Customer Lifecycle Journey

CSM Practice conducts Customer Success Executives Roundtable every third Tuesday of the month where you can connect and exchange strategies and tactical advice with your peers. Offering a digital alternative to physical business events, Customer Success Executives Roundtable helps professionals to identify actionable solutions to their key challenges whether they’re working at home or in the office. Last July 21, 2020, CSM Practice had an awesome 8th session of the CS Executives Roundtable with the topic of Customer Lifecycle Journey.

This session featured VitalSource, a leading education technology solutions provider led by William Chesser, VP for Customer Success, and Shanna Daniel, Manager for Partner Success Teams.

The customer journey mapping helps improve the customer success team’s morale, reduce employee turnover, reduce fire fighting reactive mode, resolve business process issues, and improve customer data challenges. The customer journey maps allow customer success managers to feel that they can lead the customer during their journey and become more proactive.

Here are the key takeaways from the CS Roundtable discussion:

How Vitalsource defined its customer journey map?

William and his team worked with CSM Practice to define and deploy customer journey maps for their various business segments. At VitalSource, they mainly use the customer journey map as an internal document. Vitalsource has nine teams and each of them has its own version of the customer journey map. The company has seven team leaders that manage the journey maps for various customer segments. This is because they aim to ensure that the customer journey map is appropriate to all customer segments to achieve a consistent customer experience across all products and customer types. 

For each milestone and activity identified in the customer journey map, the team defined a detailed life cycle playbook. Each playbook was supported by specific templates to ensure a scalable CS practice and consistent customer experience. The latter included the development of templates, communication email, and PowerPoint slides that were made to be easily accessible to the team.

The work with CSM Practice helped Vitalsource quickly define the customer journey map for each team, emphasize the commonality between the customer success teams, align on a common language, and outline a project plan from development to full rollout of the concept.

The customer journey map at Vitalsource consists of the following format and categories:

I. Major Categories

  • Event Trigger – What is going to kick us off to a particular lifecycle stage, milestone or customer activity,  larger ecosystem of the journey.
  • Objectives/ Success Criteria – Guidelines to drive the team to a certain goal or outcome
  • Key Activities – High-level description for actions that need to happen within a particular event/milestone/activity
  • Deliverables – Outputs the CSM should drive towards per each particular event
  • Key Milestones – Include either a risk or a point of celebration

II. Roles & Responsibilities

  • Internal – The role each internal stakeholders has to play
  • External – individuals who the customer success manager be working with on the client-side

When asked about how they handled the development of customer success lifecycle playbooks, they shared that returning to the core is essential to managing playbooks by customer segment. Understanding the commonalities that exist between the teams was crucial to scaling the operations around the playbook development process.  All of VitalSource customer success teams share the same customer journey stages and milestones, whereas whatever happens during each customer milestone or lifecycle stage is up to the segment.  As Vitalsource seeks to develop templates and playbooks, they were able to develop a series of cross-functional templates and playbooks that can be used by any customer success manager, regardless of the customer segment they serve.

We hope that each of you will leverage the key takeaways from our session for the success of your Customer Lifecycle Journey mapping. 

Join us on August 18, 2020, at 8:00 AM (PT) for a lively informative session, networking opportunities, and thought-provoking keynote speakers. We hope to see you again at our next session.

How can CSM Practice Help! 

At CSM Practice we accelerate SaaS companies profitable growth through customer retention and expansion selling strategies. 

CSM Practice specialized in technology and services industry, who offer a portfolio of enterprise solutions, who wish to achieve successful and scalable results. CSM Practice offers a particular customer-centered approach that helps you to develop a winning plan for the success of your client.

Take it to the next level!  Ask CSM Practice about the services we provide and learn how we can help you transform your organization into success.

Avatar for Denson Jade G. Natividad
Written By:
Denson Jade G. Natividad

Denson is a researcher, educator, and certified Customer Success Consultant. Working as a writer at CSM Practice, he authors in-depth blogs about customer success and strategies that teach professional teams and corporate individuals ways to manage, grow, and scale their day-to-day business operations. Denson obtained his bachelor’s degree in communication in 2017. Right after graduation, he continued to pursue his master’s degree in Communication major in Applied Media Studies.


  1. Avatar for Denson Jade G. Natividad

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    1. Avatar for Denson Jade G. Natividad

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