January 26, 2020
What if you could double the revenue gained from each client you have? Customer success is still relatively new in the world of business. It’s potential is being realized by many SaaS companies now for improving client retention and ARR. How is customer success vital for your business? Not to be confused with customer support, customer success is a tool for growth.
Customer Success vs. Customer Support
Customer success is proactive, while customer support is reactive. When a problem arises with a client’s experience, they will contact support to resolve the problem. In that sense then, customer support has a short-term perspective focused on resolving an issue as fast as possible.
That implies that customer success has a long-term perspective. It’s this long-term perspective that will earn you greater revenue in the future. Instead of waiting for clients to come to customer success, they go to the clients to ensure that clients are using the product to its full potential. They make them aware of new paid features that might serve your client well. This leads to greater customer satisfaction, retention, and cash flow.
Even with a customer success department, customer support remains indispensable. Clients will need to have a help center capable of responding to their concerns as soon as possible. Customer success differentiates itself naturally from customer support when utilized properly.
Sales from Customer Success
Customer success in the tech industry works kind of like a restaurant. If you’re in a restaurant, your waiter or waitress can safely assume you are there for an entree. That’s the base product for any restaurant. After receiving your entree, your server (hopefully) will check regularly to see how you are doing. Then, what happens before they calculate and bring your check? They ask you if you want dessert. Perhaps before you even ordered your meal, they offered you an appetizer. These upsells are all on top of the base product, being the entree.
For SaaS companies, there is usually a base product and then added features that cost the client extra. Or at least that’s how it should be. To best utilize customer success, you’ll need a business platform that allows for upselling. Upselling can mean added features or perhaps selling them on other products under your umbrella. It’s the “Would you like fries with that?” of the tech industry.
Other Benefits of Customer Success
Since you have a dedicated team working hard to increase customer satisfaction and use of the product, you will see several large benefits to your company. Customer success reduces churn. Your retention will grow and ARR will increase. And hopefully you will see your clients become brand ambassadors. When your clients are happy, they will share the product with others in their network.
There are internal benefits as well. A customer success team can return and report to your management and engineers to work on an improved product together. Part of their job is to have a continuing relationship with your clients after a sale is made. This begins during onboarding, directly after a deal is closed, and continues as long as they are a client. That means that they know all the pain points and desired features from the consumers perspective. When you are considering what ways your product might grow or change in the future, always consult your customer success team.
Share Research From Customer Success
Customer success also becomes a fantastic resource for research. Why not gain more publicity for your company by posting your findings? Have customer success compile their findings from working with clients into a white paper template. They can collect survey data and other statistics, then combine that with direct quotes from clients they have worked with. You’ll find that many companies probably share similar topics of interest or problems waiting to be solved. By publishing your findings, they will share it and credit your genius company.
Customer Success in Every Department
Just like the adage that “everyone is in sales”, everyone should be part of customer success. It doesn’t stop outside of your dedicated customer success department. Everyone should be utilizing opportunities to engage their clients, bring them success, and listen to their feedback. Relationships with clients are important for every department. Motivate your teams towards being part of customer success. Greater growth and customer satisfaction are on their way.
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Christina Sanders is a marketing expert with 7 years combined experience in digital marketing and communications. She is currently associate manager for LucidPress a brand templating platform. She has spoken on marketing analytics at multiple conferences including the eMetrics Summit in Milan, Italy and the SMX conference in London.