What Is Customer Success?

[fa icon="calendar"] June 26, 2018 / by Michael Sproles

Have you ever purchased something and realize later that you never used it, or used it to it's potential or effectiveness?  Maybe you bought a DVD that you never get around to watching, or a fancy smart watch that you end up just using to tell what time it is.  I’m sure that most people, if they think about it, have done this before.

Now, what about your business?  Has your business ever purchased something to realize later that you really weren’t getting all the value you could out of it, or worse, not using it at all.  I can think of instances that I have been involved with at TPM where we have invested in something to come back later and say, well, we didn’t get much out of that.  Based on interactions and feedback that I have had with customers over the last 20 years, I would guess that most businesses could also say that.

Whose fault is it when that happens?  I look back at the times that I have been involved with something like that and it is always easy to come up with multiple, usually legitimate, excuses to explain it.  At the end of the day though, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is or what the reason was, it usually means there was a lost opportunity as a result.  The opportunity to improve productivity, or lower our cost, or even lower our risk somehow. Lost opportunity unfortunately usually means lost profit.  Its hard to track it as it's not a line item in a budget sometimes, but the loss is there none the less.

So, what does that have to do with Customer Success?  Everything. This is one of the main reasons that companies of all sizes and industries are adopting a Customer Success ideology.  The most prominent goal of Customer Success is simply that, make customers successful using the tools and expertise to help the customer learn, adopt, and implement solutions. Companies are starting to focus on not just the sale of something, but what happens after the sale, to make sure customers are actually getting the value out of what they paid for, which in turn, hopefully makes happy, successful customers who are willing to continue to purchase in the future.

In that vein, TPM is undergoing our own transformation. Traditionally, TPM has approached the market in a very sales centric manner, with sales teams focused on helping our customers determine the appropriate solutions, close the deal, and then move on to the next customer. While we did have resources dedicated to helping customers post-sale, it was always incumbent on the customer to reach out to us and ask for help. The problem with that is simple and usually comes down to two reasons, 1)  many times customers are busy, and sometimes it is easy to push new technology off and just keep working the same old way to get the job done, and 2) customers often don’t know what they don’t know, or they don’t know that they can ask for help. 

While we can’t always make your life less busy (but we can help you use your tools more efficiently), we can offer help and guidance to make the most out of your technology. That is where our Customer Success Initiative is leading us. TPM is introducing a new way of thinking focused on making our customers successful. The first stages of this transition is already underway, so you may notice some new faces and other changes here at TPM all focused on giving customers a better experience.

Ultimately, we wouldn’t be doing this if it didn’t lead to our customers being more successful.  Some of the benefits we see coming for our customers include

  • -More value from their technology investments – no more shelf ware
  • -Increased productivity - optimizing what they already own more efficiently and lowering costs
  • -Take on additional work – increased productivity allows you to get more done with the same resources
  • -Ability to offer additional services – much of the technology today can allow customers to offer more to their customers
  • -Be better informed and educated about technology – reducing the risk of a bad purchase
  • -Increased profits – lowering risk, lowering cost, improving productivity all impact the bottom line

In summary, we are excited about this transformation and we hope that you are as well.  For customers, this means that you will be taken care of and can rest assured that we will be there for you not only when you make your purchase, but also after to make sure that you are getting the proper value from that purchase.  Ultimately, our goal is to simply make our customers successful.

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Topics: AEC, Manufacturing

Michael Sproles

Written by Michael Sproles

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