Customer success has taken the business world by storm, and not just in tech and SaaS. CSM is one of the fastest growing jobs worldwide across industries and geographies. Check out this State of Customer Success report based on LinkedIn data—you’ll see it’s a good time to be in customer success.
As a company, Gainsight’s success has been firmly pegged to the success of the customer success movement. It’s been a banner year for CS, and so it’s no surprise it’s been a banner year for our company as well. In the last 12 months, we booked a ton of new customers and expansion deals, we’ve dramatically accelerated our product, grown our global employee base by 23% (now 668 Gainsters worldwide), our R&D team grew by 26% and is now a team of 255 Gainsters, and we hosted a sold-out conference for more than 5,000 people.
If you’re already excited about customer success, here are six points to validate you. If you’re not, hopefully you’ll read this and get on board the bandwagon!
1. Companies are investing more in customer success. CS is no longer an emerging industry—it’s established.
How do we know?
Bessemer Venture Partners recently wrote the new 10 Laws of the Cloud, and listed customer success as one of the laws.
The Customer Success Manager (CSM) role is one of the most promising jobs and has seen a 736% increase since 2015.
Top research and analyst firms, including, HBR, Forrester, SiriusDecisions, and Gartner have recognized the practice and endorsed it as a revenue-generating business discipline.
All of that, on top of the fact that we’ve seen it firsthand in terms of market demand. Adoption across our customer base this year has been monumental—we’ve increased expansion bookings by 100% from last year. Unity technologies, ADP, and Slack are just some of our new Gainsight customers. We have customers from a variety of industries, including Computer Software, Corporate Services, Telecommunications, Financial Services, and Healthcare.
We’re energized by these numbers because it shows customers are getting value from our platform, and more importantly, customer success.
“Our CSMs do a terrific job communicating with and engaging our customers. However, it will only get harder to maintain the same level of commitment and customer satisfaction as we grow. With Gainsight and Gainsight PX, we can balance the automated scale with a user-first experience. It’s amazing to see usage stats and metrics, along with information about the in-product experience and engagement in the same portal. We can directly correlate an input with an output or vice. What a way to expedite our product roadmap, ensuring our priorities are in line with our customers and meeting their demands. It’s one thing to deliver features and product launches and another to understand and improve the experience holistically, and Gainsight PX empowers us to.”-Tom Shelly, Product Marketing Director, Bizzabo
The growth of the CS movement is further evidenced through the company’s annual customer success conference, Pulse, which was sold out in May of this year. Since the inaugural event, attendance has grown from 300 in 2013 to 5,500 in 2019. And last year, we hosted launched our inaugural Pulse World Tour event series in Austin, and Chicago. If we learned anything from last year’s soldout Pulse World Tours, it’s that there’s a huge demand for customer success thought leadership. So we added more destinations and are hitting the road again with all-new content for Pulse events in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, and London.
2. There’s finally a solution for company wide customer-centricity: The Customer Cloud.
In the past few years, we’ve made great progress in our mission of helping businesses deliver success for their customers and sustainable growth for their company. But there was still a bigger problem in the market we didn’t solve for. So many companies say they’re customer-centric, but the truth is that the platforms they relied on to run their business were primarily aimed at driving internal processes, not addressing the needs of the customer.
Before we ushered in the “Age of the Customer,” the primary drivers of business growth was sales and marketing, and the systems companies had in their tech stack was CRM, Marketing Automation and Case Management solutions. But today, that’s no longer enough for SaaS business models who want to succeed. Customers have more power and choice now, so delivering value over the course of the entire customer lifecycle is critical to business success. Today, product adoption, customer retention, expansion, and advocacy have become critical business priorities. With that, a new tech stack is needed.
So in May, we launched the Customer Cloud—a powerful set of solutions focused on customer success, product experience, revenue optimization, customer experience, and customer data, that together enable businesses to put the customer at the center of everything they do. Essentially, the Customer Cloud is the infrastructure that allows companies to create smooth experiences for their customers to achieve their desired outcomes with the product. It powers a virtuous cycle, from building customer-centric products to measuring customer experience, to building a team to proactively drive customer-centricity, to taking a more customer-centric approach to sales, to solving customer-centricity at the data level. When companies deliver excellent customer experiences and outcomes to drive net retention, they create strong customer advocates, which in turn helps fuel the acquisition of new customers. Once this cycle is set into motion, it will drive continued growth for the company. With the Gainsight Customer Cloud, businesses to focus on delivering positive, measurable change in their customers’ experience.
We’re doubling down on Product Experience to solve a major problem in SaaS that interferes with customer success and business growth.
In SaaS, the majority of customers’ interactions with vendors aren’t through their people, but rather their products. And while Product teams focus on building innovative solutions for customers, customer success teams work to ensure customers are getting value from the product and achieving their desired outcomes. While both teams have similar goals, one of their biggest challenges is working together to achieve them. Knowing how critical their alignment is to the customer’s experiences with their SaaS vendors, Gainsight decided to create a solution – which led to the launch of Gainsight PX.
Earlier this year, we launched Gainsight PX, the easy, powerful, and complete Product Experience Platform, built on the foundation of our acquisition of Aptrinsic. To date, Gainsight PX has seen a 300% growth in customers and a 500% increase in ARR. Several venture-backed and public companies have selected Gainsight PX as their primary product experience solution, such as FireEye, Anaplan, Blackbaud, Bizzabo, Seismic, and F5 Networks.
