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Be fanatical about Customer Success | Issue #196

How to build a customer success team that will grow your business

Feel like you’re filling a leaky bucket? That’s frustrating. No sooner have you won a new customer than a couple more have headed out the door. Customer retention is critical to solid business growth. Once you’ve invested time and money winning new accounts, you want to keep them as long as possible. And you want to maximise their lifetime value.

It’s all down to the people who ensure your customers get the most value from your solutions – your customer success teams. I avoid the phrase ‘customer satisfaction here. Too mediocre. It smacks of ‘Our customers don’t hate us’. Success is a better word. This covers your and your customers’ success. The two are mutually dependent. 

Functionally, my background is in sales and marketing. But I’ve previously been Chief Customer Officer and built customer success teams to get on top of our service offerings. It’s an area I’m constantly discussing with the clients I now coach. Let me share with you what I’ve learned along the way.

How to Change Brains, Minds and Culture with David McRaney

How can you change someone’s mind? Don’t miss David McRaney, a science journalist fascinated with brains, minds, and culture, explain all in this podcast. 

In this episode, David, author of three books, discusses his latest book ‘How Minds Change’. He lifts the lid on how people who believe in flat Earth come to believe in flat Earth; how people who are anti-vaxxers come to have that as their belief system; as well as explain the Dunning Kruger effect. 

Why are these insights relevant to the modern workplace? 

Because the results of these studies have far-reaching implications, including how you hold your management team meetings, your all-hands meeting, how you hire, how you might want to hire to avoid bias, as well as overcome the heuristics that are in place that make you make snap decisions on people. 

This is a fantastic episode, we’re sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.

Bored at your current gig and looking for a change? 

We have a cracking and rare opportunity for someone with a keen interest in business and leadership to join our passionate team and train to become an OKR Coach.

Who?? What?? We hear you cry… Read on and we’ll tell you, but if you are goal and objective focussed you’re already on your way there! 


Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

Award-winning business advice from Silicon Valley and beyond. Iconic CEOs, from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack, share the strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands — and to weather crisis when it strikes.

7 signs of a weak leadership team

Great article by Gino Wickman on the 7 signs of weak leadership. The number one cause of a company’s greatness is its leadership team. When clients hire us and don’t follow the process they don’t get the results, what stops them? Sign number 1: don’t have rock stars in every seat on the leadership team. Treat this as a checkup to measure how your leadership team stacks up.

Why the first five minutes of a meeting shape its outcome

Meetings that just happen by default waste precious time, invite poor decisions, add to exhaustion, and fray relationships. Given these risks, I proposed in a previous article that successful meetings are intentionally designed. The basic idea is that to support people and move critical objectives forward, leaders need to ask themselves four questions: Why are you meeting? Who needs to be there? What conversation needs to happen? And how can you create the conditions that will enable that conversation? 

Does Your Strategy Have a Spine?

To clarify their strategy and communication around strategy, executives should create a simple document called a strategy spine. They should begin by imagining, as if they were an independent reporter, their company about five years into successful future. What would that success look like? What choices made it possible?

Harvard Business Review Leader’s Handbook

Put aside all the overhyped new frameworks, the listicles, the “10 best things you need to succeed as a leader today.” The critical leadership practices–the ones that will allow a leader to make the biggest impact over time–are well established. They’re about how you create a vision and inspire others to follow it. How you make difficult strategic choices. How you lead innovation. How you get results. These fundamental skills are even more important today as organizations and teams become increasingly networked, virtual, agile, fast-moving, and socially conscious. In this comprehensive handbook, strategy and change experts Ron Ashkenas and Brook Manville distill proven ideas and frameworks about leadership from Harvard Business Review, interviews with senior executives, and their own experience in the field–all to help rising leaders stand out and have a big impact.

Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. For most people, it’s difficult to say “I’m not sure” in a world that values and, even, rewards the appearance of certainty. But professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don’t always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don’t always lead to bad outcomes. By shifting your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don’t, you’ll be less vulnerable to reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases, and destructive habits in your decision-making. You’ll become more confident, calm, compassionate and successful in the long run.

News from the farm

CEO Bootcamp with Verne Harnish and Dominic Monkhouse

This September, Verne Harnish is coming to the first ‘Scaling Up’ CEO Bootcamp in Europe. 

Limited to 10 CEOs and their #2s, it’s an extremely valuable opportunity to spend small group time with Verne and Dominic for three intense days of learning, sharing, and fun at the unspoiled and elegant, Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, near Bath (UK). 

Join us from 12-15th September, and leave with a clear action plan to grow your business over the next decade. 

Get access now


Make a plan to adjust your prices

Inflation is rising and it’s likely to stay high for some time. So, think about those parts of your cost base that you can adjust, and do it regularly. When I was coaching New Signature, we put up the price of their professional services’ day rate, 1% a month every month for the first 12 months. In the second year, we put it 1.5% a month.

Where there’s no contractual obligation to tell your clients – and it’s something that they’d buy occasionally but significantly impacts your bottom line – that’s what you should be thinking about doing instead of putting it up 10 or 15%. 

Also, consider a 10% rise for all new customers and then reviewing that six months from now. And finally, make a plan to put the price up 1% a month for the rest of the year for professional services that are paid on hourly, daily or weekly rates.

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Quote of the week

“Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.”

Tony Hsieh

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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    Sign up today and get your copy of F**K PLAN B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A, the book that will change your business and your life.

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