Prince Charming V Daredevil …the Customer Success Analogy

Prince Charming versus Daredevil …the Customer Success Analogy

More and more discussions have cropped up asking the question: Should I charge my Customers for Customer Success? Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a definitive answer, but to try and make sense of it, I am going to use my experience and a little help from some of my favourite stories.

I have always been a big lover of Disney. There is a sad story with a happy ending and a moral to live by. What more could I need? As I have grown up, my tastes have somewhat developed to include the worlds of Marvel. Now these stories are not as simple as Prince Charming rescuing the princess and living happily ever after, but in fact each Super Hero is facing their own internal battles which make them great.

So my analogy for today is Customer Success Managers – are they the Prince Charming of Disney or Daredevil of Marvel?

Let’s begin with Prince Charming. Prince Charming has one job – find a wife and live happily ever after. This seems simple enough, but more often than not the perfect wife needs rescuing, whether that be from a fire breathing dragon, evil step parents or from their own inner demons. So, he goes out, saves the Princess and bam – his job is done. This role is very reactive and doesn’t appear to affect anyone apart from the Prince, the Princess and the evil they face. Sound familiar? If you are thinking Prince Charming sounds like a Customer Support team then yes, that’s what I think too. Prince Charming (Support), The Princess (The Customer) and Evilness (Things that no doubt go wrong).

When we look at our Super Hero, things take a slightly more convoluted turn. Daredevil is fighting battles before there are actual victims. He is a vigilante. Using his own skills and expertise to help, not one person, but to better Hell’s Kitchen. Super Heroes are much more proactive in their approach. They use their resources available (super powers or advanced tech) to stop issues before they affect the public. They work in the shadows saving people and being the good guys. They make the people they protect feel safe and secure in their cities. See what I did there? Super Heroes (Customer Success) and the general public (Customers).

So here comes the question then. Are your customers satisfied with being rescued by Prince Charming when they are stuck in an unfortunate circumstance or do they want to be able to run their business using your services, knowing that they have their own Super Hero tackling issues from above?

Prince Charming is pretty well off – he has a castle, cash in the bank and doesn’t need any assistance. Unfortunately, Super Heroes can’t survive on just being them – they need support, so they go out and get themselves a second job. Matt Murdoch was a solicitor by day. He doesn’t charge for his services to the public but he can’t survive without a form of income. So the question boils down to: Are the second jobs funded by your customers or by the company?

You will get customers who will be outraged at the concept of being charged for a service they think they should receive by merely being a customer, look at all the negative press surrounding the Super Heroes when they were first introduced but, in the end, customers want the best possible service. So, are you going to give them Prince Charming or are you going to offer them a Super Hero as an alternative?

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