Shortly after I joined Forrester’s customer experience (CX) research team, I took a trip out to San Francisco to visit with some of my old friends and contacts in the tech industry. While there, I asked each one a simple question: “What do you do for your customers?” Without fail, my interlocutors went into detailed explanations of product features. When I pressed them on what those collections of features did for their clients, my friends were stumped.

I tell you this story because it speaks to a core issue for CX professionals at established companies and “disruptors” alike: You can’t create a good experience if you don’t understand how the customer describes success. This idea underlies all of Forrester’s approaches to CX management. Customer journey maps, for example, are oriented toward specific customer goals. Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) includes effectiveness as one of the three elements of CX quality. Digital user experience reviews evaluate websites and mobile apps based on goal-oriented scenarios. So how can CX pros help their companies understand customer goals?

My friends in the tech industry hit on a clever idea: Set up a new kind of business function focused on partnering with customers to ensure that the value promised is the value delivered. We call these initiatives — which have become critical to the success of tech companies such as Adobe, Microsoft, and Salesforce — customer success management (CSM) programs. The approaches CSM practitioners take to understanding and delivering value to customers contain valuable lessons for CX pros across industries and company sizes — whether B2B or B2C.

So what are these lessons? They will be the topic of my keynote at Forrester’s CX SF 2019 Forum, which runs from October 17 to October 18 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. I’ll break down Forrester’s newest findings about the key components of CSM, how they apply to businesses beyond the tech industry, and how CX pros can use them at their own companies to ensure they’re creating and delivering experiences that customers will perceive as successful.

Interested in this topic? Want to discuss it in person? You can register today for CX SF 2019.

I look forward to seeing you there.