Do you make decisions based on assumptions or facts?

Ed Powers
Ed Powers Member Posts: 186 Expert
Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Anniversary 5 Likes

Before you answer, consider this. Do you think:

  • Faster time-to-value always means lower churn?
  • Value must be measurable to be meaningful?
  • Every touchpoint impacts customer loyalty?

Of course you do! After all, it’s Customer Success orthodoxy.

But where’s the proof? There’s very little.

See the problem? Most of what we believe comes from what other people tell us. And we find statements more credible when they’re frequently repeated or come from people we perceive to be authorities.

As the adage goes, don’t believe everything you hear. At one time people thought the sun revolved around the earth. The Church declared it so. But Galileo proved it was all an illusion—the exact opposite was true.

Fast forward 400 years and not much has changed. Few challenge the “experts.” And even if someone makes a claim after proper analysis, what’s true in one case may not be true in another. Not all findings can be generalized.

So what’s the risk of acting on beliefs instead of facts? You can waste significant time, money and effort and produce no results. You can even make things worse.

The lesson? Take what other people say with a grain of salt. Hearing suggestions may inform your own hypotheses, but fact-based decisions come from analyzing your own data, in your own environment, and drawing your own conclusions.

How have you challenged conventional thinking and what have been the results?


  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 209 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Comment

    I refer to this as the deer in the headlight syndrome, where we, CSMs, have presumptions that seem to be universal and accepted. This along with every customer needs a personal relationship, changing CSMs will be problematic for customers or that our goals are the same as our customers. We often fire on all pistons based on these assumptions but are often wasting time.

    Understanding what your customer's goals are is the first step. How and where is that captured? I have worked with customers who had minimal usage and found out they had no plans to roll it out to users for six months, or that they never intend to use all licenses. We wasted time with alerts firing that had no relevance for them. Worse the alerts escalated as time progressed.

    Another biggie is that the CSM matters. Customers often have little vested interest in who the CSM is. Are they getting the access they need when they need it? Is the software meeting the business objectives? These are the things they care about and a key to finding ways to scale your team.

    Another biggie is a hard and fast rule that there will be a differentiation between CSM and support. It manifests itself in problematic customer experiences that result. A refusal to "do that work" from a CSM who has heard over and over, we are not support. Or worse, telling customer to go elsewhere. The focus should always be on best possible experience in every example and never expect a customer to fully differentiate. Get them where they need to be, seamlessly, every single time. Then focus on process definition.