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Why Is The Success Of Our Customers Important?

Easy question to answer, right? The success of our customers equals our own success. But while that question is an easy one to answer, how we then go about ensuring our customers are successful is more of a challenge.

In January of this year I kicked off a Customer Success program for the Corporations and Foundations vertical at Blackbaud. There were many considerations when creating this team but one of the biggest was how do we ensure we understand what makes a Blackbaud customer successful. The obvious way to determine this is to ask them but that is not always feasible with 1800 customers and under 10 Customer Success Managers (CSM).

A book I frequently reference, Customer Success by Mehta, Steinman, and Murphy tackles this topic by suggesting that "customers don't buy your solution to use its features and functions. They buy your solution (and buy into a relationship with you) because they want to achieve a business objective" (p.92). This can be done by asking difficult questions of customers and challenging their objectives. But again, this requires having that conversation in the first place. One of the things I worry about is that we don't ask the question "how do you measure success?" often enough and we therefore don't always know how our customers gauge their success.

So then i was thinking; it's not only our responsibility to ask our customers how they measure success but also for our customers to tell us. We have to be listening and then track that response but determining success is a two-way street, don't you think? I'm working with my team to get the question asked but I want you, our customers, to feel empowered to tell us regardless. We never want to forget that our success as a company is built on your success.

Ann M. Baker
Director, Customer Operations
Corporate & Foundation Solutions | Blackbaud, Inc.

Posted by Ann Baker on Jul 19, 2017 3:21 PM America/New_York

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