A dragon talking about Client Success?

Summary: Getting started with a new Customer Success team is tough, there is nothing like a cookie cutter! So how shall you get started?
(4 minutes read, audience: beginners in Customer Experience & Success)

Do you remember the story about the Arkenstone in the Hobbit trilogy? The Arkenstone was the most beautiful and powerful gem, more valuable than all of the gold together protected by the dragon in his mountain. But the dragon was furious because he could not find the Arkenstone for the gold (aka he couldn’t see the wood for the trees)!

Do you feel the same when talking with your colleagues about client success? You already did some research on the internet but got overwhelmed by all these advises:

Segment your clients first

Start with a client success management tool

Focus on NPS first

Path to success: the client's journey!

You might wonder: “Where should I get started when it comes to client success?” Or in the dragon’s own words: “Where is my Arkenstone?

Let’s try to address this question in a different way: What are companies with a strong growth performance doing differently?


One aspect I believe is that their professional services team interacts with their client base in a pro-active manner before any problems become major issues.

And with each interaction, they provide value to the client – at the same time, they are already one step ahead thinking about the next value-adding step. All resulting in clients having their “wow”-experience, your foundation of client success!

So that’s your Arkenstone: Define your touch points, who is doing what, when, with which outcome. All other questions, from processes to team structure, will be much easier to be answered once you achieved clarity and agreement about your client engagement points!

Path to success: the client's journey!

I recommend to start with a top-down approach to define your client journey:

The picture below might help you: It is an example of a software company selling a SaaS product. The client journey starts with the early phase of a ‘vague contact requesting information’ to the ultimate phase where our client becomes our advocate (aka “fan of us”).

So, did you already map your client’s journey? How did it go, which obstacles did you need to overcome? Feel free to comment!

Your take-home message

ALWAYS take the customer’s perspective, it is about them, not about you! Showing empathy for your customer makes the difference. 

Start with a customer journey:

  1. Phases: End to end experience
  2. Objectives: Results of each phase
  3. Measureable: How to measure success