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Don’t Shoehorn Customer
Success Into Your Org Chart
The Rundown
Most companies haven’t figured out where customers success fits.
Some CS divisions report to the CEO, some to sales, and others to the
VP of product. Still others to newer executive roles such as Chief
Revenue Officer and Chief Customer Officer.
There are pros and cons to each, of course, so we’re going to spend
some time looking at what those are, and in the process, aim to help
you decide where customer success fits within your own org chart. For
the purpose of this mental exercise, let's assume that customer
success divisions include onboarding, product implementation,
relationship managers, and support.
Reporting to the Head Honcho
In this scenario, the the VP of customer success is on equal footing with
division heads elsewhere in the company, such as sales, marketing,
product, and operations. While this org structure is the most common it’s
not always the best.
Pros
• Customer Success has equal weight within organization
• Customer Success has direct ear of CEO and the potential to affect
change from the top down
• Customer Success has the autonomy of a standalone division with its
own budget and its own creative strategy
Cons
• A customer’s success with a product starts from the moment they
receive the first marketing outreach, which means CS is dependent
upon any part of the org that touches the customer life cycle. Siloing it
from marketing, and sales can crimp communication and make it harder
to get user feedback to the right places
• Because customer success has its own incentive structure and agenda,
its goals may be less aligned with other parts of the company

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Fitting Customer Success into the Org Chart

  • 1. Don’t Shoehorn Customer Success Into Your Org Chart
  • 2. The Rundown Most companies haven’t figured out where customers success fits. Some CS divisions report to the CEO, some to sales, and others to the VP of product. Still others to newer executive roles such as Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Customer Officer. There are pros and cons to each, of course, so we’re going to spend some time looking at what those are, and in the process, aim to help you decide where customer success fits within your own org chart. For the purpose of this mental exercise, let's assume that customer success divisions include onboarding, product implementation, relationship managers, and support.
  • 3. Reporting to the Head Honcho
  • 4. In this scenario, the the VP of customer success is on equal footing with division heads elsewhere in the company, such as sales, marketing, product, and operations. While this org structure is the most common it’s not always the best. Pros • Customer Success has equal weight within organization • Customer Success has direct ear of CEO and the potential to affect change from the top down • Customer Success has the autonomy of a standalone division with its own budget and its own creative strategy Cons • A customer’s success with a product starts from the moment they receive the first marketing outreach, which means CS is dependent upon any part of the org that touches the customer life cycle. Siloing it from marketing, and sales can crimp communication and make it harder to get user feedback to the right places • Because customer success has its own incentive structure and agenda, its goals may be less aligned with other parts of the company