Published September 25, 2020

Creating a killer customer success plan: best practices and pitfalls to avoid.

What is a customer success plan? What are the best practices and steps involved in creating a customer success plan? Read on.

Creating a Killer Customer Success Plan: Best Practices and Pitfalls to Avoid

With so many different customers, each with their own needs and goals, helping your customers succeed can sound like a pipe dream. But that’s only if you’re not creating one key element—a customer success plan. What is a customer success plan and how do you create one that helps your customers see results? In this guide, we’ll cover what it is, best practices to try, mistakes to avoid, and much more!

What is a Customer Success Plan?

If a customer success management strategy is about helping your customers achieve goals through your product, then a customer success plan is the “what” and “how” portions of it. The plan states what value your product offers your customers and how you would deliver it to them. It consists of the series of actions you and your customers would take to help them meet their goals.

Expectations can arise from both ends—customers as well as vendors. To fulfill the expectations of both sides, you need a solid plan that would clearly state the actions you would take. It should be realistic, measurable and achievable to hold its viability. A customer success plan becomes a key tool for a CSM to align their resources, tasks, time, and efforts to meet the end goal.

customer success business plan

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Customer success plan example.

Customer success plans can be created if we keep certain important value-based pointers in mind. These customer success plans help you understand what can be achieved if everything goes well. The company’s customer success plan needs to include some aspects. Here are some examples-

Customer Success Plan Example 1

Customer information

This needs to include all the information about the customer like name, industry, company name, point of contact, and company executive.

Customer success team information

This section includes details about the customer team like primary contact information, project details, a secondary person of contact, and more.

Customer goals to be achieved

What is the customer’s goal they want to reach with your product? Their short-term goal? Long-term goal?

Customer success solution    

  • What is the customer’s definition of them being successful?
  • Does their expectations match what your product can do? If not, can you offer alternative solutions to their problems?
  • How will you and your customer work together to reach those goals?
  • Timeline for each task to be completed and by who in order for goal to be reached.
  • What’s the next step you or your customer should take if you can’t complete your task?

Open and existing issues

This includes if there are any ongoing action plans for the customer, any problems they are facing, or any processes or playbooks running.

Follow-up action

These are details of any follow-up action for your customers. This can include if customers have any questions about the product or service.

Go over the entire success plan with your customer so that all parties—you and them—agree on the necessary steps that everyone must play to reach those goals.

Customer Success Plan Example 2

This customer success plan will involve the following elements:

  • Personas to define and segment users to improve activation and onboarding flows
  • These personas can be matched to expectations. Every customer has certain expectations. This can include reducing churn, increasing product usage, understanding user patterns, and keeping customers engaged.
  • Feature importance can be marked as per which feature is best for a customer. You can pick the top 5 features that are needed for the customer.

A customer success plan example will only help you draw up a rough estimate for your company. However, the plan must differ from industry to industry.

Customer Success Plan Example 3

Benefits of customer success plan.

Here are a few benefits of having a customer success plan:

Consistent Efforts Throughout Customer Lifecycle

A customer success roadmap makes sure that you always have the end goal of your customer in mind. This way you never wander off in your efforts toward meeting the customer’s expectations. Every stage of the customer lifecycle must have their goals, and a plan, with the necessary action steps to help them reach it.

Easier to Adjust Strategy

Even with a well-thought-out plan, things are always bound to change. And while a success plan can’t prevent it, you can work with your customers to alter their plan as needed to fit their new goals.

It has been commonly observed that the time spent on firefighting issues is always more than the time when you were already prepared for it. Planning takes care of some of the unprecedented issues in advance so that you are always prepared for any possible outcome.

Reduce Churn

Some customers churn because they have perceived expectations of what your product can do for them and in a specific time frame but never fully discussed those expectations with you. But when you have a customer success plan with your customers, it’ll help keep everyone on the same page and increase transparency, allowing them to see exactly what needs to be done for their success.

Best Practices and Steps for Creating a Customer Success Plan

Best Practices - Customer success plan

Here are some of the best practices that you can use to help you create a customer success plan that gets results.

Identify Expectations

You must help your customers express their expectations of your product right from the beginning. The best time to discover these expectations is the customer onboarding phase. Through strategic discussions, you must unravel their expectations of you.

Then clarify which expectations are achievable and which are not. You should also find out why they expect that out of your product. If you can get to the bottom of their expectations, you might find a solution that’s realistic for your product and helps satisfy your customer’s needs.

Create Processes to Meet Goals

Those expectations are the goals you would be directing your customer success plan towards. This is the “how” part of your plan. You must lay out clear steps you would be following towards meeting those goals. Make sure to cover all the possible scenarios that can occur during the course of action.

For example, if your customer’s expectation is quick onboarding, then you must have the right training material already in place along with the team of experts who would configure their systems.

Use Metrics to Measure the Progress

Through the right metrics, you must measure the progress of each of your customer success processes. For example, you must measure the time your customer takes for onboarding. Having a pre-defined ideal metric for each stage would help you know the efficacy of your processes. It will also help you know how you can increase the efficiency of the process.

For example, if you have already defined that the ideal time for onboarding is 60 days, then you can measure in real-time whether that is achievable or not.

Assign Employees and Schedules for Each Stage

Each stage should have a person responsible for its execution. Their responsibility lies in ensuring that the goal of their respective stage is being monitored and met. They would also measure the data for that stage and cross-check with the pre-defined ideal metrics.

The pre-assigned schedule must be followed that helps in tracking the progress of the tasks. Any lag in the execution must be discussed with the proper parties to see what needs to be done to get back on track or alter course.

Using a customer success plan template would help you cover all aspects of planning and execute with the right steps.

Mistakes to Avoid

Facing unprecedented challenges while executing a plan is natural. You cannot completely address all the challenges beforehand. Yet, there are few common mistakes that you should be aware of.

Not Considering Customer’s Inputs into the Plan

No matter how thorough and foolproof you have made your plan, if you forgot to take the customer’s input, it would most likely fail. Setting up customer goals is the first step. You must take every measure to include their views rather than assuming on your own.


Creating a plan with ambitious goals that are hard to achieve can turn out to be disastrous. Make sure they are realistic and achievable. Otherwise, you’re creating unrealistic expectations that can potentially lead to churn.

Using Vanity Metrics

Using the right kind of metrics to measure your progress is must. Sometimes, CSMs use vanity metrics to measure their efforts that give a false sense of achievement. Instead, focus on metrics that are value-based.  

Lack of Improvisation

A plan is a set of guidelines to execute when all things are in place. But sometimes when surprises occur, you must be able to improvise and re-prioritize your actions for a quick solution. An example could be an early warning of churn right after onboarding. Your plan should always be in a state of further enhancements.

The Best Way to Create a Customer Success Plan Template

The job of a customer success team is to decrease churn and improve retention rates. Having a customer success plan can help create clear outlines of the customer lifecycle. The main KPIs that should form the core of the customer success plan include health score, NPS, etc.

  • Set the right expectations
  • Activate onboarding process
  • Understand the product
  • Take action to improve customer value
  • Help reduce churn

Customer Success Plan Templates

The customer success plan template will help you offer value across the customer lifecycle. By adding your company teams like marketing, sales, and CS teams to your customer journey, you can create an effective engagement strategy that is ongoing.

The key elements of a customer success plan template include-

  • Show how your product meets or exceeds customer expectations
  • Help them realize the product value
  • Increase product adoption
  • Create advocates and prevent churning
  • Align customer expectations with your actions to expand

Customer Onboarding for Free Trials Template in a Customer Success Plan

New customer calls template in a customer success plan.

This is a customer success plan template for new customers kick-off call.

Customer Onboarding Success Plan Template

So once a customer is ready to be onboard, they can use this checklist/template to make sure they are on the right track.

Template for Ongoing Engagement in Customer Success Plan

The template for customer success plan for ongoing engagement is useful in keeping customers retained and preventing churn. Since retention is the major factor which companies look to improve, this template will help.

Wrapping up

The purpose of any customer success plan is to have a clear path that you and your customer can follow to help them reach their goals.  And with this guide, you’ll have a better strategy to help you create a plan for your customers that helps create a better relationship with them and help them find value in your product.

There should be a right blend of expectations from both the parties. And only then you must set out to create a plan that would help you achieve those goals. Improvisation and further enhancement of the plan are a part of the learning curve. Sticking to the plan is important but allowing some amount of space for further corrections is also vital to ensure your customer’s success.

You might also like:

  • What Is a Customer Success Planner & How to Create a Customer Success Plan Template? –  Includes steps that should be taken to develop the customer success plan template.
  • To understand how SmartKarrot helps SaaS companies keep and grow loyal customers, Request a Demo .

customer success business plan

Anshi has over 12 years of experience in demand generation, digital marketing, and managing global teams. In her prior role as head of marketing operations for a high growth US healthcare tech organization she transformed marketing from cost to revenue center.

Published September 25, 2020, Updated November 09, 2022

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  • Customer Success ,
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4 Customer Success Plan Templates and How to Use Them

Mercer Smith

Customer success is an incredibly impactful function when it comes to the longevity and happiness of your customers. Unlike customer support, there are often identical moving pieces in each customer's life cycle that make it easy to predict what kind of success interactions your customers will need. Creating reproducible plans can be a great way to ensure the success of both your team and your customers.

When you document customer success managers' actions, it makes it easier to guarantee that every customer has the same excellent experience. We've gathered some customer success plan templates that you can use to get started with a more defined customer success experience, along with tons of information about what customer success plans are, why they are valuable, and how to create them.

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What is a customer success plan?

A customer success plan is an actionable list of items that lays out what customer success looks like and what a customer or customer success manager (CSM) can do to get to it. It serves as a guide for CSMs to ensure that every necessary action gets accomplished and every customer receives the same fantastic experience.

Having a customer success plan in place can also ensure that every customer gets the outcome you intend from your actions. When you create a customer success plan, you usually do so with a customer success metric. That means that the value and impact of the plan can be easily trackable and that you can change the plan if you aren't hitting your goals.

Using a CRM, you may have your customer success plans built out to assign tasks to your CSMs automatically. If you aren't quite there yet, a documented checklist will do just fine (more on this later).

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What's the difference between customer success and customer service.

Customer service is typically reactive in response, whereas customer success is more proactive. While there will always be exceptions to this rule, the responsibility of customer service most often lies in responding to customer inquiries that come through a queue via email, live chat, or phone. Most customer service representatives aren't reaching out to customers proactively when they notice something has gone amiss with a customer's usage.

It is the responsibility of a CSM to ensure that customers are using the product as expected and meeting their goals. They routinely check customer engagement and health to reach out proactively with helpful tips and information to guide the customer in their usage.

Customer Experience vs. Customer Success: Explained

Customer Experience vs. Customer Success: Explained

Why should you create a customer success plan.

Customer success plans are helpful for your customers and your team members in that they ensure that specific, essential objectives get met. A good customer success plan should do the following:

Take the guesswork out of CSMs’ jobs

Having prebuilt customer success plans for specific, everyday things within the customer journey makes things more straightforward for your CSMs. Given that plans help standardize actions, the customer responses should be more predictable than with a customer success plan entirely of the CSM's making. Having a plan for your CSMs is like giving them a map before a road trip rather than driving without direction.

Create consistency

Inevitably your CSMs and others working on your team will have different personalities. While that may mean that some of their general approaches to working with customers may be different, there should still be a level of uniformity across experiences. Your customers will be more comfortable if they can know what to expect, and customer success plans do that by creating repeatable processes.

Boost revenue, expansion, and product usage

Customer success plans are custom-designed using company metrics and data. You build them to ensure specific outcomes, sometimes around expansion, revenue, or even product usage. Creating customer success plans around those actions helps to generate attention and focus. The more attention everyone pays to a unified thing, the more effective you will be when working toward it.

Track changes and maximize efficacy

Having a documented process put in place makes it easy to track changes and how they affect key metrics. With customer success plans, you can know exactly when you made changes, what they were, and what impact they had.

This knowledge has power: You can measure what impact your customer success team has at the business level and also understand precisely what levers you had to pull to make it happen. This understanding is beneficial for your team, who can use this learning to change other aspects of the customer experience, and for your company, which now knows how to move the needle for other teams.

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How to create a customer success plan.

The process for creating a customer success plan will differ slightly depending on what tools your team has access to. For instance, if you have a CRM, you may want to build your processes there. If your team isn't yet investing in a CRM, you may just have a list of documents in your Confluence, Help Scout, Notion, or Google Drive folders.

In our examples, we'll create customer success plan templates that you can use without a CRM. That said, no matter where you're creating it, the things you will need to think about will be the same. Let's look at how to create a customer success plan.

1. Understand what success looks like for your customers

Take some time to work cross-functionally and understand what activities successful customers need to undertake on their journeys. This process should consider the perspectives of every team — product, marketing, sales, engineering, customer experience, etc. — and the customer. Sometimes what a company wants a customer to do with their product is different from what the customer actually does.

Create a list of everything that a customer needs to accomplish to be successful, including everything from "open an account" to "turn on [x] feature" and "pay a monthly subscription."

2. Create a customer journey map

After you list all of the activities your customers need to take, begin to map them out on a timeline. When supplemented with data around customer touchpoints, this timeline will serve as the basis of your customer journey map.

A customer journey map is a visual representation of everything a customer goes through during their life cycle. Your CSMs should use this map as a data source when structuring your customer success plans and determining when they need to come into play.

3. Identify the highest impact, most replicable activities

It might not make sense to create customer success plans for every activity — having too many to go through can hinder rather than help your team's progress. So, look over your journey map and consider which actions would have the most impact if turned into customer success plans.

These should be activities that yield a high customer engagement orrevenue — for example, setting up conversations around renewal or getting a customer's team onboarded to your project.

The activities should also be reasonably high frequency to requirea customer success plan. If it's not something you are frequently doing, your team probably doesn't need to have a customer success plan for it.

4. Set metrics and benchmarks

As with almost anything you do in business, it's essential to have a way to measure the effectiveness of what you're implementing. With every SaaS customer success plan that you implement, identify the metric you are trying to shift. When you have a metric determined, take note of where that metric currently stands to understand what impact you have as time goes on and your team makes use of the plans you create.

Never be afraid of change. While creating a customer success plan is a significant first step, you should plan to visit and update it on a regular basis. Depending on the cadence of your product releases and updates, this may need to be more or less frequent (we think quarterly us a good rhythm to start at). After all, you don't want to add a fantastic new feature to your product and have it left out of conversations that your CSMs are having with customers. Even if your customer success plans don't mention specific features, it's still good to regularly revisit and update anything public-facing that may affect your customers.

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Customer success plan templates.

While every company is different, there are often a few key components of the customer life cycle that remain the same. The following customer success strategy templates will be helpful to kick-start your processes and give your team some ideas about where to start when working with new customers.

Handoff from sales to customer success

If a sales team primarily drives your revenue, the customer will likely already have a relationship with them. A handoff from sales to customer success ensures that the customer feels taken care of and the customer success team feels prepared with any information that the sales team gleaned during the sales process. Here's what this SaaS customer success plan might look like:

Schedule an internal handoff meeting. Your sales team should come prepared to talk about the customer's critical reasons for buying, any concerns they had, and what they are most looking forward to using.

Review other internal customer notes. See if the customer reached out to your support team, talked to your marketing team over social, or had any different touchpoints that you can review.

Email the customer to schedule an external handoff meeting. This meeting should be similar to the internal handoff but more customer-centric. Your sales team should explain the difference now with the engagement, what the customer can expect from customer success, and how they'll be stepping down.

Schedule the customer kickoff. This step involves emailing the customer and letting them know what the kickoff will entail and giving them the option to schedule a meeting at a time that works for them.

Copy template slides and create the deck. If you don't already have a slide template for kickoff calls, it may be helpful to create one.

Follow up if the customer hasn't responded to the request to schedule a kickoff.

Conduct the customer kickoff and present the product plan.

Send a wrap-up email. This email should include notes on any questions the customer asked and what their answers were.

Update customer notes. If you have a CRM or a central place where you keep customer information, update your notes on this customer after the call.

Customer has gone quiet

If a customer is not responding to your CSM's requests for contact or meetings, it may signify that something is amiss. Use this customer success plan template to get your customer to reconnect:

Check customer notes. Review them for any extra contact outside of customer success, like if they have reached out to customer support, have any active bugs logged that are waiting for resolution, or are in talks with your sales team.

Verify the existence of a power user. Ensure that the person you are emailing is still at the company and is still the person that you should be in contact with.

Email the power user to follow up. This email should either be the new power user you have identified or the existing power user you've already been in contact with.

Email the executive or business sponsor. If you do not receive a response from the power user, loop in the executive or business sponsor.

Conduct a review. If able to get a meeting scheduled, review any open or challenging areas on the call with the customer. If unable to get an appointment scheduled, conduct a review of any open, problematic areas and try to move toward resolution.

Communicate any challenges conveyed by the customer internally.

Review usage patterns. Ensure that the company is still using the product and that usage hasn't dropped off. Usage drop-off is a sign that the customer is heading toward churn.

Continue trying to connect with the power user/business sponsor if you still haven't gotten a response.

Send a wrap-up email and address feedback. After you have made contact, write up a summary of your conversations and address any feedback that the customer brought up in your discussions.

Update customer notes. Continually update the customer notes after conversations to ensure that everyone internally is on the same page.

In some companies, customer success will be responsible for managing renewals. This responsibility will often fall to sales or a specific renewals team in larger companies. There are substantial benefits to both options. When customer success handles the renewal process, there is a lot more trust from the customer. When another team takes the renewal process, it's less likely that you will erode trust by bringing money into the conversation.

If you are choosing to have your customer success team handle renewals, here is a customer success plan template that you can modify and use:

Check customer notes to see if any open support conversations, bug logs, or other company contacts with other teams still need to be resolved.

Check if the renewal has already occurred automatically. If not, proceed.

Resolve any issues that showed up in step 1.

Prepare the renewal paperwork, including any options for expansion or upgrade.

Reach out to the business sponsor to schedule a meeting.

Meet to talk about the renewal process and continue the conversation about any upgrades or expansions that you have positioned.

Confirm expectations with the business sponsor.

Send renewal paperwork.

After receiving the signed renewal paperwork, update any customer notes and internal systems to reflect the change.

Customer success quarterly business review

Some customer success teams find it helpful to do a regular quarterly revisit with their customers, also known as a quarterly business review (QBR). In these meetings, the CSM reviews trends and metrics with the customer and covers how the customer progresses toward the goals they initially set in their kickoff.

Even if you don't plan to have your team execute QBRs, this is an excellent customer success plan template for standing meetings where your CSMs review progress.

Review the customer’s health score and health score trend. Is it going up? Going down? What aspects of the health score have the most significant impact on its shifting?

Review any customer notes, including anything other teams add, such as marketing, product, or sales.

Review support tickets. Look at both currently open conversations and the ones that have been closed over the last quarter.

Check on open feature requests. Try to give them updates on anything that they've asked about.

Email the customer to set up the meeting.

Meet with the customer and review all of your findings from the previous steps.

Send a write-up of notes from the meeting to the customers and any attendees within your company.

Conduct an internal debrief on any action items that came from the meeting. For instance, give updates on the specific needs related to a feature request or feedback about how a support interaction went.

Schedule your next touchpoint; perhaps it’s not a QBR but a follow-up to address anything that came out of this meeting.

Use customer success plan templates for everyone's success

Planning never hurts anyone. Creating customer success plans ensures that your CSMs are well-prepared to be the best representatives of your company. It also means that they have the tools to help your customers be successful.

Use our templates to create plans that work for your needs within your team — remember, no two companies are alike!

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Mercer smith.

Mercer is the VP of CX Insights & Community at PartnerHero, a yoga fanatic, and strives to make the world a little bit happier one customer at a time. You can find her at and on Twitter .

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How to create a customer success plan (7-step guide + free template).

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Successful SaaS businesses are built on an ever-growing base of customers. But it’s nearly impossible to continuously grow your customer base if your customers aren’t happy. Happy customers give you lower churn , a stronger brand, lower acquisition costs and higher lifetime value.

To keep your customers happy, you need a strong customer success plan that will ensure that they become consistent users of your platform and get lots of value from it.

So how do you create a customer success plan? In this post, we’ll cover what a customer success plan is, why you need one and seven steps to creating your customer success plan.

What is a customer success plan?

A customer success plan lays out what customer success looks like (that is, what is the definition of success) and how you’ll help your customers achieve that success. The customer success plan is the roadmap that customer success teams use to operate. It ensures that the right resources are being delivered to your customers so that your customers will receive value from using your product.

What’s the difference between customer success and customer service?

You’ll sometimes see “customer success” and “customer service” or “customer support” used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing.

Customer success is a proactive approach to making your customers successful (the function is sometimes even called “customer happiness”), whereas customer service or customer support is a primarily reactive function that handles unanticipated issues or needs from customers.

Customer service is reactive because it’s usually the customer who initiates the interaction with service or support, whereas the customer success team initiates the interactions with customers. Another way to think of it is that customer service or support is about putting out fires, whereas customer success is about the long term experience that your customers have with your product.

Why should you create a customer success plan?

There are a number of different reasons that you should create a customer success plan, but a few of the most important are to reduce churn, increase upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and increase recurring revenue.

Reduce Churn

As we mentioned in the introduction, decreasing churn, and thus, increasing retention, is a key component of growing a successful SaaS business.

High churn creates a “leaky bucket” situation where, although you may be successfully acquiring new customers, that topline customer growth is being offset by customers who are churning and leaving your business.

If customers are churning out at a high rate, you need to acquire customers even faster, making it very challenging to grow your business. Conversely low or negative churn becomes a tailwind that makes growth much easier.

A good customer success plan will ensure that customers are happy users of your product, so they will be much less likely to churn.

Upsell and Cross-Sell

customer success business plan

Another way that happy and successful customers impact your business is that you’ll have more success increasing upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Upselling is getting your customers to buy into more feature rich, and more expensive, tiers of your product.

Cross-selling is selling additional products to existing users. To succeed with either strategy, you first need to make sure that your customers are happy and successful with your core product experience, which is the fundamental goal of your customer success plan.

Once you’ve achieved that, your customer success plan can include tactics to move your customers towards premium tiers or additional products.

Increase Net Revenue Retention

customer success business plan

Net Revenue Retention is the measure of the percentage of recurring revenue you have retained between two periods. If you have an NRR of over 100%, it means that your revenue from expanding existing customer contracts exceeds the revenue you have lost from customer churn.

A great customer success plan will help your CSMs cross-sell and upsell, as well as maintain the customer you already have.

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How do you create a customer success plan?

So you’re ready to create your customer success plan, but where do you start? Here are seven steps to get you on the right path.

