Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Building Your Customer Success Strategy, an eBook discussing the ins and outs of Customer Success. Access your free copy here.
While customer success helps you improve in many key areas – both tangible and intangible – the five most important business elements it drives are:
Renewal decisions are based on perceived value. By focusing on customer success you will help customers realize more value in your products and services which will lead to increased renewal rates and longer customer tenures, both of which increase a customer’s lifetime value and help you drive growth and profitability.
The number of available options out there combined with low switching costs have commoditized many markets. By adding value to customer relationship beyond product and service you can alleviate some of the pressure on product delivery and introduce a buffer for errors that will be acceptable to customers.
As Mitch MacFarlane, SVP of Customer Success, Instructure, puts it, “You’re not perfect. You may not have all the features, but you can inspire customer loyalty (retention) by aggressively supporting customer success. If they love working with you, and they feel like you’re invested in their success, they will commit for the long-term.”
According to a Totango study, 70%–90% of a customer’s lifetime value is generated via renewals, cross-sells, and up-sells.Customer success provides better visibility into customer goals, making it easier for you to identify and convert valuable up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. And, by keeping you actively involved with your customers’ goal fulfillment, success creates an intrinsic association between your customers’ success and your product, which makes them more likely to extend and expand their relationship with your company.
Customer success increases customer predictability by giving you insight into developing issues. Without a customer success perspective, you are just looking at an outcome. With a customer success focus, you can uncover drivers of that outcome, which will help you with recurring revenue predictability and capacity planning.
An effective customer success strategy turns customers into evangelists who are willing to recommend your product, refer customers, and provide testimonials. This good will and third-party validation helps you accelerate acquisition velocity, grow market share, lower overall CAC and sometimes helps you open the door for new market development. Customer advocacy and a good reputation will get you in front of prospects and drive higher win rates while reducing CAC by increasing the pace at which referred prospects move through the sales funnel.
A customer success strategy clarifies the corporate vision, creating a strong focus for the entire organization. Cross-functional goal alignment reduces the number of intracompany investments by consolidating efforts around a few key areas that create value for the customer, making the entire operation more efficient and effective.
The nature of the SaaS model means that there is a very direct relationship between your company’s ability to achieve its corporate goals and your customers’ ability to achieve their goals. You cannot have one without the other.