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Blog: Addressing Adoption Barriers in Customer Success, Part 2

In Part 2 of my sit down with Rebecca Leach, General Manager of Software for Cisco Canada, I continue the discussion on the topic: Addressing Adoption Barriers. Back on the issue of the corporate culture barrier, we reemphasize that there needs to be engagement from upper management. Using CXOs to drive culture change propels the change management process from the top. This top-down measure helps us move away from the install-the-solution-and-hope-for-the-best approach, to a cohesive strategy that includes all key stakeholders.

Upper management needs to say how the solutions are going to help them achieve corporate objectives. As Rebecca explains, “Culture has to start with the executive leadership setting the tone.” They help employees understand the why and how of the implementation. As the lack of organizational support acts as a barrier, the ideal way to get employees on the side of the change is to educate them on how the solution will benefit them. This is where the need for end-user training becomes essential in overcoming specific barriers. Part of this training would include a list of the features of the solution and the benefit(s) of each.

With any organizational change comes, what Rebecca terms, “multi-generational dynamic.” It’s the notion that ‘we’ve always done things this way’ and therefore, we should keep it that way. But that’s just the opinion of one generation while another generation may be gunning for the change. Rebecca suggests that if employees see that a solution is working, they will most likely minimize their critical stance and move on to acceptance of the solution. Helping to promote the solution within the organization is part of the role of the Customer Success Manager (CSM).

There are four specific actions that the CSM should take to help overcome organizational barriers:

  1. Identify the customer’s access to technical support
  2. Categorize the barriers
  3. Investigate and resolve
  4. Verify the barrier and its resolution

To facilitate early engagement around the transition process, “to make sure that we are not blindsided,” Rebecca advises that there should be “visibility…cadence, strategic alignment, the right messaging, and a plan.”

Knowing your customers helps to minimize the time that you may be wasting time pursuing the wrong thing. When a company decides to renew, do a tech refresh or expand the solution, the CSM can make the proper recommendation and create trust between themselves and the customer. This process can help to determine if the customer needs to scale back on features. One of the benefits that the CSM brings to create or build on customer loyalty. In the words of Rebecca, “Adoption is a journey.” Making that journey smoother will take the effort of all key stakeholders for the benefit of the organization.

Watch my full interview with Rebecca Leach.

Listen to the Podcast on Apple, Stitcher or Spotify