1. Identify the customer's end goal

To create an effective customer success plan, you have to understand what success looks like to your customers. 

A well-aligned sales process will identify the prospective customer's goals and how they align with your solution  before  those prospective customers become actual customers. That way, you can avoid misaligning your prospect's expectations and your solution's value. 

Once the prospect becomes a customer, these goals can be handed off to the Success team and become the pillars of your customer success plan.

2. Map processes to Aha! Moments

Your SaaS product probably has one or more Aha! Moments. These are the moments during the product experience when your customer says, "aha! Now I understand why this solution is so important to my business."

For many, a "PQL" or " Product-Qualified Lead " is registered when a prospect in a free trial or freemium tier hits an "Aha" moment while also fitting an ideal customer profile. 

These critical moments shift from your product being perceived as a nice-to-have, interesting piece of software to an essential part of your customer's business. Customers who reach that Aha! Moment become far stickier and far less likely to churn .

Part of the mapping process here should be focusing on what defines an "Aha! Moment" and how that fits into your PQL strategy. 

You should identify those moments and then create processes in your customer success plan to ensure that your customers get to those moments as soon as possible.

3. Define customer success metrics

In addition to understanding the customer's end goal, other metrics will help you evaluate the health of each account. These will likely include activity-based metrics such as daily, weekly, or monthly average usage. You may use one or more of these, depending on the nature of your product. 

You may also develop custom health metrics that align with customer goals, progress to aha moments, or other relevant usage metrics.

This health score can be analyzed across all customers (how healthy is my customer base as a whole?), individual cohorts (what is the health score of my highest paying customer?) or individual accounts (which may be useful in preparing for a quarterly business review or another customer checkpoint).

Curious about more customer success metrics? We interviewed leaders across the industry to compile this post of the  Top 15 SaaS Customer Success Metrics .

4. Build a great customer success team

The right team to support your customer success plan will depend on the nature of your product and whether you apply a  high touch, low touch, or hybrid customer success model .

Your customer success team may need to be more or less technical, depending on the nature of your product.

That said, good  customer success managers  are deeply committed to customers' success and are personable and empathetic.

A passion for constantly improving the process will make for a more successful customer hire. In addition to your full-time customer success team, you should include input from sales, marketing, and product teams, since they each have critical roles to play in customer success.

5. Align your customer and product teams

Product teams mostly want to develop a product that customers will love, but they feel that most of the feedback that they receive from customer-facing teams is anecdotal. Meanwhile, teams talk to customers daily and believe they know what customers need most, but they struggle to make an effective case to the product team. 

While intentions are often good, the disconnect makes it much harder to keep customers happy and successful because these two teams are both essential to the customers' experience. 

Still, some effective tactics include sharing key goals across both teams, adopting a toolset that both teams commit to using, and emphasizing regular and open communication between the teams.

6. Choose the right tools

There are many different tools designed to help with various aspects of managing customer success. 

Choosing the right tools can be overwhelming, so focus on the tools that align with the goals of your customer success plan. 

Critically, you need to invest in a solution for tracking your customers' behavior within your product and identify any signals for expansion or risk of churning. 

While many tools are meant to capture product usage data and send it to various other tools in your stack, they almost exclusively require a technical team in your organization to implement - and often administer. 

Parative is the only Customer Behavior Platform that surfaces this data to the teams that actually need it when they actually need it and empowers them to take the necessary actions.

7. Collect feedback from your customers

Once you've put your customer success plan in place, you need to understand what's working and what isn't. Feedback mechanisms like NPS and CSAT can give you a high-level understanding of overall customer satisfaction and happiness. But these metrics are too blunt to help you understand what's working well and what isn't. 

In-app feedback approaches focused on specific aspects of the  customer experience , such as feature fit index and customer effort score, give you a much more actionable understanding of opportunities for improvement. 

You can gain even more insights by targeting in-app feedback for specific user cohorts, such as new or high-value customers.

Customer Success Plan Examples

Creating success plans is a challenge, especially if you are tasked with starting from scratch. Whether you are a Customer Success Manager who is just trying to optimize their customer success strategy or a VP of CS who wants to get customer retention under control, building a robust success plan can be a pain. 

Have no fear; here is an example customer success plan for you to work with. 

Want to get your copy of this Customer Success Plan Template? You are in luck!  Click Here to grab it.

Success Plan Example:

Section 1: Customer Overview

This section should serve as an overview of the customer your team is focusing on. It should include fast facts about the company and information on its history so you can understand how your product or service can best assist them.

Include details such as:

  • Company Name
  • Year Founded
  • Annual Revenue
  • Number of Employees

You may also want to include more detailed information, such as the company's mission, vision, etc.

Many, if not all, of these details should be in the CRM and gathered during the sales process.

Section 2: Customer Goals and Objectives

In this section, you will focus on the customer’s value expectations to create opportunities to grow customer relationships that are more strategic in nature. These relationships safeguard against competition while increasing customer loyalty.

Using the foundations from the previous section, fill out the prompts below so you can understand the customer's priorities. If you’re in direct conversation with people from the customer, ask them these questions so you can better help the company.

This section should include:

  • Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Priorities
  • Key Company Projects and Initiatives
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Section 3: Customer Journey Map ‍

In this section, you will map out the customer's journey with your product or service, from initial contact to post-purchase engagement. This will help you identify key touchpoints and opportunities for engagement and improvement.

  • Action: Create a visual representation of the customer journey, including key touchpoints, pain points, and potential areas for improvement.

Section 5: Customer Success Team Structure and Roles

In this section, you will outline the structure and roles of your customer success team, including the responsibilities of each team member.

  • Action : Define the structure of the customer success team, including the number of team members and their roles and responsibilities.
  • Action : Identify key skills and qualifications required for team members.

Section 6: Onboarding and Training Programs

In this section, you will outline the onboarding and training programs that will be provided to new customers to ensure they are able to fully utilize and benefit from your product or service.

  • Action : Develop onboarding and training programs that are tailored to the specific needs of your customers.
  • Action : Ensure that the programs are easy to follow, interactive, and provide a clear path to reaching the Aha! Moments.

Section 7: Communication and Engagement Plan

In this section, you will outline the plan for communication and engagement with your customers. This should include the frequency, methods, and channels of communication, as well as the key stakeholders and decision-makers.

  • Action : Define the communication and engagement plan, including the frequency and methods of communication, the channels to be used, and the key stakeholders and decision-makers.
  • Action : Identify key moments and milestones in the customer journey that require increased communication and engagement.

Section 8: Continuous Improvement and Feedback

In this section, you will outline the plan for continuous improvement and feedback, including the processes and methods that will be used to gather customer feedback, analyze it, and make improvements.

  • Action: Develop a process for gathering and analyzing customer feedback, including methods such as surveys, interviews, and customer feedback sessions.
  • Action: Define a process for incorporating customer feedback into the customer success plan and making improvements.

Section 9: Action Plan

In this section, you will outline the specific actions that will be taken to implement the customer success plan. This should include a timeline, resource allocation, and key milestones.

  • Action: Create an action plan that outlines the specific steps that will be taken to implement the customer success plan, including a timeline, resource allocation, and key milestones. ‍
  • Action : Identify the key stakeholders and decision-makers who will be responsible for implementing the plan and achieving the defined goals and objectives.

Your customer success plan is never “done."

The steps outlined above will get your well on your way to building the right customer success plan for your business.

But you don’t just build the plan, put it into action and forget about it. As your business grows, your product continues to change and your customers’ needs evolve, you need to constantly iterate and improve your plan to ensure it’s aligned.

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Mark Lerner

Head of Marketing @ Parative, the Customer Behavior Platform. SaaS enthusiast, B2B Marketing Specialist, Startup Survivalist. Dad x2.

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Table of contents

How to create a customer success plan (templates & examples).

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Picture this: you have a strategic and comprehensive blueprint explaining how to organize personalized customer onboarding, provide continuous support, and plan for regular feature updates based on client feedback. This doesn’t just help you win clients but also helps maintain deep, lasting partnerships with them. This blueprint is nothing but a well-crafted customer success plan. 

In businesses, particularly SaaS/B2B businesses, merely offering a top-notch product or service isn’t enough. The real differentiator is the quality of support and the value-added experiences you provide your clients. A robust customer success plan is essential in this landscape. It goes beyond mere transactional interactions and cultivates genuine and meaningful relationships with your clients.

Thus, whether you’re a small business owner, a manager in a large corporation, or somewhere in between, understanding how to develop an effective customer success plan is crucial. And that’s precisely what we’re going to explore in this blog. 

We’ll cover all you need to create a plan that resonates with your customers and aligns with your business goals. So let’s dive in. 

Table of Contents

What is a customer success plan.

A customer success plan is essentially a detailed plan designed to ensure that your customers not only achieve their desired outcomes using your product/service but also receive a consistently positive experience throughout their journey with your business. This plan is crucial in building and nurturing customer relationships.

For example, imagine a cloud service provider working with a mid-sized e-commerce company. In their customer success plan, the customer success manager (CSM) of the SaaS vender identifies that the e-commerce company aims to improve its website’s loading speed and data security. The cloud provider then works closely with them to implement a customized solution: optimizing server configurations for faster response times and integrating advanced security protocols to protect customer data. This targeted approach not only helps the e-commerce company achieve its specific goals but also solidifies the cloud provider’s role as a vital partner in their business growth.

So, a comprehensive customer success plan typically includes the following elements:

Needless to say, it’s not just about having these elements in place but about weaving them seamlessly into interactions with your customers. The customer success plan should be a living document, adaptable to each customer’s journey. For instance, if a software company notices a client struggling with a new feature, their plan might include proactive outreach with additional training resources, thereby preventing frustration and enhancing the user experience.

Recommended read: Why Customer Success is a Crucial Function For Your SaaS Startup

Why Should You Create A Customer Success Plan?

Creating a customer success plan is a smart move for any business looking to flourish. It’s much more than just pushing sales; it’s about crafting a journey where customers feel valued and supported at every step. Here’s why it’s so important:

Keep Customers Coming Back: With an effective customer success plan, you’re more likely to see your customers return . It’s similar to how you might feel at a café where the staff remembers your favorite order. This personal touch makes you more inclined to keep returning. Similarly, when a business understands and meets its clients’ needs, these clients are more likely to stick around.

Increases Customer Satisfaction: Imagine you buy a new smartphone, and the company helps you set it up and shows you some useful features (through in-product notifications) you didn’t know about. This extra help can make you really happy with your purchase. That’s what a customer success plan does – it helps your customers feel valued and satisfied.

Builds Stronger Customer Loyalty: When customers feel taken care of, they’re not just happy; they become loyal users. For example, if a fitness app not only tracks your workouts but also offers personalized fitness tips, you’re  more likely to recommend it to your friends.

Reduces Customer Churn: If customers leave your service or stop buying your products, a strong customer success plan can identify why this is happening and address it. For instance, an online learning platform notices that students are dropping out. A good customer success plan would give direction to the customer success team to take feedback from these students to understand the reason for dropping out. Through this, they may find out that students want more personalized courses. Then, the business can reach out with more tailored learning support to keep them engaged .

How To Create A Customer Success Plan?

Creating an effective customer success plan can be a game-changer for any business. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating one suited for your business:

Step 1: Identify Customer Goals

Start by having conversations with your customers to understand their expectations and aspirations.  For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, your client’s goal could be increasing their online sales. You can also collect this information by sending out surveys, asking them about their target audience, desired growth metrics (like website traffic or conversion rates),and specific campaign goals.

Step 2: Map Out Customer Journeys

Break down the customer experience into stages such as – discovery, purchase, onboarding, and ongoing usage. For example, for a subscription service like a streaming platform, this would involve understanding how users discover shows, sign up, navigate the platform, and interact with various other elements on the app. Identify the potential pain points and opportunities to enhance the experience at each stage.

Recommended read: A Detailed Guide to Customer Journey Mapping

Step 3: Set Actionable Objectives

Based on the customer journey, set specific and measurable objectives. For instance, for a fitness tracker software, this might mean ensuring that atleast 90% of new customers receive a personalized workout plan within 24 hours of purchasing the tracker. They can additionally aim for atleast  75% customer engagement with these plans.

Step 4: Tailor Plans to Different Customers

Segment your customers based on factors like industry, purchase power, or usage patterns and create offerings accordingly. A cloud storage provider, for instance, might have different offerings for individual users versus corporate clients, with tailored communication and support offerings for each group.

Step 5: Regular Review and Adaptation

Establish a regular schedule for reviewing the customer success plan’s effectiveness using feedback, usage data, and performance metrics. For example, a boutique hotel might analyze guest feedback and booking patterns every quarter to adjust its services and offerings, ensuring they continually meet or exceed guest expectations.

7 Customer Success Plan Templates

Here are seven customer success plan templates tailored for different business scenarios:

1. High-Value Client Onboarding

Onboarding high-value clients smoothly is key to establishing a strong, long-lasting business relationship. This process not only sets the tone for your engagement but also impacts how quickly and successfully your client can use your services. 

Here’s a focused approach to ensure premium clients have a seamless and satisfying start:

Objective: Smooth onboarding for premium clients. Goals : Client satisfaction with the onboarding process, rapid adoption of services by the clients. KPIs: Client feedback scores, duration to complete onboarding. Engagement Strategies: Customized onboarding plans, dedicated support, regular progress check-ins. Process: 1. Create a Personalized Onboarding Plan: Develop a unique plan for each high-value client, tailored to their specific needs and goals. Identify the goals during the initial calls and before the onboarding process.  2. Assign a Dedicated Account Manager: Provide each premium client with a dedicated point of contact. This account manager should be knowledgeable about the client’s business and needs. 3. Schedule Regular Check-Ins and Progress Updates: Set up frequent meetings or calls to take updates on the client’s onboarding progress and address any concerns. 4. Provide Customized Training and Resources: Offer training sessions and resources that are customized to the client’s business to help them get the most out of the product/service. 

By carefully executing these steps, you can ensure that your high-value clients are onboarded effectively, leading to a more satisfied and engaged client base.

2. Enhancing the Customer Support Experience

Providing exceptional customer support throughout the customer lifecycle is an important element. When done correctly, It can significantly improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Here’s a framework to enhance your business’s customer support experience:

Objective: Elevate the customer support experience. Goals: Reduce response time, increase resolution efficiency. KPIs: Average response time, customer satisfaction score post-support, customer effort score Engagement Strategies: Streamlined support processes, regular training for support staff, implementing customer feedback. Process: 1. Optimize Support Channels: Provide multi-channel support to your customers via email, chat, or phone so that they can easily reach out to you. 2. Make use of a shared inbox: A shared inbox gives complete visibility into customer queries and their statuses. Agents can also easily collaborate on queries to resolve them faster. 3. Train Support Team: Regularly train your support team on product features and soft skills. 4. Implement Customer Feedback: Use customer feedback to improve the support experience continually. 5. Monitor Support Performance: Keep track of support metrics and make necessary adjustments to improve service quality.

By focusing on these key areas in your customer support, you can ensure customers get a prompt resolution whenever they reach out to you for help.

3. Handling Negative Feedback

Handling negative feedback effectively is crucial for maintaining customer trust and improving your services. Here’s a detailed template to manage such feedback:

Objective: Effectively resolve complaints. Goals: Improve resolution rate, restore customer trust. KPIs: Time taken to resolve issues, customer satisfaction post-resolution. Engagement Strategies: Empathetic and timely responses, offering resolutions or compensations. Process: 1. Establish a Clear Process for Receiving and Responding to Feedback: Implement a system where feedback is easily submitted and tracked, like a dedicated email address or a feedback form on your website. 2. Train Staff in Conflict Resolution and Customer Empathy: Conduct regular training sessions for your team to handle complaints empathetically and effectively. Include role-plays and discussions of real-life scenarios to make the sessions enriching. 3. Offer Solutions or Compensation Where Appropriate: Develop guidelines for offering solutions or compensation to dissatisfied customers. This could be a refund, a discount on future purchases, or a free service. 4. Learn from Feedback to Prevent Future Issues: Analyze the feedback to identify any recurring problems or areas for improvement. Use this information to make changes in your operations or service. 

By following these steps, you can turn negative feedback into an opportunity for growth and enhance your customers’ overall experience with your brand.

4. Cross-Selling to Existing Customers

Cross-selling or upselling to existing customers is an effective strategy to enhance sales and deepen customer relationships. It involves identifying additional products or services that your current customers might need or enjoy. 

Here’s how you can implement this customer success strategy:

Objective: Increase sales through cross-selling by [X]% Goals: Enhance customer purchase frequency and variety. KPIs: Cross-sell conversion rate, average customer lifetime value. Engagement Strategies: Personalized marketing campaigns, analyzing customer purchase history for targeted offers. Process:Analyze 1. Customer Purchase History and Preferences: Examine conversation history and past purchases to understand customer preferences. This becomes relatively easy if you have a centralized hub that stores all your customer information. 2. Identify Products or Services That Pair Well: Look for items that naturally complement what the customer has already bought. A gardening supplies store, for example, could suggest garden tools to someone who already purchased flower seeds from their store. 3. Create Targeted Marketing Campaigns : Develop marketing campaigns that target these customers with personalized suggestions. This could be in the form of targeted newsletters or SMS to your customers. 4. Measure Success and Adjust Strategy as Needed: Track the performance of your cross-selling efforts and make adjustments based on customer response. 

By following these steps, businesses can effectively increase sales while providing value to their customers through relevant and thoughtful product suggestions.

5. Improving Customer Retention

Retaining customers is crucial for sustainable business growth. It involves understanding and addressing your existing customers’ needs to keep them engaged and satisfied with your services.

Here’s a detailed strategy playbook that could work for your business:

Objective: Increase customer retention rate by [X]%. Goals : Boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. KPIs: Customer retention rate, repeat purchase rate. Engagement Strategies: Regular customer satisfaction surveys, loyalty programs, and personalized offers. Process: 1. Gather Customer Feedback Regularly: Use surveys and feedback tools to understand customer satisfaction and areas for improvement. You can also collect NPS score from your clients during annual or quarterly business review. 2. Offer Tailored Rewards: Create loyalty programs or special offers based on customer purchase history or preferences. 3. Engage Through Personalized Communication: Keep in touch with customers through personalized emails, newsletters, or social media updates. 4. Evaluate and Adapt: Continuously monitor retention metrics and adjust strategies to improve customer loyalty.

Implementing these steps in your customer retention strategy can significantly elevate your business’s ability to keep customers engaged and satisfied.

6. Recovering from a Service Outage or Product Issue:

Effective management of a service outage or product issue is crucial to maintain trust and minimize the impact on customer satisfaction.

Objective: Successfully manage and recover from a service outage or product issue. Goals: Minimize customer inconvenience, maintain trust and transparency. KPIs: resolution time, customer satisfaction post-issue resolution. Engagement Strategies: Timely communication, direct outreach to affected customers, compensation offers where appropriate. Process: 1. Immediate Notification: Inform affected customers as soon as possible about the issue and expected resolution time. 2. Provide Regular Updates: Keep customers informed about the progress in resolving the issue. 3. Offer Compensation or Benefits: Depending on the severity of the issue, offer appropriate compensation, such as discounts, extended service, or refunds. 4. Gather Feedback Post-Resolution: After resolving the issue, seek customer feedback to understand their experience and to improve future incident handling.

This scenario focuses on how businesses can effectively address and navigate through service disruptions or product issues, ensuring customer trust and satisfaction are maintained.

7. Handling Seasonal Demand Peaks in Retail

Retail businesses often experience seasonal peaks, and managing these effectively is crucial for maximizing sales and customer satisfaction.

Objective: Efficiently manage increased customer demand during peak seasons. Goals: Optimize inventory, maintain customer service quality. KPIs: Sales volume during peak seasons, customer wait times, inventory turnover rate. Engagement Strategies: Timely promotions, staff training for peak seasons, improved inventory management. Process: 1. Forecast Demand: Analyze sales data from previous years to predict inventory needs. 2. Train Additional Staff: Hire and train temporary staff especially in sales team in advance to handle the increased workload. 3. Launch Timely Promotions: Plan and execute marketing campaigns and promotions well in advance of the peak season. 4. Monitor and Adapt: Continuously monitor sales and customer feedback during the season to make quick adjustments as needed.

This template focuses on strategic planning and execution required to handle the influx of customers and sales effectively during the busiest times of the retail calendar.

Top 3 Customer Success Plan Examples

Here are some real-life examples of successful customer success plans from different industries, showcasing various strategies and outcomes:

1. Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Cloud Platform

AWS has been instrumental in helping numerous businesses increase agility, reduce costs, and accelerate innovation through its cloud-based services. 

By offering a range of services , including computing, storage, and databases, AWS has demonstrated how cloud platforms can be tailored to meet the diverse needs of businesses, aiding their growth and technological advancement. 

illustration of AWS services and their customer success plan

AWS’s approach focuses on providing comprehensive cloud solutions that cater to the varied needs of different businesses. Their plan typically includes:

2. Apple – Product Company

Apple’s success can be attributed to its innovative approach and customer-centric products like the iPhone and iPad, which have revolutionized the tech industry. 

Their customer success plan is built around creating high-quality, user-friendly products and complementing them with effective marketing strategies and innovation. This approach has made Apple one of the most valuable companies globally.

Apple's customer success plan as a product-based company

Apple’s customer success plan is rooted in several key strategies that focus on customer satisfaction and loyalty:

3. – Online Travel Agency, a Czech online travel agency, has become one of the top five online sellers of flight tickets in Europe. Their operations heavily rely on support operations like email communication, especially for consolidating ticket availability and prices from various partners, including airlines and travel agencies.

Their customer success plan focuses on a strong customer support strategy. has been able to maintain a 100% Service Level Agreement (SLA) success rate.'s customer support strategy

Here’s how’s action plan ensures a strong customer support strategy:

Read more about how manages their support operations. 

Final Words

Creating a customer success plan is essential for any business focused on long-term growth. Each part of the plan –  from getting to know what your customers need, and customizing your services for them to regularly updating your strategies, plays a crucial role. These steps make sure that your customers have a positive and rewarding experience with your brand.

Another important aspect of your customer success plan is the tools you invest in. For instance, if you plan to optimize your customer service interactions, you might want to consider Hiver. 

Hiver works right inside your Gmail inbox, making it easier to manage support emails. It comes with powerful collaborative features, helping your agents work as a team and resolve issues faster. With Hiver, you can quickly assign emails, track them, and ensure that no customer query is missed. This helps in providing top-notch customer service, a vital element of any customer success plan.

Sign up for a free trial to check out its features.

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What Is A Customer Success Plan & How To Create One (Free Templates)

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The latest and greatest from the world of CX and support. No nonsense. No spam. Just great content.

