- Customer Support Team vs. Customer Success Team
- Should You Have a Customer Success Team?
- 1. Have the Right People on Your Team
- 2. Educate Your Clients Well
- 3. Right From the Get-Go, Pay Extra Attention to Your Customer
- 4. Don’t Oversell
- 5. Get Non-Stop Feedback
- 6. Record and analyze data
- 7. Encourage Cross-Team Collaboration
- 8. Automate Processes
- 9. Create Loyalty Programs
- Wrapping Up
Customer Success: 9 Tips for SaaS Companies
May 6, 2021 11 min. read
It is not surprising that businesses cannot survive without loyal customers. Especially SaaS companies that primarily operate on a subscription-based model. To ensure sustainable growth, this technique requires recurring customers to make repeat purchases. Whole customer success departments are built to retain those customers.
But customer success is still confused with customer support, so first, let’s zoom into the differences between these two.
Customer Support Team vs. Customer Success Team
A customer support team’s primary function is to educate customers about how the company’s products work and resolve product issues.
In contrast, a customer success team works hand in hand with customers to understand the pain points that will lead to the best solution and keep them happy and loyal.
Should You Have a Customer Success Team?
You absolutely should! But there’s no need to prioritize a customer success team over a customer support team, as they are equally important. By the way, having both teams will strengthen your customer loyalty.
And as we all know, loyal customers are dedicated customers who are more than ready to collaborate with you on the product and upgrade it until it’s perfect for them. And now, here comes an upselling opportunity.
Loyal customers can also become valuable business advocates. That means that you have both a word of mouth tool and a success case story at the ready. At the end of the day, what helps other buyers to make a decision to buy, if not positive reviews from existing customers?
To top that off, with competition in many markets, customer acquisition is becoming quite a costly, complicated process and a luxury of sorts. So you better keep those customers happy rather than let them slip through your fingers.
1. Have the Right People on Your Team
Having the right people on the success team is often a core advantage, if not the most critical factor required to ensure you hit all your success goals.
What kind of people should you be looking for?
Basically, customer success team managers should be curious and empathetic enough to dive deeply into customers’ needs without hesitation and keenly aware of their responsibility to be meticulous in pursuing their goals. In other words, good listeners and investigative interviewers.
With this approach well-honed, your business will understand customers’ challenges and provide solutions that are just right for them.
2. Educate Your Clients Well
For best results, the customer success team should work hand-in-hand with the customer support team to provide profound product training. Because otherwise customers will be confused and struggle to use your product effectively to pursue their specific goals.
For a customer, knowing all the features of your product and how to utilize them is the key to implementing your solution with minimal effort. Consequently, they will achieve the rapid results they are targeting. For you, it means that the product meets their expectations, and they are happy to move on and embrace a collaborative partnership with you.
To ensure that all of the above strategies work as intended, make your onboarding and support training programs easily accessible for your customers (with a knowledge database) and practical (with instruction videos or one-on-one training).
To do that, your customer success and support teams should be aligned and ready to back each other up. The goal is the same — making customers’ product experience smooth.
3. Right From the Get-Go, Pay Extra Attention to Your Customer
As soon as your customer decides to buy, you need to be sure to take that extra care during their first steps — the onboarding process. To put it another way, make the first step in the process as positive and smooth as possible.
This means you should establish key activation events. For example, the number of activities they performed, time spent using your product, and the number of tutorials they read. Check on them continuously, and provide solutions if their goals start looking like they may fail.
Once the onboarding experience is optimized, there’s a better chance that a customer stays with you. Your next steps should be focused on keeping their success going. Otherwise, you will never become a customer’s first port of call. Walk the customer journey with them to make sure that it is smooth.
4. Don’t Oversell
Once you acquire a customer, you might be dying to get that extra value from them by selling add-ons. But don’t get too aggressive.
Tell them about your product functionality as they must be fully informed about its features. But make sure you understand the needs and pain points of your customers. Focus on the most valuable aspects that resonate most acutely with them.
Indeed, they need to know the whole list of features your product offers, but don’t strain yourself pitching them. Talk about the application of the product and how it can solve their problems. This way, you’ll get straight to the point so that they will stay with you.
5. Get Non-Stop Feedback
Consistently asking customers for feedback engages them in the process and makes them feel important.
Don’t limit yourself to only interviewing unhappy or struggling customers. Go further, and talk to all of your customers. Talk through the entire customer process with them, starting from their sales experience and following through, right to the actual final use of the product. They just might have great ideas that you would have never thought of otherwise.
But don’t assume that every customer craves giving you feedback. Some of them are not so keen. That’s why you need to do it wisely so as not to get on their nerves. Sending emails every day might not be the greatest idea, but meeting for coffee or calling once in a while to have a chat and share feedback is not that bad. Even if you send them a survey, make sure it won’t take an eternity for them to fill it out.
And to be sure they will remain happy, offer them a bonus worth the time it took them to give you feedback!
6. Record and analyze data
You will never become a customer’s first port of call if you don’t walk the customer journey with them to make sure that it is smooth.
And in addition to tracking your customer’s journey, you will be able to know when, where, and why their needs evolve and change over time, allowing you the luxury of being able to stay in touch over time.
There are heaps of metrics to track, but the most valuable are:
• Customer retention rate to know the number of customers that have stayed with you over a given time.
• Product usage or DAU/MAU ratio to better understand how many clients log in and use your service successfully.
• The number of days to onboard to ensure it’s low enough for them to make a decision to buy, but doesn’t affect the quality of information and training.
• Average first response times to understand that you are meeting your customers’ needs when they experience product-related problems.
Don’t forget that all of the customer data that best informs you of their experience should be documented and monitored. This way, you will know what worked and what didn’t. And you can use this information to make sure newly acquired customers add revenue and enjoy an improved product experience so that you provide better solutions for them now and in the future.
7. Encourage Cross-Team Collaboration
Smooth onboarding and ongoing processes cannot be achieved without collaboration between teams. Your customer success team might need some help from the customer support team with customer training. Marketers and sales reps might need feedback from your customer success team about features that work best for your clients.
Remember, flawless communication is the key to success. Carefully and thoroughly design cross-team processes to be visible, transparent, and easily accessible to everyone. This way, everyone is up-to-date and ready to provide the best support and customer experience they possibly can.
8. Automate Processes
Customer success team processes can be pretty complex, and therefore overwhelming: processing incoming customer requests, keeping an eye on customers, gathering feedback, cooperating with other teams, and more.
Chatbots and web forms, automated outreach campaigns, and a seamlessly consolidated CRM system will free up managers from performing repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on more personal strategic communications with customers. Thus they will always be notified and well-informed about what’s going on with customers in real-time.
9. Create Loyalty Programs
What better way to say thank you to your customers than generously rewarding them?
Loyalty programs are the best way to show how much you value them. Build a loyalty program in such a way that it offers relevant and valuable benefits, keeping them satisfied and unlikely to take their business elsewhere.
If you implement these customer success strategies, you might be able to build long-lasting relationships with your customers based on a foundation of trust. This type of win-win relationship will lead to sustainable business growth.
Remember that your business runs on your customers, not forecasted customer sales targets or strategic initiatives yet to bear fruit. Be grateful to them and do your best to provide them with a comfortable customer experience.
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