We often plan to make improvements by adding to what we already do. Less common and an often just as, if not more effective an approach, is taking away.

Every time we add something internally in customer success, a playbook, a process, a customer journey step, a CTA, a person, we can make it harder, more complex and more effort to maintain (automation can mitigate). If we extend this to our customers and add to what we expect of them to be successful with us we make their lives harder, more complex and frankly we make ourselves less appealing to work with.

Complexity and addition justify action, effort and result in outputs which we can feel good about, particularly as managers. But, as leaders especially, our goal should be to make things as simple as possible and to strip out complexity and anything unnecessary for success as ruthlessly as we can.

We don’t though, at least not very often.

So I’d like to suggest an experiment. Next time you have a CSM team meeting that is focussed on improving how you operate, take the path less travelled and work only on what you can take away. Ask how to make the lives of your CSMs and most especially your customers easier and less complex, not the reverse.

My guess is you’ll be surprised by and enjoy the process.

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