Living Stone blog 3



All Posts

Why you need a Customer Success strategy to help your customers succeed

Does your organization have a Customer Success strategy and team, or are you thinking of implementing one? The Customer Success model has been around since the 1990s, when it was first introduced at Vantive, a US software company that sold a CRM solution1.

The goal back then was the same as it is now: provide customers with all the support they need to succeed with your product or solution. But while the end goal hasn’t changed in the intervening decades, the way technology is sold has changed dramatically.
The licence-and-maintenance model is disappearing, and software-as-a-service (or even everything-as-a-service, or XaaS) has taken the lead.

According to research from Gartner, 100% of new technology solution providers and 80% of historical technology companies will offer subscription-based services by 20202. Helping customers to succeed is important for all companies, but especially so for cloud and subscription-first companies, where it’s very easy for customers who aren’t happy, or believe that a competitive solution is superior, to switch to a different provider.

This transition is driving a new emphasis on Customer Success (CS) strategies and frameworks. For its “2019 Enterprise Customer Success (CS) Study and Outlook3,” Deloitte surveyed 50 Customer Success executives across enterprise-scale hardware and software technology companies. According to the survey, cloud and subscription-first companies are at the forefront in embracing CS, with 50% of “born-in-the-cloud” respondents citing CS as a core strategy.

Whether you’re selling a cloud-based service or a product that’s more tangible, one of the best ways to ensure you keep your customers is to help them succeed.

When they can link their successes back to their partnership with you, you gain enormously in loyalty, advocacy and more – in addition to all the financial benefits of customer retention.

Here are some ways to strengthen your Customer Success approach:

1. Do an analysis of all your activities that fall under the Customer Success umbrella

Whether you call it Customer Success, Post-Sales, Post Implementation, or simply Account Management, take an in-depth look at everything your organization does to help customers learn how to get the most out of your product or solution and maximize its value. Make a list of the tools and programs, including their intended scope. Once customers learn how to use your product, does your organization help them to continue to find more value? Or does your company then switch to a reactive mode, where all subsequent queries are routed to your service department?

2. Identify the gaps

In an ideal world, what do your customers need from you to succeed with your product or solution? At a minimum, you need to provide:

a) Onboarding program

Your onboarding process represents the kickoff to your Customer Success program. Make sure your customers feel fully supported from the start, and set the expectations for how your support will continue into the future. Provide your customers with everything they need to get started with your products, in easy to use formats. Training, tutorials, on-site personnel – your onboarding program should instill confidence, in your product and your company, and lay a foundation for a long-term relationship.

b) Knowledge base

Your knowledge base should cover all the questions that might come up when customers are using your solution, and provide easy-to-find practical answers. For customers that prefer self-service, you can provide FAQs, “How-to” videos, troubleshooting guides, case studies, best practices, white papers, etc. For customers who prefer a live person, offer chat, or even a live hotline. An instant response of some kind is critical – customers do not feel valued when they send a query by email, and have no idea when they will get a response.

c) Ongoing flow of tips & tricks

Help your customers get more out of your solutions with frequent “Did you knows” and tips and tricks. Build the profile of your product experts with ongoing communiques on tips and tricks, via an email newsletter, a blog post series or a video series. Use these tools to spark an online conversation, with your experts moderating, and start building your user communities.

d) Customer loyalty program

Are you rewarding or recognizing your customers? Reward them for staying with you, with discounts on new purchases, or gifts or events that recognize an ongoing relationship. Create communities and user groups so your customers can easily find and interact with each other, to share insights about your products and best practices.

Plan a path forward for Customer Success at your company

Is it time to put more emphasis on CS at your organization, and devote more resources and bandwidth to a CS program? The Deloitte study found that, while Customer Success teams are demonstrating good business results, the model still has a way to in securing full support within organizations.

Only 30% of the survey respondents reported that their board of directors considered CS to be a strategic priority.

At the same time, fully half of the respondents said that their organizations had seen a +20% increase in customer satisfaction scores, directly attributable to their Customer Success programs.

So whether you have the resources to launch a CS team, or just incorporate a CS approach into your marketing programs, it’s a path worth taking.

For more information and ideas on how you can strengthen your Customer Success programs, contact Anne-Mie Vansteelant at Living Stone, at +32 55 591 007 or

Living-Stone-CTA-Blog (002)


1. The Customer Success Association, “The History of Customer Success – Part 1,” retrieved from:

2. Christy Pettey, “Moving to a software subscription model,” Gartner, May 30, 2018, retrieved from:

3. Gopal Srinivasan, Deepak Sharma, Aishwarya Sharan, Saurabh Bhandari, Anand Mohan, “2019 Enterprise Customer Success (CS) Study and Outlook,” Deloitte, retrieved from:

Anne-Mie Vansteelant
Anne-Mie Vansteelant
COO | Managing Partner at Living Stone

Related Posts

The importance of value in B2B marketing: looking beyond price

In the current economic context, with prices and inflation rising, it is essential for B2B companies to look beyond price alone. Value has become a central element in B2B marketing strategies. In this blog, we dive deeper into the different aspects of value, and how B2B companies can maximize these aspects.

War and turmoil: navigating global challenges in B2B marketing

How to be successful as a medium-sized B2B company in a troubled world. Strategies and the role of a B2B marketing agency in facing global challenges. In a world full of geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainties and rapidly changing technologies, B2B companies face numerous challenges. These challenges have a direct impact on how B2B companies develop and implement their marketing strategies. In this blog, we will discuss some of the key global challenges that a medium-sized B2B company in Belgium or Europe may face. We will also explore possible strategies that can help companies successfully deal with these challenges, with a focus on the role of a B2B marketing agency such as Living Stone.

More informed buyers and larger DMUs:

Showpad CEO Hendrik Isebaert shares insights on the changing world of B2B sales in interview with Alex Moyle We recently watched a webinar with Alex Moyle over at The Growth Hub, where Moyle interviewed Showpad CEO Hendrik Isebaert on how the world of B2B selling has changed in the last three years. In this blogpost, we share some of the insights we found really interesting from the interview, starting with one of the biggest shifts – the point in the buyer’s journey where prospects now reach out to sales reps. “What we find is that 60% of the buying cycle has already taken place before the first interaction with the buyer,” says Hendrik Isebaert. In the interview, Isebaert talks about two major changes in particular: the expanded access that buyers have to information, and the trend to larger decision-making units.