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5 Best Practices for Enhancing Customer Success Management

SaaS businesses often have difficulty managing and improving customer success. There are several reasons for this difficulty, but the main obstacle is often a lack of customer engagement with the provided solution. Prior to cloud innovations and delivery of software in an “as a service” model, technology solutions providers could sell a software license and have little to no interaction with the customer until license renewal time or an upgrade. With SaaS, the customer success journey is not something to measure or optimize on occasion; it requires attention and an overall recasting of how customer success is viewed and championed in your organization.

Customer Success Management, Customer Success

If you are looking to reduce churn, improve customer engagement and success, follow these five basic practices for enhancing customer success management.

1. Redefine how your organization handles customers post-sale

One of the major hurdles to customer success is a low adoption rate, or, more accurately, low-utilization rate. It is the silent killer of customer success. When a customer does not use a solution optimally, then it follows that they may feel the need to find another service. They often won’t even share their dissatisfaction with you, they will just leave. 91%of unhappy customers who are non-complainers simply leave. That’s the bad news.

The good news is, the SaaS delivery model creates a relationship. It is an ongoing opportunity to ride along on the customer success journey, know when your solution is not being used properly or optimally, and identify non-engagement.

But, you have to leverage this relationship not just on the front lines of sales and customer retention, but throughout your organization. This means creating an organizational culture aimed at customer satisfaction and success. By decentralizing customer success, you use your organization’s assets, including technical expertise and ongoing support to keep customers happy and satisfied.

2. Dive into the data

Even organizations that have customer success running through its veins can miss potential causes of low adoption and churn. This is where data analytics can enter the picture and identify potential problems that could lead to customer loss. User data can be tracked to provide metrics on account usage and provide real-time feedback. Your customer success team can then provide visual analysis of usage, and point to areas that might need addressing or make suggestions on more optimal usage.

3. Understand customer success

It is equally vital for SaaS sellers to know what success means to their customers. This often means mapping the customer success journey and forging a relationship that places both you and your customer in the front seats. Your sales process should be tailored so it identifies customer needs and how your SaaS solution addresses those needs. Then, this information can be used for greater insight on adoption rates, churn, app abandonment and other hurdles to customer success.

For example, many users abandon mobile apps, and one of the main personal reasons for mobile app non-use is that an app can become no longer necessary for the user. Once a customer feels that they no longer need your app or solution, then you must determine how to make your app relevant again. In this example, the problem isn’t underutilization, it is with the delivery, design, communication, and relevancy of the app. If a customer believes a solution is no longer a solution for them, you’ll need to engage with them, or risk lost opportunity.

Churn, lost opportunity

4. Continuous improvement and innovation

Another way to increase customer success is to always be looking for ways to improve your product or service. SaaS sales, in customer experience-focused relationship, is all about progress. Your customers are continuously striving for excellence, and your product should also be optimized as part of your relationship. Technology evolves at an alarming rate, and this can benefit both your customers and your organization. Just as you no longer sell a software license and only revisit the product to fix bugs, you need to provide ongoing assurances of product quality and responsiveness to changes.

This continuous improvement can be responsive to customer behaviors, such as the sort of information that can be collected and analyzed. The focus should be to create value for the customer at every turn, so there are fewer reasons for the customer to look elsewhere for another solution. Continuous improvement and innovation also open the door to a dialogue about changes and updates, which can identify potential problems and provide an opportunity to rectify.

5. Put the entire customer success journey in one dashboard

All of the previous points are easier to address with the help of a customer success monitoring platform. A platform such as SmartKarrot provides insight that can improve loyalty, adoption, and customer lifetime value (LTV). It allows a SaaS provider to monitor account health across extensive parameters, and take appropriate action when issues are identified.

Final Words

With SmartKarrot, you can stop churn proactively, analyze user behavior to ensure that your service is being used optimally, and monitor account health in a way that is easy for your employees and customers to understand. SmartKarrot takes control of the customer success journey, providing greater visibility with less work required on your part.

Responses

  1. Avatar
    James Brady

    Customers need to be informed, they are less likely to abandon if they are. I like to email customers sometimes telling them about things they may have missed or things that have been added recently. Surveys are a click away as well, customers need to know that their input is valuable and will be actioned upon.

  2. Avatar
    Leon Day

    Continuous development is important and I make sure I stick to a schedule of fortnightly updates. Even if it’s just bug fixes, I think users like to see the app is being constantly updated. I also make use of polls allowing users to vote on potential features, the most voted will be developed for the next major update. It’s a good model I think, users feel like their opinions are valued (they are) and that the app is a community effort.

  3. Avatar
    Seth Branning

    It’s important to never rest on your success, no matter how much you think you’ve cornered the market. Another company will want to piggyback on what you’ve done so constant innovation is a must. Understand your analytics and push out meaningful updates that the people need. This happens all the time even with the biggest and most successful companies.

  4. Avatar
    Logan Healy

    Analytics are a big deal and understanding them can be the difference between success and failure. If adoption rate is low or something just doesn’t work properly, how will you know? I check figures every day and encourage everyone else to do so. I also agree with your points on innovation, it has to keep happening.

  5. Avatar
    Ben Richmond

    The post-sale handling of customers is often the deciding factor on whether the customer sticks around or finds an alternative. Never be satisfied with the sale alone, get in contact to make sure everything works for them and how you can accommodate them further. The SaaS model somewhat forces this and I think it works for everyone.

  6. Avatar
    Chris B.

    I agree 100% with your first point! I never followed up with customers post-sale before, instead I waited for them to reach out. That’s the bad way to handle it. When I started reaching out to them first and asking questions, I got answers that were very helpful in streamlining the service. Be proactive, no reactive!

  7. Avatar
    Nicholas Rafferty

    We’ve worked really hard to ensure good communication with customers post-sale. It’s a SaaS business so it’s necessary to reach out often and obtain feedback. Analytics are a great help to us as well, they help us to catch a customer who may leave the platform due to low usage and try to re-engage them. At the very least, we get some feedback on how to improve.

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