Customer success is quickly turning out to be the first line of attack in SaaS to boost conversions, raise customer happiness, and reduce churn. Daily, a strong customer success strategy is becoming more and more essential for SaaS companies.
But, what is customer success? How does it even work? How do you even know if you’re doing it right? Don’t worry! I’m going to dive into all of that in this blog.
What is customer success?
It’s not rocket science. In fact, it’s one of the simplest concepts in the SaaS world. Here’s how SaaS customer success expert Lincoln Murphy describes it:
“Customer success is simply ensuring that your customers achieve their desired outside through their interactions with your company. That’s it.” – Lincoln Murphy
Customer success tends to overlap with customer support. The biggest difference is that customer support is reactive, while customer success is proactive. Customer success never waits for problems to happen before fixing them. It anticipates any potential issues and removes them before they can become real issues.
These things matter when it comes to customer success within SaaS:
- Making sure the signup process/ account creation process is easy for new signups.
- Making sure you’re demonstrating the value of your product upfront.
- Turning trial users into paying customers (they’ll only sign up if the experience has been great).
- Keeping those paying customers happy with your company.
- Turning customers into loyal ambassadors by making them fall in love with your product or service.
- Creating relationships with your customer’s business.
- Making sure you understand your customer’s needs and ensuring you’re giving them value.
- Increasing revenue and reducing churn by doing all of the above.
“Customer success is where 90% of the revenue is.” – Jason Lemkin
Today, companies of all types are kicking off customer success strategies. Ultimately, it’s been rooted in the world of SaaS. That’s because the SaaS business model needs continuing customer satisfaction. MoM (Month-Over-Month) customer retention is needed, in order, to recoup the CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost). And also, to keep your marketing budget for growing your customer base, instead of replacing customers that left.
Previously, software companies – like many current non-tech companies – could simply sell a product and make a profit. After that, there wasn’t really the need to stay in touch with customers unless they had an issue, and reached out for support.
However, times have changed. Now, SaaS companies have to keep their customers happy, in order to keep monthly profits coming in. Instead of selling a piece of software for a lump price, you’re selling a subscription for a monthly fee. That means your customers need to keep seeing value out of your product, in order to maintain their subscription. If your customer is succeeding with your product, they’ll keep using it.
So yeah… you need customer success.
What’s key to promoting customer success is data, which is another reason for the prevalence of customer success within SaaS. It’s commonly easier for SaaS companies to monitor the usage of their products. If someone buys a loaf of bread, the seller won’t ever know exactly when they ate it, how much they ate, and if they were happy with the taste.
Saas companies get access to a lot of insights. They know when a product is being used, how it’s being used, and they know when problems happen. This gives them an easier pathway to a proactive customer success strategy.
So how do you get started with customer success?
- Put together a clear customer success strategy
Brainstorm the questions users might ask about your product or service before they get around to actually asking. You’re not going to want your users stumbling across issues and sending you support queries. If it’s a tech issue – fix it. You don’t want to increase churn over something that could have been resolved. Your customers will be sitting on a line waiting for customer support, listening to horrible music, and rolling their eyes. Make sure your customers have everything they need before they can even consider picking up the phone to call or send in a support query.
- Onboard new signups as quickly and as smoothly as possible
Your new users are already nervous before they start using your product. They don’t know how to use it, and they’re going to have to go through a learning curve. Make it easy for them to understand how they can get the most out of what you’re offering. Onboarding is your perfect opportunity to show off how user-friendly and your product is.
- Get your whole team involved
Give all departments of your company the tools they need to support customers.
- Marketing will need to create blogs, and videos.
- Tech will need to work on making the onboarding process easy, and fix any issues there may be.
- Get sales to find out what your customers’ pain points are.