“It’s not my problem”…actually, it is.
Detachment mentality with your team and what to do about it
You’ve given your customer everything. You’ve walked through the entire product with them, showed them how to use it, and answered endless technical questions about specifics that, at the end of the day, likely won’t matter when considering the product’s function. You’ve reached out countless times to follow up, given training after training session, and even done some of your customer’s work yourself to make their lives easier. So when your customer expresses dissatisfaction in the success, or lack of, in using your product, you throw the towel in. You’ve done your part, so the rest of is up to them — right?
Not exactly. More and more in the customer success field, we are seeing that when customers aren’t doing their part in making a product or service work, Customer Success Managers (CSMs) and customer care associates develop an, “It’s not my problem” mentality. When your team meets resistance after putting forth a tremendous amount of effort for the customer, they detach themselves mentally from the problem and give up with helping any further.
Even if the problem isn’t in the product, it IS our problem. As customer success professionals, we owe it to our customers to lend another ear, understand where they’re coming from, and do what we can to make it so our product can make them successful. And doing what we can includes investigating why they’re not using it, having success with it, or both.
Take a look below at some of the things our customer success department focuses on to avoid this detachment mentality.
Focus on the relationship — not the product.
Building a relationship with your customer is a very hefty chunk of being a part of customer success. And when you have a relationship with someone, it comes with the added responsibility of nurturing that relationship to ensure it does not fizzle. Denying customers the help they need, even when the help has nothing to do with the product/service, will only push them away and distance the relationship. Without a relationship, how do you expect to build rapport, gain credibility, and share successes with your customers? Do what you can to fit their relationship needs. Recognize their milestones. Ask how their family is. Make jokes. Inquire about their vacation. Be human!
Go back to the roots of “customer success.”
Customer success is more than product setup — it’s also assisting customers in their business struggles and stucks. This can be hard to remember during difficult onboarding or support calls, but think about it: at the end of the day, what is your job? To help the customer succeed! Ultimately, getting through these business problems will help your customers come out on top. So trudge through the mud with them and figure out, together, how these conflicts can be alleviated or resolved in the most efficient way possible. Your customer will be surprised that you care about their business, and if you help them through their obstacles, you’ll build even more trust and respect.
Understand non-use and how to reverse it.
When a customer doesn’t use a product and ends up missing out on its benefits, is it their fault because they didn’t use it? Or is it yours for not teaching them how? It doesn’t matter; either way, you’re both in the same spot going nowhere. Instead of focusing on blame, focus on the reason behind non-use and use your brainpower to find a solution to fix it. This is what makes you a customer success professional! Ask your customer what’s stopping them from using your product more in their daily workflow — what’s difficult, what’s counterintuitive, what’s tedious? Use your product knowledge and strategy expertise to provide them with raw, authentic, creative ideas.
Approach with empathy.
Just as your customers have no idea what’s going on with you, you have no idea what’s going on in their lives. Their reasons for not doing what they could be to experience success with your product could be legitimate, so you should never approach their situation with apathy and scolding. A death in the family, medical problems, sudden unemployment, financial troubles…you never know what could be happening to your customer on their end to result in a lack of effort toward your product. Respond with empathy, compassion, concern, and genuine care for their well being. This will build a relationship way better than any sort of artificial cop-out.
Avoiding mental detachment and being concerned about your customers’ problems may sound like it’s all about feel-good fuzzies, but it’s much more than that. Using your customer’s success as a guide can help you to determine what steps to take and goals to set in the future for your team. But in order to do that, your CSMs must be invested — they can’t be annoyed with, detached from, or angry at your customers. Customer success requires a dedication that is constant and unwavering, but it always pays off in the end.
Has your team ever experienced “detachment mentality?” How do you encourage your CSMs to keep paving a road of success for your customers, especially when times get tough?