Tim's Saasiness

Unlocking Customer Success

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My Gold Star Guarantee

If nothing else, read this:  I guarantee there is no one magic key to unlock customer success.  Many new customer success professionals consult blogs, Meetups, LinkedIn groups and other social media for advice on how to implement customer success in their organization.  Rather than attempt a trite 140 character answer, I will try to formulate a more cohesive response over a series of posts here on LinkedIn.  I hope some find this helpful.


Keeping the Cart Behind the Horse

As the old proverb goes, “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.”  The first step to effectively implementing Customer Success is to know your business as it currently stands.

Fully flesh out your:

  • Organizational Structure:  How is your client team currently structured?  Who do they report to?  How are they incentivized and compensated?
  • Customer Journey:  Identify your current processes and touch-points as a prospect becomes and (hopefully) stays a customer.
  • Implicit/Explicit Expectations: How do your sales promises stack up against your delivered services?  Identify sources of misalignment.
  • Onboarding Metrics: How long does it currently take you to get a client live?  When onboarding fails, identify why it failed.  When onboarding is painless, identify why it was it painless.
  • Software Tools: Which tools are being used and what data/metrics do you capture through them? How are customers currently using your product?  How many seats are filled?  How often do they use it?
  • Touch Model:  How are your customers segmented?  When and how much time does your client team spend on those segments?  Where do you currently automate interactions?  What skill sets does your client team have?
  • Support Metrics: How are support tickets tracked and handled?  How do tickets move from front line to escalated support levels? What is your average time to closure?  What percentage are same day resolutions?  How do you roll out patches/bug fixes and notify customers?
  • Advocacy and Expertise: How is your client team viewed by their clients?  How do they communicate client needs internally?  How do they identify and track value-add opportunities? Who is responsible for upsells/cross-sells?
  • Customer Health: What is the current state of your customer base and how do you determine their state?  What is your current NPS?  CSat?  How do you resolve poor customer health?  Who is involved in that resolution?
  • (X)BR and Executive Communication: How often do you perform business reviews?  How are business reviews performed?  How often do you communicate with your day-to-day contact?  How are executives appraised of status and progress?
  • Churn Rate and CRC: What is your current churn rate and what is your current customer retention cost (CRC)?  What are your top churn reasons?
  • Gross Retention vs Revenue Retention: Define and assess your true renewal vs up-sell metrics.

My Customer Success Key

My goal over the next several posts is to walk you through my key design in the hopes you are able to unlock Customer Success at your organization.

timschukarUnlocking Customer Success

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