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Customer Success Vision - Part 3

Setting Your Customer Success Vision – Part 3 of Three Part Series

Customer Life Cycle Management Model

There are three elements that should be defined as part of your strategic vision for your Customer Success model:

  1. Customer Success Corporate Climate Shift (Part 1)

  2. Go to Market Strategy by Target Market (Part 2)

  3. Customer Life Cycle Management Model (Part 3)

We discussed Parts 1 and 2 in previous blogs. If you missed the first two parts, please see my blog with details on Part 1 and Part 2 at

The third part of a solid Customer Success Vision is to build a Customer Lifecycle Management Model (CLM).

Many companies plan to journey map their customer success model. This is an important part of building a solid Customer Success vision and operational plan, however, you need to start with building your Customer Lifecycle Management model. It will guide your team in developing journey maps for each segment of your CLM model by target market.

A typical CLM model contains the segments that a customer would go through in their experience in doing business with you. An example of a Customer Life Cycle Management model is defined in the diagram below:

A CLM model helps define all the touch points a customer engages with your company from how you attract them initially all the way through their continuous journey as a customer for life.

You may want to define more or less stages than what is shown in the diagram above, however, you want to consider including all areas that a customer engages with your company. For example, these segments define the most common elements of a CLM for a typical software company.

The best way to build your CLM model is to have a brainstorm session with your top and middle management teams that represent each department within your company. If you have customer data or can conduct interviews prior to your brainstorm session(s), that would be helpful to share and utilize during your meetings to understand your current market's perspective in doing business with your company. Here are some questions your team can start with to get the conversations going and begin to design the CLM elements or segments for your business and markets. These are questions that the team would answer from the customer's perspective.

  1. How do I find out about your company and what you can do for me?

  2. How do you communicate how you can solve some of my top problems or pain points?

  3. How do you do you communicate that investigating further or spending time with your sales team would be worth my time to engage with you?

  4. How can your company help solve these problems in a timely and cost effective manner?

  5. Do you spend time getting to know me and listening to my challenges today?

  6. As a potential customer, I don’t have a lot of time, how do you help me realize the value of your solution in a timely manner with minimal resources or make it worth allocating resources to implementing your solution?

  7. How do you sell me and make it an easy decision process for me to buy?

  8. How do you service me and make your product provide value to me? What's your on boarding process?

  9. How do you maintain and provide guidance for continuing to get value from your product and/or services that will improve the key operational areas in my business? Drive revenue streams up and costs down to increase my profitability in the long run.

  10. And so on....

You can continue asking these types of questions from your customers and prospects for each of your target markets on an ongoing basis. Understanding the market and customer's perspectives are important to evolve the various stages of your CLM to ensure you expand them over time. Once you have these stages well defined with goals associated with them, you can begin your journey mapping exercises. These will have natural breaks and hand offs from one organization to another to optimize the customer experience. Feel free to get creative on naming your stages and defining a CLM model that best represents your company, products, services and outcomes you want to be known for as leaders in your market.

Once you have a CLM model that your leadership team has agreed upon, I recommend presenting this at a company all hands meeting to share with all employees. This will help each employee across all the organizations understand their role and contribution to creating the ultimate customer experience and generate enthusiasm from all employees on how they can help create customer success.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Jackie Golden

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