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While acquiring new customers is good, retaining the existing ones is far more valuable in any SaaS business.
For instance, existing customers of Zoom buy 30% more each year. And 75% of the total revenue UiPath makes comes from existing customers. Also, according to a source, increasing customer retention by 5% can boost your revenue by up to 25%.
What does the above data indicate? It shows how retaining existing customers positively impacts SaaS businesses. But how can you retain your existing customers? Well, that’s when Customer Success comes in.
This blog discusses customer success and how it helps retain customers. In addition, you’ll learn how you can build a customer success team to benefit your SaaS business.
What is Customer Success in SaaS?
In SaaS, customer success is a strategy that helps customers achieve their goals and more value with the help of your company’s services/products.
SaaS companies usually have a customer success team that does all the critical thinking and ensures the best possible experience for the customer.
How Can Customer Success Transform Your SaaS Business?
- Customer Success Helps Improve Net Revenue Retention (NRR)
While a sales team’s job is to sell, they can’t establish a strong enough relationship with the customers. There’s always a gap left. However, a dedicated customer success team fills this gap.
A customer success team can talk to the customers and check whether their goals are being met. They can formulate a more authentic relationship with the customers, upsell the services and thus improve the overall net revenue retention.
- Customer Success Helps Reduce Churn Rate
Customer churn is the worst enemy for SaaS businesses. So much so that it costs businesses over $1.6 trillion each year.
However, with customer success, you can reduce this churn rate to a minimum. A dedicated customer success team can help you understand the why behind the churn and devise a strategy to reduce the same.
- Customer Success Helps You Improve the Customer Lifetime Value
Customer success teams ensure that the customers can solve their problems using their product/service. It improves customer satisfaction and motivates the customer to buy more or at least stay with your organisation for longer. And all this translates to more revenue and better customer lifetime value.
- Customer Success Helps Unlock Second Order Revenue
Second-order revenue is the one that comes from referrals and customers who bring your product/service to the new companies they join. And customer success helps you both unlock and increase this revenue.
If you ensure success for your customers, they’ll automatically refer your product/service to others. And the likelihood of them taking your product/service to the new company they join will increase too. So, there’s a dual benefit.
- Customer Success Helps Improve your Overall Product/Service
While your customers may be reaching out to developers and other support staff with their queries, there’s always a communication gap. And this communication gap is what stops most businesses from improving.
However, a dedicated customer success team can become the voice of your customers. They can talk to and understand the customers' pain points. And you can use the customer feedback to improve your overall product/service.
Now that you know how customer success impacts your SaaS business let’s learn how you can make your customer success team more effective.
How To Make your Customer Success Team More Effective: Actionable Steps
- Hire The Right People
The first step toward setting up a customer success team is: HIRING THE RIGHT PEOPLE. You need a dedicated customer success team if you really want to achieve the purpose.
So, look for candidates with the right set of skills. For instance, an ideal candidate would be:
- Polite and a people’s person.
- An active and patient listener.
- Technically and analytically sound.
- A problem solver.
- Good at communication.
Once you shortlist a few candidates, you can face them with the present product challenges you’re experiencing. And the ones who approach the challenges correctly will make up your customer success team.
- Talk to your Customers
Your product/service is for your customers, right? Therefore, ensure that your customer success team talks to them before anything else.
Here’s exactly what you would want your team to do:
- Prepare a list of customers (5-7) who reported success using your product/service.
- Prepare another list of customers who reported failure using your product/service.
- Talk to each of them and understand the reason for their success and failure.
- Pen down the response and not the trends of your unhappy and happy customers.
Doing the above will help you know target customers better and develop a customer persona, which will further help you shape your product/service accordingly.
- Create a Simple Onboarding Process
While it may be easy for you to use and navigate through your product, it's not the same for your customers. Your customers might find it hard to use your product/service initiatives, which could become the reason behind customer churn.
