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The pertinent question that every B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) company has is whether customer value as a domain is valuable to their organization? Let us try to find out answers to those questions through this write-up.
Working in a customer success department is like putting your hands on fire. There is still a lot to be learned about this field. But early reviews suggest that customer success still must pass a litmus test to survive in the corporate world. This is especially true if it has gained recognition amongst the C-Suite executives in an organization.
So, what are some of the questions that can help a B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) company determines the value of customer success as a department in an organization? Let us look at each of the questions and the different answers that can reflect the condition of CS (Customer Success) as a function in your organization.
Customer success has been understood and accepted by more companies than ever. The sheer importance of a dedicated customer success resource is not lost on the C-suite. The shift of the C-suite has been to focus on customer delight.
CEOs (Chief Executive Officer), CSOs, CTOs, and CMOs, are now looking to make technology and tools available to prioritize customer experience and customer success. Customer success is now intertwined in every function of the organization. The customer feedback shared by the CS (Customer Success) team helps marketing, sales, and product adapt and patch missing links. For the finance team, customers being happy means bills on time and for a longer time. Thus C-suite executives have realized the centralized role of customer success in organization success.
This question is important if you wish to understand how a company values customer success. If the customer success leader reports to a VP or below title, there is scope for improvement. A VP may or may not have a seat at the decision-making table. This feedback from customer success leaders needs to go to someone who has a permanent seat at that table. The head of the CS (Customer Success) wing needs to be a member of the executive team with direct access to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), sales, marketing, and product leaders. This ensures they influence all major decisions and always ensure customer feedback is counted.
Success leaders know they need to deliver a pleasant experience to customers. However, it is important to know who owns renewals. Sales executives, in some cases, lead renewals. This can be an issue since they lack an overall understanding of the account. Customer success leaders need to own the NPS and renewals aspect for a company. The sales team needs to focus on bringing in new business and cross-selling. The customer success team needs to look at owning upsells and renewals. The customer success leader needs to have control over every customer contract.
The customer journey includes sales, products, services, and marketing with customer success. Every department must support each other goals to improve retention rates. The customer desired outcomes need to be at the department level to meet set goals. The entire organization is responsible for customer retention. Customer success is not one team’s responsibility. It is the end goal of every team. Every aspect of a business is accountable for customer success.
Customer health scores are based on NPS and product usage data. These metrics make the company happy or sad, depending on their number. A customer-centric metric is focused on ensuring customers reach their goals. Customer health needs to keep the customer in focus. The company needs to make all the strategic decisions keeping customer health, outcomes, forecasts, and operational improvements in mind.
One area that needs to improve in customer success is how value measurement is done. Customers look at the value of the product as a priority- they want solutions to their problems. For them, value is the most important thing. The success team looks at aligning product usage with the customer’s goals. The customer success team keeps the full ecosystem of products, people, and processes to meet customer goals and record customer value.
Companies that grow and develop consider all the early indicators of risk and implement playbooks to resolve issues. Companies do not accept churn that easily and probe into it. A company should take the qualitative feedback and make sure that reporting is structured. The company should have fixed out early risk indicators in an ideal situation. All teams need to be accountable for risks and problems. The customer can be unhappy with the support experience, feel that the product does not match expectations. It is also possible that the customer does not have the skills to use the product. Data is the key here and needs to be taken seriously to get the right insights into the product or company.
A lot of feedback that a company receives is about the product. The product team gets to know about these product feedback bits through the customer success team. They create tickets with feature requests, quotes, or even ask the product folks to contact the customer directly. Many teams do not know why the product prioritized one request over the other. The ideal process is when the company gathers all the requests- features, bugs, improvements from customer success – and aligns them with the account as per health score, contract size, renewal proximity, etc. On a monthly basis, the requests can be prioritized to complete high-impact requests first.
Top executive focus on customer feedback is essential for understanding the company’s value. When there is a feedback culture, it helps companies understand that customers are responding, and they always come always. Customer feedback needs to be reviewed regularly by top executives at the C-level. This will ensure they are ready to fix customer problems and progress towards betterment. If bugs that are persistent are brought out to the C-suite, they will propel action. For example- Jeff Bezos of Amazon takes customer feedback reviews seriously and follows the customer is priority core value.
Ascertaining whether your company values customer success or not is an important thing as customer success today has become an indispensable component for B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) organizations. 17
Fortunately, now you have a mechanism to know the answers yourself. And once you have answered these questions honestly, it will become clear how much value your company gives to customer success.
Published 3 Feb 2022, Updated 3 Feb 2022
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