How important is Customer Success? Why do we need it now when it didn’t exist 10 years ago?
As SaaS products get more complex with each passing day, a company needs to fill in the gap between the benefits that was promised to the customer by marketing and sales team vs the value the customer derives from using the product. In an ideal scenario, the customer derives more value from a product than it was promised.
Ideally, a happy customer would not churn and would be a promoter of your product in his circle.
This is exactly where Customer Success would come into the picture. A good Customer Success Manager would help the customer in setting up the system from day one.
It’s easier for a customer to feel frustrated with your complex SaaS product. You can let a customer dig for answers on the help center articles and call the technical support line, but be sure that this would degrade the customer’s overall experience with your product. Hence it might leave a bad impression about your product or services.
In an ideal case, a Customer Success Manager should get in touch with the customer within a few hours from the time the deal has been closed. In the initial conversation, she should be able to identify the problems faced by the customer. And make the customer understand how your product can help solve those problems. Set realistic goals, timelines, and clear strategies to achieve their goals. Help setup the system for the customer and teach them everything they need to know about the product.
Complex SaaS services can be overwhelming for a customer to configure on their own. Some of them can be configured in many different ways. This might frustrate your customer and by directing them to support desk or help center is not an ideal choice. The setup and basic use no matter how obvious it looks to you can be a nightmare for the customer. As a result, this could completely ruin your customer’s experience with your product. You don’t want your customer to worry about the setup for which they can be trained on via one to one sessions.
As a Customer Success Manager, you should be able to deliver the value from day one. Also, don’t leave the customer to do the initial set up. A complex setup might frustrate the customer. As a result, he might think twice to continue with you when he gets his next monthly bill.
Furthermore, once a customer is stuck in this mindset, every month can be an opportunity for him to cancel the subscription. Hence a Customer Success Manager needs to handhold the customer. And he needs to walk them through every essential feature which they should use to achieve their goals. Most importantly to be there to support them and ensure that the customer keeps loving your product.
A good Customer Success Manger would ensure the goals set by the customers are met in the set time frame. After the initial onboarding, the customer should be able to use the platform on his own. Maybe a Monthly/Bi-Weekly follow up should be ideal to reach out to the customer via email/calls/skype. This would ensure that the customer is happy using your product and is not facing any challenges while using it.
The job of a Customer Success Manager is to make sure the customer doesn’t fall “out of love” with your product while getting them “hooked” to your product. Here is an interesting read from one of the industry leaders Lincoln Murphy.