Composable Customer Success: The Key to Being Nimble During Economic Uncertainty
In a digital era that has become fraught with challenges like supply chain nightmares, war, economic instability, and cyber security threats, your customers still want everything better, faster, and cheaper—which is why the customer success (CS) technology you choose can make or break your company. Old-fashioned monolith CS solutions and sexy fads like the metaverse are risky bets in this climate, while composable CS empowers you to quickly create, iterate, and scale to meet your customer’s ever-changing needs—and position your company for immediate and long-term growth.
In the first half of this two-part feature, I reflected on why the strategies and technologies that helped businesses weather previous periods of economic uncertainty don’t work today, and delved into the importance of CS and customer loyalty in today’s landscape.
In this piece, I’ll dive deeper into CS to explore why trendy tech won't help in this recession, explain the differences between composable CS and monolith CS, and bust the myth that professional services are necessary to realize the benefits of CS technology.
Tech Fads = Fading Customer Relationships and Stunted Growth
When economic uncertainty is in the wind, companies scramble to find the newest, sexiest tech fad that can give them the edge over their competition—or keep investors happy. Today, AI, the Metaverse, and web 3 or web 5 are enticing, but they aren’t the solution.
When most companies discuss AI as a solution, they’re actually talking about machine learning (ML) on large datasets to make predictions. ML is a powerful tool because it helps companies better anticipate customer needs and demands so they can refine their products and other touchpoints in the customer journey, but it’s not a complete CS solution. True AI, meanwhile, involves sentient computer programs and robotics technologies that most businesses aren’t ready for, let alone need to effectively serve their customers.
The metaverse is a fad that’s distracting companies from addressing real-world business needs. It promises a digital global economy that’s stable in an imaginary world, adding unnecessary complexity in order to seem cool and excite us after years of being locked in our homes.
Web 3 or web 5 is the decentralized internet that gives great control of data to individuals. It’s truly an interesting prospect for companies to monitor at a distance, but most companies are looking for a vendor who will deliver a secure digital service. They’re not looking to be actively involved in their data. Once the technology matures, some industries may desire this level of access, but CS remains a valuable asset because data by itself—decentralized or not—cannot keep your company unified and nimble for your customers.
Composable CS vs. Monolith CS
When your company commits to delivering consistent value and optimal outcomes at every stage of the customer journey, your teams must be prepared to quickly shift, iterate, and scale to meet your customers’ needs.
Monolith CS platforms, however, were designed for the old-school acquisition-driven business model in which sales and marketing led the charge. With siloed data and workflows and hard-wired processes, these unwieldy systems are not equipped to move as quickly as the world moves today. Your company will not only lose months preparing for a big bang installation that requires expensive programming expertise, but your teams will be stuck in a reactive state.
Instead of uniting your teams around customer value, monolith platforms leave your teams flying blind and relying on guesswork as they focus on a checklist of activities, resulting in unsatisfied clients.
Composable CS, in contrast, unites all your teams by providing shared visibility and alignment and simple, powerful building blocks that form all the steps of your customer journey—from onboarding to expansion. These blocks can be mixed, matched, and reused, allowing for iterative workflows, quick tweaks, and easy pivots.
This means your data-driven teams can proactively and continuously reimagine customer journeys together. Most importantly, instead of forcing your business to conform to the software, composable CS conforms to your needs and scales with you.
Composable CS In Action
Let’s say, for example, that you have a stellar onboarding plan in place. What happens when you introduce a new feature to your product?
If you’re relying on a monolith CS tool, that one feature could mean rebuilding your entire onboarding experience from scratch and redesigning your workflow—which not only requires expensive expertise and professional services, but could also cause a gap in service.
With composable CS, your teams can simply rearrange or redesign your onboarding blocks to incorporate any number of new steps, without starting over or having to call IT. What’s more, as your company scales, your new hires will find all of your company's best practices in one place, so they can get right to work.
But how does an executive who understands the importance of delivering customer value make the transition from the old-world acquisition model to composable customer success?
In this subscription-based, digital economy, companies must move beyond the belief that sales leaders and senior tech innovators are their rainmakers. Winning a blue-chip contract may keep the lights on for a few months, but it's no longer sufficient to keep your company in business and growing—unless you also convince that new customer to stay and scale with you.
That’s why an executive with her eye on the future must buck her company’s status quo, and composable CS is the key to doing this quickly, continuously, and without breaking the bank with expensive professional services.
Composable CS puts your teams in the best position to collaborate efficiently and effectively for customers, while saving your business cold hard cash and valuable time—which leads to better business financials and brand image.
In a world of uncertainty, investing in composable CS is a savvy investment in your company’s future.
Guy Nirpaz is the founder and CEO of Totango.