery”.