Customer Success (CS) is one of the most important growth drivers for any company across the globe. From new SaaS companies to established industries like healthcare, the one thing every organization shares is a need to put the customer first.
It’s exciting when you think about it. Your company can focus on one philosophy and see positive changes in everything from marketing to product design to Net Revenue Retention rates.
The challenge to such a powerful growth engine is it can feel a bit overwhelming.
- Where do you start?
- Who should be involved?
- What metrics should you track?
- How do you put Customer Success at the core of your business?
If these questions sound familiar, you’re not alone. Our teams have heard similar concerns from others. But, with a little guidance and a few proven success strategies, each company we’ve partnered with has been able to implement effective Customer Success strategies quickly. So quickly, in fact, that time to value with Gainsight CS is as little as 4 weeks.
To help you get started, here are four steps to follow to build your Customer Success organization today.
1. Create Company Alignment
Companies with Customer Success at the center of their business see the best results. As such, each person needs to understand what it is and how their specific responsibilities contribute to it. The first step to building a CS operation is company-wide alignment.
Learn more in our ebook Creating a Company-Wide Culture of Customer Centricity.
Attracting new customers is approximately five times more expensive than growing revenue from existing customers. With an effective CS operation, your team can grow annual revenue more effectively than traditional marketing and sales techniques. Beyond the bottom line, enthusiastic customers understand the value and practical applications of your products. Their advocacy can impact marketing, sales, as well as product design, and roadmapping.
2. Understand Metrics and Objectives
Once you have company-wide alignment, it’s time to clarify what you want your Customer Success organization to focus on immediately. Evaluate what your major objectives are for the current year, and the next few years. What are your most inefficient processes? What siloes impede your operations? How well does the future of your product align with the value your customers get from it?
List the top three goals for your Customer Success operation and outline the improvements you want to see based on those goals. Over time, your CS strategies will mature in complexity, but a simplified strategy is the best way to get started.
3. Improve Customer Visibility
When Customer Success began, many of the strategies were reactionary. A decade later, the best Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are proactive and highly transparent, both with their teams and with customers.
To ensure that your Customer Success strategies are proactive and effective, you need to establish a clear view of your current customer base, their priorities, and their current customer health score.
Although the CSMs will access this information, most frequently, it’s critical that all team members have access to it. Up-to-date customer information will inform their strategies, communications, and plans for the future.
Learn more about today’s best practices for creating a Customer Health Score.
4. Evaluate Existing Processes
Armed with clear goals you want to achieve, and how you’re going to track your progress towards those goals, it’s time to evaluate and update your processes. Keep in mind that you aren’t evaluating performance, but rather, how these processes impact metrics your team has prioritized. Don’t cut processes simply because they haven’t performed in the past. Instead, consider whether they create any meaningful changes to your North Star metric.
Customer Success is an essential growth driver for successful companies. Even if you are at the beginning of your CS journey, you need to think about how to scale CS. Improvements in time-to-value, personalized success plans, and insight-driven engagement playbooks will all result in product adoption and expansion. Your current CSMs will soon need even more support. Plan early and keep your plans flexible, should you reach your goals faster than you anticipated.
Ready to get started? Learn more in our ebook: Smarter Not Harder: Launching Customer Success From Scratch.