Creating and utilizing a robust customer success plan is a crucial part of any successful business, but putting one together can be a challenging puzzle.

However, with a well-designed customer success plan offering a 91% return on investment over three years, this is something you should certainly be putting stock into.

Read on to find out more about customer success plans and how you can put your own into action, with free templates included.

If you’d like to find out more about what customer success is , or how customer success differs from the customer experience , follow these links.

What is a customer success plan?

Happy, satisfied customers are the prized asset for your business, and a customer success plan helps to make these idyllic customers a reality.

An effective customer success plan is essentially a map of what success looks like for your customers, and how you can make this happen.

This can differ from business to business, but knowing what success looks like for your specific customers is the foundation for lasting progress and winning results.

Why is it important to create a customer success plan?

There are a host of reasons a business should employ a customer success plan, and it goes a lot deeper than just keeping your customers happy.

Here are some of the top reasons you should consider implementing a customer success plan.

Take the guesswork out of customer success

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Any business can see some success with satisfied customers, but without logic and strategy behind it, these experiences will be few and far between. By identifying what success looks like for your customers, you know exactly what you’re aiming for and what you need to do to get there. Take the guesswork out and work with confidence.

Boost upsells and cross-sells

With a customer success plan, you create happy, satisfied customers. With happy, satisfied customers, you create the opportunity for upsells and cross-sells.

If customers are enjoying your products or services whilst also enjoying the customer experience, they are much more likely to be receptive to your other offerings. Whether it’s upselling customers to a more premium membership or cross-selling them other associated products, there is a great opportunity here for an increase in revenue.

Instead of searching in the wilderness for your next customer, find a happy, existing one and show them what else you have to offer.

Reduce churn

Customer churn is the process of customers ceasing interaction with a product or service for a variety of reasons, one of which is a poor customer experience.

By creating a strong customer success plan, you can significantly reduce customer churn related to the customer experience, and keep them coming back time after time.

Increase NRR (Net Revenue Retention)

Net Revenue Retention, or NRR , is a way of measuring your company’s ability to retain revenue from your existing customers. As you might expect, this is closely tied to customer success and keeping hold of the customers you already have. With an effective, fruitful customer success plan, you can supercharge your NRR and minimize the urgency for investment in new customer acquisition.

Measure, track, and improve

One major benefit of having a comprehensive plan is the ability to monitor and improve it over time. As nice as it would be, it’s not always possible to get every aspect of a customer success plan right on the first try - there’s always room for improvement. By monitoring and tracking the efficacy of your customer success plan, you can identify areas for improvement or amendment to keep customer satisfaction rising.

7 steps to create a customer success plan

The verdict is in - a customer success plan is a good thing for any business. But where do you start?

Here are seven steps to help you create your customer success plan from the ground up.

Understand what success looks like for your customers

Before you can put measures in place to facilitate customer success, you need to know exactly what this looks like.

Guesswork isn’t going to cut it here, you need real, actionable insights. One way to obtain these insights is to conduct customer interviews, both with highly satisfied customers and those who have experienced less-than-optimal customer journeys.

Finding out what your customers love and loathe will provide the foundation for an effective customer success plan.

Create a customer journey map

The customer journey is made up of five main stages, each of which is crucial in the customer success experience.

These five stages are:

  • Consideration

By mapping out each stage, you can create parameters that help to identify which stage each customer is currently in, as well as how you can keep them moving forward to the next one.

Decide your customer success metrics

Going hand in hand with the customer journey map are your customer success metrics.

Each stage should have its own defined metrics, including both customer support and product metrics . Some examples of these can include:

  • Average revenue per customer
  • Churn rates
  • New website registrations
  • First response time
  • Resolution rate
  • Customer satisfaction score

By tracking these metrics regularly, you can ensure each stage is working as it should and identify any opportunities for improvement.

Map processes to ‘aha’ moments

An ‘aha’ moment is the creme de la creme for your business. A moment where your customer truly realizes the value of your product and how essential it is to their life or work.

With this in mind, the next step in the process is to map these ‘aha’ moments to each stage of the journey. Whether it’s during the initial onboarding, at the moment of renewal, or even during a technical support moment.

Fill your customer journey with ‘aha’ moments and watch as your satisfaction numbers skyrocket.

Collect and implement feedback

How can you expect to provide your customers with what they want if you aren’t listening to them? Simple answer - you can’t.

Designing effective ways for your customers to log feedback and for you to review it is crucial to providing a service that works for your audience. Not only will it help to eliminate recurring problems, but it will also show your customers that you care about what they have to say.

Collect and implement customer feedback to build solutions that are right for you and your customers.

Identify the right opportunities

Whilst there are many steps in the customer journey to take note of, not all of them are created equal.

Identifying the correct stages and opportunities for you to include in your customer success plan is just as important as the plan itself. Without proper direction, you risk overloading your plan with interference which doesn’t provide results.

Identify the right opportunities and keep things running at maximum efficiency.

Choose the right tools

Designing a customer success plan is all well and good, but it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if you can’t implement it effectively.

Identifying and utilizing the correct tools will help to make your theoretical plan a successful reality.

There are a host of different customer success tools on the market, two of which are co-browsing and session replays software.

  • Cobrowsing - with cobrowsing functionality, your customer success agents can initiate zero-download, one-click screen control calls with your users in your app. This software enables agents and customers to work simultaneously on technical issues, whilst providing full visibility for both parties when an ‘aha’ moment presents itself. It can also help make onboarding more engaging and effective.
  • Session replays: Session replays software enables your customer success agents to auto-record user sessions and identify the exact actions your users are taking. This can help to gain an insight into user behavior, as well as providing the opportunity to spot pain points your customers are experiencing before they report it themselves. This can help you optimize your onboarding and other customer success mechanisms and workflows.

Customer success plan templates you can use

If you’re looking to implement a new customer success plan and aren’t sure where to start, we’ve put together two effective templates for you to use.

Review them both to find the one that works best for your business, and watch as your customer satisfaction scores start to increase.

B2B Customer Success Plan Template

1. Executive Summary:

  • Overview of the customer's business and goals.
  • Key stakeholders and their roles.

2. Objectives and Goals:

  • Define the customer's short-term and long-term objectives.
  • Align goals with the product/service provided.

3. Success Metrics:

  • Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring success.
  • Set benchmarks and targets for each metric.

4. Onboarding Plan:

  • Outline the onboarding process.
  • Define milestones and expected timelines.
  • Assign responsibilities for both the customer and the company.

5. Training and Education:

  • Detail training programs and resources available.
  • Schedule regular training sessions.
  • Provide documentation and knowledge base access.

6. Account Reviews:

  • Establish a schedule for regular account reviews.
  • Discuss performance metrics, challenges, and opportunities.
  • Collaboratively adjust strategies if needed.

7. Customer Support and Communication:

  • Provide contact information for customer support.
  • Outline communication channels and response times.
  • Establish a process for handling issues and escalations.

8. Expansion Opportunities:

  • Identify areas for product/service expansion.
  • Offer recommendations based on customer needs.

9. Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs):

  • Schedule and plan QBRs to discuss overall progress.
  • Align strategies with changing business needs.
  • Solicit feedback and address concerns.

10. Renewal and Upsell Strategy:

  • Detail the renewal process and timeline.
  • Identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling.

11. Customer Advocacy:

  • Encourage and facilitate customer advocacy.
  • Identify potential case studies or success stories.

12. Risk Mitigation:

  • Identify potential risks to customer success.
  • Develop strategies to mitigate risks proactively.

eCommerce Customer Success Plan Template

1. Business Overview:

  • Overview of the eCommerce business.
  • Identification of key products and services.

2. Customer Segmentation:

  • Categorize customers based on behavior and preferences.
  • Tailor strategies for different customer segments.

3. Customer Onboarding:

  • Outline the onboarding process for new customers.
  • Provide tutorials and resources for a smooth start.

4. Personalization and Recommendations:

  • Discuss personalized shopping experiences.
  • Implement recommendation engines for upselling.

5. Order Fulfillment and Shipping:

  • Ensure smooth order processing and fulfillment.
  • Communicate transparently about shipping timelines.

6. Customer Support Channels:

  • List customer support channels (chat, email, phone).
  • Specify response times and issue resolution processes.

7. Loyalty Programs:

  • Outline any existing or proposed loyalty programs.
  • Highlight benefits and rewards for loyal customers.

8. User Engagement and Retention:

  • Plan strategies for ongoing user engagement.
  • Identify opportunities for customer retention.

9. Feedback Mechanism:

  • Establish methods for collecting customer feedback.
  • Regularly review and act upon customer suggestions.

10. Marketing and Promotions:

  • Coordinate marketing efforts with customer success.
  • Promote exclusive offers and promotions.

11. Performance Analytics:

  • Define key metrics for eCommerce success.
  • Monitor website analytics, conversion rates, etc.

12. Crisis Management:

  • Develop strategies for handling disruptions.
  • Communicate transparently during crises.

Feel free to customize these templates based on the specific needs and nuances of your company and customers.

From discovering what success means for your customers to identifying ways to make this success a regular occurrence rather than a nice surprise, building a customer success plan is a crucial cog in the business machine.

Consider the seven steps we’ve provided above, as well as the two customizable templates, and get to work on building a happier, more lucrative customer base.

customer success business plan

Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager

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How to Create a Customer Success Plan: Strategies and a Template

The concept of a customer success plan has emerged as a beacon of growth and sustainability. But what exactly is a customer success plan?

Simply put, it’s a strategic blueprint designed by a customer success team to ensure the long-term success of their clients. This plan goes beyond traditional sales and support; it’s about fostering a deep, ongoing relationship that benefits both your customer and your organization.

The importance of a robust customer success plan cannot be overstated. In today’s competitive landscape, the role of the customer success team extends far beyond mere customer service. It’s about building customer loyalty, ensuring customer retention, and creating customer and product advocates.

A well-crafted customer success plan lays the groundwork for achieving these goals, ultimately leading to sustained business growth and a thriving customer base.

Table of Contents

The Foundation of Customer Success Planning

create a customer success, customer success metrics, sales team.

Exploring the Definition and Key Components of a Customer Success Plan

A customer success plan is not a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s a tailored approach that addresses the unique needs and goals of each customer. The plan is often spearheaded by a dedicated customer success manager or team, who work closely with customers to understand their journey, from onboarding through the entire customer lifecycle.

Key components of a successful plan include understanding customer goals, monitoring customer health scores, and aligning with the customer’s expectations and desired outcomes.

The Three Pillars of Customer Success

achieve success, customer success leaders.

At the heart of customer success planning are three pillars: customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and customer retention. These pillars represent the core objectives that every customer success team strives to achieve.

By focusing on these areas, customer success managers and their teams can ensure that they are consistently meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations.

What Does a Good Customer Success Plan Look Like?

A good customer success plan is a comprehensive roadmap that guides both your team and your customer towards mutual success. It includes a detailed customer journey map, clearly defined success metrics, and a strategy for regularly reviewing and updating these elements. The plan should be dynamic, adapting to the evolving needs of the customer and the market.

Effective customer success plans are not just about reacting to customer inquiries or issues. They are proactive, leveraging customer data and insights to anticipate needs and create opportunities for growth. These plans require close collaboration across teams, such as sales, marketing, and support, to ensure everyone works towards the same goals.

In summary, creating a customer success plan is a vital strategy for any organization looking to thrive in the modern business landscape. Understanding customer needs, aligning with them, and continuous improvement are key. Having a well-executed customer success plan can exceed customer expectations, driving long-term success and fostering loyalty.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Customer Success Plan

support team, customer notes.

How to Create a Customer Success Plan: A Step-by-Step Approach

Creating a customer success plan is not just a task; it’s a journey towards building a sustainable and rewarding relationship with your customers. Begin by gathering your customer success team and setting clear objectives. A successful plan is more than a document; it’s a commitment to your customers’ success.

First, assemble all necessary customer data and insights. This is where your customer success managers play a pivotal role. They should understand the customer journey inside out, from the initial sales process to ongoing engagement. This knowledge forms the bedrock of your plan.

Identifying and Prioritizing Customer Needs: The Top 3-5 Priorities

The next crucial step is to identify and prioritize your customers’ needs. This isn’t about guessing but about engaging in meaningful dialogue with your customers. Conduct quarterly business reviews or surveys to gather customer feedback. Remember, the customer’s expectations set the direction for your plan.

Typically, the top priorities include customer satisfaction, product adoption, and customer retention. Align your team’s efforts towards these goals. Ensure every member of the customer success team understands these priorities and how their role contributes to achieving them.

Structuring Customer Success Team: Key Elements and Strategies

customers expectations, sales team.

Structuring your customer success team is about more than roles and responsibilities; it’s about creating a synergy that aligns with your customer success strategy . Effective customer success plans incorporate key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success and customer health scores to gauge ongoing customer relationships.

Develop a customer journey map that details every stage of the customer lifecycle. This map should be the guiding light for your team, ensuring that every interaction with the customer is purposeful and aligned with the overall success plan.

Writing a Success Plan: What to Include and Why

customer success plan example.

When it comes to writing your customer success plan, clarity and comprehensiveness are key. Your plan should include:

Customer Goals and Outcomes : Outline what success looks like for your customer. Align these goals with your team’s actions.

Success Metrics and KPIs : Define clear metrics to measure progress. These could include customer retention rates, customer health scores, or Net Promoter Scores (NPS).

Customer Journey Map : This should detail each touchpoint with the customer, from onboarding to advocacy.

Action Plan for Each Stage : Develop specific strategies for different stages of the customer lifecycle, like onboarding, product training, and support.

Feedback and Adjustment Mechanism : It is important to regularly collect and address customer feedback so that your team can continually improve and adapt the plan.

Expansion Strategy : Plan for future growth with the customer, including upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

Remember, a customer success plan is not static. It should evolve with your customer’s needs and your team’s learning. It is important to review and update the plan on a regular basis to ensure that it stays relevant and effective. Make sure to check it frequently to make necessary changes and improvements.

In conclusion, developing a customer success plan is crucial for ensuring customer satisfaction and longevity. It’s about putting your customers at the heart of your business and aligning your team’s efforts with their success . With a clear, actionable, and adaptive customer success plan, you’re not just aiming for customer satisfaction; you’re striving for customer delight and loyalty.

Essential Strategies for Effective Customer Success Plans

success plan, a few best practices.

The Role of Client Success Planning in Business Growth

In business growth, client success planning is not just an option; it’s a necessity. A well-crafted customer success plan is a testament to your commitment to your customers’ achievements and your own. It’s about creating a partnership where both your customer and your business grow together.

This synergy is achieved when the customer success team focuses on aligning customer goals with your business objectives. A customer’s success should be seen as a cornerstone of your company’s growth strategy .

Every successful interaction, every resolved inquiry, and every piece of customer feedback brings invaluable insights that can drive innovation and improvement.

Building a Strong Customer Success Strategy

marketing team, customer stakeholders.

Creating a successful customer experience requires a comprehensive approach that covers the entire customer journey, rather than just addressing customer inquiries. This strategy should be crafted by customer success managers and their teams, focusing on customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

It’s important to have a clear understanding of the customer journey, defined success metrics, and their expectations and pain points.

Your strategy should include plans for regular customer contact, such as quarterly business reviews, to ensure that you’re consistently aligned with customer needs and can demonstrate progress.

The 4 Models of Succession Planning in Customer Success

Succession planning in customer success is crucial for maintaining continuity and service excellence. There are four main models to consider:

The Hierarchical Model : Focusing on developing leaders within the customer success team for future roles.

The Specialization Model : Encouraging team members to specialize in specific areas of customer success.

The Rotation Model : Offering team members the chance to work in different roles within the team, fostering a more holistic understanding of customer success.

The Mentoring Model : Pairing less experienced team members with seasoned customer success managers for guidance and knowledge transfer.

Each of these models plays a vital role in ensuring that your customer success team remains robust, versatile, and ready to face future challenges.

Developing and Implementing an Account Success Plan

An account success plan is your blueprint for individual customer engagement. It’s about understanding the unique needs and goals of each customer and how your product or service fits into their success story. This plan should be tailored to each customer, taking into account their customer data, feedback, and health score. It is crucial to establish precise key performance indicators (KPIs) and success metrics that are regularly evaluated. This will help in better understanding the progress being made towards achieving the desired goals and objectives.

Close collaboration between customer success, sales, and marketing teams is essential in developing an account success plan. This ensures a unified approach and helps in aligning the expectations of all stakeholders involved. The goal is to create processes that not only address feedback but also proactively identify opportunities for customer expansion and success.

In order to ensure effective customer success, it is necessary to establish and maintain a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with your customers. It’s about being proactive, responsive, and constantly evolving to meet and exceed customer expectations. By focusing on these essential strategies , you’re not just working towards reducing customer churn; you’re building a foundation for lasting customer loyalty and continuous business growth.

Remember, in customer success, every small step taken is a leap towards achieving monumental success for both your customers and your business.

Templates and Tools for Crafting Your Plan


Customer Success Plan Templates: A Practical Resource

Embarking on the creation of a customer success plan can feel daunting. However, with the right templates at your disposal, this journey becomes more navigable and efficient.

Customer success plan templates serve as a valuable resource, providing a structured framework to build upon. These templates include key sections like customer goals, strategies for onboarding new customers, customer health score tracking, and quarterly business reviews. They guide customer success teams to cover all necessary aspects, ensuring that no critical element is overlooked.

Remember, these templates are not set in stone but are starting points to be tailored to each customer’s unique journey.

Template example

Now, let’s dive into a practical example of what a customer success plan template might look like. Remember, this template is a starting point, a framework to build upon and customize according to the unique needs of your customers and your business . A well-designed customer success plan template is a powerful tool in your arsenal, guiding you towards achieving success for your customers and your company.

1. Customer Overview

Customer Name:

Business Sponsor:

Key Stakeholders:

Customer Goals:

2. Customer Onboarding

Onboarding Process:

Key Milestones:

Assigned Customer Success Manager:

3. Quarterly Business Review Plan

Review Dates:


Success Metrics:

4. Sales Process and New Customer Acquisition

Sales to Success Transition:

New Customer Welcome Strategy:

5. Customer Health Score Monitoring

Key Metrics for Health Score:

Regular Monitoring Schedule:

Action Plan for Health Score Improvement:

6. Customer Experience and Engagement

Regular Check-ins Schedule:

Customer Feedback Mechanisms:

Customer Advocacy Opportunities:

7. Expansion and Renewal Strategy

Up-sell/Cross-sell Opportunities:

Renewal Milestones and Strategy:

8. Notes and Observations

Customer Feedback Highlights:

Team Observations and Insights:

This customer success plan template serves as a roadmap to guide you and your customer through the journey of collaboration and growth. It ensures that you stay organized, aligned with customer expectations, and deliver an exceptional experience. From the initial onboarding process to regular quarterly business reviews, this template empowers you to create customer success plans that are both effective and dynamic.

Remember, the key to a successful customer success plan lies in its adaptability and alignment with your customer’s evolving needs. Use this template as a foundation to build upon, tailoring it to fit the unique circumstances and goals of each customer.

With this approach, you’re not just creating a plan; you’re forging a path to help your customers achieve their goals, nurturing a relationship that leads to mutual growth and success.

Tools and Software for Organizing and Implementing Your Plan

Leveraging the right tools and software is crucial for implementing an effective customer success plan. These tools help organize customer data, track key metrics, monitor customer health scores, and facilitate communication within the team and with customers. They enable customer success teams to stay on the same page, align expectations, and reduce churn effectively.

Utilize software that integrates with your sales process, allowing for a seamless transition of customer contact information and insights from the sales teams to the customer success team.

How to Stay Organized as a Customer Success Manager

Being an effective customer success manager requires a key skill of staying organized. It involves not just managing customer notes and feedback but also aligning with the broader customer success strategy and team goals. Regularly update and review customer outcomes, confirm expectations, and create processes to address feedback.

Organizing quarterly business reviews with customers is also vital to demonstrate progress, reassess goals, and align strategies for continued success.

Conclusion, customer onboarding.

Summarizing the Importance of a Well-Structured Customer Success Plan

As we conclude, let’s reemphasize the pivotal role of a well-structured customer success plan. It’s more than a document; it’s the backbone of a thriving business, a strategic blueprint that guides customer success teams in nurturing and sustaining productive relationships with customers. This plan is crucial in ensuring your customers’ success, which in turn, becomes your success.

It meticulously addresses every facet of the customer’s journey, from onboarding to ongoing engagement, and anticipates their evolving needs, paving the way for effective product adoption and fostering customer advocacy.

A good customer success plan, exemplified by a comprehensive customer success plan template, does not leave customer satisfaction to chance. It strategically maps out the sales process, ensures smooth onboarding of new customers, and creates customer success plans that are tailored to meet specific needs.

This approach results in a dynamic interaction where customers don’t just feel heard, but genuinely understood.

Encouraging Continuous Improvement and Adaptation in Customer Success Strategies

customer stakeholders, improvement.

In customer relations, continuous improvement and adaptation are not just beneficial; they are imperative. Your customer success plan must be a living document, one that evolves with customer feedback, shifts in market trends, and fresh customer insights.

Regularly engaging in quarterly business reviews offers a platform to reassess and realign strategies with your customer’s expectations and goals.

It is essential to foster a culture where every member of the customer success team, from the frontline managers to the business sponsors, is committed to this ethos of continuous improvement. Create and update customer success plans regularly to track progress and identify areas for improvement.

Encourage your team to stay proactive, not just in managing current customer relationships but also in anticipating future needs and opportunities.

In essence, a successful customer success plan is a collaborative effort that requires the involvement and commitment of the entire team. From the initial stages of creating a customer success plan to the continuous process of adapting and improving it, every step is crucial. It’s about aligning your team around a shared vision of customer success, where the success of your customers equates to the success of your business.

In conclusion, as you embark on this journey of creating and refining your customer success plans, remember that at the core of every strategy , every decision, and every action is your customer. Your dedication to their success is what will ultimately drive your business forward.

Here’s to building robust, lasting relationships, achieving remarkable outcomes together, and celebrating each milestone of success along the way!

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customer success business plan

6 Steps to Building an Effective Customer Success Plan

To make a customer success plan, you need to define customer success based on business goals and how they want to collaborate. Learn more.

Customer success resembles a red dot on a Google Map. It is the final destination that every company wants to reach. Planning is important; getting it right is also essential because the business’s reputation is on the line. A customer success plan is compared to putting pins on a map to show where you want to go. The pins represent customer journey map requirements.

LEARN ABOUT: Time to Value

So, to define the plan, we can state that it is a strategy for how customers can succeed and how organizations may support them in doing so. This blog will discuss a customer success plan, its importance, and how to make a good one. So, let’s get started.

