Effectively Managing Customer Success

In nearly every industry, SaaS-based businesses are becoming the norm. And with this rising popularity comes rising demand for top-notch Customer Success. If your company offers a subscription-based delivery model for its products, it’s crucial that you understand what makes great Customer Success so powerful.

What is Customer Success?

Customer Success is a discipline born out of the SaaS industry. Before SaaS, companies would often sign large contracts with vendors, locking themselves into an agreed price and timeline for delivery. If they were dissatisfied later, switching vendors was typically a hassle, and often quite expensive.

But in today’s world, churn (leaving a vendor) is easier than ever.

Because businesses pay on a month-by-month basis, they often have very little capital tied up with a single vendor. Anyone looking to switch simply has to cancel their subscription and sign up with a competitor. Easy.

In response to the potential for high churn, SaaS companies have begun to push the limits of their customer service departments, creating an entirely new department— Customer Success.

What’s the Big Deal?

Customer Success is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, great Customer Success reduces high churn rates. In turn, by reducing your company’s churn rate, you can dramatically lower ad spend (acquiring replacement customers), get great feedback to improve your products, and even cultivate brand ambassadors from your long term clients.

However, reducing churn is just one benefit of effective Customer Success management. You also have the opportunity to cross-sell and upsell your existing customers— or even attract completely new clients!

How? Think about it, Customer Success means constantly having an open line of communication with your customers. So at any point, your Customer Success Managers (CSMs) can suggest extra features and new products to existing clients.

What’s more, by promoting excellent Customer Success within your organization, you open up incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities. Happy clients share their experiences with their friends. Keep your clients happy, and their friends will soon be calling you for a quote!

Customer Success Benefits
Customer Success Benefits

Customer Success Done Right

Ok, so how can you effectively manage Customer Success within your own organization? How can you cash in on the benefits of killer Customer Service? To start, you’ll want to develop a bulletproof customer engagement strategy.

How you do this will of course be highly dependent on the type of product you offer and the kinds of clients you work with. However, there are a few key components to think about no matter what direction you decide to take.

First, you’ll want to put together clearly-defined processes for interacting with your clients. Who will handle new clients? Will they be assigned a dedicated rep? An entire team? How often will you touch base? How much education and onboarding will a new client receive?

By answering these questions and defining your communication process early, you can set up a framework for your CSMs to follow. Which brings us to our next point— hiring great people.

Your customer engagement strategy is nothing without a competent team to support it. Which means the hiring process should be taken seriously. After all, your CSMs are going to be on the front lines when it comes to customer interaction. Look for individuals who will be able to foster healthy relationships with your clients and solve problems proactively.

Talent is just one half of the equation though – you’ll also need to ensure you have the right management system in place to keep your team on track. Guide your CSMs to success by empowering them with feedback and data you receive from clients. By keeping them on top of what customers think, you make it easier for CSMs to have the right conversations with your clients.

And at the end of the day, that’s what this entire process is all about– having the conversations that matter most to your clients. You’re developing a strategy for communicating with clients in a way that ensures their needs are your first priority.

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