Customer Success, SaaS | 6 MIN READ

Customer Success for SaaS Startups: A Founder’s Guide

How does the customer success for startups work? It is any cakewalk or is it rocket science? Read on the blog to get your facts straight.

Simran Mohanty
Jul 1, 2021

Customer Success for SaaS Startups

Customer Success for SaaS Startups

Start seeing customers as the building blocks of your business. Only then will you be able to set up a firm foundation. This is where customer success for startups comes into the picture. You must be aware that customer success teams wear many hats. In simpler words, they look into diverse functions – be it support, experience, upsell, renew, etc. But the core of each of these functions is unanimously the satisfaction of the customer. Be it an early-stage startup or a seasoned player in the niche, all that matters at the end of the day is how happy are your customers with your offerings. 

As you have just started to surface the world of customer success for startups, it is imperative to delve into the certain nuances that the industry has to offer. You must know the dos and don’ts and strive to get it right from the first go. That said, we will walk you through the nitty-gritty of the subject and would give a great jumping-off-point for your company. Let us get started!

Table of Contents 

  1. Plan, Plan and Plan 
  2. Grab a pen and start Documenting things 
  3. Pick tools that will give you Results 
  4. Pace up the Customer Service team 
  5. Know your Metrics 

Plan, Plan and Plan 

You must have come across adages like “An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure”, or “Victory needs preparation”. Simply put, they mean that minor foresightedness and adjustments upfront can save you a ton of time and energy down the line. We hate to break it to you but customer success for startups can be pretty hectic at times, if not planned right. Things can go really bizarre and then you might not have all the patience in the world to redo the whole process. You must ensure that you avoid these pitfalls, especially when you are starting up. And one of the best ways to do that is by documenting everything so that each of you are on the same page. 

Grab a pen and start Documenting things 

It is always wiser to keep a tab of things in a documented format. This will at least make sure that you do not lose out on important details which can come in handy later on in your cycles. This little document of yours can be seen and used as a guidebook for someone later. When you start to document processes, your staff will get more time to work on higher-value projects. This will rev up processes faster and save you well on the budget too. 

Pick tools that will give you Results 

The common woe of every startup is the paucity of monetary benefits. You now have a small customer base and any funding that you have gotten till now is certainly restricted. Here is when you need to stretch every dollar you receive. Pick tools that give you both assurance and quality. Picking a tool that may fit your budget well but runs out of efficiency will do you no good. You will have to find the right balance here. Having a lesser number of licenses for a premium product might cost you the same as getting more licenses for a low-quality product. A report by the Tech Republic states that on average, large enterprises lose about $2 million per year on unused software or bad products. Look at this table here for a better understanding. 

Tech Republic report on money saved enterprise licensing
Source: TechRepublic

Pace up the Customer Success team 

A happy customer is here to stay. If you want more customers who won’t just churn away in a second, you will have to see what makes them stay. Resolve their issues at the earliest. They don’t want to be hung on the other side of the phone and find no actions being taken. Aside from this, you may also keep some self-service options. This can be done via an AI chatbot that can take up the basic, routine questions and suggest help center articles that can help the customer. According to a report published by PWC, customers value friendly service, convenience, and efficiency as the criteria that they value the most in their customer experience

What people value the most in their customer experience
Source: pwc

Know your Metrics 

It is difficult to know how well you are doing if you do not have a measure to analyze it. When you know what metrics you should be focusing on which will help you swim in the right direction and progress towards success. Some of the top metrics in the CS niche include:

  1. CSAT: It stands for customer satisfaction. It measures how happy and satisfied are your customers with your offerings in general. 
  2. CLTV: It refers to the customer lifetime value. It shows the amount of money a customer spends over their whole tenure with your business. This metric will also tell you more about how much a good acquisition cost should be. 
  3. NPS: Net Promoter Score says you how likely are your customers to recommend your service to their friends and relatives. They will recommend your products only when they are super happy with your products. The NPS scale ranges from 0-10. The people who vote towards 9 or 10 are said as promoters and the ones who score you below 6 are detractors. 
  4. CES: CES stands for customer effort score. It shows how difficult it is for a customer to complete a complete task. This metric can be used when you wish to reduce the friction in the areas the customer is facing. 

Parting Thoughts 

Customer success for startups is neither too easy nor too difficult. The success of the customer is your success. Follow the mentioned suggestions that we have laid out for you. These will be immensely helpful to keep track of your processes and know whether you are going on the right track or not. 

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Originally Published July 1st, 2021, Updated July 16th, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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