Content Index

What is a customer success plan?

Why should you create a customer success plan, 6 easy steps to building an effective customer success plan, benefits of customer success plan, customer success plan example.

A customer success plan describes what customer success looks like (what success means) and how you’ll help your clients reach that goal. This is how customer success teams get things done. It ensures that your customers are getting the right resources to get value from using your product.

The plan tells your product’s value to your customers’ lives and how you’ll do it. A plan for success is important for both your customers and your business. A customer success plan can also help ensure that all of your customers get the results you want from your actions.

Most of the time, a customer success metric is used when making a plan for customer success. That means you can easily keep track of the plan’s value and effects, and if you aren’t meeting your goals, you can change the plan.

LEARN ABOUT:  Retention Rate

To achieve business growth and customer satisfaction, it’s essential for companies to create a customer success-oriented culture throughout their organization.

You should make a success plan for your customers for many reasons. Some of the most important ones are reducing customer churn , increasing sales and cross-sales opportunities, and increasing recurring revenue.

Lessen customer churn

Decreased churn and growing retention are key to a SaaS business’s growth. High churn creates a situation where customers churn and leave their organization to compensate for top-level customer journey and growth. 

When customers challenge themselves quickly, you have to respond to them much more quickly. Low or negative churn helps development. A good customer success plan ensures happy customers.

Increasing sales and cross-sales opportunities

Improving your sales and cross-selling opportunities is another way to ensure your clients are happy and doing well with your business. Cross-selling is when you sell more goods to customers you already have. It lets people buy goods with more and more features and at higher and higher prices. 

To succeed with both techniques, you must first ensure your customer success plan focuses on your core experience. Once you’ve finished it, your consumer success plan will include ways to get your customers to buy more or move up to a higher level.

Increase recurring revenue

Because of the above two things, recurring income goes up. Active customers can also help you make more money by improving your reputation management and giving you references. These serve as a background for the plan to get more customers, making it much easier to ask questions and make sales.

The Customer success plan template gives us a set of steps to follow and ensure clients get what they want from our offering and have long-term success with it. Here are 6 steps to help you figure out how to make a successful customer success plan.


1. Find out what your customers want

To make a good customer success plan template, you need to consider your customers’ success. A well-integrated sales process finds out what the priorities of future customers will be and how they fit with the approach before they become actual customers. 

It helps you avoid a mismatch between what your prospect wants and what your solution gives them. When the insight becomes a customer, these priorities can be given to the success team and become the core of the customer’s plan for success.

2. Establish your customer success metrics

There are more ways to tell each account’s health and what the client wants to get out of it. Any activity-based metrics, like the average number of users per day, week, or month, will likely be included. 

You could use one or more of these, depending on your product. You can also make health measurements that are specific to a customer’s goals, changes to aha times, or other useful criteria. This health value will be looked at for all clients, individual cohorts, or individual accounts.

3. Make a great customer success team

Whether you use a high-touch, low-touch, or hybrid customer success model, the right team will depend on the essence or product of customer success plans. Depending on the product, your customer success team might need to be more or less technical. 

All of this being said, a well-known customer success manager is committed to their customer’s success. Passion for continuous improvement is another thing that will make the process more productive. 

It would help if you also got feedback from your sales, marketing, and product teams and your full-time customer success team. Each of these teams plays a vital role in customer success.

4. Line up your customer and product teams

Product development teams want a product that meets customer needs but thinks customer feedback is anecdotal. Customer teams talk to customers daily and feel they know what customers need most, but they struggle to make the product team successful. 

Plans are always good, but when teams aren’t working together, keeping customers happy and making money is much more complicated since both teams are important to the customer experience. 

Brand alignment and customer teams are a huge concern, but successful strategies include exchanging goals, emphasizing a collective toolbox, and frequent and transparent contact.

5. Use the right tools

Several tools are available to help manage the customer success plan differently. It can be hard to choose the right tools, so focus on the tools that match the goals of your plan. 

Several teams can use these tools, including tools for managing customer feedback. So, ensure that all teams using the solution have bought it and are committed to adopting it. After all, these tools won’t help you if the team doesn’t use them.

6. Get feedback from your customer

Tools for managing customer feedback will help you determine how happy and satisfied your customers are. But these measures aren’t specific enough to tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t. After you’ve implemented your customer success plan, you need to know what’s working and what’s not. 

With feedback methods like the fit index and customer effort scores, which focus on specific parts of customer service, you can better understand what needs to be changed. Focusing on unique groups of customers , like new users or high-value customers, will help you learn even more.

Implementing a Customer success plan offers several benefits for both the customers and the company providing the product or service. Here are some of the key advantages:

Customer retention and loyalty

A well-executed Customer Success Plan helps customers achieve their desired outcomes, leading to higher satisfaction and customer loyalty. Satisfied customers are more likely to continue using your product/service, reducing churn and increasing customer retention rates.

Increased customer lifetime value (CLV)

When customers achieve success and see the value in your offering, they are more likely to renew their contracts and potentially upgrade or purchase additional products or services over time. This increases the overall Customer Lifetime Value.

Customer advocacy and referrals

Satisfied customers become advocates for your brand and are more willing to refer others to your product or service. Positive word-of-mouth and referrals can lead to new customer acquisitions at a lower cost compared to other marketing strategies.

Proactive issue resolution

A Customer Success Plan enables early identification of potential challenges or roadblocks that customers may face. This allows the customer success team to proactively address issues before they become significant problems, improving the overall customer experience.

Improved customer onboarding

An effective onboarding process is crucial for customer success. A Customer Success Plan outlines the steps and best practices for onboarding, ensuring that customers get up to speed quickly and start deriving value from your product or service sooner.

Data-driven decision-making

Customer Success Plans often involve tracking and analyzing relevant metrics and data to monitor customer progress. This data-driven approach helps the customer success team make informed decisions and tailor their efforts to individual customer needs.

Cross-selling and upselling opportunities

By understanding the customer’s goals and needs through the Customer Success Plan, your company can identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities that align with their evolving requirements.

Stronger customer relationships

The ongoing collaboration and communication involved in the Customer Success Plan build stronger relationships between the customer and your company. This fosters trust and open communication, enhancing the overall customer experience.

Competitive advantage

Providing a comprehensive Customer Success Plan sets your company apart from competitors who may not offer the same level of personalized support and attention to customer needs. It demonstrates a commitment to customer success, which can be a significant competitive advantage.

Continuous product improvement

Through regular customer feedback and interaction, the company gains insights into areas for product or service improvement. These insights can be used to enhance offerings and stay ahead in the market.

A customer success strategy will develop if certain key value points are kept in mind. This customer success plan helps ensure everything goes smoothly. Customer satisfaction plans must accompany it. 

It is a strategic document that outlines the goals, objectives, and action steps for ensuring customer success with a product or service. While I can provide you with an example template, keep in mind that the specifics will vary based on your industry, product/service, and customer needs. Here’s a general outline for a Customer Success Plan:

1. Customer information:

  • Name of the customer/company
  • Contact information (names, roles, email addresses, phone numbers)
  • Key stakeholders and decision-makers

2. Executive summary:

  • A brief overview of the customer’s goals and challenges
  • High-level Summary of the Customer Success Plan

3. Objectives and goals:

  • Clearly defined objectives and goals that the customer wants to achieve using your product/service.
  • These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

4. Current state assessment:

  • A review of the customer’s current situation, pain points, and challenges.
  • Identification of any obstacles that may hinder achieving the stated objectives.

5. Success metrics:

  • Specific metrics will be used to measure the customer’s success.
  • These can include product usage statistics, adoption rates, customer satisfaction scores, etc.

6. Success action plan:

  • A detailed plan outlining the actions that will be taken to address the customer’s challenges and achieve their goals.
  • Each action should be assigned to specific team members or departments responsible for its execution.

7. Timeline and milestones:

  • A timeline that outlines when each action step will be implemented.
  • Include milestones and checkpoints for reviewing progress and making any necessary adjustments.

8. Roles and responsibilities:

  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of both the customers and your company’s teams.
  • Ensure everyone understands their contributions towards success.

9. Communication plan:

  • Outline the frequency and methods of communication between your company and the customer.
  • Specify who will be the main points of contact for both parties.

10. Risks and mitigation strategies:

  • Identify potential risks that could impact the success of the plan.
  • Offer strategies for mitigating these risks and how to handle them if they arise.

11. Resource requirements:

  • Detail any additional resources, tools, or support needed to execute the Customer Success Plan effectively.

12. Review and evaluation process:

  • Define how the success of the plan will be evaluated and measured.
  • Schedule regular reviews with the customer to assess progress and address any concerns.

To make an effective customer success plan, you need to find out what your customers want from your business. You can do a survey to find out what your customers need and how they feel about your service and products.

QuestionPro CX helps you create a survey. QuestionPro is survey software that lets you organize data about your customers. It lets you find and look at the most important data and insights. You can also use InsightsHub, a unified hub for data management, to organize, search, explore, and find your research data.

Using the survey insights, you can set up your customer success metrics to help your team make an effective customer success plan.

So, get in touch with us! We are eager to work with you to create a better customer success plan for your customers and your business.



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customer success business plan

8 must-haves for your customer success plan [+ templates]

customer success business plan

What’s one of the most painful scenarios for Customer Success teams? 

How about this one: Sales hands off an exciting new customer and then 90 days later they’re ready to churn.

A solid customer success plan is the best tactic for revenue teams that want to prevent this from happening. It moves your team from being reactive to proactive, and it sets new customers on a path towards success from the moment the contract is signed. 

But creating an effective customer success plan is tough because it requires an approach that’s both consistent and flexible. 

You need to achieve certain outcomes with every customer, but you also need to tailor your plan to each customer’s unique needs.

You also need your customers to actually engage with your plan—there’s nothing worse than creating a plan that sits there and never gets acted on. 

Creating a flexible customer success plan template and sharing it in a format that your customers actually enjoy solves those challenges. 

Here’s how you do it. 

What is a customer success plan?

A customer success plan is a roadmap that helps your customer success team deliver value to your customers throughout the entire customer lifecycle. It’s the map for your customer journey. 

An effective customer success plan is a mix of actionable tasks, defined responsibilities, and clear goals:

  • Actionable tasks: Your customer success plan lays out the core tasks that stakeholders (from all parties involved) need to complete to ensure your customer will be successful. Examples could include everything from Set up your account to Add additional users to Watch these training videos.
  • Defined responsibilities: Along with tasks, your plan should designate the responsible person (or team). Continuing with the example above: Who is supposed to set up the new account? You? Your customer? Clearly defined responsibilities are a huge part of long-term success.  
  • Clear goals: What’s your customer hoping to achieve with your product or service? Your sales team should have captured this during the sales process, but whether they have or not, customer onboarding is the perfect time to ensure everyone is clear.

Here’s a quick gut check: 

Say every single item on your customer success plan was completed in a timely fashion (assuming you’ve got some version of a plan today, whether it’s living in Google Sheets, Trello, or some other tool. If not, just keep reading!). 

If that happened, what would the result be? Would you be able to guarantee your customer’s experience with your product was successful? 

Guarantee is a strong word (and one you may not want to use with a customer), but your customer success plan should get you as close to guaranteed success as possible. The whole reason it exists is to distill your customer success strategy into a step-by-step process for achieving results. 

Best practices for creating a customer success plan

Creating a customer success plan can feel like a daunting task—especially if your current version isn’t delivering results—but we’ve got you covered. We have pre-built templates in Dock, like this customer success plan template . 

Whether you use a pre-built template or create your own custom plan from scratch, there are a few best practices you should keep in mind:

  • Use real-world examples to inform your plan
  • Make your customer success plan client-facing
  • Think about the customer experience you’re creating
  • Use a template as a starting point, then personalize as needed

Use real-world examples from current customers

When creating a new customer success plan, it’s easy to hunker down and try to come up with the best possible plan by yourself. 

This is a natural place to start, but it can result in an idealized customer success plan that doesn’t work in the real world.

Instead, consider building your plan with input from the very people who will be using it to find success with your product. 

Use feedback from both current customers and your customer success managers to create a clear roadmap for both sides. You can:

  • Ask your customer success team to list out the steps they already take during customer onboarding
  • Get input from your current customers on what parts of your product have been difficult to learn or find value in
  • Analyze notes from when you’ve onboarded customers in the past, reminding yourself of what worked well—and what didn’t.

It’s also a good idea to partner up with your sales and customer support teams to understand their processes and challenges. The clearer you can get on your current customer journey, the more likely your customer success plan will solve real-world problems.

Make the success plan client-facing

A joint plan enables increased collaboration and gives a better sense of what the entire journey to success looks like. As you build out your customer success plan, you’ll see the best results if you make it client-facing. 

Customer success is a joint effort—it’s a team game. Even if you’re an agency delivering a very specific service, you’ll still need customer involvement at various points.

That’s why your plan should be housed on a page or portal that everyone has access to—from sales to customer success to the customer themselves. 

Even if their direct involvement in specific tasks is limited, your customers will appreciate being able to see and understand what their journey to success looks like. 

Avoid spreadsheets and project management tools

Let’s call it like it is: project management tools aren’t very client friendly (unless you’re selling to project managers). They’ve got a steep learning curve and aren’t very intuitive. 

And while everyone’s familiar with spreadsheets, sharing a link to a Google Sheet certainly doesn’t give a very premium feel. 

Spreadsheets and project management tools are built for internal collaboration. When it comes to making customer success plans, it’s better to use a dedicated onboarding platform or client portal tool like Dock.

A dedicated portal feels specially made for the client. It’s the perfect tool for your customer success team to manage the client relationship. A customer portal—accessible by both parties—enables easier alignment between CSMs and customers on business goals and strategy, because everyone is looking at the same thing.

It’s the easiest—and most effective—way to track milestones, achieve goals, and encourage product adoption.

Start from a template, then personalize as needed

Your clients have needs that are unique to their businesses. And, if you’re selling to humans, it’s vital to remember that 80% of them are more likely to do business with a company that gives them a personalized experience. 

That’s why you need a customer success plan template. 

Use a template to create your core success plan. As you discover what works for your customers, you want to take those tactics and replicate them across your entire team and customer base. 

You want every CSM working towards the same end goal and using the same playbook. A template establishes a baseline—it includes the core steps needed for any customer to find value in your product or service.

Once you’ve got that foundation in place, you can personalize each plan to meet your customers’ individual needs—like their business goals, contacts, meeting recordings, and project scope. 

This approach positions you to scale customer success across your customer base with a repeatable, templatized process that still feels highly personalized to each new customer.

8 things to include in a customer success plan

There are a bunch of things you’ll want to include in your customer success plan, and you can start with this template to hit the ground running.

The parts you’ll want to include in your customer success plan are:

  • An overview/introduction
  • Objectives and key challenges
  • Specific measures of success
  • Strategies for success
  • Clear action items
  • Onboarding checklists
  • Supporting customer success content
  • Customer journey-specific next steps

Let’s look at each one in depth. 

1. Overview and contact details

The overview and introduction portion of your customer success plan should be the first thing your customer sees. 

customer success business plan

This section has two goals:

  • It introduces your client to their customer success manager. The CSM is their main point of contact, and whenever they have a question, it should be easy for them to reach out. We’d recommend including the CSM’s picture (smile!), contact information (email and/or phone number), and a quick hello or bio. It’s also a nice touch to include a link to book a meeting.
  • The overview and introduction section gives a quick summary (think 2-4 sentences) of what the workspace is for and what your client can expect. Use this space as a way to remove ambiguity from the process you’ll be walking your customers through.

This is also a good place to store any customer contact information your customer success manager may want quick access to, especially if your sales team has been working with a team of stakeholders on the customer’s end.

2. Objectives and key challenges

The objectives and key challenges section of your plan lays out the desired outcomes of using your product or service. 

customer success business plan

It explains why the customer engaged with your business. What are your customer’s goals? What’s the job they’re trying to complete? 

This section will look very different based on your offering:

  • Web design agency : “Design and launch a new custom website by June 30.”
  • Email newsletter software : “Grow your email list to 20,000 users by the end of the year.”
  • Sales enablement software : “Reduce sales admin time by 10% this quarter to increase the selling capacity of each AE.” 

Just keep in mind that this should reflect the real pain points and felt needs of your customer—not your opinion of what they need. If there’s any ambiguity, spelling these objectives out in a shared success plan is the perfect way to surface and work through those issues. 

This section is also where personalization enters the stage. 

Your customers may be looking to solve similar problems—if you’re a web design agency all of your customers probably want new or revamped websites—but their key challenges will be unique.

If your sales team hasn’t already clearly identified the obstacles to success, meet with your customer to determine both the outcomes and the challenges they’re currently facing. 

From budget to limited engineering resources to poor engagement or something else, the clearer you can drill down into challenges, the more robust a customer success plan you can create. 

This collaborative process ensures both your customer and your CSM have the same key objectives front and center during the entire customer lifecycle. 

3. Measures of success

Aligning on customer goals is critical, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle. Your customer success plan should also include agreed-upon measures of success.

customer success business plan

In other words, you should answer the question: “ How will we know that we’ve achieved this goal?”

Work with all the necessary stakeholders to identify specific measures of success that will keep everyone on track. 

These may be improvements to success metric s or KPIs, or they might be specific outcomes ( e.g. launch a new add-on product by Q3 ).

Remember: different stakeholders may have different perspectives on the “right” measures of success, so creating a joint customer success plan will often involve zeroing in on a few prioritized measures.  

Setting clear measurements of success isn’t a new concept. 

What’s new—the missing piece for many customer success teams—is that it’s now easier than ever to take the guesswork out of whether you’re hitting those metrics. With a dedicated client portal for each customer, everyone involved now has one go-to place to find the latest information. 

4. Strategies for success

This section of your plan is where you move from what the desired outcomes are to how you’re going to achieve those outcomes. 

It’s where you begin to set expectations and lay out commitments from and responsibilities of both your company and the customer. 

customer success business plan

During customer onboarding , this often includes discrete tasks: setting up integrations, attending kickoff meetings, and so on. 

Once you’ve shifted into more of an adoption stage, those commitments might shift from tasks into ongoing responsibilities: design a newsletter each week, engage with training resources, and so on. 

These strategies can be created together with your client, but odds are you have at least an idea of the things you and your customer will need to do to be successful. When in doubt, a sound approach is to:

  • Give your customer a few things you’re committing to do for them
  • Present a few commitments they’ll need to make in order to achieve success
  • Brainstorm additional actions together based on the client’s specific needs

Here’s an example of a Strategies for Success section found in our Customer Success Plan template , including some example commitments. 

5. Clear action items

A plan is useless without action. In the next section of your customer success plan, list out the actions needed to achieve success. 

customer success business plan

Since this is a joint venture between the client and your customer success manager, it’s best to list out both parties’ action items. 

To create clarity and accountability for these actions, don’t just put the name of the action item next to a checkbox and call it a day. 

Assign a due date to the action item, list the people working on it, and label whether it’s on track or not. 

If you’re using Dock, you can make this section interactive, making it easy for both your team and your customers to add new items and update everyone on progress.

customer success business plan

6. Onboarding checklists

The onboarding process is where you begin to build customer loyalty, starting with the all-important handoff from sales to customer success. 

A smooth handoff and a great onboarding experience with a quick time to value are the foundations of long-term customer success. 

While you can create a separate customer onboarding plan (like this example onboarding template ), it’s a better idea to include onboarding as a section in your customer success plan. 

customer success business plan

Your onboarding checklist should prioritize tasks that are essential to enabling customers to receive fast value from your product:

For a web design agency, that might be the key things needed to deliver initial mockups to your client—audit the existing website, complete a branding questionnaire, and schedule a call to share and collect feedback on your initial mockups.

For sales enablement software, it might be the tasks required to enable sending out the first proposal—integrate with the CRM, upload a logo, and train the sales team. 

If you’re using a tool like Dock, creating an onboarding checklist is easy. Add the required items to your template. You can even add items that are only visible to internal users, such as Make introduction to CSM or Schedule kickoff call. 

Dock also enables you to embed key documentation and how-to videos directly into your plan, making it far more likely that your customers will engage with those vital resources. 

7. Supporting customer success content

Every customer you onboard will go through similar stages and obstacles. Supplying the right resources at the right time can dramatically boost the odds they’ll achieve success with your product or service. 

customer success business plan

While your success plan shouldn’t replace your customer help center, providing direct access to resources that have proven their value is a no-brainer. It enables your customer to self-serve and find answers fast. 

Some examples might include:

  • Links to help center articles
  • Relevant case studies
  • Product overviews

You can also include links to previous meetings and training as easy references when they’re needed in the future.

When a customer reaches out to their CSM with a question, all you have to do is quickly add resources to the shared success plan and let them know to check their Dock workspace. 


Great customer success teams get strategic about using their customer success plan to overcome success gaps. These are the gaps—the obstacles—that prevent customers from achieving success, even if they’ve used your product correctly. 

If you’re an email newsletter platform, the customer may be creating and sending emails every week—but if they’re things their audience doesn’t find valuable, then your customer probably won’t see the engagement or results they’re hoping for. Your customer success plan is a great way to proactively address these potential challenges—such as adding resources on how to write effective marketing emails. 

customer success business plan

8. Next steps 

Last, but certainly not least, include a flexible “next steps” or “current priorities” section based on what part of the customer journey your client is on. 

customer success business plan

Depending on your customer’s needs, this section can contain:

  • Post-onboarding steps. You can use this section to highlight key opportunities for customers to explore once onboarding is complete. Examples include enabling additional features, taking advantage of training resources, or contributing to your customer community. 
  • Specific implementation steps. As your customer’s product suite grows, you can use this section to go through specific implementation steps necessary to successfully add new products. 
  • Quarterly progress. To help with quarterly business reviews , you can provide key milestones you’ve hit for your client, list things that are going well, and areas of opportunity. 
  • Project management information. Here you can house timelines, where you’re at in those timelines, current deliverables, and past deliverables all in one spot for your client to review. 

Here’s an example of items that can be used for a quarterly business review.

6 customer success plan templates you can use today

The more you can reduce the effort for your customers, the higher the likelihood they’ll collaborate well and achieve the success they’re looking for—and the less likely they are to churn. 

That’s why we’re big believers in putting onboarding and customer success materials in one jointly accessible space. 

Your customers shouldn’t have to hunt down important pieces of information from across twenty emails, four spreadsheets, and a bunch of tasks in your project management tool. 

Whether you build one master customer success plan or use specific templates at different stages of the customer journey, both you and your customers benefit when you can make success easier for them. 

Don’t make your customers jump over unnecessary hurdles on the road to success—pave the way for them with these templated success plans. 

