While the ultimate goal of any business is to continuously grow, there’s often the challenge of matching the available resources and capabilities at your organization with the total number of customers.
When customer growth outpaces company size, you not only have to adapt to the sales and service needs of your base, but also keep pace with ensuring new and existing customers are achieving their desired outcomes from your product or service.
All of this falls under the umbrella of scaling customer success. Managing the relationship between your customers and the solutions you provide them is a huge part of achieving monumental revenue and retention goals. A positive experience keeps them engaged, satisfied, and more willing to upgrade or purchase additional products or services from you.
So, how do you keep customer success operations in line with business growth?
Utilize Automation to Capitalize on the 80/20 Rule
During high-growth phases, focus first on prioritizing platinum-level customers who you have strong relationships with and who spend the most on your solutions. Ensure customer health score goals for this subset are being achieved by prioritizing the human connection.
Once the top 20% of your customer base is stabilized, you can use automation, digitalization, and third-party software solutions to communicate with and manage the other 80% of customers. Journey stages like customer onboarding, for instance, can easily be accomplished by configuring automated communication to a new user with account management information, self-help guides, and tutorials without the traditional hand-holding of a company representative.
Third-party automation technology and outsourced services give your business the opportunity to grow without having to hire a great deal of new employees — saving tons on human resources costs. These additional resources can help you manage the additional 80% of your customers while keeping costs low.
Technology and solutions that integrate with automation tools can also extend their capabilities to help you decipher how to leverage key investments. As you automate certain customer success workflows and communication, you may find insights on customer behaviors that lead your business to improve inefficient workflows or adjust the content and calls-to-action — requiring resource reallocations and strategy adjustments.
Get Early Management Buy-in Through a Data-Driven Case
Scaling customer success is a holistic objective that demands expansion in the number of employees, total financial investment, and the technology capabilities your organization has. With all of these moving parts, leadership will ultimately need to understand the benefits of scaling as well as what’s needed to make the expansion.
The stronger argument you can make, the more likely that you will obtain that top-down support and excitement necessary for any major change. Build this case early on before your business needs to expand customer success operations and do so primarily using hard data to support the intuitive.
Quantify the direct effect customer success has on decreasing churn and improving client satisfaction, and how current customers can be your best growth engine—naturally generating revenue.
Alternatively, you also need to show the negative consequence of not making the investment to scale these operations. Paint them the story of competitors outperforming them in various KPIs in the event no action is taken.
Align Customer Success Strategy With Sales Goals
Customer success and sales functions go hand-in-hand—and one of the worst mistakes a company can make is to silo these two departments.
Working collaboratively to understand the goals—and avenues towards achieving those goals—of the sales team can help the customer success team better serve their customers. By fully understanding the customers’ priorities when using the product, success managers can tailor a plan action plan to the customers’ specific needs and be a guiding source along the way. If successfully done, your business will retain business and even potentially hit cross or upselling objectives — helping in revenue growth.
Much of the details within this process require customer success teams to understand the segments new customers will come from such as an industry, geographic region, or organization size. This will allow them to figure out the resources and services they’ll need to use to make each segment successful based on their unique circumstances.
Organizational alignment also expands to updating customer success teams on any new changes to your product or service in terms of features, integrations, pricing, the user interface, and other aspects. This information enables them to stay up-to-date on their solution expertise so that they can provide the full support necessary to achieve their customer success goals.
Effectively Scale Customer Success with Gainsight
A critical moment in a business’ life is that point when customer growth begins to outpace the company’s resources and capabilities. With customer success management being critical to business growth, it cannot happen without an effective scaling strategy. Automation technology, data-driven management buy-in, and sales alignment with customer success teams are the catalysts that can help firms scale sufficiently.
To discover more detailed insights on scaling customer success, be sure to check out our webinar featuring Okta and their journey on growing to a billion-dollar enterprise.