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Customer Success: have we come to a halt?

We are still the new kids on the block. Customer Success was born out of Silicon Valley as the ‘fluffy’ new age of Account Management.

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Written by Ed Stennett

26 Feb, 2019  –  4 min read

We are still the new kids on the block. Customer Success was born out of Silicon Valley as the ‘fluffy’ new age of Account Management.

Eight years on, it is now the most crucial area of any modern day SaaS business striving for success. If you do not sit up and start caring about your customers, your business will fail. Period. Hiring within Customer Success continues to rocket year on year, with salaries growing at an astronomical rate.

So why do I worry?

A reluctance to pioneer.

Compared to that of Sales, Support, Engineering, Customer Success is still incredibly young. We are still finding our feet in many cases and organisations are still learning how to operate with Customer Success teams.

As a result, CS teams are having to fail fast while other areas of the business continue to innovate.

Sales: from BDR through to SDR, teams are having to innovate in order to improve and sustain aggressive sales targets and increased competition. Smarter outreach, data driven expansion, regional, and cultural adaptation to penetrate new markets.

Support: AI Bots, comprehensive training and knowledge base solutions, macro implementation, and SLA reporting and analysis.

Engineering: no need to dive too deeply here, just check out React.

But what of Customer Success? I attend many different events and meet-ups as an ambassador for the London Customer Success Network. The most intelligent, talented, and driven individuals all group together in one room to discuss our common goal and love for Customer Success. However, I hear the same challenges over and over again. The same sort of challenges and questions that I have heard for the last 6 years:

  • What is the best way to execute an effective NPS program?
  • How do you define your customer health score?
  • How do I lower churn in our low touch segment?
  • Why is time to first value important?

This can’t be right. How do we pioneer towards the new age of Customer Success? Where are we re-inventing the wheel? How is it that the same questions are being asked year on year, only to find that we are never really pushing forward?

In all of this, there is one person that suffers most of all: the customer.

We have become inward looking. “How do we improve ‘x’ and ‘y’ metric”. We forget and oversee the one core reason that we all do this - to help people.

What do we do?

Pulse Europe produced a little gem back in November:

Customer Success = Customer Experience + Customer Outcomes

For me, this is it. Customer Outcomes is simple, what was it that your customer was expecting to get out of their purchase and how do you ensure that they meet this? We hear a lot around ‘ROI’ and ‘value’, the techniques and strategies behind this are very similar across industry and company.

However, Customer Experience is where this becomes interesting.

How do we enhance the experience that our customers have working with us? How do we ensure that we deliver relevant, timely, and exciting experiences throughout their journey as a customer. This is where the innovation can happen and also where company to company we can innovate in different ways. This is where we need to consistently evolve and adapt.

Our customers here at Seenit are such an inspiration to us as a team. It’s no lie, we sit inside a market that is not fully mature and quite volatile. Yet, our customers share our passion and vision for storytelling and have taken a leap of faith towards our common belief of how the future looks. That is a leap that they will not regret, and we will be here to deliver for them every step of the way.

More to come from our team in the following months as we look to drop some nuggets of gold to enhance our Customer Experience and do things a bit more…. ‘Seenit’.

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