Customer Accountability

What is Customer Accountability? 

Customer accountability is the practice of customers taking ownership of their roles and responsibilities in achieving success with your product or service. This type of accountability plays an important part in ensuring that your organization and your customers are actively engaged in getting the most value out of your product or service. 

Why Customer Accountability Should be Included in Your Customer Success Strategy

  1. Shared Responsibility for Success: In Customer Success, both you and your customer have roles to play. Customer accountability ensures that customers are aware that their outcomes depend not only on the product or service provided but also on their own efforts and engagement. This shared responsibility helps build a better partnership to achieve success.
  2. Enhanced Engagement: Customers tend to be more engaged When they are held accountable for their part in the process. This increased engagement often leads to better product or service usage, as customers are more likely to explore all available resources and functionalities to ensure they are meeting their part of the agreement.
  3. Better Resource Utilization: Accountable customers use their resources and the support/resources provided by the company better. This can include more thoughtful use of customer support, more strategic use of training materials, and better overall management of the tools at their disposal.

How to Start Ensuring Your Customers Are More Accountable

It all starts with you. Mutual accountability is the foundation of successfully implementing a culture of accountability between you and your customers. To ensure you stay accountable to your customers, you must be on the same page with them and their goals. Having a success plan, or a list of mutually agreed-upon goals that align with your customers' desired outcomes, is how you can become more accountable to them. It will also help your customers know what role they need to play in the accountability process. 

We wrote an article not too long ago outlining how to create a success plan that inspires your customers to act. Read it here.

Once this success plan is in place, your next step will be to ensure your Customer Success Managers know how to use it to drive all customer interactions. Remember, Customer Success accountability is just as important as customer accountability. Both need to work together to achieve better outcomes and create a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship. 


Here are three things to consider when training your CSMs on how to utilize success plans best: 

  1. Success Plans Are Meant to Evolve: As the needs of your customer change and as they mature in their product usage, their goals will change. The CSM and customer should continuously evaluate the success plan so it always aligns with the current goals and initiatives of the customer. 
  2. No More “Checking In”: A quality success plan allows the CSM to no longer just “check in” with the customer. There is always a reason for outreach, and each candace call has a clear agenda since the CSM knows what the client is working on and wants to achieve. 
  3. Their Goals Are Your Goals: While it’s necessary to add your own input and ensure your customer goals are realistic, at the end of the day, their goals should be goals you’re working towards as well. When your customer sees this in their CSM, they are more likely to play their role and stay accountable for what they need to work on. 

Customer Accountability = Customer Experience 

Your customers care about one thing: Their needs. 

If your product or service can solve those needs, then great. However, it’s the customer experience they receive during their time with you that helps them go from a new customer to a long-term champion of your business. 

Creating a culture where your customer feels like they are a part of something rather than simply having everything happen for them is a key building block to a quality customer experience. This is where accountability comes in. When customers know their role in their success with your product or service and know you’re fulfilling your role and providing a great customer experience, then they will be more likely to fulfill their roles. 

Everyone wins in this situation. 

As Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says… "We're not just a company that sells big stuff. We're a company that helps you create experiences that enhance your life. And it’s all about enriching customers’ lives."


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