Gainsight PX was also listed as a product-led tool in Openview’s (a venture capital firm) new “Product-Led Growth Market Map” as one of the companies that enable product-led growth. Most recently, Gainsight PX was shortlisted as a “Best SaaS Newcomer” by the SaaS Awards. This recognition, along with the rapid expansion of the product, has further accelerated Gainsight PX’s position as a leading innovation in enterprise and SaaS.
Speaking of innovation—our team recently launched a new feature for Gainsight PX. Most leaders assume their PM team can easily and quickly share data on their users’ perception and preferences of new product lines and features. But what they don’t know is that it can take weeks, sometimes months, to get that information, and lots of time-consuming manual effort. So to solve for that, our team created PX Instant Mapper, a tool to automate product mapping. In technical terms, with one-click, it’ll autogenerate a hierarchical product map, show missing URLs and events, increase accuracy of the data, and—best part—save weeks of work for PM and engineering teams. So the next time your executives are asking for more visibility into the overall product ecosystem and where to target product investments, they can do it instantly
3. Customer success is now literally in the palm of your hands.
Employees rely heavily on mobile devices at work—and not just to check their social media. Actually, 87% of companies expect their employees to use their personal devices for work purposes. We live in a world where everyone is always on the go, and that includes customer success professionals. So to keep up with market trends, we created a mobile app for customer success. You can do everything from getting a 360-degree view of your customers and monitoring signals of risk and opportunities, to delivering personalized engagements and checking off work from your task list.
So the next time your boss asks if your scrolling through Twitter or Instagram at work, you can show that you actually just received a notification of potential customer risk and now working on the appropriate workflow to resolve the issue.
To date, over 2,500 users have the Gainsight mobile app in their pockets. Here’s what some of them said.
You can read more about the mobile app here. Don’t worry Android users—a solution is coming to you later this year.
4. eLearning for customer success
The digital age has changed the way we access and consume information, which led to a shift in the way we deliver training, subsequently bringing about the establishment of eLearning. Due to the rise of eLearning (a market that is set to surpass $275 billion value by 2022), people are given easier and affordable access to education, beyond the physical confines of a classroom or stack of library books.
Since then, eLearning has been integrated into the normal flow of work and businesses have started providing flexible professional development options for their employees. For example, here at Gainsight, we offer all of our teammate access to Udemy courses.
Customer success development is not a one-time thing. And as a company that prides itself on providing thought leadership for CS professionals, we realized that it was our responsibility to adapt the way we deliver training and education. So our team created a solution so that everyone has an opportunity to be a life-long learner. In May, we launched Pulse +, a customer success professional eLearning service, bringing highly curated content and certification learning paths into the daily flow of work. Since then, there are nearly 1,400 people using Pulse+ to expand their skills and develop professionally.
5. The partner ecosystem is growing.
Some of the most valuable offers we can provide customers are connections with partners, experts, and solutions to help them create truly customer-centric organizations. Our global network of software partners, agencies and consultants help businesses leverage our software to grow faster. By partnering with other experts in the industry, clients have access to a broader set of seamless capabilities.
By adding new partners to our ecosystem each month, Gainsight is continuing it’s initiative to make our customers successful through an increased focus on partner success. Companies like Valuize Consulting, nCloud Integrators, and Coastal Cloud have been instrumental in helping Gainsight achieve our goals as we push toward the future with our partners.
6. Customer success is expanding beyond SaaS.
Customer success was born and matured within SaaS, but we’re finding new opportunities to apply and adapt the methodology outside of SaaS, that enable companies to manage the customer experience, deliver on customer and consumer outcomes, and grow loyalty.
Earlier this year, we added a key role in the business, VP of Market Development, Hayley Jean Farr, who is responsible for identifying scalable ways to target, serve, and support companies outside of SaaS and with emerging business models.
Here are two ways we’re thinking about the evolution of customer success beyond SaaS:
- Managing B2B2C outcomes and experience. Outside of SaaS, especially in the healthcare and education sectors, companies like our customers Modernizing Medicine and Imagine Learning seek a double bottom line—financial performance along with social impact. Social impact may be measured as improved outcomes and experience of the end consumer, for example, patients in healthcare or by students in education. Measuring and demonstrating social impact can be a challenge for many companies and presents a tremendous opportunity to apply principles of customer success to demonstrate outcomes for the business customer and the end consumer.
- Growth of software and device-enabled services through the digital transformation of industries like healthcare (for example, Revenue Cycle Management Services, Telemedicine, and Teleradiology) and real estate. Enabled services create complexity in two ways: First, we often see consumption-based pricing models with enabled services. For customers like athenahealth adopting the customer success methodology can proactively drive more or better consumption. Second, much like social impact outcomes, service outcomes can often be more complex to measure and demonstrate to customers, thus requiring more attention and proactive management.
Onward and upward in 2019 and beyond!
We’ve got big plans for our platform in the year ahead! We can’t wait to tell you the latest news as we release it. You can subscribe to our newsletters or manage your email settings using the email box below this post. Please subscribe if you haven’t! It’s the best way to stay up to date with all the things that will keep you fired up for customer success now and in the future.