Account Management / Customer Success / Customer Support

You've finally made sales and you've got customers. In a business with a long-term contract or project with multiple milestones and deliverables, you probably refer to your interactions with existing customers as account management. If you're in SaaS, you probably call this customer success. If you are in a transcational business, you call this customer support.

Regardless of what you call it, you are managing a relationship between your customers and your business. That relationship obviously has a strong impact on whether customers decide to give you more business down the road and how they talk about your brand. 

Zappos is legendary for their obsession with customer satisfation and wild, over the top stories of serving their customers. Zappos is also famous for selling to Amazon for $1.2 billion in an all-stock deal in 2009. Amazon grew from a market cap of about $55 billion in 2009 to $1.33 trillion in 2022. How much would you invest in serving a customer that is having issues with an $80 pair of shoes they bought from you? 

To argue the other side, some customers will try and squeeze blood from a stone if you are overly open to catering for their needs. This happens with customers gaming generous return policies in e-commerce. It also happens when customers seek concessions in negotiating very large, competitive contracts. Andy Grove has a great quote on this in his book High Output Management

"Productions charter cannot be to deliver whatever the customer wants whenever he wants it, for this would require an infinite production capacity or the equivalent, very large, ready to deliver inventories"

Whatever your strategy, happy customers > unhappy customers. If you have customers that take advantage of this, then consider firing those customers.

Why it matters

AM/CS Organization, Functions, JTBD

Key Concepts