Why didn’t we keep the keep?

I’ve just watched a Webinar given by Lincoln Murphy at Gainsight and he started with a quote of the venerable Peter Drucker : “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer”.

The big thing is in the KEEP. And this is actually the kind of perspective for business that i like.

The funny thing is that when you type Peter Drucker Quotes on Google, what do you get? “The purpose of business is to create a customer”.  Since the first edition of “the practice of management” in the 50s, we deliberately dropped the keep!!


If we wouldn’t have dropped this part of the business to reduce it to the sales, maybe customers would have kept a good perception of the sales process itself. And thus we wouldn’t have some salesman lamentations like the one I just read on LinkedIn today.


Why didn’t we keep the keep?

When CSM can lead the CMS

VMWare partner success dpt implemented Coveo, the most innovative enterprise search solution, to get the right intelligence out of their Salesforce data. The first things they saw was based on the search analytics: the most searched content was about the training. So the Partner Success team went to the Partner Readiness Team (I love those new names of teams!) and they asked about this content.

It makes me think about the way to look at the web analytics to measure product traction, explained in Lean Startup (http://theleanstartup.com/). It’s not because, as a content or marketing manager, you have good results on visits and hits that you will have good revenue. Indeed, as David Wylie from VM Ware says, this content was the key information that new partners needed to start selling the product and they just could not find it. Maybe the content had reasonable success (they have 75.000+ partners in the world, you can imagine that they had many visits by relentless – or smart- partners) but they could not figure out that many other partners were not served as expected.

We see here that a simple knowledge from the field passed to the Content Management Strategy team could easily change big things.

It’s just a question of breaking the silos. So it’s nice to bring web analytics within the CMS interface, and we could say it’s a good start, but intelligence should get deeper into the processes and the culture of the company. That’s where Knowledge Management comes for the sake of a real Customer Success.

PS: In this special use case, by the way, the CSM preferred to handle the issue by tweaking the search results and pushing the 2 key pdfs about training on top of the results. It’s a question of priority isn’t it.

When CSM can lead the CMS

The C-Factor

cfactorYes, Customer is King. And like every king, he must be respected because he may have an authority on me but also because he may be an opportunity for me.

As long as I was thinking of getting a new customer was an end per se, I was not very excited by the customer acquisition. But as soon as i understood that acquiring a new customer was actually the beginning of a Relationship, that made business development much more interesting.

A good Relationship is something that you have to feed, maintain, improve. The Engagement is usually key for the retention and you have to be creative to keep your customer hitched and make his Experience the most satisfying. If a customer is satisfied, committed and willing a continuous improvement and a positive evolution in the relationship with you, that is a guaranteed Success that you will share.

Success, Engagement, Experience and Relationship are intimately related. When i was playing with this words trying to make a calligram with CSm, CEm, CRm, I found out that in this exact order, not only it was filling the gap of the C in order to complete the circle (customer life cycle?) and then make the Customer full (of satisfaction), but it was making the word SEER which means Visionary, Clairvoyant.  Obviously, it makes sense! We have to look beyond the simplicity to make it work, making the success of the customer experience requires creativity and faith.

What do you think about that? Inspiring, isn’t it?!

PS: I found out also that, thanks to Urban Dictionary, i could have arranged the letters in order to make RESE which is Respect without P, C, T like in the Aretha Franklin’s song. Respect, again and again!


The C-Factor

An obvious switch of letter

Here’s where I am.

After 15 years experiencing the use, the implementation, the upgrade, the training, the customization, the consulting, the integration, the construction, the deconstruction, the tweaking, the love and the hate, the good and the bad, the boring and the exciting in the CMS (Content Management System) world, i need to redefine what I really want to do.

And guess what, what activated me the most in all these years has always been making the customers and the users happy with the solution I was offering. They were having needs, expressed or not, expectations, assumed or not, and my role, in its most noble approach, was to deeply understand them and define the right solution, whether it was a functional evolution, a technical implementation or an organizational change.

After the delivery phase, I’ve always felt that my duty was to make sure the user was using correctly the solution or had no concern with it and to listen to any of his feedback. Again, to make this customer entirely satisfied.

But in addition to make the client happy, it usually made my boss happy as well because it was leading to more projects and a longer relationship. I initially thought that sales was not for me because i believed it was only customer acquisition. But the retention is probably bigger in a business development plan. Less churn is more revenue, customer engagement opens to new opportunities and customer satisfaction leads to more referrals and then more acquisition. The perfect success plan!

Anyway, after this deep thought while driving from Palos Verdes to DTLA, the epiphany came! My next big thing will be CSM : Customer Success Management. And I will use this blog to share my experience, illustrate ideas and understandings, and give a very pragmatic and honest feedback of my new journey as CSM fan.

After all, I’ve had the 3 good letters since the beginning, I just have now to make a decisive switch of letters.

An obvious switch of letter