1. The Joint Customer Success Plan Template

The joint customer success plan template is our main, most versatile template. It’s the one we use to teach Customer Success leaders how to build their own customer success plan (and the one highlighted the most in this guide). 

customer success business plan

It’s flexible enough to work for early-stage startups and enterprise companies looking to boost product adoption and drive better customer outcomes. We’ve also seen it work well for agencies of all types and sizes. 

Our joint customer success plan template helps you to get buy-in from customers, encouraging collaboration with you throughout the customer journey. When executed smoothly, it reduces the likelihood of customer churn and—because of the positive outcomes your customers will see—increases your opportunities to upsell and cross-sell.

👉 Get the Joint Customer Success Plan Template here .

2. The Customer Onboarding Plan Template

The customer onboarding plan template puts the focus on—you guessed it—the initial onboarding phase of the customer journey. It equips you to build a seamless, repeatable process that enables your customers to make the most of your product or service. 

customer success business plan

We built this for customer success managers and onboarding specialists who want efficient and effective onboarding processes.

Our customer onboarding template delivers the right first impression. It offers a simple yet comprehensive way for customers to get the guidance and resources they need when getting started. It’s a perfect place to share kickoff call notes, educate customers on important workflows, and highlight key metrics to help your customers find success.

👉 Get the Customer Onboarding Plan Template here .

3. The Implementation Plan Template

The implementation plan template was made for account managers, project managers, and CSMs who want to provide implementation guidance to customers quickly and easily.

customer success business plan

This template helps you create consistent software implementation processes to get customers set up quickly. It’s perfect for software implementations and project implementation plans, especially when you need to go beyond the out-of-the-box setup and provide custom guidance to customers. 

In short, it’s an all-in-one resource that gives new customers all the information they need for the entire implementation project timeline.

👉 Get the Implementation Plan Template here  

4. The Client Portal Template

The client porta l template is designed to foster a closer, more productive relationship with clients through the sharing of information and resources. 

customer success business plan

We created this template for CSMs and project managers who work and communicate with clients on an ongoing basis.

One of the best things about this template is the ability to customize the layout and content as needed. When your client relationship shifts, it’s easy to add and remove resources or sections from the template. 

👉 Get the Client Portal Template here .

5. The Quarterly Business Review (QBR) Template

Clients want to know when they’re getting value. That’s why so many businesses rely on quarterly business reviews (QBRs). 

But let’s be real: QBRs can be cumbersome without a template.

That’s what this QBR template is for. This template streamlines the entire business review process, helping you:

  • Keep users engaged with your product
  • Provide a simple, yet comprehensive, overview of how things are going
  • Show how you plan to increase their value and grow your relationship over time

customer success business plan

Dock also allows you to embed live reports from platforms like ​​Google Data Studio or Looker, enabling you to show the full scope of the value you’re bringing your customers. 

👉 Get the Quarterly Business Review Template here .

6. The Client Project Management Template

The client project management template is designed to bring together all the moving parts of a project together in one central location. It’s the perfect tool for keeping project managers, development teams, CSMs, and customer stakeholders on the same page.

customer success business plan

With this template, you can provide your clients with an overview of the project’s purpose, a main point of contact, a project summary, and timeline, and all necessary deliverables. You can also easily update the template as milestones are reached to demonstrate progress.

👉 Get the Client Project Management Template here .

Dock’s customer success plans make it easy to collaborate

Everyone wins when you create a customer success plan. 

You’ll see higher rates of product adoption and retention. Your CSMs will be less frustrated because they’ll be spending less time on admin work and more time helping customers achieve results.

And of course, your customers will be thrilled when they reliably achieve the outcomes they were hoping for when they signed up for your product or service.

Use one of these customer success plan templates to help deliver a better experience and improve the likelihood of your customers’ success.

  • The Joint Customer Success Plan Template
  • The Customer Onboarding Plan Template
  • The Implementation Plan Template
  • The Client Portal Template
  • The Quarterly Business Review Template
  • The Client Project Management Template

Get started with Dock by using one of the free templates above, or create your first 5 Dock workspaces for free .

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Customer success plan templates, share this article.

The profitability and longevity of your business depend largely on your customers being able to achieve their goals with your product. To help them do that, you have to anticipate their questions and challenges, and offer answers and solutions. This is known as customer success. 

Unlike customer support which aims to resolve customers’ short-term issues, customer success caters to customers for the long term. This involves identifying the identical elements in each customer’s lifecycle, which makes it easy to predict your customers’ needs and take a preventative approach to ensure successful product usage. 

Customer success, while essential, can be hard to do, especially if you have many customers. However, documenting the steps your customer success reps/managers make helps you ensure that each customer derives value from your product. 

In this article, we’ve created some customer success plan templates you can use to get started. You’ll also learn why structured planning is important in customer success, the best practices for using customer success plan templates, and some additional resources/tools for customer success planning. 

Skip ahead:

​Understanding customer success plan templates

​types of customer success plan templates, ​best practices for using customer success plan templates, ​additional resources and tools for customer success planning, ​boost customer satisfaction with customer success plan templates .

Structured planning in customer success is the systematic and organized approach you can take to anticipate, meet, and exceed customer needs and expectations. It involves developing a clear roadmap to ensure that customers derive maximum value from your product or service throughout their entire journey.

This roadmap is called a customer success plan — a tool that outlines the actions your customer success reps/manager has to take to develop long-term relationships with your customers and help them reach their goals. 

Customer success plans play a pivotal role in ensuring customer satisfaction, building long-term relationships, reducing churn, increasing upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and boosting net revenue generation . Documenting customer success actions in these plans helps:

  • Customer success reps understand the customers’ journeys, preferences, and unique challenges. This understanding is crucial for providing personalized and effective support;
  • Prevent the loss of critical institutional information when employees leave or move to different roles;
  • Maintain consistency in customer interactions. When different reps handle the same customer or similar issues, having a documented history ensures that the approach and information shared are consistent;
  • Team members collaborate smoothly with one another. If multiple reps are working with the same customer, a documented history allows for seamless handovers and ensures that everyone is on the same page;
  • Ensure that the customer success team can efficiently manage a larger number of accounts without sacrificing the quality of interactions;
  • Provide new customer success hires with insights into how previous situations were handled and offer a foundation for developing their own customer interaction skills;
  • CSMs assess how effectively reps are addressing customer needs, meeting goals, and adhering to established processes; 
  • CSMs identify patterns, common issues, and areas for improvement. This allows them to refine processes, update training materials, and enhance overall customer success strategies.

Customer success plans are applicable to many business instances, including customer onboarding/offboarding, customer reactivation, and product renewals, to mention a few. Using customer success plan templates makes it easy to customize a plan for each unique scenario. With templates, you can:

  • Clearly define your customers’ goals and objectives in using your product or service; 
  • Identify specific milestones that indicate progress toward achieving your customers’ goals; 
  • Define success criteria to measure the effectiveness of your product or service;
  • Outline the specific actions your customer success team will take to reach the defined milestones;
  • Establish a communication plan that helps you check in regularly with your customers to address their concerns and gather insights;
  • Define key performance indicators (KPIs) to track and measure success;
  • Monitor metrics related to customer satisfaction, product usage, and other relevant factors.

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of customer success plan templates you can use to help your customers derive maximum value from your product/service: 

Quarterly Business Review (QBR) meeting template

A Quarterly Business Review (QBR) template is a structured outline that helps you conduct comprehensive reviews of your performance, goals, and strategies on a quarterly basis. A well-structured QBR meeting template contains components like: 

  • Client/customer information; 
  • Performance metrics; 
  • Challenges and solutions; 
  • Next quarter objectives;
  • Action steps, etc. 

In a typical QBR, the CSM:

  • Assesses the company’s overall performance against established goals and metrics;
  • Reviews and adjusts strategic plans based on market changes and business performance;
  • Analyzes customer feedback and discusses strategies for enhancing customer satisfaction; 
  • Reviews both open and closed support tickets over the last quarter;
  • Evaluates financial health, revenue growth, and cost management;
  • Recognizes and celebrates individual and team achievements; 
  • Set clear and measurable goals for the upcoming quarter that align with the company’s vision;
  • Ensure alignment and coordination between different departments and teams;
  • Discuss employee feedback and strategies for enhancing team engagement and morale.

Quarterly success plan template

A quarterly success plan template is a structured document that outlines the goals, activities, and strategies you plan to implement over a span of three months to ensure the satisfaction and success of your customers. A good quarterly success plan template includes components like:

  • Customers’ goals and objectives; 
  • Key milestones (with deadlines) that indicate progress toward customers’ goals;
  • Action plans to help you reach defined milestones;
  • KPIs and metrics to track and measure success;
  • Resources needed to help customers succeed, etc.

Here are some tips to use the quarterly success plan template effectively: 

  • Tailor the template to each customer’s unique goals and needs;
  • Involve key stakeholders, including the customer(s) and your team, in the creation of the success plan to ensure alignment;
  • Use the plan as a living document and encourage regular updates as needed throughout the quarter;
  • Regularly monitor progress and analyze metrics to assess the effectiveness of your strategies;
  • Acknowledge and celebrate achievements and milestones with the customer, fostering a positive and collaborative relationship;
  • Conduct a thorough review at the end of the quarter to assess overall success, identify areas for improvement, and inform future planning.

​Annual customer success plan template

An annual customer success plan template is a comprehensive document that outlines the strategies you plan to implement over the course of a year to ensure that your customers get maximum value from your product and achieve their goals. 

This template provides a structured framework for both you and your customers to collaboratively work towards achieving long-term objectives. It also helps you align yearly objectives with your overall business strategy. 

The key components of an annual customer success plan include: 

  • Your broad objectives for the year;
  • The long-term goals your customers aim to achieve over the course of a year;
  • The strategies you’ll implement to achieve these goals and objectives; 
  • The resources you’ll need to help the customer succeed;
  • Your check-in dates (they could be quarterly or bi-annual), etc.

Long-term planning is important for customer success because it: 

  • Ensures that customer success efforts are aligned with the broader strategic goals of both your company and your customers; 
  • Allows you to maximize the long-term value that customers derive from your product or service; 
  • Enables you to identify potential issues or challenges in advance, allowing for proactive resolution and risk mitigation; 
  • Helps you foster stronger relationships with customers as you demonstrate a commitment to their long-term success; 
  • Provides opportunities for continuous improvement as you’re able to learn from successes and failures over an extended period; 
  • Helps reduce churn, increase customer retention rates , and build customer loyalty as you address issues and ensure ongoing value; 
  • Allows for better resource planning and allocation, ensuring that the necessary support is available to customers when needed;
  • Allows for the collection and analysis of data over a longer timeframe, which helps you make data-driven decisions; 
  • Contributes to upselling and cross-selling opportunities , which drives revenue growth from existing customers.

Weekly success plan template

A weekly success plan template allows you to outline the goals, tasks, and priorities for an individual rep or a team on a weekly basis. This template serves as a proactive tool to help you plan and organize smaller activities, track progress, and ensure that short-term goals/objectives are met within a specified timeframe. 

The components of a weekly success plan template include: 

  • The goals you want to achieve during the week;
  • The main tasks to do to achieve the aforementioned goals;
  • The priority levels for each of the tasks;
  • A section to track progress on each task throughout the week;
  • A section to schedule and document any important meetings, appointments, or deadlines;
  • A daily schedule to allocate time blocks for different tasks and activities, etc.

 Organizing your weekly customer success plans has many benefits. It: 

  • Provides clarity on weekly objectives, ensuring that efforts are focused on high-priority tasks; 
  • Helps you allocate time effectively by creating a schedule and setting realistic deadlines; 
  • Ensures that weekly goals align with broader company/customer objectives; 
  • Facilitates better communication within teams  by aligning everyone on weekly priorities;
  • Reduces stress as you break down tasks into manageable steps and provide a clear action plan.

​​Client onboarding success plan template

A client (or customer) onboarding success plan template shows the process involved in onboarding a new client successfully. It helps businesses ensure a smooth and effective transition for clients/customers from the initial stages of engagement to becoming fully integrated and satisfied with the product. 

The key components of a client onboarding success plan template include:

  • An overview of the onboarding process; 
  • Details about the client, including key contacts, industry, and specific business needs;
  • Clearly defined goals for the onboarding process;
  • Key milestones and deadlines for each phase or stage of the onboarding process; 
  • KPIs to measure the success of the onboarding process, etc. 

Using a client onboarding success plan template ensures that: 

  • There’s a standardized and consistent onboarding process for all clients;
  • Clients know what to expect during the onboarding process;
  • Clients have the knowledge, resources, and support they need to effectively use the product or service;
  • Clients start realizing value from the product or service more quickly (i.e. low time to value );
  • There’s a scalable framework for onboarding as the business grows, making it easier to manage increased client volume;
  • The likelihood of client dissatisfaction or frustration is reduced, which results in lower churn rates .

Customizable fillable templates

The five templates outlined above aren’t the only kinds of customer success plan templates there are. Because so much goes into ensuring that customers reach their goals, there are other templates you can personalize for specific needs. 

The features of customizable templates include: 

  • Editable content. You can modify content according to your needs, including text, images, and other elements. 
  • Flexible structure. You can add, remove, or reposition sections based on your needs, allowing you to tailor a template to different purposes. 
  • Placeholder elements. Customizable templates may have placeholder elements that guide you on where to insert specific content. You can replace these placeholders with your own text or media. 
  • Customizable color schemes and fonts . You can change the color scheme, fonts, and overall style of the template the match your brand colors, fonts, and style. 
  • Export formats. Customizable templates typically support various export formats, including PDF, Word, or image files, which give you flexibility in how the final content is shared or distributed.

Here are some situations where you can use customizable fillable templates: 

  • Sales-to-success handoffs. If your sales team is the first to speak to prospective customers, it will likely have a relationship with them before customer success takes over. A customizable success plan template allows the sales team to document all they’ve learned from your customers, which makes it easier for the customer success team to take over.

A sales-to-success handoff template should include the customer’s basic information, their main objective(s), their budget, how they heard about the company, their preferred communication method, follow-up actions, and KPIs to measure the performance of the product. 

  • Customer reactivation. Sometimes, your customers may stop using your product abruptly, especially if you’re a subscription-based SaaS business. In this case, you need a specified process to reactivate them. 

You can outline this process in a customer reactivation template, with steps like checking for unresolved issues, reviewing the customer’s usage contact, verifying the customer’s contact, following up with the customer to find out why they went silent, reviewing any issues or challenges the customer has, sending a follow-up email, and a simple reboarding process. 

  • Customer renewals. While renewals are an automatic process for subscription-based SaaS companies, some companies let their customer success teams handle renewals, especially if the customer is an enterprise or if they’re hiring for a service. If that’s you, you can use a customizable template to outline a simple renewal process with steps like checking for (and resolving) any open issues, setting up a meeting with the customer to confirm expectations and discuss new product features, if any, and the filling of renewal paperwork. 
  • Customer offboarding. A customer leaving your company can offer a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to part ways without burning bridges. Your customer success team will need a documented process to identify why the customer doesn’t want to do business with you anymore and use that data to decrease churn in the future.  

A customer offboarding template should cover things like the reason(s) the customer is leaving, what your company could do better, the parts of the contract that were broken by either party (if applicable), incentive(s) to retain the customer, collection of last payment, and a final thank-you to the customer for working with your company. 

Here are a few practical tips for using customer success plan templates: 

  • Set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. When setting goals for your customer success processes, be it for client onboarding/offboarding, reactivation, renewals, or quarterly business reviews, ensure that your goals meet these criteria. This clarity will make it easier to track progress.
  • Communicate and collaborate clearly. As you fill in your customer success plan templates, communicate and collaborate with relevant stakeholders from both your team and the customer’s organization (if applicable). This transparency builds trust, ensures alignment, and helps manage expectations. 
  • Define actionable steps. Break down your goals into actionable steps and tasks. This makes it easy for both your team and your customer to understand what needs to be done. If any challenges arise, clearly outline the strategies for addressing them.  
  • Do regular reviews and updates. Schedule regular reviews of your customer success plans to ensure that they’re still relevant. Update the plans based on changes in your customers’ business, goals, or market conditions. 
  • Collect feedback from your customers. Feedback mechanisms like Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) can help you understand what’s working and what isn’t. You can also collect in-app feedback or conduct 1-on-1 interviews with your customers to get feedback on the efficacy of your processes. 
  • Quantify success metrics. Clearly define the customer success metrics and KPIs you’ll use to measure progress. Quantifiable data makes it easier to assess success.

Customer success plan templates are just one tool to help you give your customers the best experience you possibly can. Here are some additional resources and tools you can use to improve your efforts:

Customer education platforms

Customer education platforms allow you to create an online academy filled with structured, accessible learning resources for your customers. These courses enhance their understanding of and proficiency with your product or service, leading to increased customer satisfaction. 

An online academy also cultivates a continuous learning environment, allowing customers to stay updated on product updates, new features, and best practices. This ongoing education contributes to customer retention and loyalty, as users feel supported and engaged with your product. 

A great example of an online academy is Hootsuite Academy . 

customer success business plan

This academy offers several certification courses taught by industry experts to help customers improve their social media skills, grow their audience, run successful ad campaigns, and use the Hootsuite platform like a pro. 

Another example is Chargebee’s Subscription Academy , which has online courses that aim to teach customers all things SaaS — from pricing and analytics to BillingOps and churn. 

customer success business plan

Both of these online academies were created with Thinkific Plus , a powerful tool with robust features that allow you to create and ship specialized training programs for your customers. With Thinkific Plus, you can create online courses, microlessons, and even cohort classes, to help your customers get more familiar with your product and the industry at large — which, in turn, improves customer satisfaction and retention.

Customer relationship management systems

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms provide an organized and unified system for managing customer interactions, data, and relationships. In this dynamic hub, customer success teams can store, track, and analyze customer information, from contact details to historical interactions and preferences. 

By centralizing customer data, CRM platforms break down silos and facilitate communication among sales, marketing, and support teams. This cross-functional collaboration ensures that every touchpoint in the customer lifecycle is well-coordinated and aligned with overarching business objectives.

With features like automated workflows and customer segmentation, CRM platforms enable customer success teams to tailor their strategies, anticipate needs, and provide a more personalized and proactive approach to customer support. 

Examples of CRM platforms include: 

  • Salesforce  

Customer feedback and survey tools 

Customer feedback and survey tools allow customer success teams to communicate directly with customers, and capture valuable insights regarding customer pain points, product or service satisfaction, and overall expectations. 

By gathering quantitative metrics such as Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), alongside qualitative feedback, customer success teams get a better understanding of customer sentiment. This, in turn, makes it easier to address specific pain points, identify areas for improvement, and tailor strategies to align with the evolving needs and preferences of their customer base.

Customer feedback and survey tools include: 

  • SurveyMonkey

Project management tools

Project management tools provide a structured and organized framework for customer success teams to efficiently execute and manage initiatives that contribute to customer satisfaction. These tools offer a centralized platform where customer success teams can plan, track, and collaborate on various tasks and projects related to customer onboarding, support, and engagement.

With features like task assignment, deadlines, and progress tracking, project management tools enable clear communication and collaboration among team members, ensuring that everyone is aligned on goals and timelines. This transparency not only enhances internal coordination but also allows for proactive communication with customers, providing them with visibility into the status of ongoing projects and reinforcing a sense of partnership. 

Examples of project management tools include:

Collaboration platforms

Collaboration tools foster seamless communication and collaboration among team members and clients. For example, Slack has real-time messaging and collaboration features, which enable instant communication, file sharing, and the creation of dedicated channels for specific projects or client interactions. This ensures that customer success professionals can quickly address queries, share insights, and coordinate efforts, leading to swift issue resolution and a more agile response to customer needs.

Another example of a collaboration platform is Zoom, a video conferencing platform that facilitates face-to-face meetings, webinars, and training sessions. Zoom allows customer success teams to conduct personalized and interactive sessions with clients, fostering a stronger connection and understanding.

Collaboration platforms that help customer success teams  communicate with one another and work seamlessly together include: 

Customer journey mapping tools 

Customer journey mapping tools provide a visual representation of the entire customer experience, from initial contact through post-purchase engagement. This allows businesses to understand and empathize with the customer’s perspective, uncover pain points, and identify opportunities for improvement at each touchpoint in the journey. 

By identifying critical moments in the customer journey, teams can implement targeted strategies to address potential issues, enhance satisfaction, and guide customers toward successful outcomes. 

The visual representation of customers’ journeys also fosters cross-departmental collaboration, aligning sales, marketing, and support teams toward a unified goal of delivering a positive and cohesive customer experience. 

Examples of customer journey mapping tools include:

Email marketing platforms

Email marketing platforms are a powerful tool for personalized communication, engagement, and relationship-building throughout the customer lifecycle. These platforms enable your customer success team to deliver targeted and relevant content (product updates, special offers, and valuable resources) directly to customers’ inboxes, facilitating ongoing communication and relationship-building. 

Email marketing tools also allow customer success teams to design automated email sequences that guide customers through onboarding processes, provide educational content, and offer timely support. This ensures that customers receive the right information at the right time, enhancing their understanding of your products/services and encouraging active engagement. 

By tailoring messages based on customer preferences, behavior, and lifecycle stage, email marketing platforms help build a more personalized and meaningful connection, which results in enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Email marketing platforms include: 

  • ActiveCampaign

Knowledge base platforms

Knowledge base platforms can help you create a centralized and accessible repository of information, resources, and self-service tools that empower customers to find answers and solutions independently. With these tools, you can provide a comprehensive library of articles, tutorials, FAQs, and guides on your website for customers seeking information about your products, services, or common issues.

Knowledge base platforms also play a huge role in customer education and onboarding as they provide a structured and scalable way to deliver training materials, product documentation, and best practices, ensuring that customers have the resources they need to maximize the value of their purchase. 

By enabling customers to self-serve and troubleshoot, knowledge base platforms facilitate faster issue resolution, reducing the need for direct support interactions and enhancing the overall customer experience.

Examples of knowledge base platforms include: 

  • Help Scout 
  • Gainsight (formerly Insided)
  • Zendesk Guide

The templates in this blog post provide a structured framework for customer success teams to navigate the intricacies of each unique customer journey. With these templates, your team can proactively address challenges and deliver personalized experiences that resonate with the diverse needs of your customer base. 

Consider Thinkific Plus to create an online academy for your customers and streamline your customer success. 

It’s a powerful, yet easy-to-use, platform that helps you attract new customers and retain existing ones through customer education. 

With Thinkific Plus, you can deliver comprehensive learning experiences that teach your customers how to derive value from your product or service. Not only does this platform have advanced analytics and reporting features to help you track your impact, but it’s also designed to scale with you as your customer education programs evolve. 

Book a call with a Thinkific Plus expert today .

