meet the creator of the Customer Success concept – WAU

The American Lincoln Murphy is considered the “Pope of Customer Success”. Not only did he idealize the model, but he has already applied it to hundreds of technology startups. Find out more about his ideas and why he has been in demand around the world.

Lincoln Murphy was born in Texas, in the United States, is considered the “Pope of Customer Success” and acts as a consultant for startups.

The basis of its methodology is simple: the best path for business expansion is to focus on the results obtained by customers.

The proposal, then, is to work on retention, but following the premise that it is necessary to help clients achieve their goals.

As we will see in this article, the adoption of this strategy requires changes in the company’s mindset, which needs to privilege the culture of focusing on the customer.

This idea is usually present in the organizations’ discourse. However, in practice, processes are not always oriented in this direction. How you defend Lincoln Murphy, Customer Success it requires the commitment of the entire organization.

Shall we better understand how this can be applied in the daily lives of companies?

What is Customer Success?

Lincoln Murphy defines Customer Success very simply it is when the customer achieves the desired result through interactions with your company.

As he himself states in his lectures and interviews, it is not correct to think that it is just a concept or a work methodology. When this happens, there is a risk of seeing its application restricted to the activities of an area that acts in isolation.

Due to the importance of the subject for organizations, Murphy recommends that Customer Success (CS) be seen as an operational philosophy.

In practice, this means that the concern with the results obtained by customers will involve all activities, from prospecting to service delivery, through the development area.

See that care must be taken even with the formation of the portfolio itself. Murphy argues that there are “ideal customers”, those who have the most potential for growth and, therefore, should receive more attention.

Be aware: this decision about the customer’s value cannot be made based only on the return he generates for the operation. The focus should be on your growth potential through the use of your products and services.

We will go deeper into the application of CS in the next topics. Check out!

What are the premises of Customer Success?

To clarify, Lincoln Murphy is considered one of the main evangelizers of customer success worldwide and speaks with knowledge: he is a consultant in this area and has helped hundreds of companies to implement it.

Since the beginning, it works in the application for companies that adopt the SaaS model. This is his specialty and, therefore, many of his examples come from the experiences of this type of operation.

In recent years, starting from the success achieved, we have seen companies from other sectors adopting the methodology. It has proved to be quite useful for other areas of B2B.

This contextualization is important because it helps to understand one of the premises of the methodology: the sales process does not end when the deal is closed.

Anyone who works with recurring services should keep this in mind. After all, the relationship with the customer begins after the acquisition. And if the promises are not kept, there is a high probability that he will not renew the contract.

Attention: it is important to differentiate the performance of the Customer Success and after-sales areas. As Murphy himself explains, it doesn’t make much sense for a customer who has been with the company for 3 or 4 years to think about after-sales activities. This refers to something more immediate, right after the purchase.

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Why did CS become so important?

Lincoln Murphy has several compelling arguments about the importance of maintaining an area of ​​customer success. Let’s look at a few:

  • The customer who leaves the company is not just a loss of revenue. There is something worse: he can testify against your business, which will also harm your acquisition strategy. In an age when sharing opinions is so easy, dissatisfied customers can damage your reputation, wreaking havoc more than simply losing an account.
  • Without working on retention (focused on results), the company is at risk of becoming stagnant. The marketing and sales teams are able to do a good job, expand the portfolio, but the results do not appear on the billing, due to recurring losses.
  • In the expert’s view, a successful relationship, based on effective results, is the one where the customer stays longer, buys more and recommends the company. This is the basis of support for Customer Success.
  • By fulfilling this goal, it is possible not only to increase sales, but to guarantee more stability for the operation. That is, sustainability is gained, important to sustain long-term investments.
  • Another relevant aspect, defended by Murphy, is the consequent development of products and services. The reasoning is simple: the greater the proximity to the customers’ routine, the greater the chances of the company making the necessary adjustments to serve them more efficiently.

Who is Lincoln Murphy?

If you haven’t heard of Lincoln Murphy, you now know why he is considered the “pope of Customer Success”. Not only did he idealize the concept (or operational philosophy, as he prefers to name it), but he has applied it to several companies and has acted to spread it around the world.

In 2016, he even released a book on the subject, written in partnership with Nick Mehta and Dan Steinman. The proposal was to show how companies have been able, by adopting the system, to reduce customer turnover and increase their recurring revenues.

He was in London for the first time in 2015 and has since accepted several invitations to participate in events in the country. In 2018, for example, he was one of the main speakers at the RD Summit.

Marketing Automation Platforms fit well with the profile of companies that have a lot to gain from customer success. It is common to underuse products and services, which impacts results and, of course, renewals.

According to Murphy, in these cases, it is not enough to create customer relationship initiatives. It is important to have professionals prepared to understand the company’s business and evaluate practical measures that need to be taken in order for it to achieve results.

In the next topic, we will talk about the best practices of Customer Success. But first, some curiosities about Lincoln Murphy: he became a fan of our cheese and guarana bread.

Professionally, he usually praises the qualities of the London market. He believes that our culture, more “warm”, can be useful for the SC, since professionals appreciate the fact of working closer to the customers.

Especially in B2B, he explains that this stance is not always well regarded, for example, in North American companies. They have been adopting the methodology for a long time, more or less 20 years. In London, the process is still recent, but he considers that it has evolved well.

What are the best practices for CS?

To close, we will analyze some important aspects for the implementation of Customer Success. It is worth noting that we made this selection from interviews and texts by Murphy himself:

Understand the customer

The first step in being successful is discover what is decisive for the client’s success. The analysis, in this case, must take into account what happens at the end of his sales process. What is decisive for the operation’s conversions? How can we help you effectively?

Organize your workflow

The success of the strategy, as we said at the beginning, depends on the interactions established with the client. So, it is important to systematize the activities in this area, organizing the work flow. The success costumer team needs to monitor the daily lives of customers, participate in their processes.

Don’t just listen to the customer

Murphy recalls that, when questioning the customer about his needs, he will list the features he needs in a given system. But it is necessary to go beyond that and understand what really makes a difference in your results.

A good way to do this is to map where it needs to go. What are your goals? What results do you hope to achieve?

Care for the “happy” customer

Using SaaS companies as a model, Murphy found that the most likely to renew the contract are the most critical, the ones that seem most unhappy. From his experience, the specialist is categorical: the biggest problem is the companies that do not interact and not the ones that are always questioning the support service.

Have suitable professionals

The professional responsible for CS does not need to be directly in customer service, because they are different services. However, it is important that they have access to information in this area and analyze the demands.

Another important point is: invest in good professionals to answer for the area. It must be someone who has a strategic bias, who can really think of actions to help the client.

As you saw in this article, the ideas advocated by Lincoln Murphy have a lot to do with retention strategies. However, in this case, it is important to keep the focus on results, which must be measurable and proven.

Did you like the article? How about taking another step to implement a Customer Success area? Download our Customer Success e-book and see the main insights on the topic!