Category: Business, Entrepreneurship
Publication date: October 25, 2019
Extent: 288 pages

The Customer Success Pioneer

The first 12 months of your journey into growth

Kellie Lucas



  • Are you a Customer Success Executive or making your way up the Customer Success ladder?
  • Do you want to transform churn into maximum recurring revenue and growth?
  • Are you looking for a clear route to an established framework?
  • Are you determined to be proactive, rather than constantly firefighting, with your customers?
  • Is your company invested in or implementing a customer-focused philosophy?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is for you!
Customer Success is an emerging discipline for professionals pioneering revenue growth through customer relationships, outcomes, trust, loyalty, retention and referrals.

The Customer Success Pioneer is a practical handbook for creating a best-in-practice Customer Success function from the ground up. It will help you ensure that your existing portfolio of customers become successful partners – delighted, committed and renewing – by putting in place processes that will work across your portfolio and into the future. This book will help you find the essential frameworks to maximise customer retention, recurring revenue and growth, build a productive and balanced team and excel as a Customer Success professional.


A really comprehensive useable handbook on the emerging philosophy and movement of Customer Success. A must reach-for guide for CS managers and executives. Useful summaries and highlights throughout. Packed with loads of ideas, experience and useful thoughts, and it’s well-structured making it easy to access.

Must read for anyone either working in Customer Success or with Customer Success departments!

The book provides a thorough overview on what is customer success. Most of the book expands on the author’s experience in building a customer success organization from the ground up. It’s rich with examples, including questions you should ask yourself, how to measure your success, how to scale your team etc.
Definitely worth a good read.


‘The Customer Success Pioneer covers the foundational topics of establishing your Customer Success organisation. It provides insight into why this is an accelerating business imperative and practical guidance of how to create and evolve your customer-focused activities, including how to align this across your entire business and why you should!’ – Dan Steinman: General Manager, Gainsight EMEA and Co-Author Customer Success
‘A highly informative book loaded with practical and proven customer success advice drawn from Kellie’s many years of experience. An absolute must for any executive looking to design their customer success program.’ – Irit Eizips: Chief Customer Officer and CEO, CSM Practice and Top 100 Customer Success Strategist 2013-2018
‘Perhaps the most vital attribute of a Customer Success Manager is domain expertise sufficient to enable a person to speak with “thevoice of authority.” Possession of such knowledge is a key factor in becoming a trusted advisor. In her book, The Customer Success Pioneer, Kellie Lucas clearly demonstrates deep domain expertise in the profession of Customer Success Management. Using her DIME approach, Design, Implement, Measure and Evolve, Kellie takes her audience through the tasks and realizations that ought to be accomplished during the initial 12 months of a Customer Success Initiative in any company. Yes, you can Do It Yourself — many CS professionals have done so in companies all around the world for many years now. The Customer Success Pioneer provides you with a clear map of the journey to be undertaken. Used properly, the book will save you substantial amounts of time and money, and vastly increase your chances for success in your initiative.’ – Mikael Blaisdell: Executive Director, The Customer Success Association and The Customer Success Forum
‘Kellie is one of the most admired thought-leaders in the Customer Success space and whose opinion I respect greatly. Her excellent book provides an invaluable insight into the importance of Customer Success and how it can make meaningful differences to all businesses who truly care about helping their clients realise maximum ROI. Not only will this book help you to develop a Customer Success framework, it will also provide the guidance you need to ensure that it evolves with your business and that you are able to measure its effectiveness – both internally and externally.’ – Adam Joseph: Founder, CSM Insight and Director of Customer Success, Gainsight EMEA
‘The Customer Success Pioneer is a masterful cookbook for anyone seriously considering setting up a Customer Success organisation or designing the next stage of its evolution. Read this book – and don’t forget to take notes!’ – Rohit George: Regional Vice President – Customer Success, MuleSoft
‘With the rapid shift towards recurring revenue and subscription-based business models, Customer Success is now vital to the health of so many organisations. Whether just getting started in Customer Success or a seasoned Customer Success professional this book is invaluable in helping develop and imbed the culture of Customer Success within your organisation. Kellie has brought together key organisational structures, methodologies and metrics to support the development of a Customer Success organisation that can become a revenue growth engine for your business.’ – James Russell: Senior Manager, Client Success EMEA, Bazaarvoice and Customer Success Leader and Strategist

‘Being in a Customer Success role can be daunting. So many people still asking, “what do you do and how do you do it?” There’s pressure to understand customers, decrease churn and grow revenue. If you, like many, don’t know where to start, then The Customer Success Pioneer is a must read. Not only a great reset on what Customer Success is and what we want to achieve but more importantly how to achieve it. Practical steps to set up, empower and measure a Customer Success team in your organisation. Join the pioneers and have an impact in your role!’ – Ian Sloan: VP of Customer Success, Avvio
‘The Customer Success Pioneer is a great read for anyone trying to plan their journey into the challenging world of launching a customer success practice. It provides an extremely clear, comprehensive and logical path for identifying, understanding and addressing all the organizational challenges and complexities required to launch a high-impact customer success program. I highly recommend this book.’ – Jason Whitehead: CEO, Tri Tuns and Co- Founder, CSMastermind