Solution? A simple and well-laid onboarding process. You can create an easy tutorial that walks your customer through your product's scenarios. Or, you can assign team members who proactively help customers learn about the product and answer their queries.
- Survey your Customers at All Stages of Your Customer Lifecycle
A sustainable feedback mechanism becomes necessary once you have a considerably large customer base. This feedback mechanism will help you determine customer satisfaction and ensure customer success.
To set up a sustainable feedback mechanism, you can deploy surveys at all customer lifecycle stages, from onboarding to cancellation. From onboarding surveys, you can learn what the customers liked and didn't like about the process. And by gathering more information on why customers canceled, you can easily rectify the issue and thus retain more customers.
- Be The Voice of your Customers
Not all customers come forward and call/ write emails about the problems they face with your product. Sometimes, you’ll have to voluntarily ask for feedback and become the voice of your customers. This will help you address customer pain points and improve faster than ever.
Here’s what you can ask your customers
- What did they like about your product/service?
- What they didn’t like about your product/service?
- How was the onboarding experience?
You can add more questions as per your requirements.
Also, make sure that your feedback sessions are engaging and not irritating to the customers. For instance, you can offer an extended trial or a small reward to any customer who leaves genuine feedback.
What’s more, you can organize feedback sessions once, maybe twice a month. This will keep the customers from getting irritated or bored.
Pro Tip: After you collect the feedback from your customer, work on it and remove the discrepancy. Once done, reach out to the customers and show how you made changes based on their feedback. Doing this will help the customer understand that they are being heard. And because of this, your customer will feel more empowered.
- Create Self-Service Resources
Sometimes your customers won’t call your customer success team to get their queries answered. They would want to visit the internet to look for answers on their own. So, make sure that they find those answers. And for that, you need to create self-service resources such as blogs, long-form articles, or frequently asked questions.
- Collaborate With Other Departments
Your customer success team knows how the customer behaves after they make the purchase. But they aren't aware of the customer's journey until the buying decision is made. This will confuse your customer success team as they won't know whether to upsell or cross-sell.
So, ensure that your customer success team collaborates with the sales and marketing departments. Doing this will benefit both your customer success and the marketing team.
- The customer success team will be able to understand the customer behaviour right from making the buying decision to using the product.
- The marketing team will be able to learn what type of content the customers like. And then they can curate the content accordingly.
How To Structure a Customer Success Team?
To structure your success team, you just need to assign the right responsibilities to the people. Here are the designations involved in a customer success team and the responsibilities that come along:
- VP or Vice President of Customer Success
The role of the VP is to manage the customer success team by ensuring the creation and implementation of the strategy.
- Chief Customer Officer
This is an optional role for small companies. However, if you’re a large SaaS organisation, CCO is important. He’s the person who trains the employees and helps with the implementation of customer success strategies.
- Customer Success Director
These individuals are known for their expertise in customer relations. A customer success director analyzes the data to notice trends and identify customer pain points.
- Customer Success Management Team Lead
The customer success management team lead helps develop and track saas metrics for the team’s and customer’s success.
- Customer Success Operations Manager
The goal of the operations manager is to make the customer success team more efficient.
- Digital Success Manager
As the name suggests, a digital success manager takes care of the digital or virtual aspects like ensuring the rightful use of customer success tools and software.
- Customer Success Analyst
Success analysts work with customer success managers and help them create strategies using customer trends.
For any SaaS or subscription-based business to succeed, retaining the existing customers is highly important. And you can do that by setting up a well-structured customer success team.
You can use the tips above as a guide, set up a customer success team, and start achieving more with your SaaS business.
And if you need experts on your side to develop custom SaaS software, you can get in touch with us. We are an IT consulting firm that helps businesses like you innovate with the help of breakthrough technologies. Whether you need help with cloud transformation, blockchain, RPA, chatbots, Kubernetes, or Business Intelligence, we can help. We have dedicated individuals who’ve helped hundreds of companies achieve their business goals and can help you too.