What is Customer Success?

Today, we’re going to cover the fundamentals, because we’re seeing a lot of you come to our website with one simple question: What is the definition of Customer Success?

Simply: Customer Success is the business function that ensures customers realize value throughout their journey with your company.

Of course, if you’re doing a good job at Customer Success, the journey will be a long one and your business will earn a good financial return throughout.

So, is Customer Success something new? No, not really. The best companies have been practicing Customer Success for eons. The archetypal example is the small shop owner who greets you by name, knows your order, and helps you find something new that you’ll love.

What is new is applying the “Customer Success” label to these activities. And although it sounds like a small thing, applying a label can be a transformative moment. Because all of these things that you kind of knew were good ideas, start to become documented, tested, and organized under one umbrella.

And so it is with Customer Success, where there are now functional areas at companies with titles like VP of Customer Success and Customer Success Manager; there are products (like ours at Sparked); best practices and lots of thinking being done under this Customer Success umbrella. So, it turns out that the label is really useful. Rather than a bunch of ad-hoc practices, we have a corpus of practices and a community of practitioners doing “Customer Success.”

And there you have it! Customer Success defined. See you next time.

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Ben started his career as Lead Engineer at a social software company, acquired by Student Advantage, and co-founded a company that built award-winning web sites for Nokia, The North Face, Sony Pictures, and Calvin Klein. In 2002, Ben became CTO of DFILM, a web and mobile company with clients such as Sam Adams, Hyundai, Old Navy, IBM, The Sierra Club, and Scion. Ben graduated from Stanford University with Honors, Distinction, and Phi Beta Kappa.

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