I spoke with Rasika Kelkar, Team Lead, Customer Success at BrowserStack, about the utmost value of customer success in the overall success of an organization. Here, she discusses how CS has evolved and best practices for helping customers achieve their desired outcomes.

How did you get started in CS? 

I started working in the back office as a customer support specialist, then made my way to customer success. Whenever I change my job, I also change the industry and the goals I aim to achieve. Doing so allows me to gain more knowledge and broaden my expertise. 

I love talking to customers, understanding their goals, and solving their pressing challenges. When my customers become successful, I am very proud. For if they win, the company also wins, as do I. Having this personal connection and success are the reasons why I fell in love with CS.

How is CS different from other roles you have managed?

CS is committed to proactive and meaningful goals. In other words, we not only solve customer concerns or issues, but we place or position the value of the service or product against their challenges and what they have achieved, or can achieve, while using it.

Unlike support, it is a reactive mindset. Though you want your customers to be successful, the metrics or impact you measure and provide are completely different. 

In the long run, if a business continues to be reactive to every issue of customers, their success and growth will be virtually impossible to achieve. The business model will soon be a defensive, not a proactive, predictable, and scalable model.

Customer success has become indispensable because it has a direct impact on achieving customers’ desired outcomes. It also ensures that the customer has the best experience possible with the product or service. 

How do you know if you have achieved a trusted relationship with your customers?

When they remain loyal, promote the brand, provide referrals, and become customers for life. Also, when they think of you, not just when they have an issue or concern. They have become your well-wishers in everything you do. 

When you have this trusted relationship, customers head to you for advice, implement the suggestions you propose, and conversations are different. From “what can you do to help me” to “how can we improve the situation even better,” or “what do you think is the best way to get around this issue?”

How have you helped customers achieve their desired success or outcomes?

CS not only positions customers for success, but it does so from design through implementation. In other words, we focus not only on how — reasons for doing this task or action — but on why, or the impact of achieving this outcome.

There are several ways to help customers achieve their desired outcome or success:

  • Customer enablement. Provide easy access to training resources and curated best practices content. It includes introducing new features, training videos, product webinars, road maps, or enhancement. 
  • Be a customer advocate. Working with internal teams and helping amplify the voice or success of customers throughout the organization.
  • Drive meaningful outcomes by alignment of business goals and objectives. Have a mutually agreed-upon vision of the key metrics they want to use or measure and how these metrics align with their overall success.
  • Prioritize and monitor their success and seek what they want to achieve on their professional standing in the company.
  • Engage and make a personal connection by making customers feel that they are a part of the team.

Without a systematic (the how) and purposeful way (the why) of achieving the desired customer outcome, it will be a steep challenge. Achieving this desired outcome is not just the responsibility of one team. While customer success sits at the middle of this synergy, it needs support from everyone. Team effort is the key to achieving this success. 

Any final words or thoughts you would like to share?

CS not only solves customer challenges or needs but also focuses on driving business growth and success. For this to be effective, the CS team must not be isolated or restricted. They should work together and be open to discussion with internal teams to bring organizational vision consistent with customer realities and underlying challenges. It should also be a priority and part of the organization’s top or leading initiatives.

This article was originally published here.