How important is Customer Success?

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.

 

customer success

 

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.

 

What Is Customer Success?

Gone are the days where a company was tied up to complex contracts. As more and more businesses move to using subscription based SaaS services and while switching costs of moving from one business to another has reduced substantially, user adoption and satisfaction has become one of the most important goals for most SaaS businesses.

 

This has caused more and more SaaS companies adopt a more personalized customer-centric approach to ensure their customer’s success. The obvious upward trend for customer success can be clearly seen in the last decade.

 

what is customer success

 

Back in the day, customer service was a reactive process, where when a customer had a problem or query about a product or a service, she used to call on a customer service number and after a series of interactions on an IVR, she was then redirected to a customer support executive where her queries were answered.

 

So, what is customer success and how is it different from customer support?

 

what-is-customer-success

 

Customer Success is a personalized and pro-active approach a Customer Success Manager would take to ensure that the customer achieves their goal while using the product. The main difference in customer success and customer service is the approach. While customer service is a reactive process where you resolve a customer’s query only once the customer has reached out to the company with a query or a problem.

 

Customer success would take this to the next level where a Customer Success Manager would take proactive measures to ensure that the customer is getting all the benefits of the product and is reaching their goals for which they signed up for the product in the first place. This can be done by proactive and timely follow-ups, goal setting with the customers, and ensuring all the steps and measures are taken to get the desired outcome for the customer.

 

Customer Success is an ongoing process which involves, proactive training to the customer, ensuring that the customer is interacting with the product the right way so as they reap maximum benefits out of it. This would ensure a happy customer experience and will, in turn, help your SaaS company to retain maximum customers and ward off the evil monster “Churn”. This would, in turn, increase customer loyalty to your product and ensure steady renewals, increase your up-selling potentials and referrals through word of mouth.