beatchurn logo customer successBeatchurn

June 17, 2024

Author: Lee

What is Customer Success


All companies require proper marketing and a well thought out and executed sales process. What many companies also need, is a Customer Success department and strategy. While acquiring customers is mandatory for any company, making them recurring and happy customers is just as mandatory.

Before we dive head deep into Customer Success, we need to get a proper understanding of what it is, and can mean for your company. Because why is this strategy so widely adopted and do many companies value the success they get from it?

What is Customer Success?

Customer Success ensures customers are happy and successful with the products or services they purchase from a company. This means the company doesn’t just make a sale and move on; instead, they have Customer Success Managers (CSMs) who work closely with customers to maximize the value of their purchase.

CSMs act like helpful friends or coaches, guiding customers on how to use the product effectively, answering questions, and suggesting ways to achieve their goals using the product. The primary goal is to keep customers satisfied and loyal, so they continue using the product and remain customers, rather than switching to a competitor. Happy, successful customers are more likely to renew their subscriptions and make additional purchases.

Customer Success focuses on the customer’s long-term success and ensures they genuinely benefit from the company’s products: driving value. It's about building strong relationships and providing excellent ongoing support.

Customer Success vs Customer Support

While both roles are crucial, they serve distinct purposes and operate differently within a company. The most important aspect is value versus problems and reactive versus proactive. Let's take a closer look.

Customer Support

Customer Support is the frontline of customer interaction, where customers ask a question and support replies. This can be described as reactive. When a customer encounters an issue or has a question, they reach out to the support team. The team is dedicated to resolving specific complaints, troubleshooting technical problems, and providing immediate assistance. The focus is on short-term solutions, ensuring that the customer's issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. Each interaction is typically a one-off transaction, aimed at fixing a problem and allowing the customer to continue using the product or service without interruption.

Customer Success

Customer Success, on the other hand, is a more proactive and strategic approach. Customer Success Managers work closely with customers to anticipate their needs and prevent issues before they arise. Their main goal is to ensure that customers achieve their desired outcomes and derive maximum value from the product or service. This involves continuous engagement with customers, understanding their long-term goals, and providing guidance to help them succeed. Rather than addressing isolated issues, CSMs focus on building strong, ongoing relationships. They act as coaches, offering strategic advice and personalized support to align the product's use with the customer's business objectives.

Who needs to apply a Customer Success Strategy?

Basically, if you have (return) customers, you would require a Customer Success strategy.

There is an important reason many companies are adopting customer success. Not only are they making sure that they companies longevity is ensured, they also focus on improving their product to make their customers more happy and satisfied.

The strategy should always be focused on the customer. Make sure that customers get the most value out of using your product or service. This in turn makes sure the customers remain or become happy with the product, so that they keep coming back.

What are the most important Customer Success aspects?

To make sure your customers gain the most out of your product or service, you need to make sure your Customer Success team applies the following three principles:

  • Improve onboarding
  • Validate the customers' success
  • Resolve technical issues
Customer Success Diagram with Onboarding, Success and Issues

Improve onboarding

The time it takes for customers or prospects to gain value from your product or service, is essential for the success of your customers. If it takes your customers too long to gain any value, you risk losing your customers short term.

Onboarding is the process of getting your customers acquainted with the product or service. This can be done by effectively training the customer. Training customers during onboarding can be anything from documentation, on-site training or using the train-the-trainer principle.

On top of that, it is making sure they receive the same value as you expect them to receive. An important part of Customer Success onboarding, is making sure the perceived value matches the expected value.

Validate Customers' Success

You can gather insights in your customers' success by regularly checking in. One of the key value metrics for Customer Success is Customer Satisfaction - how happy are they with your service. This goes to show it's important to make sure your customers are having success with your tool.

Validating success can be done in multiple ways, one is by tracking behaviour. Are they using all of your features, how often do they log in, how many new records have they created? Keeping all their data close, can give you insight in the level of success and value your customers are experiencing.

Resolve Technical Issues

While resolving technical issues may not be the first and most important part of Customer Success, it is an important topic when measuring success or value. Most of the Customer Success tools are proactive, meaning the CSM or CS representative are actively interviewing, meeting and talking to your customers.

But with all products and tools, it is possible a tool can break. You then need to be on the ball, making sure their issues are resolved swiftly and their concerns are taken away.

One of the key value metrics for Customer Success is CES or Customer Effort Score. This means how easy is it for the customer to reach you, in case there is a system outage or they are facing some product or service issues.

4 Tips to drive your Customer Success

Customer success is making sure the value you provide is sufficient or exceeds the level that the customers expect. While most products and services are different, there are some common denominators to drive success. Lets look at 4 ways to make sure your customers can succeed.

1. Proactive Onboarding and Training

To ensure your customers succeed, it's essential to start with a comprehensive onboarding program. This program should guide new customers through the initial setup and usage of your product or service, offering step-by-step tutorials, welcome emails, and possibly personalized onboarding sessions. Alongside this, providing a variety of educational resources is crucial. These resources might include video tutorials, webinars, FAQs, knowledge bases, and user guides, allowing customers to learn at their own pace and quickly find answers to their questions. By investing in a well-rounded onboarding and training strategy, you can set your customers up for success from the very beginning.

2. Regular Communication and Check-ins

Maintaining regular communication with your customers is another key aspect of a successful customer success strategy. Schedule periodic check-ins to discuss their progress, address any issues, and offer guidance. These check-ins can take the form of quarterly business reviews or monthly meetings, depending on the complexity of the product and the needs of the customer. Additionally, establishing a robust customer feedback loop is essential. Encourage customers to provide feedback through surveys, direct communication, or feedback forms, and use this information to continuously improve your product and support services. Regular and meaningful interactions help build trust and ensure that customers feel supported throughout their journey.

3. Personalized Support and Relationship Building

Providing personalized support is vital for fostering strong customer relationships. Assign dedicated Customer Success Managers (CSMs) to key accounts to offer tailored support and build lasting relationships. This approach helps in understanding each customer’s specific needs and challenges. Furthermore, developing customized success plans for each customer is essential. These plans should outline their goals, key performance indicators, and the steps needed to achieve those goals, ensuring that both the customer and your team are aligned on what success looks like. By focusing on personalized support and building strong relationships, you can significantly enhance the customer experience.

4. Proactive Problem Solving and Value Demonstration

Proactive problem-solving is a cornerstone of effective customer success. Use data and customer usage patterns to identify potential issues before they escalate. If you notice any red flags, such as a drop in usage or low engagement, reach out to customers proactively. This approach helps in addressing problems early and preventing them from becoming major obstacles. Additionally, regularly demonstrating the value of your product or service is crucial. Show customers the benefits they are gaining through regular reporting, success stories, and highlighting the return on investment through case studies or testimonials. By proactively solving problems and consistently demonstrating value, you reinforce the positive impact your product or service has on your customers' operations.

Table of contents
What is Customer Success?
Customer Success vs Customer Support
Customer Support
Customer Success
Who needs to apply a Customer Success Strategy?
What are the most important Customer Success aspects?
Improve onboarding
Validate Customers' Success
Resolve Technical Issues
4 Tips to drive your Customer Success
1. Proactive Onboarding and Training
2. Regular Communication and Check-ins
3. Personalized Support and Relationship Building
4. Proactive Problem Solving and Value Demonstration

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