Last week I kicked off a new series of blog posts about customer success for SaaS companies by answering the question ‘what is customer success?‘. This week, we’re going deeper and examining why it’s important for SaaS companies.
Tomasz Tunguz, venture capitalist at Redpoint, says customer success is ‘equal in importance to sales and marketing and engineering and product within SaaS companies’. But why? Technically, it didn’t exist 10 years ago, so why do we need it?
We need it because products are developing faster than our capacity to understand them, we need it because competition in the SaaS world is harsh and we need it in place to reduce churn and keep users sticking around for the long haul.
Let’s take a closer look at these points.
💡 – As a free bonus, check out our podcast episode talking about customer success.
Customer Success connects promise to reality
Here’s a theoretical situation to explain.
Pretend I just signed up for an analytics product because I know I need to start tracking user activity in my mobile app. The landing page copy told me that’s what I can do with the app, so I bought it. I go in, and within 2 minutes I’m confused and wondering exactly how I can load it up with my app’s data or set conversion goals.
In an ideal world, the platform’s customer success manager should have been on the phone to me the same day of purchase, guiding me through the steps to get it set up and teaching me everything I need to know.
Analytics platforms and CRMs are just two examples of complex products that can be configured in numerous different ways — for these products, a user guide or support ticket system isn’t always the best thing to offer.
You don’t want your customer having to work harder to get what was promised by the sales team because your product should be easy to implement for all customers and deliver value from day one.
Your product’s initial setup, or even basic use, won’t be obvious to everyone. Not to mention how businesses grow and their needs change over time — every time the monthly bill for your product comes through, the customer is questioning whether they really need it.