Cash-flow and funding can limit headcount for many early-stage SaaS companies, and at the outset, Customer Success often falls on a team of one. This lone CSM is responsible for training, support, and an avalanche of other tasks to ensure that customers continuously renew their subscription. As the business grows, this team of one will need to figure out how to scale their role — and do so quickly. The solution frequently boils down to one of two choices: 1) invest in Customer Success software, or 2) hire an additional team member.
Customer Success (CS) is enjoying a lot of attention, particularly in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) where CS is a critical enabler of renewal subscriptions. Customer Support, by comparison, is perceived as a reactive (and less attractive) break-fix department. While organizationally, Support may be a separate team, it can also play a key role in customers' success. Organizations that are willing to lower the silo walls can enjoy significant opportunities for improved Customer Success.
Customer Success as a profession has grown by leaps and bounds in just a few short years. Companies are no longer just exploring the idea of Customer Success, they are now making big investments and wrestling with the challenges of managing and nurturing Customer Success teams. In this article, we explore the skills and characteristics that define great Customer Success Managers (CSM), the best places to recruit CSM talent, and how to develop and retain your Customer Success team.
In a previous article, John Kelly of CustomerLink, explored why CSMs should be mindful of their customer's definition of success. In this installment, John outlines a systemic process that leads to customer success at scale.
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Once you have an understanding of your customers' business goals and an agreed upon success plan, you can then execute a systematic process that leads to customer success at scale.
Our guest contributor, John Kelly of CustomerLink, explores why CSMs should put their customer’s definition of success at the center of their work.
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Customers purchase your software to address a business challenge or opportunity. Transitioning to your product will likely require changes in processes, work practices and behaviors. This represents a risk for the executive sponsor, the champion and the leadership of the department concerned. As a customer success manager, you can mitigate this risk by putting your customer’s definition of success at the center of your efforts.