4 Myths About Customer Success (and How to Bust Them)

If You Build It, You May End Up Wasting a lot of Time and Money!

After a decade of experience in developing and implementing customer success and user adoption strategies for clients, we have seen several pervasive myths that prevent companies from getting value from their IT investments. Because they believe these things, people may skimp on planning and strategy for adoption or “sell” people on what they will get for using the system as individuals, as opposed to putting time and effort into a customer success strategy and plan.

The following are 4 myths that get our clients into trouble:

  1.  “If you build it, they will come.” History has proven this is rarely true.  Instead, organizations need to develop a focused effort to drive and sustain effective use of the system.
  2. “They will use it because they have no choice.” People always have a choice. Even where a process cannot be completed without using the system, there are always degrees of freedom regarding how, when, where, and with what level of accuracy systems are used. These critical issues can make or break the success of a system implementation.  Instead, flip this assumption on its head. What would you need to do differently if you assumed people always had a choice about whether or not to use the system? How would it change your adoption plan and approach?”
  3. The timeline for change management ends at go-live.” Instead, customer success managers need to focus on both accelerating initial system use, and then more importantly, sustaining high-levels of effective use year over year. Their approach to sustaining adoption over the long term needs to recognize that their organization will constantly evolve, and they need to periodically adjust their adoption effort to meet new and emerging needs. Managers need to ask themselves, “What is the long term plan for sustainable adoption? How will we bring on new hires? What is the plan for upgrades to the system, and how will they be adopted?”
  4. “It all comes down to user resistance.” Often people assume that the success or failure of adoption efforts comes down to the discretion of the end-users. We have found that in many instances, even when people want to use the system, there are organizational barriers that prevent it.  An effective adoption methodology needs to identify the organizational barriers that prevent adoption and then needs to authorize or empower someone to take action to remove these barriers.

One reason these myths survive is that, based on our experience working with both software vendors and software buyers, there is a very large deficit in the skills and expertise needed for organizations to effectively drive adoption.  When an organization is considering purchasing (or renewing) an IT system, they should not only consider the system functionality but also examine the customer success services the vendor provides them for driving adoption.

SaaS vendors, in turn, are realizing that if their customers are not adopting the system, then the customer is not renewing or dramatically cutting back the number of licenses they renew.  The vendors are scrambling to figure out how it is they can help their customers increase adoption and achieve measurable business results from the use of their system.  And while many software vendors are great at providing excellent software, they have yet to really develop expertise, tools, and methods for effectively helping their clients rapidly adopt the software.

You should expect maximum value from all your IT investments, but you also need to prepare for it. With Success Chain, we lead you through a step by step process to prepare. Driving adoption of your software is as easy as following a tried and true, fail-proof recipe – just follow the steps to get the answers you need, when you need them, at your own pace, and in your own space.