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Here’s our take on the growing importance of customer success managers in the SaaS world.
For a business to be successful, it needs to focus on the success of the customer, i.e., the product or service delivered by the business should at least one of their problems or needs. As easy as it may sound, the task of ensuring that customers’ expectations are met, and the customers can maximize the value of the product is not easy! It requires a professional to be completely dedicated for this sole purpose. This is the reason most of the growing SaaS businesses are turning towards Customer Success Managers (CSMs).
Before jumping on the topic of the importance of Customer Success Managers (CSMs) in the SaaS World, let us first understand Customer Success and the importance of Customer Success in SaaS businesses briefly.
It may be said that Customer Success is a strategy one notch above Customer Service strategy. Traditional customer service focuses on coming up with a decent solution to customer concerns that may arise while using the product. On the other hand, customer success is about anticipating the problems concerning the business’ customer and providing the solution beforehand. By indulging in customer success activities, a business can boost its customers’ experience with its product or service. Today it is one of the most relevant customer-focused management strategies that help brands create happy and loyal customers who generate recurring revenue.
When customer success is used effectively, it reduces customer churn to a great extent while simultaneously increasing upsell opportunities.
Happy customers are the best advocates and promoters of any brand. As discussed earlier, customer success helps brands create happy customers.
Let us take a glance at the importance of customer success for SaaS Businesses.
Importance of Customer Success Managers (CSMs) in the SaaS World
Now that you are aware of customer success and its importance for brands and businesses, we can proceed to see how Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are bringing game-changing results in the SaaS World. In today’s competitive world, where customers have gained more power than corporates, CSMs play a major role in keeping the customers and providing upselling opportunities to the brands. It is even more important in the SaaS world as customers have access not only to local but the global competitors of the brand.
Read on to understand the importance of Customer Success Managers (CSMs) in the SaaS World in greater detail.
SaaS businesses cannot thrive and succeed with one-time purchases. Their success is heavily dependent on recurring business from the existing customer base. This means that SaaS businesses need to focus more on keeping the customers than generating new leads. Interestingly, shocks like sudden license contraction, downgrades, and churn always come at the last minute for SaaS businesses. The traditional reactive methodologies fail to hold and bring back customers after the last-minute shocks.
A Customer Success Manager focuses on customers rather than the business and foresees any issue that may disrupt a good customer experience. Unlike the traditional ‘reactive’ methodologies, CSMs adopt a ‘proactive’ approach to identify any issues beforehand and solve them before disrupting the customer experience.
As discussed earlier, a CSM focuses more on the customer than on the business. In the SaaS world, the customer is the king, and there is no denying the fact. No SaaS business can grow only by focusing on the traditional product and pricing duo. In today’s global village, customers are linked to each other and SaaS businesses across the world through the internet. No business strategy today can attract success without keeping customers at the center.
A CSM focuses on customers and ensures that the customers get desired outcome by using the brand’s product. CSMs focus on the experience of the customers, who in turn provide their loyalty to the brand to which the CSM represents.
The profits in the SaaS world are dependent not only on subscription but on consumption by the customer. One-off sales cannot help a SaaS business to sustain itself for long. If any cloud-based business wants to grow profitably, it needs to have an ongoing relationship with its customer. At this point, the role of a customer success manager comes into the picture.
A CSM is not only interested in onboarding the customers but to ensures that the customer gets the best possible experience with the brand’s product. Good experiences with a brand’s product ensure that the customers loyally stick to the brand. This ongoing relationship between customers and businesses is ensured by none other than an effective customer success manager.
No one but Customer Success Managers understands the needs and expectations of customers. They are the ones focused on enhancing the customer experience. They interact with customers and find out their pain points to which their company’s product can provide a solution. They work as an advocate to the customers in their company and provide valuable insights for improving the brand’s product.
A CSM sees a product from the angle of a customer rather than from the viewpoint of the business. This is why they can help their company create a product enhancement roadmap that is useful for the customers. Needless to say, when a brand’s product is useful for its customers, the customers are going to pay for it and thus generate profits for the business.
Undoubtedly, customers are of value to any brand. No business can survive without customers and their loyalty, let alone thrive and succeed. Equally true that brands create value for their customers; otherwise, they would not be paying for it. In a nutshell, brands and customers are both valuable to each other.
A CSM works as a bridge to connect and create a balance between a brand and its customers. By focusing on customers’ needs and wants, they help brands enhance their products to fully satisfy the customers. This directly creates value for the customers who pay for the brand and become valuable. Creating a balance between both CSMs helps customers and brands in mutual value creation.
You might come across people claiming that Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are old products in new wrappings. But, this is not the truth. This article must have helped you understand that proactive CSM differs from the traditional reactive sales and relationship managers.24
Every SaaS business today needs an efficient Customer Success Manager to meet their customer success goals. Again, a successful and happy customer is the foundation for the growth and success of any SaaS business.
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 4 Feb 2022, Updated 4 Feb 2022
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