Althea Storm is a B2B SaaS writer who specializes in creating data-driven content that drives traffic and increases conversions for businesses. She has worked with top companies like AdEspresso, HubSpot, Aura, and Thinkific. When she's not writing web content, she's curled up in a chair reading a crime thriller or solving a Rubik's cube.

  • The Ultimate Guide to Customer Success
  • Best Customer Success Software, Platforms, and Tools.
  • Customer Success Metrics and KPIs
  • Customer Retention Program Examples (+ Retention Plan Template)
  • The Best Customer Onboarding Software & Tools for 2023

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5 Customer Success Plan Templates That Work Like a Charm

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Customer Success Plan Templates

Whether you wish to build the next tallest skyscraper or make the most of your customer success efforts – all great things start with a great plan! 

The right customer success plan outlines how your team plans to deliver value, satisfaction, and loyalty to your customers. It also helps you align your products and services with customer needs.

But how do you create an actionable plan?

Don’t worry, I have done the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to start on a blank canvas. Read this blog to explore 5 customer success plan templates that cover multiple situations. 

What Is a Customer Success Plan? 

Customer Success Plan

Image Source:

A customer success plan is a strategic document outlining the steps and actions a business should take to ensure its customers achieve their desired outcomes and derive value from the products or services purchased. 

It typically includes an analysis of customer goals, key success metrics, a roadmap for onboarding and engagement, communication strategies, and measures to address challenges or obstacles. 

Customer success plans are instrumental in fostering long-term customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. They serve as a proactive approach to understanding and meeting customer needs throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

5 Customer Success Plan Templates

It’s time to explore some ready-to-use customer success strategy templates. Feel free to customize these templates based on your specific business, product, or service details.

1. Customer Success Plan Template for Re-Engagement 

Acquiring new customers is around 6 to 7 times more expensive than retaining existing customers. 

Customer Success Plan Template for Re-Engagement

Image Source:

No wonder smart entrepreneurs emphasize re-engagement, knowing that inactive customers make a big pool of untapped revenue. 

Customer re-engagement is vital for those seeking to reconnect with inactive or disengaged customers. It not only revitalizes relationships but also presents an opportunity to showcase product updates, address concerns, and offer incentives. 

Use this template to reconnect with inactive customers. 

1. Customer Overview

Customer Name: [Customer Name]

Key Contacts: [Primary Contact, Secondary Contact]

Last Engagement Date: [Date of Last Interaction]

2. Current Status Analysis

Reasons for Silence: [Identify Potential Reasons for Customer Disengagement]

Feedback from Previous Interactions: [Review Previous Communications and Feedback]

3. Goals for Re-Engagement

Objective: [Specify the Desired Outcome of the Re-Engagement]

Customer Success Metrics: [Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Successful Re-Engagement]

4. Communication Strategy

Preferred Communication Channels: [Determine How the Customer Prefers to be Contacted]

Message Tone: [Adopt an Appropriate and Empathetic Tone in Communications]

5. Outreach Plan

Initial Outreach: [Craft a Personalized Message to Restart the Conversation]

Follow-up Sequence: [Specify a Sequence/Frequency of Follow-up Communications]

6. Value Proposition Reinforcement

Highlight Value: [Reiterate the Value Proposition of Your Product/Service]

New Features or Improvements: [Communicate Any New Features or Enhancements]

7. Special Offer or Incentive

Exclusive Offer: [Introduce a Limited-Time Offer or Exclusive Benefit]

Incentives for Returning: [Provide Special Discounts or Promotions]

8. Request for Feedback

Feedback Collection Method: [Specify How Feedback Will Be Gathered]

Areas for Improvement: [Seek Feedback on Areas Where Improvement is Needed]

9. Personalized Customer Success Manager (CSM) Assistance

Dedicated CSM Contact: [Assign a Dedicated CSM for Personalized Assistance]

Support and Guidance: [Offer Support and Guidance Tailored to Customer Needs]

10. Check-in Meetings

Frequency of Check-ins [Determine How Often Check-in Meetings Will Occur]

Agenda: [Outline Topics to Cover in Each Check-in]

11. Renewal Incentives

Renewal Offers: [Introduce Special Renewal Offers or Incentives]

Upsell Opportunities: [Identify Upsell Opportunities Based on Customer Needs]

12. Continuous Monitoring

Engagement Tracking: [Implement Systems to Monitor Customer Engagement]

Feedback Loops: [Establish Mechanisms for Continuous Feedback]

13. Next Steps

Action Items: [Specify Immediate Actions Following the Re-Engagement Plan]

Use this template as a starting point and customize it based on the specific circumstances and details related to the customer and your product or service.

2. Customer Success Plan Template for Smooth Onboarding 

A smooth onboarding process can be the difference between customers staying with your brand and switching to competitors. It sets the foundation for a positive customer experience, reducing friction and ensuring users quickly understand the value of your product or service. 

Use this template to deliver a smooth onboarding experience. 

Onboarding Start Date: [Date of Onboarding]

2. Onboarding Goals and Objectives

Customer’s Expectations: [Specify Customer’s Primary Onboarding Goals and Expectations]

Onboarding Success Metrics: [Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Successful Onboarding]

3. Initial Assessment

Current Knowledge and Experience: [Evaluate Customer’s Current Understanding of the Product/Service]

Identify Gaps: [Determine Areas Where Additional Training or Guidance May Be Needed]

4. Onboarding Roadmap

Week-by-Week Plan: [Outline a Detailed Onboarding Schedule]

Key Milestones: [Identify Significant Achievements and Milestones]

5. Training and Resources

Training Sessions: [Specify Dates and Topics for Training Sessions]

Knowledge Base Access: [Provide Information on Accessing Support Articles and Resources]

6. Customization and Integration

Personalization Options: [Detail Available Customization Features]

Integration Steps: [Provide Guidance on Integrating the Product/Service with Other Tools]

7. Regular Check-ins

Frequency of Check-ins: [Determine How Often Check-ins Will Occur]

8. Q&A Sessions

Scheduled Q&A Sessions: [Specify Times for Dedicated Q&A Sessions]

Open Communication Channels: [Encourage Customers to Ask Questions Anytime]

9. Feedback Collection

Feedback Mechanism: [Specify How Customer Feedback Will Be Gathered]

Feedback Analysis: [Outline How Feedback Will Be Analyzed and Incorporated]

10. Escalation Plan

Identify Challenges: [Anticipate Potential Onboarding Challenges]

Resolution Steps: [Provide Steps for Addressing and Resolving Challenges]

11. Renewal and Upsell Opportunities

Introduction to Future Features: [Highlight Upcoming Product Features or Enhancements]

Upsell Potential: [Identify Opportunities for Upselling Based on Customer Needs]

12. Customer Support and Resources

24/7 Support Availability: [Communicate Access to Around-the-Clock Support]

Knowledge Base and Resources: [Ensure Customer Awareness of Available Online Support Materials]

13. Conclusion

Next Steps After Onboarding: [Specify Immediate Actions Following Successful Onboarding]

3. Customer Success Plan Template for Reducing Churn 

Customer Success Plan Template for Reducing Churn

Image Source: Touchpoint

Customer churn, or in other words – the loss of customers, can significantly impact a business’s bottom line. It not only results in immediate revenue loss but also diminishes long-term profitability. 

By reducing customer churn, your business can preserve revenue streams, enhance customer lifetime value, and bolster overall profitability. 

Use this template to reduce churn and drive profitability. 

Churn History: [Brief Overview of Churn History]

2. Churn Reduction Goals

Objective: [Specify the Desired Outcome for Churn Reduction]

Churn Reduction Metrics: [Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Successful Churn Reduction]

3. Churn Analysis

Identify Reasons for Churn: [Analyze Past Churn Cases and Identify Common Reasons]

Customer Feedback: [Collect Feedback from Churned Customers]

4. Proactive Outreach

Scheduled Check-Ins: [Determine Frequency of Proactive Check-ins with Customers]

Engagement Initiatives: [Outline Strategies for Regular Engagement]

5. Customer Education

Training Opportunities: [Identify Areas Where Additional Training May Be Beneficial]

Knowledge Base Access: [Promote Access to Educational Resources]

6. Value Reinforcement

Highlight Key Features: [Reiterate Core Features and Value Proposition]

New Features Communication: [Communicate Any Recent Updates or Enhancements]

7. Special Offers or Incentives

Exclusive Discounts: [Introduce Special Offers to Encourage Retention]

Incentives for Staying: [Provide Incentives for Extended Commitments]

8. Customer Support Enhancements

Faster Response Times: [Implement Strategies to Improve Support Response Times]

Dedicated Support Contact: [Assign Dedicated Support Contacts for Priority Assistance]

9. Customer Success Manager (CSM) Involvement

Regular Check-ins with CSM: [Establish Regular Meetings with Assigned CSM]

Actionable Advice: [Provide Proactive Recommendations from CSM]

10. Feedback Loop Implementation

Continuous Feedback Collection: [Set Up Mechanisms for Regular Feedback Collection]

Analysis and Response: [Outline Steps for Analyzing Feedback and Implementing Changes]

11. Escalation Plan

Identify Warning Signs: [Define Indicators Signifying Potential Churn]

Preventive Measures: [Specify Steps to Address Issues Before Escalation]

12. Renewal Incentives

13. continuous monitoring.

Churn Prediction Analysis: [Utilize Tools to Predict and Address Potential Churn]

14. Conclusion

Next Steps After Churn Reduction: [Specify Immediate Actions Following Successful Churn Reduction]

4. Customer Success Plan Template for Upselling 

Creating upselling strategies is essential for maximizing revenue and customer value. 

By identifying opportunities to offer additional products or services that align with customer needs, you can not only increase sales but also strengthen customer relationships, enhance loyalty, and unlock untapped growth potential. 

Use this template to make the most of upsell opportunities. 

Upsell History: [Brief Overview of Previous Upselling Interactions]

2. Upsell Goals

Objective: [Specify the Desired Upsell Outcome]

Upsell Metrics: [Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Successful Upselling]

3. Customer Analysis

Identify Expansion Opportunities: [Analyze Customer Usage Patterns and Identify Areas for Expansion]

Customer Feedback: [Gather Feedback on Additional Features or Services Desired]

Scheduled Check-ins: [Determine Frequency of Proactive Check-ins for Upselling]

Value Proposition Reinforcement: [Reiterate the Value of Additional Features or Services]

5. Upsell Opportunities Presentation

Customized Upsell Proposals: [Create Tailored Proposals Based on Customer Needs]

Benefits Communication: [Clearly Communicate the Benefits of Upselling]

6. Training and Resources

Upsell Training Sessions: [Organize Training Sessions for New Features or Services]

Documentation Access: [Provide Access to Relevant Documentation and Resources]

7. Exclusive Offers or Incentives

Special Discounts: [Introduce Exclusive Discounts for Upselling]

Incentives for Expanding: [Offer Incentives for Expanding Commitments]

Dedicated Support for Upsells: [Assign Dedicated Support Contacts for Upselling Customers]

Fast-Track Support: [Implement Faster Response Times for Upselling Customers]

10. Feedback Collection

Feedback Mechanism: [Specify How Customer Feedback on Upselling Will Be Gathered]

Renewal Offers: [Introduce Special Renewal Offers or Incentives for Expanded Commitments]

Upsell Opportunities During Renewal: [Identify and Communicate Upsell Opportunities During Renewal Period]

Upsell Tracking: [Implement Systems to Monitor Upsell Progress and Metrics]

Next Steps After Successful Upselling: [Specify Immediate Actions Following Successful Upselling]

5. Customer Success Plan Template for Feedback Collection 

Customer Success Plan Template for Feedback Collection

Image Source: ProProfs Survey

So what can you do to save your brand’s reputation? 

Implementing effective feedback collection strategies is crucial for businesses to gain valuable insights into customer satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and refine products or services. Regular feedback not only enhances customer experience but also builds trust. 

Use this template to kickstart your feedback collection process. 

Previous Feedback History: [Brief Overview of Previous Feedback Interactions]

2. Feedback Collection Goals

Objective: [Specify the Desired Outcome for Feedback Collection]

Feedback Metrics: [Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Successful Feedback Collection]

Identify Feedback Touchpoints: [Analyze Customer Journey to Identify Optimal Feedback Touchpoints]

Preferred Feedback Channels: [Determine How Customers Prefer to Provide Feedback]

4. Proactive Outreach for Feedback

Scheduled Check-Ins: [Determine Frequency of Proactive Check-ins for Feedback]

Value of Feedback Reinforcement: [Communicate the Importance of Customer Feedback]

5. Feedback Collection Mechanisms

Surveys and Questionnaires: [Implement Regular Surveys or Questionnaires]

Interviews or Focus Groups: [Organize Periodic Interviews or Focus Groups for In-Depth Feedback]

6. Incentives for Feedback

Recognition and Rewards: [Provide Recognition or Rewards for Valuable Feedback]

Exclusive Offers: [Introduce Exclusive Offers for Customers Providing Feedback]

7. Customer Support Enhancements

Dedicated Support for Feedback: [Assign Dedicated Support Contacts for Handling Feedback]

Fast-Track Support for Feedback Providers: [Implement Faster Response Times for Customers Providing Feedback]

8. Customer Success Manager (CSM) Involvement

Regular Check-ins with CSM: [Establish Regular Meetings with Assigned CSM for Feedback Discussions]

Actionable Advice: [Provide Proactive Recommendations from CSM Based on Feedback]

9. Continuous Monitoring

Feedback Tracking: [Implement Systems to Monitor Feedback Progress]

Feedback Analysis: [Utilize Tools to Analyze and Extract Insights from Feedback]

10. Closed-Loop Feedback System

Communication of Changes: [Outline a Clear System for Communicating Changes Based on Feedback]

Acknowledgment of Feedback: [Ensure Customers Receive Acknowledgment for Their Feedback]

11. Conclusion

Next Steps After Feedback Collection: [Specify Immediate Actions Following Successful Feedback Collection]

How to Create a Customer Success Plan

Creating a customer success plan involves several key steps to ensure you understand, meet, and exceed customer expectations. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Define Customer Success Objectives

As the first step, it is important to clearly outline what success means for your customers, aligning with their goals. 

Identify specific, measurable objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) that will serve as benchmarks for their journey with your product or service.

2. Segment Your Customers

Group your customer base based on shared characteristics or needs, such as their age, sex, economic status, purchase frequency, location, etc.

This segmentation allows for a more personalized approach to customer success, tailoring strategies and resources to address the unique requirements of each segment.

3. Identify Key Customer Touchpoints

Map out the entire customer journey, from the initial interaction and onboarding to ongoing engagement and after-sales support. 

Identify crucial touchpoints where customers interact with your product or service to anticipate needs and provide timely support throughout their experience. 

4. Establish Communication Channels

In the next step, you must define effective communication channels that align with your customers’ preferences. 

Whether it is through email, live chat, in-app messages, or personal meetings, well-defined communication channels ensure that you can reach and engage with customers in ways that resonate with them.

5. Assign Customer Success Managers (CSMs)

If it is feasible for your business, designate dedicated customer success managers for key accounts. 

These individuals act as advocates for customers within your organization, providing personalized support and guidance. CSMs can help nurture relationships, understand customer needs, and curate strategies to ensure their ongoing success.

6. Document the Customer Success Plan

Formalize your customer success plan by creating a comprehensive process document . Include details on customer objectives, success milestones, communication strategies, and feedback mechanisms. 

This documented plan serves as a centralized reference for your team, ensuring everyone is aligned with customer success goals and strategies. It also facilitates transparency and accountability within your organization.

7. Regularly Review and Update

Implement a systematic process for routinely reviewing and updating your customer success plan. Regular assessments allow you to stay agile and responsive to shifting customer needs, industry trends, and internal developments. 

By regularly revisiting and refining the plan, you ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness in driving customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

Turn Your Customer Success Plan Into Reality! 

You must have heard the old adage, “Failing to plan is simply planning to fail.” 

A well-crafted customer success plan will help you cultivate enduring customer relationships and drive organizational triumph.

Feel free to explore and get inspired by the customer success plan templates shared above. You can use a template as it is or edit certain sections based on your unique needs and objectives. 

If you are looking for a tool to track important customer success and service metrics like CSAT, ticket response time, resolution time, etc., ProProfs Help Desk can be a great option. Whether customers reach out to your team via email, live chat, or web forms, you can centralize all communications in one place and personalize every interaction. 

Learn More About Customer Success Plan Templates 

Q. what are the benefits of using customer success plan templates.

Here are some common benefits you can expect while using customer success plan templates: 

  • Consistency: Ensures a consistent approach to customer success by providing a standardized framework for interactions.
  • Clarity: Clearly outlines goals, milestones, and strategies, reducing ambiguity for both customers and the customer success team.
  • Data-driven insights: Facilitates the collection and analysis of data, enabling data-driven decision-making for continuous improvement.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Enhances customer satisfaction by providing a structured approach to meet their needs and expectations consistently.
  • Employee Training: Assists in onboarding new customer success team members by providing a clear roadmap and guidelines for success.

Watch: What Are the Benefits of Help Desk Software

Q. What are the key elements of a customer success plan template?

A customer success plan template typically includes key elements such as clear objectives, milestones, success criteria, communication strategies, risk mitigation plans, and performance metrics. It serves as a structured guide for ensuring consistent and effective customer success efforts.

Q. How can small businesses benefit from customer success plans?

Small businesses benefit from customer success plans by fostering customer loyalty, ensuring consistent service, and identifying growth opportunities. These plans provide a roadmap for personalized interactions, leading to increased customer satisfaction, positive word-of-mouth, and sustained business success in a competitive market.

ProProfs Editorial Team

About the author

Proprofs editorial team.

The ProProfs Help Desk Editorial Team is a passionate group of customer service experts dedicated to improving your help desk operations with top-notch content. We stay ahead of the curve on trends, tackle technical hurdles, and provide practical tips to boost your business. With our commitment to quality and integrity, you can be confident you're getting the most reliable resources to enhance your customer support initiatives.

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Customer success: definition, strategy and best practices.

8 min read What is customer success, and why is it important? Read on to understand customer success management and why it is a vital part of the customer experience, and for your business

What is customer success?

Customer success is the practice of meeting customer needs when using your products or services. This might mean positioning your team as thought partners, strategists, and the customer’s advocate internally to make sure those needs are met.

However, it encompasses more than just making sure customer outcomes are fulfilled. It’s also about making the customer relationship your focus . Customer success management involves planning for and answering customer questions and concerns and being proactive in providing solutions and new offerings that could increase value for their organization.

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What’s the difference between customer success, customer experience (CX), and customer support?

Customer success and customer experience (CX) are closely linked. The difference between customer success and customer experience (CX) is that one focuses on customer outcomes (did they get what they wanted from their interaction with your brand?) and the other focuses on customer sentiment (were they satisfied with your product or service?).

Customer support also plays a large part in the success of a customer. Assisting customers in finding what they need and resolving issues can turn a negative customer interaction into a positive result . It’s an important factor in making sure that customer outcomes are achieved whether through self-service channels like FAQ pages or costlier services such as telephone support with an agent. But whereas customer support is reactive, customer success management is a proactive relationship.

A true customer success strategy will take support and experience into account to ensure that customers achieve their goals and recognize the value in their programs.

Why is customer success important?

Customer success is vital for ensuring customers have an experience that meets or exceeds their expectations , as well as increases their return on investment . Given that just one bad experience can lead to customers turning away from your brand, focusing on customer success as your main goal can significantly strengthen your customer relationships and increase their likelihood of renewing and expanding into other areas.

How does customer success help businesses?

Customer success can directly influence the growth of a business, and the chances of customers returning for repeat business. When a customer has an experience they expect from your brand, they’re more likely to feel satisfied, and the likelihood of them recommending you to others and purchasing more increases.

Businesses that invest in customer success increase customer satisfaction and loyalty , reduce churn , and help fuel business growth. By focusing on helping customers achieve their own goals, brands not only set their customers up for success, but themselves too. Their success becomes your success.

Customer success best practices

The best approach for customer success is to integrate related metrics into all of your business processes – in particular, renewal rate and expansion.

Below are some best practice suggestions for achieving customer success:

Create a customer success strategy

To ensure that you can offer customers what they need when they need it, a customer success strategy should be put in place.

The main goal of your strategy should be to determine your customers’ end goals and create a roadmap towards achieving these goals. It should have analysis built in to ensure that you can tweak your approach as needed.

The process of setting up this strategy can include:

  • appointing a customer success manager to oversee progress
  • aligning your customer service, sales, marketing, and product teams to put customer success at the forefront of decisions
  • ensuring there’s an escalation process for any customer success issues
  • collating and sharing customer feedback
  • developing supportive materials to help your team achieve customer success
  • training customer service representatives so that they know how to achieve customer success
  • evaluating your current customer success metrics and the present customer experience
  • planning ahead for customer success initiatives based on insights gathered

Make customer success the goal of account management

Rather than making your business’ bottom line your focus, changing the way you handle your accounts to ensure their program is a success can have a potentially greater impact. By offering the customer what they need – rather than what you’d like to sell them – your accounts will grow as customers view their relationship with you as indispensable.

Make it easy to communicate between internal teams

As mentioned previously, customer experience and customer support are a huge part of ensuring customer success. However, brands can run into problems when the different areas of their business are working without communicating with one another.

For example, if customer support knows of a common issue that isn’t being flagged to a customer success manager, then proactive solutions can’t be offered and this puts the relationship at risk. Its vital issues are surfaced quickly, communication between internal teams is streamlined, and solutions can be proffered by collaboration between teams.

By transforming internal observations into actionable insights, you can greatly increase customer success. Make it easy for your internal teams to share these actionable insights , which starts by building easy means of communication into your strategy .

Ask the right questions and be receptive

Your customer success strategy will be judged largely on whether customers renew and grow their account. But customer satisfaction plays an important part in evaluating how well your customer success strategy is working, too.

Ensuring you’re asking your customers the right questions– rather than just getting generic feedback – can go a long way to helping you tailor your strategy. Rather than applying the same approach to all customers, tailoring your questions to determine what they want and what they need to succeed is critical.

Additionally, being receptive to their answers – rather than pushing what you want them to buy or do – will help foster an honest and open relationship with your customers. They will feel heard, and you can offer them the right product or service for their requirements.

Dedicate resources to customer success

Having a dedicated customer success manager or customer success team to oversee the success of each customer can help you to not only build loyalty but ensure your internal teams are working cohesively and towards the same goal.

Your customer success manager or team is essentially your internal customer advocate, representing your customers’ interests across all departments. It can make a big difference to have people familiar with customer needs giving their insights for product development or sales strategy.

 Use a customer success platform

Rather than having insights and data spread across your business, aggregating all the information you’ve gathered and automating your insights through a platform can greatly reduce the amount of legwork required.

