5 little changes that make a big difference in Customer Success

July 25, 2016 Paul Chilensky

Difference in Customer Success

You’ve succeeded at putting a Customer Success team in place. They are showing results to your bottom line, adoption is growing and trials are converting. It’s a well-oiled machine – but is it perfect? It’s probably pretty close. But like all departments within any organization, there is always room for improvement – especially as your SaaS offering evolves and your customer base grows. Paul Chilensky, Customer Success Industry Executive and former Vice President of Customer Success at OnShift, shares 5 little changes that will make a big difference with any Customer Success team:

  1. Support case resolution analysis – Reviewing closed support cases will provide you with valuable insight into your customer’s issues and behavior. If you are experiencing a high percentage falling into the category of Training or How To questions, maybe you need to consider escalating these calls into your Customer Success team. Let your Technical Support Specialists handle actual technical issues.
  2. Measure your Customer Success team – It is very important to understand how well the members of your Customer Success team are performing and how they compare to other members. Personally I like the Scorecard approach where you define key objectives and assign a percentage of measurement to each. Individual and team Scorecards will give you easy insight into performance and can be displayed in a Dashboard for all to see.
  3. Align your Customer Success team with the Sales organization – As you build your Customer Success team understand how you will manage customers based on the account size and level of importance. I have seen many organizations moving more toward hiring Customer Success Associates to oversee small and medium size accounts and the more experienced Customer Success Manager’s focused on Enterprise level accounts. I believe you will find this to be a more cost effective solution and will scale as your customer base grows.
  4. Adoption – Understanding if your customers are fully utilizing the features and benefits of your product is probably the most important responsibility of a Customer Success organization. If your customers are not fully utilizing your software your risk of churn increases substantially. Identify 3-5 key features of your product to measure and develop an Account Adoption Scorecard similar to what you are using to measure your Customer Success team and again assign a percentage to each feature of adoption. This will not only allow you to easily see the risk within each customer but a visual tool for your Customer Success team to use and identify areas for improvement.
  5. Transparency – Giving your sales team access into customer adoption and churn risk accounts is very powerful. If your organization has implemented a Customer Success application ensure you don’t limit access to only the Customer Success team, give the sales organization the insight they need to understand the health of their accounts. No salesperson likes surprises especially when trying to upsell within an account.

What changes have you implemented that made a big difference with your Customer Success efforts?

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About the Author

Paul Chilensky

Paul is an accomplished executive with a proven track record of building highly efficient, revenue driven, and customer-centric service organizations servicing customers in over 40 countries with early stage startup organizations to multi-million dollar publicly traded companies.

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