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Customer Success Plans Don't Work At Scale

Here's why and my simple template that changes the game ⤵

I'm a HUGE fan of success plans because they address the most fundamental obstacle to success: customers don't achieve results unless they know what they are aiming for. 

Success plans are essential because:

⓵ They identify clearly what key result is compelling for the customer and, 

⓶ They lay out the plan of action to achieve it.

👉 For many CSMs and CS teams, creating success plans for every customer is the most impactful action they can implement to reduce customer churn. 👈

But this is where we run into the two major obstacles to implementing success plans at scale:

1️⃣ The first problem is customer engagement. 

Some customers enthusiastically collaborate to build their success plan, but most customers don't.

The issue is that success plans typically require more effort and interest than many customers are willing to invest. Unfortunately, these are the customers who need a success plan the most!

✅ THE SOLUTION: Customer success plans must be SIMPLE and FAST!

If creating a plan requires more than a few minutes of customer effort, it simply won't scale beyond your most engaged customers. To succeed, the process must require very little customer effort.

[📄 I'm happy to share my simple template and process that I've refined over many years and deployed with tens of thousands of customers here:]

Simplicity is the first key, but it's not enough to win. There's another big obstacle...

2️⃣ The second problem is customer understanding.

When introducing success plans, you likely have experienced something like the following conversation: 

👱🏽 CSM: "Let's start with: what are you trying to achieve?"

👱🏼‍♂️ CUSTOMER: "We want to implement your solution."

👱🏽 CSM: "Right, but what outcome or benefit are you expecting?"

👱🏼‍♂️ CUSTOMER: "We need to do the stuff your solution enables."

(...and so forth 🔄)

Although some customers arrive with a clear understanding of their key result and how to achieve it, most don't. 

✅ THE SOLUTION: Customer success plans must LEAD customers.

Most customers need to be taught how to understand their key results.

Starting with a blank canvas usually doesn't work. Instead, I recommend pre-filling the plan before introducing it to the customer. This shows customers how to think about their results and catalyzes the engagement that leads to alignment around the right plan. 

We may not know which result a customer values most, but we should certainly know what the options are! The key is to build a "library" of effective "model" success plans based on the measurable results customers have consistently achieved and identify how they achieved them. 

👉 The solution to scaling customer success plans is to make them SIMPLE and use them to LEAD customers to their key results! 👈

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