A digital platform designed to collect and understand customer feedback can help you to see clearly which areas need focus, and which are working as planned. It can also help you plan ahead – making your customer success strategy more proactive and efficient as you get ahead of issues before it’s too late.

Using customer success to improve the customer experience

Customer success is the process that lies behind great customer experience. When customers find that their needs are met and their goals are achieved, their experiences become more satisfactory and can even exceed expectations.

Related resources

Customer health scores 15 min read, win/loss analysis and optimization 10 min read, b2b buyer journey 11 min read, b2b customer churn and retention 7 min read, b2b customer service 10 min read, b2b customer experience 21 min read, request demo.

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Free Customer Success Templates: Plans, Reports, and Dashboards

By Diana Ramos | October 7, 2021

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In this article, you'll find the most useful free customer success plan, report, and dashboard templates for customer service reps (CSRs), customer success managers (CSMs), sales teams, and other customer-facing roles. 

Included on this page, you'll find a customer success plan template , a customer success management template , a customer success satisfaction report template , and a customer success account project plan template .

Customer Success Plan Template

Customer Success Plan Template

Download Customer Success Plan Template 

Microsoft Excel | Microsoft PowerPoint | Google Sheets  

Ensure that your sales and customer success teams accurately record all customer-related details with this dashboard-style, presentation-friendly customer success plan template. The template includes sections to add details about the sales-to-post-sales handoff, customer onboarding, and customer implementation, and allows you to assign subtasks to individuals and teams, set due dates, and display task status (e.g., not started, waiting, in progress, done, etc.). You can download this template to track and share information regarding an individual customer, or save it to document your overall customer success practices.

Sales-to-Customer-Success-Handoff Template

Sales to Customer Success Handoff Template

Download Sales-to-Customer-Success-Handoff Template 

Microsoft Word | Google Docs

Designed to facilitate the transfer of a signed customer from the sales team to the customer success team, this sales-to-customer-success-handoff template provides a framework to relay the customer’s data and needs. Enter the customer account, customer team, and internal team information, including any additional points of contact. Then, document the customer’s high-level goals and definition of customer success (as well as your own organization’s definition of customer success), so you and your team can easily establish long-lasting partnerships with your customers.

Customer Success Management Template

Customer Success Management Template

Download Customer Success Management Template 

Microsoft Excel | Google Sheets

Keep your customer service team on track regarding customer success with this week-by-week or month-by-month customer success management template. The dashboard style allows you to easily track and evaluate the overall performance of your customer service department, as well as the individual stats for each CSR team member. Record the number of calls taken, the average time it takes to answer a call, the average duration of a call, and the percentage of abandoned calls. Then, use this information-rich tool to meet your departmental goals and achieve higher customer success rates.

Customer Success Satisfaction Report Template

Customer Success Satisfaction Report Template

Download Customer Success Satisfaction Report Template 

Microsoft Excel | Google Sheets  

Use this customer success satisfaction report template to measure customer experience metrics — both at a glance and on a granular level — with this dashboard-style template. Use this visually-rich scorecard to easily view customer satisfaction data, so you can make improvements and achieve customer success.

Customer Success Account Project Plan Template

Customer Success Account Project Plan Template

Download Customer Success Account Project Plan Template — Microsoft Excel

Improve your customer relationships with this visually dynamic customer success account project plan template. This dashboard template gives you a status overview of all your customer-related projects, and displays the projects that are on schedule, as well as any issues you need to address. Enter the project name, timeline, budget, risks, open issues, and pending actions to keep your customer’s projects on track for success.

For comprehensive details on successful customer onboarding, check out these customer onboarding expert tips and tools .

Customer Success QBR Meeting Preparation Checklist

Customer Success QBR Meeting Preparation Checklist Template

‌Download Customer Success QBR Meeting Preparation Checklist Template

Microsoft Excel | Adobe PDF

Use this customer success quarterly business review (QBR) template to gauge your customer success based on your service-level agreement (SLA). This template includes a checklist of all your customer success-related responsibilities, so you can make sure you account for everything at your QBR presentation. Leverage this tool to communicate a deep level of commitment to your clients and customers.

To help you further achieve quality customer success through onboarding, download these free onboarding checklists and templates .

Customer Success Retention Template

Customer Success Retention Template

Download Customer Success Retention Template 

Use this comprehensive customer success retention template to keep all your stakeholders in the loop concerning customer satisfaction. This template measures the quality and quantity of your customer’s interactions with your website — in turn, this valuable data enables you to gauge customer loyalty and identify areas for improvement, so you can optimize your web-specific ROI and ensure a high percentage of customer satisfaction.

What Is Customer Success?

The term customer Success refers to a method wherein you anticipate customer challenges and proactively solve problems, so your customers can easily find solutions for their issues and answers to their questions.

When your customers experience this level of service, your company receives high customer-satisfaction ratings. As a result, your organization yields long-term customer lifetime value (CLTV), customer-generated growth opportunities, and increased revenue. 

Whereas customer support focuses on reactively addressing customer challenges and issues, customer success focuses on proactively partnering with customers and clients to ensure they get the best value from your products and services. 

In order to implement customer success effectively, you must begin with a clear understanding of your customer’s needs and expectations. Additionally, you must understand their main business goals and their reasons for choosing your solution. 

Most importantly, however, you must empathize with your client. Empathy requires that you understand your client’s challenges, pain points, and objectives; it also requires your full assurance that your solution will proactively address any potential roadblocks before they become issues. When you successfully implement customer success, you attain customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. In turn, your clients become your biggest advocates. 

Customer success reduces customer churn rates, leads to long-lasting partnerships, and results in mutually beneficial upsell opportunities.

What Is a Customer Success Plan Template?

A customer success plan template is a tool that helps you anticipate a client’s needs and ensure excellent customer support. Use a template to plan, document, and define a client’s goals, and to train CSRs and identify areas for improvement. 

Whether you are a customer service rep, customer success manager, member of sales, or in some other customer-facing role, customer success is crucial to client satisfaction, client retention, and client-upsell opportunities.

Customer success templates typically include the following sections: 

  • Sales-to-Customer-Success-Handoff: Enter the client’s account information (e.g., the company name, contract sign date, internal team information, etc.). 
  • Implementation Plan: Enter the details of the client implementation plan, schedule an onboarding kickoff call, provide a plan to share the implementation details, schedule demos and training, etc.  
  • Customer Team: Enter the names and roles of the client’s points of contact, including team members who will be monitoring the customer success that you provide. 
  • Internal Team: Enter the customer success manager responsible for providing the client with customer success services, along with all the other team members and stakeholders.  
  • Customer’s Definition of Success: Enter the customer’s definition of customer success, including their high-level goals and how they expect you to achieve them. 
  • Internal Definition of Success: Enter your team’s definition of customer success for this client and which key metrics you will use to gauge the quality of services you provide. 

Some customer success templates also include the following sections: 

  • Budget: Enter the budget details you require in order to provide the client with solid customer success services. 
  • Risks: List any potential risks that might jeopardize your ability to achieve quality customer success on behalf of the client. 
  • Open Issues: Enter any outstanding customer-related issues that you need to resolve. 
  • Follow-Up Action: List any follow-up actions that need to take place on the client’s behalf. 
  • Date of Next Contact: Enter the date at which your designated team member will follow up with the client. 
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Use this figure to express your client’s degree of customer loyalty and how willing they will be to promote your products and services. 
  • CSAT Score: A CSAT score expresses how satisfied your client is with your products and services. 
  • Churn Score: This refers to the proportion of clients who have opted out of your services within a certain time period. 
  • Health Score: This is a summary score of the overall customer success-related health of the customer. 
  • Growth Opportunities: Enter the details regarding customer success-related growth opportunities.

Optimize Your Customer Success Strategy with Customer Success Templates from Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

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The Essential Guide to Customer Success

Company leaders are rapidly putting customer success at the top of their priority lists.

With customer expectations of value increasing every year, Customer Success has emerged as an essential focus—one that can efficiently drive long-term company growth.

However, many leaders don’t have a full grasp of what Customer Success is or how to create modern CS initiatives that push the company forward. In this guide, we dive into the details of Customer Success and lay out the secrets to pinning down a Customer Success strategy that helps you race past your company’s goals.

What Is Customer Success?

Customer Success (CS) is a business method that uses your product or service to help customers achieve their objectives. It’s relationship-focused client management that aligns your customer with your company’s goals—igniting beneficial outcomes for everyone involved. Ultimately, effective Customer Success strategies reduce customer churn, lower acquisition costs, and create more upsell opportunities.

Why Do Businesses Need Customer Success?

As competition increases and more and more companies rely on recurring revenue models , Customer Success has become a massive growth engine. According to the Customer Success Index 2023 , 92% of companies are maintaining or increasing their investment in CS, despite difficult economic conditions.

Why?  Your company’s success is intertwined with the success of your customer.  According to Gartner , two-thirds of all companies say they are competing primarily on customer experience. If customers use your product to succeed, they’ll engage with and promote your product more. In turn, the more value you give your customers, the faster your product will grow.

Still, to be effective, Customer Success takes three critical ingredients: people, processes, and data. After all, how can you help your customers succeed using your product if you don’t know when, why, and how they’re actually using it? In order to combine these key ingredients in a way that creates positive outcomes, you’ll need to complete three action items:

Three Action Items

To understand your customers on a deep level, it’s important to use technology to track user data, gather input, and monitor how your moves are affecting the customer as well as ROI.

In order to spot churn risk and identify customer needs, it’s important to set up a  customer health index (CHI)  and track  customer feedback in real time.

If you want your Customer Success plans to flourish, it will take a company-wide adoption of outcomes-based metrics and processes.

Customer Success, Customer Service, Account Management: What’s the Difference?

Despite its hefty potential as a growth engine, Customer Success is often confused with two separate initiatives: customer service and account management. Here are the differences between Customer Success, customer service, and account management.

In a nutshell, Customer Success is about a business being proactive while customer service is about being reactive. A common place where customer service pops up is when customers have problems. In those cases, they submit tickets, send emails, and make phone calls. Hopefully, the Service or Support team resolves those problems, and customers continue on their way. That’s customer service.

Account management is a fairly dated concept from the agency era. In this model, account managers woo dissatisfied customers and handle problems as they arise. Like customer service, it focuses on case-by-case interactions, and it’s reactive. Also, the account management mindset is often different from Customer Success management—focusing more on money coming in rather than meeting customer needs.

Customer Success goes miles beyond account management. Rather than focusing on problems, it seeks opportunities and solutions proactively, by collecting and leveraging as many data points as possible about the customer. What’s more, Customer Success informs strategy; it helps businesses better understand the customer experience and lifecycle, so they can improve it. On top of all that, Customer Success team members focus on the customer and how that customer can succeed as opposed to only focusing on how the company can succeed. It’s a mindset shift that sparks big rewards for everyone.

Customer Success vs. Customer Experience

To clear up a couple of extra terms, it’s helpful to understand the difference between Customer Success and customer experience . Basically, Customer Success helps companies understand the customer experience, which is the way customers use your product from their perspective.

In short, customer experience focuses on the how. Customer Success uses customer experience to drive better outcomes through a product. That means going beyond simply digging into the “how” behind customer experience and striving toward three things:

  • Understanding the How
  • Understanding the Why
  • Using data to ensure the customer does everything better

Why Does Customer Success Matter?

Wondering how Customer Success leads to product-led growth (PLG) ? Here are a few ways Customer Success inspires positive outcomes across the company.

How Customer Success Inspires Positive Outcomes

In the technology industry, the days of locking customers in for life with contracts and technological barriers—à la traditional enterprise sales—are over. Instead, customers hold the power. Most SaaS companies now rely on free trials, freemium models, or other  recurring revenue models  to succeed. Within these models, companies need their customers to see the value in their product right away and stay engaged with it consistently in order to grow.

Tech businesses that can manage renewal conversations better are able to grow faster and require less capital. And Customer Success provides the insight, organization, and team to set up productive, meaningful, and successful renewal exchanges .

Recurring revenue models require companies to start by crafting a  minimal viable product (MVP) . Then, through an iterative process—typically driven by user feedback—you need to improve that product over time. That means you have to understand your users and work to cut down churn to thrive. Customer Success focuses on spotting churn red flags, but it also actively uses data to enhance the customer’s experience.

Ultimately, CS teams glean valuable feedback from customers. When they combine that information with the customer health data , they can inform product and development teams to create proactive enhancements and additions. Done right, customers will have resolutions to problems they didn’t even know they had yet. Simply put, if customers don’t have any problems, there’s no reason to leave.

Customer Success doesn’t just keep revenue in the business; it also helps generate more revenue at a lower cost. That’s because, with technology companies, opportunities to upsell and cross-sell are sitting within the product. Customer Success provides a mechanism for not only creating these chances but also capitalizing on them.

How Does Customer Success Work?

Ready to launch a stellar Customer Success initiative? When it comes to setting up operations, you can lean on a few critical components.

Customer Success software connects with your business’s customer relationship management (CRM) software and your company’s product. From there, it monitors product user activity and CRM inputs. And through intelligent algorithms, the software maps trends, reports stats, and makes predictions. Additionally, it allows CS teams to add context from phone, email, chat, and in-person interactions.

CS support is what makes the client success platform a solution. It takes the software and gives it legs to run. The day of the stand-alone tool in tech business has passed. Now, companies need software and services that work together to identify solutions and turn them into more positive experiences.

Customer Success can make or break a business because it’s the act of proactively retaining customers and strengthening those relationships. And your strategy will lay out a path to stronger relationships as well as more revenue.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few questions to guide your strategy:

  • What does your existing customer experience look like?
  • How can CS impact your customers and their experiences?
  • Which content and communications channels do your customers prefer?
  • What’s the appropriate rhythm for engaging customers and monitoring them throughout their lifetime?

Once you have these answers, use them to map out your full Customer Success lifecycle. Once you’ve formed the Customer Success lifecycle , determine whether your organization can support it. And then construct  the right model for your organization.

CS team members are your doers. They’re the people who transform your company from reactive to proactive. To lead a winning CS team, you can lean on your solution to ensure your customers stay engaged, realize value quickly, and are moving through your product in the best way possible.

Your organizational structure will depend on your company, but here are some  functional roles that often make up excellent Customer Success teams:

  • Customer Success Managers (CSMs)
  • CS Operations Leaders
  • Onboarding or Implementation Representatives
  • Training Representatives
  • Professional Services Experts
  • Upsell and Cross-Sell Reps

What’s the Best Customer Success Solution for Your Business?

Customer success is invaluable to all companies. after all, if your business has customers, you need them to thrive if you want your company to grow. however, your customer success strategy and solution will depend on the unique size, resources, and goals of your company..

The first step toward understanding what Customer Success solution is best for your company is determining your Customer Success maturity, which you can accomplish through our Value Creation Plan . Your company’s maturity will reveal the best next steps you need to take. For instance, if your company is still in the early stages of CS, you may rely more heavily on Digital Customer Success by leveraging one-to-many tactics that efficiently scale the efforts of your CSMs. If your company is mature, you may be ready for full-fledged automation at scale. Ultimately, the most mature companies will have the tools to monitor health scores for thousands of customers, using a mix of digital touchpoints and CSM interventions to guide customers to their desired outcomes.

“The first step toward understanding what Customer Success solution is best for your company is determining your Customer Success maturity, which you can accomplish through our Value Creation Plan .”

Once you’ve nailed down your maturity model, you’ll have what you need to start looking for a Customer Success management technology solution that fuels your plans. Again, your best option will depend on your company. If you’re a small company with a handful of employees, you may want to start out with simple software and build out processes, leveraging a solution like Gainsight Essentials . If you’re a growing or enterprise-level company, you’ll want a Customer Success platform that includes a best-in-class rules engine, triggers, processes, and features. In all cases, your CS solution will help your team understand customer needs and deliver an experience customers love.

Weave Customer Success Into Your Full Enterprise Transformation

Customer Success can be a major growth driver that launches your company past its goals. With a strong CS foundation guiding your way, you’ll be on the right track to deeper customer relationships and higher recurring revenue.

To learn more about Customer Success strategies and trends, check out the 2023 Customer Success Index North America and The 2023 Customer Success Index EMEA .

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More related content, five tenets of technical account management, 11 considerations for an enterprise customer success management pilot, the essential guide to customer success management.

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The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Customer Success in 2024

15 min read

customer success business plan

Customer success is a core growth driver for any SaaS business. The SaaS market is crowded with tons of similar products and the best ones that stand out are those who delight their customers regularly.

Are you wondering how to retain your customers and make them love your product? No worries! We have created an ultimate guide that will serve as a blueprint for SaaS owners to maximize SaaS customer success in 2024.

From customer retention to LTV: CAC ratios and customer stickiness, we’ll go over everything you need to know. Let’s get started!

  • Customer success is all about ensuring customers fulfill their desired goals when using your product or service.
  • Customer success strategies focus on helping customers achieve their goals in the long term while customer support centers around short-term solutions.
  • There are five key metrics you can use to measure customer success: NPS, churn rate , customer stickiness score, customer lifetime value, and CES.
  • Interactive walkthroughs are better than linear product tours because they help customers learn at their own pace and retain more information.
  • Self-support systems can help customers solve their problems sooner while also reducing the load on your representatives .
  • Software companies shouldn’t be afraid to have a secondary or tertiary onboarding process as it can drive feature discovery and customer expansion.
  • Customer success managers can use customer data from NPS and churn surveys to create a data-driven strategy and win customers back.
  • Defining customer success is the first step to crafting a CS game plan.
  • Creating a customer journey map can help your SaaS customer success team identify key AHA moments for them to drive customers towards.
  • Customer success teams are your first line of defense in ensuring users accomplish their JTBD (job to be done) so don’t hesitate to invest in employee training.
  • Aligning the goals of your product team , customer success agents, and existing customers is the best path to success.
  • Measure customer success at every point in the customer lifecycle to spot areas to improve on.
  • Trends in customer health score data can tell you if your business changes are having a positive impact.
  • Userpilot is the best customer success tool for SaaS companies as it provides self-service, customer analytics, user feedback, and engagement features. Book a demo to learn more.

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customer success business plan

What is customer success?

Customer success or customer success management is the practice of ensuring customers get their desired outcome when using your product or service. Customer success goals include increasing customer retention , revenue, loyalty, and overall satisfaction with the product or service provided.

Why is customer success important for SaaS?

Customer success is a major aspect of any successful SaaS company. It’s the main way to ensure that customer needs are prioritized and they get value out of your product or service — leading to user activation .

Having a good customer success team can ensure long-term, sustainable business growth while a bad one could wreck the reputation of a SaaS product. Think of them as the first line of defense when it comes to hearing out customer concerns, implementing new strategies, and reducing churn .

In fact, buyers are willing to pay more for a product if they have a better customer experience. This is a reminder that having the right customer success strategies is just as important for a company’s bottom line as it is for users on their customer journey .

Customer success vs customer experience vs customer support

While the three terms are sometimes (erroneously) used interchangeably, customer success isn’t the same thing as customer experience or customer support. All three are important aspects of any SaaS business but there are key differences between them.

Customer support could be likened to acute care in a hospital. It’s a mechanism for dealing with short-term problems and assisting customers who have hit a sudden roadblock in their user journey . Sticking to the analogy, customer success efforts can be thought of as long-term treatment plans

A solid customer success strategy understands the needs of your users in the big picture and helps them achieve their desired goals throughout the entire customer lifecycle rather than at a single point. Finally, customer experience is the overall perception one has when interacting with your product.

How to measure customer success? Key metrics to track

While some SaaS companies may assume that users are getting what they want just because revenue keeps growing, this isn’t always the case. The best way to gauge customer success is by monitoring a few key metrics . Let’s take a closer look at each one.

These are the five most important customer success metrics that you should be watching:

  • Net promoter score. The NPS score is a standardized measure of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty by seeing how likely they are to refer your product to others on a scale of 1-10.
  • Churn rate. Churn rates measure how many customers you’re losing every month, with high rates indicating issues in product-market fit or customer success.
  • Customer stickiness score. Customer stickiness tells you how often users come back to your product (which would tell you whether or not they’re receiving ongoing value .)
  • Customer lifetime value. LTV is the average income your company earns from each user throughout their total time as a paying customer.
  • Customer engagement score. The CES metric measures interactions like product usage , feature discovery , subscription upgrades, support tickets, and more.

1. Net promoter score

NPS score tells you how likely a user would recommend your product to others. This will give you a clear idea of their true satisfaction level and loyalty which makes it an invaluable metric when trying to retain customers.

NPS example

NPS example

How to measure net promoter score?

NPS calculation

NPS calculation

SaaS companies can measure their NPS metrics by taking the total number of promoters and subtracting detractors from that number. Remember, promoters are classified as respondents with a customer satisfaction score of nine or higher while detractors are respondents with a score of six or lower.

Those who respond with a seven or eight are considered passives and excluded from the calculation.

2. Churn rate

Customer churn  is a metric that tells you how many customers you’re losing in a given period. Calculating your churn rate and analyzing the data can tip you off on which product flaws may be causing the losses.

After all, it can be very expensive to acquire customers which is why helping your current customers get their desired outcome is crucial. As this is one of the most important metrics, you should always employ methods of collecting feedback that can help you curb churn rates.

Churned customers can provide valuable feedback on why they left so it’s best to start with them. Creating churn surveys can help you capitalize on this untapped data and proactively resolve the source of customer churn before you lose more revenue.

How to measure customer churn rate?

Churn rate formula

Churn rate formula

SaaS companies can measure their customer churn rate by taking the total number of users lost during the period, dividing it by the total number of customers at the start of the period, and multiplying the figure by 100.

3. Customer stickiness score

The customer stickiness score is exactly what it sounds like. The metric tells you how often users come back to your product. High scores would indicate that your product provides continuous value while low scores suggest that there could be obstacles that reduce engagement over time.

Furthermore, the customer stickiness score helps keep you accountable since it measures true engagement rather than vanity metrics . If you only look at MAU data and see it on an uptrend then you might miss that the ratio of MAU-DAU is actually falling, which is what stickiness tracking prevents.

How to measure customer stickiness score?

Customer stickiness formula

Customer stickiness formula

SaaS companies can measure their customer stickiness score by dividing their daily active users by their monthly active users. Your customer stickiness score, alongside other retention metrics , can help you optimize the product for long-term use.

4. Customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value — often abbreviated CLV or LTV — is the average amount of money that a company earns from a user over the total period of time that they’re a paying customer. Tracking LTV over time can help you spot upward/downward trends or craft customer expansion strategies.