‘Still scratching your head and unsure where to start? – then stop. The ‘new’ philosophy and profession of Customer Success is here to stay and you need to read this book today; follow the DIME framework and get onboard the subscription economy train to understand why your customers now need to be for life not just a sales transaction. Get that right and you will tap into your company’s biggest growth engine – your existing customer base! Evolving into a SaaS business? Th en get a copy of this manual and become a CS Pioneer yourself! Starting with the origins, the roots, the history, the current state and everything in between since the late 90s – this book covers it all and really will be “your constant companion” as you evolve and grow through your customer success journey. You will learn why for so long we really didn’t understand or practice the misunderstood term of “customer is king”.’ – Amanjit Sandhu: Director EMEA Customer Success, Cloud & Support, JDA Software

‘With Kellie’s many years’ experience in Customer Success and leadership this book allows you to tap into all her practical learnings. This is a great alternative to the other CS-related books on the market and will support both the novice CS practioner and the seasoned, experienced CS leader. What I find most valuable in this book is not just the “how” but the “why”; the context of customer success in a SaaS business. Give yourself the best chance of being successful by reading this book and applying the large volume of sound advice Kellie provides!’ – Matt Myszkowski: VP Customer Success Management, SAP

‘If you have been lucky enough to work with Kellie or learn from her numerous speaking engagements and workshops at Customer Success events, you can imagine the value this book can provide. The Customer Success Pioneer will provide you with the tools and framework to start a sustainable CSM programme.’ – Steven Lewandowski: Director Global Customer Success, Signavio
‘The Customer Success Pioneer is a pragmatic book about the role of customer success, which is taking the business world by storm. Customer success leaders and practitioners of today are indeed pioneers, paving the path for an even greater customer success journey in years to come. In reference to the subtitle “…your journey into growth”, this book reads like a GPS, guiding the reader with digestible and hands-on directions of what to do and where, whilst setting out on their initial customer success journey. The Northern Star is the DIME methodology which provides the iterative roadmap for the initiation and implementation of a customer success organisation. The content is practical, well-structured and provides nuggets of hands-on tips and tricks at the end of each section. This is a must-have handbook for customer success professionals to read, re-read and consult all along their iterative customer success journeys, irrespective of whether it’s the first 12 months or beyond. As pioneers of customer success, we’ve all got plenty of room to grow.’ – Sue Nabeth Moore: Founder, Success Track Enterprise and Co-Founder, CSMastermind and Customer Success Outcomes

‘Never has a new function in an organisation enjoyed such attention and dynamic growth as Customer Success and that brings with it added scrutiny and the expectation to deliver maximum impact in the shortest time. That is where The Customer Success Pioneer becomes a must-use guide for organisations that want to maximize their return on Customer Success. It brilliantly demystifies the Customer Success role, judiciously positioning Customer Success as the critical customer facing role to truly serve the customer’s needs. The book provides a practical step by step approach to the practitioners of Customer Success, both new and tenured. Industry best practices are distilled into usable real-world frameworks that can be easily followed and implemented. Kellie’s winning formula is that she educates and empowers the reader to take their own stand on Customer Success while “ideas are forming and transforming on a regular basis”.’ – Kay Mukherjee: Head of Customer Success EMEA at Splunk


List of figures xiii

Acknowledgements xv

Foreword xvii

Part I Welcome to your journey 1

Customer Success is…? 3

How to use this book 19

Part II Design. Implement. Measure. Evolve (DIME) 29

1.0 DIME cycle stage: Design 31

1.1 Research 32

1.2 Success is made of strong foundations and firm beliefs 45

1.3 Planning for Implementation 75

2.0 DIME cycle stage: Implement 129

2.1 Commit and communicate 130

2.2 Portfolio management 145

2.3 Roles and resources 157

3.0 DIME cycle stage: Measure 165

3.1 Analysis and review 166

3.2 Customer Health 173

3.3 Demonstrating Value 188

4.0 DIME cycle stage: Evolve 205

4.1 Iterate 206

4.2 Scale Customer Success 219

4.3 Team development 233

Key imperatives for your journey 249

Glossary 253

Resources 263

About the author 267



Paperback / 9781788600392 / October 25, 2019 / £15.99

Ebook / 9781788600408 / October 25, 2019 / £9.99

Paperback and eBook Bundle / £18.49


Kellie Lucas

Kellie Lucas is a Founding Director at ForseLucas, the consulting business which helps C-Suite executives and their teams establish and maximise their revenue growth engine through Customer Success.

A founding member of the European Customer Success network, she works with her peers to pioneer the emerging profession and co-founded, EMEA’s primary Customer Success community. Kellie is a regular speaker at conferences such as SuccessCon, Pulse Europe and CSU Live.

Beginning her career in Finance and transferring to IT, she spent over 20 years consulting for and with enterprise businesses like HSBC, Barclays, IBM, Deloitte and Vodafone. Kellie then moved to Ghana to work with anti-slavery NGO Challenging Heights and continues to lend her voice to the third sector wherever possible to extend the reach of her passion to help people achieve their dreams and goals.

She is an NLP Master Practitioner providing expert leadership, coaching and mentoring to her peers and clients in project and relationship management, most specifically with a focus on Customer Success.