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Stop "Touching" Customers

This week's Newsletter:


Stop "Touching" Your Customers!

One of the worst ideas in Customer Success is the "Touch Model": Here's why and what to do instead...

The Customer Touch Model is a nearly universal notion that views CS in terms of how often you talk to your customers.

But this is the WRONG PARADIGM, and it has done a LOT of damage to the credibility of CS. Here's why...

⓵ The "touch model" idea is entirely INWARD-LOOKING.

It's all about what WE are doing. This is the opposite of being customer-centric. It focuses our energy on having meetings as if that's what matters to customers.

► INSTEAD: Focus on what the CUSTOMER IS DOING. Orient everything you do to the customer's effort and behavior rather than your own. Remember →

👉 Customers achieve results because they change their behavior. 👈

It's not OUR efforts that matter, but theirs. Thinking in terms of our "touch" cadence is backward!

⓶ Customers DON'T WANT to be "touched"!

I recently wrote a popular post calling out the dismal failure of QBRs. The short version: the problem is that QBRs are not really FOR the customer. And customers know this very well, so they are not interested.

This problem applies to ALL of our customer interactions. Customers know we're doing it to check a box!


Does this mean we shouldn't interact with our customers?

Of course not!

What matters isn't the frequency but that interactions are ALWAYS value-adding!

► INSTEAD: Design your customer interactions entirely around improving customer results.

👉 We have no business interacting with customers unless the interaction can measurably improve their results. 👈

❗️But isn't there something to be said for building relationships??

Yes, but what kind of relationships? You don't establish trust and respect by wasting your customers' time but by ensuring they achieve measurable results.

⓷ "Touching" the customer DOESN'T WORK!

There's no evidence that the frequency of customer meetings improves retention.

It's deceptive because high-value customers consistently have much higher retention, and these customers tend to get the "high touch" treatment.

But when we compare small and large customers who get the same treatment (high or low touch), the difference in retention doesn't change.

What about SATISFACTION? Frequent interactions consistently improve customer satisfaction scores. BUT → It doesn't matter because customer satisfaction has ZERO impact on customer retention (see my previous posts on this topic with data).

► INSTEAD: Focus on materializing customer results and prescribing key customer behavior changes.

Design your customer interactions to do just 2 key things:

✅ Measure and Materialize the customer's results EVERY TIME you meet.

✅ Show them what THEY CAN DO right now to improve their results.

The pacing for interactions should become a natural outcome of the customer's path to results!


Upcoming Interview: Data-led retention: Why happy customers don't stay - and what to do about it

October 4th, 2023 @ 11:30am ET

Hosted by Debra Wilson @ Brainstorm. We will be discussing how customer results data can help Customer Success teams ruthlessly prioritize their client efforts.


Upcoming Appearance: CS100 Summit - Sundance, Utah

Sept 25-27, 2023

This is my favorite event of the year and I never miss it. Come join us and be inspired!

Use code: "CS100Daines" to save $500 off your ticket price. Tickets prices increase after today — Friday, September 8th.

Buy your ticket today:

Full agenda, speakers and topics are live now:

See you at Sundance!



Customers don’t renew because of what they've achieved; they renew for what they’re going to achieve next.


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