Customer success can have a huge impact on LTV. After all, when customers succeed at their job-to-be-done they’re more likely to upgrade to a pricier subscription. This boost in expansion MRR is a clear path to achieving higher customer lifetime values.

How to measure customer lifetime value?

Customer lifetime value formula

Customer lifetime value formula

SaaS companies can measure their customer lifetime value by multiplying customer value with the average customer lifespan. Here, customer value is calculated as the average purchase value multiplied by the average frequency of purchases from your SaaS.

5. Customer engagement score

The customer engagement score is a metric that measures interactions between your SaaS product and the people who use it. Tracking your CES metric can help you segment users with low scores to nurture them before they churn and have a dedicated customer success manager reach out to them.

How to measure customer engagement score?

Customer engagement score formula

Customer engagement score formula

SaaS companies can measure their customer engagement score by identifying core product events and assigning a weighted score to each. Once you’ve done that, multiply the weight of a single event by the frequency of these events to get an event value.

Finally, add up all the event values per customer to get your final customer engagement score.

4 strategies to achieve customer success in SaaS

Much like chess, a customer success strategy is comprised of multiple tactics that come together to ensure your customers achieve their desired goals. Your strategy should identify and address the needs of a SaaS customer from the onboarding process to an eventual upsell towards the end of the journey.

Here are four customer success strategies and best practices that we’re about to dive deeper into:

  • Interactive walkthroughs. Unlike the linear product tours that you’d often see in an older SaaS company, interactive walkthroughs can help users learn by doing (leading to improved information retention.)
  • Self-support systems. Having a self-service support system will improve customer satisfaction by equipping users with the tools to solve their own problems while simultaneously r educing the load on your representatives .
  • Secondary onboarding. Trying to fit everything onto a primary onboarding flow can be difficult and detrimental which is why having additional onboarding rounds can be a good compromise.
  • NPS surveys. Beyond telling you how satisfied, loyal, and likely to refer your customers are, NPS surveys can also provide insights on what to change about your product .

1. Personalize customer onboarding with interactive walkthroughs

Interactive walkthroughs are a step-by-step product guide that helps users get familiar with your product at their own pace. It’s one of the best ways to reduce the TTV (time to value) and can also be invaluable for PARO .

Starting out with a welcome screen can prepare users for what they’re about to learn while providing an early opportunity for customer segmentation — leading to the ideal contextual onboarding setup. See how Kontentino uses interactive walkthroughs to ensure users tick every box on their checklist .

Kontentino onboarding checklist customer success

Kontentino welcome message

Kontentino created their interactive walkthrough using Userpilot and witnessed a 10% increase in their activation rate. Read the complete case study here .

2. Educate your customers with a self-support system

Over 60% of customers prefer self-service support like a knowledge base or onboarding chatbot . It’s not hard to see why considering solving problems themselves can be faster than waiting to speak with an agent in some cases.

Having  interactive product guides at the start of the onboarding process is another practice that can reduce inbound support tickets while improving the customer experience. One survey by Coleman Parks even found that a self-service model can increase customer retention rates by up to 85%.

Userpilot resource center editor

Userpilot resource center editor

3. Use secondary onboarding to boost customer engagement

Your product’s most advanced features are likely the ones that will keep users from switching over to a competitor which is why secondary onboarding and even tertiary onboarding can be so beneficial. In addition to reducing churn, continuous onboarding can also lead to more upgrades.

Trying out features they’ve never used before increases the value that a user receives, thus driving the potential for customer expansion . If you’re a simple SaaS company with a single tool then a single flow may be enough but complicated product suites with tons of features should absolutely go further.

Feature announcement modal created in Userpilot

Feature announcement modal created in Userpilot

4. Gather and collect customer feedback with NPS surveys

Asking customers for feedback has two main benefits. First of all, you’ll get information that can guide you on how to i mprove the user experience for everyone who engages with your product. Secondly, you’ll show them that you care about what they have to say which is always reassuring.

In-app NPS surveys are the most straightforward way to gather and sort through user feedback .

NPS survey created in Userpilot

NPS survey created in Userpilot

Tagging specific keywords can help you sort your NPS data and spot trends that could be influencing the scores.

NPS response tagging in Userpilot

NPS response tagging in Userpilot

You could also run feature surveys to see if your customers like the latest changes you’ve made to the product. At the end of the day, knowledge is power so having more information on how your users feel can be a significant advantage to customer relationship management.

How do you create a customer success plan?

If you truly want to optimize your product strategy for customer success then it’s essential that you have a clear plan in place. There are a lot of things that go into ensuring customer success but here are five steps you need to take to create a viable game plan.

1. Identify the customer’s end goal

The entire customer success process comes down to helping customers achieve their end goal . That being the case, you need to define customer success in the context of your users before you can start optimizing the experience for your customers.

Whether you collect feedback through phone calls, surveys, or market research, the point is that you need a clear, in-depth understanding of what your customers are trying to accomplish. Once you’ve identified the goals of your existing customers and new customers, you can guide them toward it.

2. Map processes to AHA moments

AHA moments are an essential part of the customer lifecycle. It’s the moment when your customer says ” Now I get why this solution is so valuable” — a point at which their loyalty goes through the roof and they’re more likely to upgrade when the next upsell prompt comes up.

Identifying potential AHA moments (yes, there are multiple) and optimizing your customer journey map to get users to this key stage sooner can work wonders for retention. Everything should be driving customers towards their AHA since it’s the moment when your tool goes from “nice” to “invaluable.”

User adoption flywheel

User adoption flywheel

3. Build a great customer success team

Most companies put a lot of emphasis on having a reliable customer support team to preserve their reputation but hiring good account managers for your customer success team is just as important. In an ideal SaaS world, customers would be able to achieve their goals without opening a support ticket.

Sadly, this is something that other companies haven’t realized yet which is why they don’t offer as much training to new employees on their customer success team. Ultimately, building a good team comes down to finding people who understand your onboarding process and apply feedback well.

4. Align your customer and product teams

A SaaS business works best when the goals of its customer success and product teams are perfectly aligned. As there are bound to be deviations between the roadmaps of these departments, a mutual understanding of the desired outcome on both ends is crucial.

Encouraging open communication between your CS team and product developers will get you the best of both worlds. The employees who spend all day talking to customers will be able to relay the detailed feedback to the people who know your product like the back of their hand.

By sharing key goals and insights, you’ll prevent any disconnection between both teams and help your business adapt to its customers that much faster. One approach you could take is having group brainstorming sessions with members of both teams sharing their thoughts in a safe space.

5. Improve over time

The prerequisites for promoting customer success are ever-evolving which is why your business, employees, and products need to keep improving at the same pace. If one company stays complacent in its value proposition for too long then another business is bound to disrupt it in the near future.

Whether it’s churn/feature surveys, support tickets, or other methods, getting data is always important. SaaS businesses need to keep fine-tuning their pricing models , UI, features, and internal processes based on customer feedback if they hope to keep up with the competition.

Best customer success tools for SaaS

If you want your customer success managers to realize their full potential then it’s essential that you arm your customer success team with the necessary tools for the job. Here are five tools you should consider getting for your customer success team.

While Userpilot is primarily a customer growth tool, it still deserves a spot on this list since it has quite a few features that are beneficial to customer success. For instance, its customer journey analytics will help your customer success team dig deep into every user segment.

They’ll be able to see how different groups engage with your product and which features may not be getting as much attention. The advanced segmentation capabilities of this onboarding software can also help you improve your in-app messaging and tailor it towards your customer success goals.

NPS dashboard in Userpilot

NPS dashboard in Userpilot

Userpilot is also a fully no-code solution which means your customer success manager won’t have to double as a coder just to improve engagement and retention with the tool. Finally, you’ll also be able to collect user feedback through NPS surveys which will give your customer success team additional data.

With Userpilot, you can also create an in-app resource center to let customers solve their problems themselves and not depend on the customer success team. This includes everything from a knowledge base to a news section to a live chatbot.

Self-service models may be preferred by the majority of users but there’ll always come a time when customers need support from a human agent. That’s exactly what Zendesk excels at since it’s one of the best tools for logging and handling complex support tickets to improve customer success rates.

Zendesk support ticketing system

Zendesk support ticketing system

Hotjar is a great insight tool that customer success teams can use to view heatmaps and session recordings as well as implement in-app survey widgets. These features come together to make a pretty useful customer success software that provides unique insight into the user experience.

Session recording example from Hotjar

Session recording example from Hotjar

When it comes to tracking customer behavior, Custify is one of the best tools on the market. You’ll be able to look at your customer’s behavior, product usage , customer health score data, and journey for a holistic view of the user experience. Your customer success manager will even be able to set up automation flows.

Custify dashboard

Custify dashboard

Reducing churn is an essential part of any customer success strategy which is why ChurnZero is such a great solution. You’ll be able to monitor NPS scores, customer health score data , segmentation data, and other key metrics throughout every stage of the customer journey.

ChurnZero dashboard

ChurnZero dashboard

Many companies get so caught up with increasing recurring revenue that they forget about the importance of customer success. But if you want to keep your top customers happy, achieve negative churn, and increase customer health scores then you have to constantly monitor the key customer success metrics.

New customer acquisition is undoubtedly one of the most exciting parts of running a SaaS company. However, focusing on new customers alone won’t be enough to compensate for a loss in recurring revenue if you neglect your existing customers.

Remember, the SaaS business model is heavily centered around the idea of subscriptions which makes customer success paramount. How happy customers are will directly impact your earnings making it increasingly important if you want to reduce churn or start cross-selling to your customer base.

Ready to start improving your onboarding and customer success strategy? Get a Userpilot demo today to see how you can accomplish all that and more without writing a single line of code!

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What Is Customer Success?

Learn about the importance of customer success and how helping your customers will help your business grow.



Step-by-step guidance, proven strategies, and industry best practices to help you overcome challenges and achieve remarkable results.

guide to customer success

Updated: 06/15/21

Published: 03/05/21

It's no secret your business needs exceptional Sales and Marketing to be successful. But in a world where customers have endless options, Sales and Marketing alone aren't enough to sustain growth.

Businesses can no longer rely on annual contracts to lock customers in. Plus, the cost of customer acquisition has steadily increased over the past decade.

So, what else can businesses do today to succeed? The answer: Invest in customer success — one of the most popular, emerging growth opportunities in business today, cross-industry.

Download Now: Free Customer Success Playbooks

Why Is Customer Success Important?

Customer Success Management

How Does Customer Success Work?

Tips for Helping Customers Succeed

What is customer success?

Customer success is anticipating customer challenges or questions and proactively providing solutions and answers. Customer success helps you boost customer happiness and retention, thus increasing your revenue and customer loyalty.

Who needs a customer success strategy?

If you have customers, you should invest in customer success.

In recent years, it's become more expensive for businesses to acquire new customers. That's why you need to focus on keeping existing customers happy — happy customers become your advocates.

Some of today's most successful emerging and growing companies are already investing in customer success. In fact, growing companies are 21% more likely than their stagnant counterparts to prioritize customer success.

customer success data hubspot research

These growing businesses understand the most cost-efficient way to run a business today is by ensuring customers are happy and successful, which are both products of customer success.

Customer Success vs. Customer Support

Customer success aligns closely with customer support to take customer satisfaction to the next level. (In fact, at HubSpot, these teams sit together.)

Customer Success

Customer success is focused on working proactively in partnership with customers over throughout their time as a customer to help them get more value out of their purchase and share their feedback with you. It drives the customer experience forward and ensures a successful path into the future.

Customer Support

Customer support focuses on working reactively on the front lines — fielding customer questions, issues, and requests over phone, email, live chat, and social media. Support is the function that solves problems when customers raise them; it's reactive fulfillment to specific customer requests.

customer success business plan

50 Free Customer Success Email Templates

Templates to communicate price increases, apologies, thanks, and notifications to your customers with sincere, on-brand messaging.

  • Price Increase Letter Templates
  • Customer Apology Email Templates
  • Referral Email Templates

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Why is customer success important?

Customer success leads to business success. It improves customer happiness and loyalty; by genuinely helping your customers succeed, they become your biggest promoters and advocates. Customer success is tied to your bottom line as it helps you reduce churn rates, improve renewal and satisfaction, and, therefore, boost revenue.

Customer success has the power to help you grow your base of advocates and promoters. If you're a subscription-based business, this will help you boost renewal rates.

In turn, more happy and loyal customers mean reduced churn rates. Reducing churn and increasing customer retention directly impacts your bottom line — you'll see a boost in revenue by retaining customers (as it's significantly more expensive to acquire new customers ).

Customer success management is overseeing your business's customer success representatives and maintaining a customer success strategy to proactively assist, delight, and retain customers.

A customer success manager leads the group of representatives who work directly with customers. Depending on the size and organization of your company, customer success managers may report to a senior manager or a VP of Customer Support and Success.

Customer success management is critical to the health of an organization as it directly impacts customer retention rates as well as the rate of cross-sells and upsells. As of today, there are nearly 3,500 open roles for "customer success manager."

Customer success (CS) managers have a few key responsibilities:

  • To ensure representatives are helping customers get the most out of the product or service — thus increasing the likelihood of retaining those customers
  • To hire, train, and motivate CS representatives on engagement and retention best practices as well as product or service specificities
  • To develop the organization's customer success strategy to actively engage and retain customers
  • To lead the development of any supporting content and materials needed by CS representatives
  • To segment the customer base by agreed-upon factors, such as subscription type, product adoption, business size, or the like so that CS representatives can better help them
  • To address any escalated CS issues or questions
  • To encourage customer feedback through direct questioning and/or customer surveys
  • To analyze the feedback, performance, and retention rates of customers based on their interaction with the CS team to better understand the effectiveness of the broader customer success strategy

The internal organization of your CS team should be based on the needs of your team, size of your employee base, and complexity of your product. Let's look at a sample customer success organization and discuss how it operates to prioritize customer satisfaction.

customer success management organization

In this sample organization, the CS managers leads a three-pronged department. One team manages customer onboarding, another heads up long-term customer success, and the third manages one-off technical issues or requests.

This type of team structure allows for more targeted solutions and provides opportunities for your team to build long-term relationships with customers (meaning a greater chance for cross-selling and upselling).

How does customer success work?

There are three elements needed for customer success to be effective. These include a customer success solution (e.g. a tool or software), a team and manager of customer success employees, and a customer success strategy.

1. Choose a customer success solution.

To proactively manage all interactions you have with customers, you'll want to implement a customer success solution on your team — meaning customer success software and tools .

For example, the HubSpot Service Hub allows you to connect with your customers on their time and grow through their success. It helps you bring customer success to the forefront so you can ensure you have happy customers who want to remain customers, refer their friends, and tell their network about your business and offerings — a.k.a. become promoters!

2. Hire and train a customer success team.

You'll need a person (or, preferably, a team) of people working on customer success. The number of representatives and managers on your customer success team will depend on the size of your business and available resources.

Note: Remember to expand your customer success team as your company grows so you can proactively assist your customer base.

3. Create a customer success strategy.

Depending on the product you sell and what your customers need from you, your customer success strategy may vary a bit. However, here are some universal steps to creating a customer success strategy for your team:

  • Establish a customer success team .
  • Implement the appropriate customer success tools and software .
  • Identify your customers' end goals (and why they need customer success).
  • Create a roadmap for success to explain your business's expectations and goals for customer success in both the short and long term.
  • Share and implement the strategy on your team, and ensure everyone knows what's expected of them individually and as a team.
  • Analyze your results — Do your customers have the tools and support they need to succeed?
  • Make modifications to your customer success strategy and the team as your business and customer base grow.

Now that you have a better understanding of customer success and why it's so important, let's look at some ways to help your customers succeed.

5 Tips for Helping Customers Succeed

Feel free to modify the following list of customer success tips to better suit your customers and their needs. Since every business and base of customers is different, you might find that some of these tips work better than others for your specific situation.

1. Implement a customer success program.

Create a customer success program to guide your team to effectively and proactively assist your customers. Every business will have a version of a customer success strategy, so ensure your customer success strategy meets the needs and expectations of your customers.

Don't forget to modify your strategy as your business grows — the needs of your customers are bound to change over time, especially as your products and features evolve.

2. Educate your customers.

To best support your customers, you need to anticipate the questions that are bound to arise as they work with your products. To ensure they're not sitting on the phone on-hold or awaiting your response to their inquiry, empower your customers through education about your product.

This is especially important if you sell a complex product or service like software. For example, you can create a knowledge base where you list product and feature descriptions or include live chat on your site so success reps can better support your customers in real-time.

3. Onboard customers.

Onboard your customers to support them throughout the initial parts of their journey with your brand and product. Provide them with the tools, trainings, resources, and knowledge they need to get the ball rolling. Onboarding customers is a great way to delight them and get them acquainted with your product — and answer any questions proactively.

By onboarding your customers, you set the tone for what to expect from your business throughout the rest of the time they're customers. Examples of onboarding materials include step-by-step tutorials, unlimited one-on-one guidance from reps, or milestone celebrations when a customer achieves success using your product.

4. Communicate with other teams.

Keeping the lines of communication open among the various departments at your company will help you help your customers. Work with marketing to create blogs and video content to explains how a product or feature works.

Communicate with sales to understand and target specific pain points that customers approach you with. Chat with support to align your proactive and reactive efforts so all interactions with your customers are professional and consistent.

5. Promote customer loyalty.

Loyalty results from a customer's positive experiences with your business. You want your customers to feel satisfied and certain they're getting value out of their investment. There are many ways to promote customer loyalty to establish brand advocates and promoters to increase your customer retention rates.

You might create a customer loyalty program , develop a community for your current customers to interact with each other, or establish a point and discount system for current customers making additional purchases. 

You Succeed When Your Customers Do

The most successful businesses are those who ensure the continued happiness and success of their customers. By creating a customer success program at your company and ensuring your customers feel supported throughout their time working with your business, you'll turn them into loyal advocates of your brand.

This will allow you to grow sustainably all while building long-term relationships with the people you depend on most: your customers .

Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Proven strategies and industry best practices to help you overcome challenges and achieve remarkable results.

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    A plan for success is important for both your customers and your business. A customer success plan can also help ensure that all of your customers get the results you want from your actions. Most of the time, a customer success metric is used when making a plan for customer success. That means you can easily keep track of the plan's value and ...

  10. Customer Success Best Practices: The Ultimate Playbook

    Take time to understand customers. Provide personalized solutions. Hire the right amount of staff. 1. Rally everyone around the customer. Having one person or team responsible for all customer needs is unreasonable and isolates customers and data into silos. Customer success should be a team sport.

  11. 8 must-haves for your customer success plan [+ templates]

    8 things to include in a customer success plan. There are a bunch of things you'll want to include in your customer success plan, and you can start with this template to hit the ground running. The parts you'll want to include in your customer success plan are: An overview/introduction. Objectives and key challenges.

  12. 8 Customer Success Strategies You Should Definitely Implement

    1. Brand Awareness. The customer success methodology begins long before your buyer signs on the dotted line. Think about it … the first time a prospect encounters and engages with your business will often be a make-or-break experience - because 57% of the buying decision is made before a customer even picks up the phone. And let's face it, the majority of B2B first impressions today are ...

  13. The Ultimate Guide to Customer Success

    Customer success is a method businesses use to help customers achieve their aims when using their products and services. Customer success works to optimize engagement for customers, increasing their chances of success with your products and improving retention rates. Customer success is tailored to your organization and your products or services.

  14. Customer Success Plan Templates

    Customer success plans are applicable to many business instances, including customer onboarding/offboarding, customer reactivation, and product renewals, to mention a few. ... An annual customer success plan template is a comprehensive document that outlines the strategies you plan to implement over the course of a year to ensure that your ...

  15. 5 Customer Success Plan Templates and How to Use Them

    Creating a customer success plan involves several key steps to ensure you understand, meet, and exceed customer expectations. Here's a step-by-step guide: 1. Define Customer Success Objectives. As the first step, it is important to clearly outline what success means for your customers, aligning with their goals.

  16. 10 Practical Customer Success Strategies to Help You Retain ...

    A customer success plan is a strategic document that lays out what customer success means and how your business will help its customers achieve their goals and objectives using the company's products or services. It serves as a roadmap for ensuring customer success and satisfaction throughout their journey with the company.

  17. Customer Success: Definition, Strategy, & Best Practices

    The process of setting up this strategy can include: appointing a customer success manager to oversee progress. aligning your customer service, sales, marketing, and product teams to put customer success at the forefront of decisions. ensuring there's an escalation process for any customer success issues. collating and sharing customer feedback.

  18. Free Customer Success Templates

    Download free customer success plan, report, and dashboard templates in a variety of formats. Download free customer success plan, report, and dashboard templates in a variety of formats. ... Use this customer success quarterly business review (QBR) template to gauge your customer success based on your service-level agreement (SLA). This ...

  19. The Essential Guide to Customer Success

    Components. Customer Success software connects with your business's customer relationship management (CRM) software and your company's product. From there, it monitors product user activity and CRM inputs. And through intelligent algorithms, the software maps trends, reports stats, and makes predictions.

  20. Customer Success in SaaS: The Complete Guide

    Quarterly Business Reviews. Customer success teams shouldn't go silent after a customer is onboarded. To make sure the customer success plan is on track, SaaS customer success managers should check in regularly with their customers. During these calls, CS managers should discuss product usage, satisfaction, and any big-picture challenges they ...

  21. The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Customer Success in 2024

    SaaS companies can measure their customer churn rate by taking the total number of users lost during the period, dividing it by the total number of customers at the start of the period, and multiplying the figure by 100.. 3. Customer stickiness score. The customer stickiness score is exactly what it sounds like. The metric tells you how often users come back to your product.

  22. Aftermarket Service Manager (Customer Success Manager) job in 2101

    Apply for Aftermarket Service Manager (Customer Success Manager) job with Honeywell in 2101 CityWest Blvd, Houston, Texas, 77042, United States. Browse and apply for Customer Experience jobs at Honeywell

  23. Sprout Social

    In December 2020, he was promoted to President and was responsible for GTM operations including Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and Partnerships. During his nearly 8 year tenure at the Company, Barretto has served as a trusted member of the executive team, helping scale the business from $30M ARR to more than $385M exiting 2023.

  24. What Is Customer Success?

    Customer success leads to business success. It improves customer happiness and loyalty; by genuinely helping your customers succeed, they become your biggest promoters and advocates. Customer success is tied to your bottom line as it helps you reduce churn rates, improve renewal and satisfaction, and, therefore, boost revenue.

  25. Senior Customer Success Manager @ Multiverse

    The opportunity As an Enterprise Customer Success Manager, you will work with FTSE enterprises to evolve the way they think about human capital development. We nurture relationships with stakeholders across our clients, ensuring our programmes are delivering value and engaging with C-suite and senior decision-makers to bring ROI to life and ...