Customer Success Is A Mindset
Customer Success in SaaS isn’t just a function or a role within an organization – it’s a company-wide practice that needs to revolve around a universal mentality: when the customer succeeds, we succeed. If your customer achieves value from your product, they will perpetually renew, advocate and expand. Therefore, an organization-wide Customer Success (CS) transformation is fundamental to propelling the growth of your business.
The success of Customer Success in SaaS is contingent upon the structure and culture of your business. To champion company-wide adoption of this mindset, all of your customer-facing teams, from Marketing and Sales to CS and Services, must be properly enabled with the right strategy, technology and data that interlocks with a clearly defined vision from Senior Leadership.
In this article, we outline 4 essential elements to help you trailblaze a triumphant Customer Success transformation.
1. Clearly Defined Strategy & Value Proposition
Starting with a clear strategy for your Customer Success program is critical; without a focused goal, it’s easy to veer off course, get distracted by the urgent over the important, and struggle to gain momentum as a Success organization.
The basis of an effective CS strategy is a set of mutually shared and widely accepted value propositions. Through an organization-wide customer journey mapping workshop, outline all of your customer’s major milestones and outcomes from their perspective. These values need to permeate your strategy, business intelligence and processes so that your team has a deep understanding of your customers and their needs, goals and pain points. Equipped with this knowledge, you can ensure that every team, interaction and process is geared towards helping customers realize value as they move through the customer journey.
As you build out your strategy and value proposition, consider the following questions:
- What do we want to achieve as an organization?
- How will an effective Customer Success program help us achieve our goals?
- What are the outcomes and experiences our customers want to achieve with the use of our product? What are the goals they are trying to achieve in their business?
2. Executive Buy-In
Transformation starts at the top. Without executive buy-in, a true Customer Success transformation won’t be possible. In order to gain enthusiastic support from Senior Leadership, you need to speak their language of numbers and metrics. SaaS organizations rely on repeat revenue, so come to the table prepared with revenue forecasts directly attributable to your CS and digital transformation programs.
Focus your conversation with 4-5 key metrics, such as Retention & Expansion Rate, Customer Lifetime Value and Net Dollar Retention, to show that CS is a recurring revenue driver. When you have alignment from your CEO and CRO, the remaining teams and leaders will follow suit, setting you up for a successful CS transformation.
3. Team Enablement
As a recurring revenue organization, your customer journey is complex; no single department encompasses every touchpoint with the customer. Without an effective structure and the right tools to organize this complexity, you will run into a hard ceiling on the scalability of your existing business as your organization grows. To guarantee continuous value delivery, you need to empower your customer-facing teams with the right tools and resources to be successful.
A dedicated Customer Success technology platform, such as Gainsight or MetaCX, employed with a solid data governance model is a key element in scaling your program and bringing your teams together. With a CS technology platform in place, you can automate processes like capturing outcomes, proactively addressing risk, developing products and collecting feedback to deliver maximum customer value at scale.
4. Continuous Improvement
Data and Agile development are two powerful tools to leverage in your quest for exponential growth. As a SaaS business, you have a continual stream of new and incoming data from customers and employees that can help you iterate your processes and optimize your strategy. Ensure that you have an effective data governance model in place for gathering and analyzing all new data so that you can keep up with customers’ changing needs.
Rolling out your CS transformation through an Agile development framework will allow you to make small adjustments as you go, rather than making monumental changes at the end when all the work is done. With these manageable iterations along the way, you’re ensuring that when you actually take your program to market, your CS transformation will be successful.
For an in-depth look into championing an organization-wide Customer Success transformation, watch our latest webinar with seasoned SaaS leader, Scott Landry, former SVP Partner Success at Datto and current President of Valuize, and Liz Lee, Customer Success Strategist at Valuize.
Customer Success Is Your Top Revenue Generator
As a foundational growth-driver, Customer Success is the business imperative you need to drive recurring revenue. It is incumbent upon every recurring revenue organization to adopt CS as an organization-wide core principle. By transforming Customer Success from a department into an organization-wide mindset, your company will be ready to deliver unparalleled value realization for your customers.
The success of Customer Success in SaaS hinges on putting customers at the heart of your business. Read our latest article about how to align your team, tools and processes around customer value.