As an analyst, Mikael Blaisdell has been involved in continuous research in the technology sector since 1980, always generally focused on what companies were doing about maintaining their customer relationships over time. What strategies were developed and how were they implemented? What was the process/workflow of the functional groups within the organizational structure as they interacted with the customer base and with each other? How were those operating roles defined and staffed? What supporting technologies were in place to gather data and to keep the overall operation in alignment? His ongoing Customer Success Research is an extension of what has been done for decades.
Each specific research project, interview, or operational review, in addition to the data that was gathered, also added to the bank of questions to be considered for the next assignment.
An Organizational Journey
While the sharply increased emphasis on optimizing customer relationships is a fairly recent development, companies have always devoted some level of resources to what was usually considered as “farmer sales.” The “Hunters” may have garnered most of the glory (and commissions) from increasing new logo/accounts, but the profits gained by the Account Managers of the corporate world have long been substantial.
The advent of the subscription business model has had profound effects, and our research into those changes and their meaning began in 2006. Early on, it was very apparent that the traditional organizational structure and process of the technology companies was insufficient to the needs of the new recurring revenue scheme. When Customer Success departments first began to appear in the corporate landscape, we started our research into their definition, workflow, staffing and technology suites. This research and analysis has continued and expanded with the skyrocketing growth of numbers of professionals and customer success teams over the past decade.
Customer Success Research: A Unique Resource
Eleven years of formal research surveys, thousands of interviews and conversations at all levels worldwide, moderation of countless posts and exchanges in The Customer Success Forum on LinkedIn, and review of too many articles and papers from all sources has expanded our research database — and extended and refined the bank of questions. The result is unequaled anywhere.
Our years of research is the foundation for the three services we offer: Briefings, Customer Success Direct, and Customer Success Reviews. If you really want to know what’s going on in the profession and practice of Customer Success, and/or how your company’s Customer Success group compares to those of others, please give us a call or contact us here.