The Next Evolution of Customer Success: Customer Collaboration

December 29, 2020 | Written by Waqas Hussain

As a father of a two year old, nothing has been more rewarding, challenging, and insightful as watching this tiny human grow and develop. Few moments bring me more joy than when my son grabs my hand and walks me over to his toys to sit next to him and play. He loves to stack blocks into towers, often taller than himself. As we complete these towers, we celebrate over the success of our achievements. He claps and smiles, I clap with him. However there is something revelatory about these experiences. Collaboration is an innate quality in humans.

The ability to work together and achieve a common goal isn’t just found in the world of a two year old, but in the business world as well. Much has been written about the explosion of collaboration tools in 2020. From Slack’s $27 billion acquisition by Salesforce, to up-and-coming tools like Notion and Miro receiving massive funding rounds at high valuations, collaboration is the new shiny thing the market has been chasing this year. And while these tools have enabled employee collaboration, their primary use is to facilitate work among people within the same organization. This has left me wondering what this means for collaboration between an organization and arguably their most important stakeholder: the customer.

The next evolution of collaboration tools will break down digital walls between organizations, facilitating collaboration between customer facing teams and their customers. Within the realm of customer success, myriad tools exist to help with CSM efficiency and CS scalability. While these are important problems for CS leaders to tackle, over time these capabilities will become commoditized, because in and of themselves, they are not strategic.

As CS leaders grapple with how to up-level CSM engagement with their customers, customer outcomes and collaboration around those outcomes will take center stage. Customers should play an equal part in the path to outcome achievement.

The current digital walls in place that block a customer from knowing where they are on their journey to outcome achievement with their suppliers will be broken down. In their place, CS teams will start building robust outcome based success plans powered by data, giving the customer full transparency into how they are doing. This level of transparency will allow CSM’s to have real meaningful conversations with their customers about how to unlock additional value. Less time will be spent looking back at traditional utilization metrics which provide little value to customers. The economic buyer or executive stakeholder care little for how many logins occurred in the past month. They care about the value being delivered today and the value that can be delivered tomorrow.

The current landscape of collaboration tools does not solve this today. Customer facing teams require a purpose built tool for collaboration around outcomes. Just as the collaboration space was won over by design led companies such as Slack, the collaboration space between two organizations should also be designed with purpose and intent. The space needs to be engaging for both parties, drawing the user in to what’s relevant for them. Both parties equally need to have full control of the information being shared.

Enter MetaCX. We’re on a mission to break down these digital walls. We believe a purpose built space centered around outcomes and powered by data will facilitate customer centric collaboration. This kind of collaboration will up-level the conversations CSMs need to have with their customers to truly form a partnership, where the customer plays an equal, invested part in their success.

If I’ve learned anything from my two year old, it’s that winning together beats winning alone any day.

Let’s bring our customers into the process so we can win together.

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