“A dissatisfied customer does not complain; he/she just switches.”Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Engineer & Author

The customer success (CS) team plays a big role in helping prospects and customers to find success with your product. Often, the CS team will be the team with the most proximity with customers.

They spend a lot of time interacting with customers, helping them experience the value of your product. They are constantly learning about gaps, customer needs, and issues that prevent users from maximizing their use of the product.

Like the sales or support teams, however, they have their own agenda. Often times, customer success will be made accountable for onboarding, retention, and renewals or repurchases.

In B2B, customer success specialists may be assigned to as many as 30-40 customers each. Chances are, they’ll want to get any issues that are plaguing their customers resolved first.

How to Learn from Customer Success Processes

When trying to learn from customer success staff, it’s a good idea to keep your focus on the larger themes of problems and friction points.

To learn, you can jump on onboarding or follow up calls, or listen to call recordings. What you’re looking for are friction points, the words customers use, and issues with long-term retention.

Customer success staff will also be great at pointing out specific use cases that could be turned into case studies.

Eventually, your best source of growth will be your existing customers. It’s a good idea to understand what challenges customers face after they buy.

To learn from individual customer success specialists, ask questions like:

  • What’s our best source of customer acquisition?
  • What pitch and benefits help attract our best customers?
  • What profile of organizations tend to make the best customers? Why?
  • Who gets involved during the sales process? During the onboarding process?
  • What are the factors that most influence onboarding success?
  • What are the factors that most influence upgrades and renewals?
  • Who are our most successful customers? Why them?
  • Who are our least successful customers? Why them?

To overcome groupthink, speak to customer success staff one-on-one and then merge their insights yourself afterwards.

Chances are that the customer success team will create its own reports. You can compare your insights with the issues they perceive in the customer success processes. Ask questions, but never forget that the customer success team has its own agenda.

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This post in an excerpt from Solving Product. If you enjoyed the content, you'll love the new book. You can download the first 3 chapters here →.

Categories: Customer Research Technique