If you are a SaaS provider, you’ve likely heard lots of buzz about customer success. You know that ensuring customer success can help retain subscribers. But how do you measure customer success? What metrics are essential for your product, and what results are critical for your customers? The answer to these customer success questions and more can be found in a customer success solution. A customer success solution provides a single platform for insight, execution, and management of your customer success efforts.
While customer success
is a universal tool for minimizing churn — a metric of how many existing
customers leave — how each company measures its customer’s success varies. Each
customer has unique goals and markers of success. Because of these individual
requirements, SaaS providers need a customer success platform that is more than
a window. It must be highly customizable and able to provide ongoing real-time
feedback of crucial metrics that show the value that customers receive from a
product, and how to optimize product use.
Here are some questions
to consider when evaluating a customer success platform for your SaaS business.
What are your customer
While all SaaS
businesses want to maximize customer success, before looking for a platform,
companies should know where they currently stand when it comes to customer
success. This is a tricky factor, as your business may need extensive insights
before answering this question thoroughly. But, to optimize customer success in
your organization, you need to know base-level metrics such as:
- Average revenue per account (ARPA)
- Lifetime value of your customers
- Preliminary churn rate
- Net promoter score (NPS) (if known)
You may, then, need to implement a customer success strategy first with some preliminary short terms goals, such as organizing workflow and putting mechanisms in place for measuring such factors as churn and NPS.
What is your customer
Planning and managing
customer success require an appropriate and scalable plan for success-based
contact and communication. This is your touch level with customers, also called
your success strategy. Some SaaS products or client relationships require more
hand-holding than others. SaaS providers may have a mixed bag of customers, each
with different touch levels. It’s essential to know the expectations of your
customers because meeting and greeting each one monthly to monitor and ensure
success is likely not scalable.
However, a tech-enabled
touch level — one that leverages automation is highly scalable. Or, your
organization may find that a hybrid approach is preferable.
What does success mean
for your product?
A significant indicator
of customer success is product use. Your SaaS solution likely offers numerous
features and benefits to your customers. It’s essential to map out the customer
journey to see how product usage helps customers reach their goals. A customer
success platform can provide granular insight into product usage and adoption
rate, but usage metrics need context. Success for your customer may only
require occasional usage, or it could require continual usage. Whatever ideal
usage may be, it is important to identify this based on typical and individual
customer traits. Otherwise, usage metrics can be meaningless.
What does success mean
for your customers?
customers’ goals is essential for understanding their success. Again, this is
an ongoing process that develops over your customers’ experiences using your
product. A customer success platform gives 360-degree insights across systems,
configurable health scores, personalized onboarding, pulse feedback, and
product adoption guidance. Still, it’s crucial to make sure that you are
collecting the right information. Views into product usage are helpful, but
they need to be tied to customer goals to be most impactful.
Since your customers’
uniqueness is a crucial factor in determining their success, optimal onboarding
to your product is essential. Customer success platforms can enable SaaS
providers to ensure that customers get off on the right foot with the product,
which in turn increases adoption rate and optimal use.
What integrations do
you require to measure success?
Your customers create a
lot of data, but the collection of data alone does not drive success. Instead,
customer success can be best assured through viewing relevant data together and
in context. The ideal customer support platform enables the integration of data
from the different platforms and services your organization and your customers
use. From collaboration to marketing, customer success requires views of
various activities along the customer journey. You likely use one or more
services or platforms to manage customer and prospect data, such as HubSpot,
Zendesk, Slack, Asana, and so on. Whatever your platforms, you need a customer
success solution that can access, incorporate, and optimize the data generated
on your customers.11
SmartKarrot provides a customer success platform that builds upon insight to ensure that customers are meeting their product and success goals across the board. With comprehensive customer views, touchpoint management, onboarding and adoption management, and automation of numerous tasks, alerts, and actions, SmartKarrot gets you the data you need, quickly and accurately. With these insights, you can achieve a holistic view of your customers, implement the right touch level for your customer success management activities, and operationalize customer success. With features such as SmartKarrot’s configurable customer health scores, SaaS providers can identify at-risk customers and opportunities for upselling. SmartKarrot’s usage analytics provide the precise level of usage feedback necessary to see where a customer is on their journey to success. And, SmartKarrot enables simple access to expanded metrics, such as NPS, to provide a real-life reflection of overall customer satisfaction.
Rakhin has over 10 years of experience driving business development and client services. In his prior roles, he stayed close to customers to understand their requirements and help them achieve their business goals. He is passionate about customer success.
Published January 24, 2020, Updated January 24, 2020