Customer Success (CS) is one of the fastest growing job titles in the world. CS lives to achieve customer happiness across an organization. The CS team is empowered to make a difference. Social impact can become part of CS’s mission when business is great. Success means there’s less hand-holding and more party-throwing.
Success is a happy end user who’s willing to come to your conferences and learn more about your products. Success is when customers become partners and do the selling for you. Success means customers really like your solutions enough to solve problems which may not be business-related. The end game of success is giving back.
Most customers want to make the world a better place. Salesforce leads the pack, but others are not far behind in giving back and creating an active philanthropic ecosystem.
How can a CS leader give back? Here are some ways to achieve impact with your teams:
- Establish OKRs for Customer Success and Social Impact: CS can lead a grassroots initiative to add internal OKRs related to social impact. The actions noted in this blog post could be part of the OKR initiative.
- Launching a dot org: Salesforce, Box and and Microsoft have internal divisions represented by dot orgs; Salesforce.org, Box.org, Microsoft.org. This is where giving becomes institutionalized. Successful startups can follow such examples and offer solutions to under-served sectors needing the best tech solutions. CS can help launch the dot org.
- Hiring: CS teams should look like their customers. There’s a good pipeline today to hire for diversity— especially, women and underrepresented minorities. Additionally, plenty of military veterans qualify to work in CS and would have the chops to handle the challenges.
- Implementing Tech for Good: Products can be verticalized (& simplified) for non-profits, B Corps and the public sector. Discount pricing and donations of software licenses can make a difference. Tech for Good should have an impact as great as philanthropy. CS can work with Product and Sales to champion opportunities for strategic ‘impact’ implementations.
- Partnering for Good: Customers are willing to partner with tech companies for community impact. CS can identify such opportunities. Salesforce has successfully rolled out its 1-1-1 program to its ecosystem. CS becomes the glue connecting mission-driven companies.
- Community building: CS can partner with community managers and Marketing to highlight best practices with customers via Meetups. It’s also an opportunity to highlight customers leveraging solutions for social impact.
- Social impact awards: CS can identify award programs and contests where solutions could be positioned to win. Tech Crunch has given awards for social impact in its annual Crunchies program. Recognition in the community is a big deal for any company’s brand. CS can partner with Marketing to promote successful case studies towards award programs. CS can also partner with tech teams to participate in hackathon contests.
- Newsletters and social media: CS can partner with social media managers to highlight success stories involving customers impacting the community.
There are unique impact opportunities for CS in a good economy like ours where customer sentiment is especially strong. There’s an entire sector of CS professionals employed by cloud-based companies today who strive for social impact when delivering great technologies. The Customer Success for Good Meetup brings this community together.