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Ep. 54 | Irit Eizips of CSMPractice Develops Accountable Customers

A Podcast by Sarah E. Brown and Bill Cushard on Oct 13, 2017 10:27:22 AM

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"A Customer Success Manager (CSM) is like a personal trainer. You help them in the live sessions, but you have to help coach them on what to do when they're on their own as well, since there is so much time when you're not together," Irit Eizips said in the latest episode of the Helping Sells podcast. Irit is the practice director of CSM Practice, a Customer Success (CS) consultancy she runs with her team.

You can listen to Helping Sells here, on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or wherever you listen to podcasts.


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Uncovering the customer's role in success

One of the foundations of Irit's CS philosophy is to help customers understand what their role is in being successful. Creating "accountable customers" is what she calls it. But it's not just about the customer's accountability in success; the CSM must be accountable for their role in the whole process too.

You can listen to Helping Sells here, on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

The foundation to an accountable customer

The road to being an accountable customer starts with a good foundation and relationship with the CSM. At the start, it's a give and take between the CSM and the customer.

  • GIVE: The CSM showcases the ideal outcomes and vision of their software to customers so they know what target to shoot for.
  • TAKE: The customer creates a short- and long- term vision for their goals and outcomes based on the ideal vision presented by the CSM.
  • GIVE: The CSM works with the customer to assign accountability for the activities and outcomes.
  • TAKE: The customer understands who is doing what and because they've assigned accountability, the work continues without the daily presence of the CSM.

Where most customers fall down

Many customers will say they're ready to be accountable and want to do everything to ensure their own success, however there are times when they will fail. They won't do what they're supposed to do or what they say they'll do. "You can't know this (when a customer is 'unaccountable')," Irit said. "You have confidence in them and their effort and expense in your products."

In fact, customers usually fail at this point because the CSM hasn't illustrated the ideal vision they're aiming for clearly enough. Customers have full intention to do everything they said they would do, however because they don't have a clear perspective on that vision, it doesn't work out.

Realign the vision to get back on track

Typically at this point Irit advises CSMs to escalate the situation to their management team, who then reaches out to the customer's executive team and/or sponsor. With a bit more discussion and clarification, the CSM and customer can get realigned on the business impact the software has on the customer's organization and why everyone needs to be accountable. By creating a sense of urgency and priority, the CSM is better able to guide the customer to success.


Listen to our Latest Episode

To find out more about what irit had to say to Bill and Sarah, listen to the latest episode of Helping Sells.

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Topics: Customer Success

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