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🥰 Why your success team deserves more love
The case for investing in customer success
Software companies have always held certain roles in high regard: the engineer, the product manager, anything related to artificial intelligence/machine learning. However, there is one function that often goes chronically undervalued: customer success.
So, what exactly is customer success?
In my experience, customer success is the product manager's best friend. The customer success manager (CSM) serves as the voice of the customer, providing the quickest and most accurate source of product feedback. This individual is empathetic, proactive, outgoing, friendly, and, above all, the evangelist for your product and organization. A great CSM constantly monitors how customers are utilizing the product, identifies areas for improvement, and takes appropriate action.
However, it's important to note that while empathy is the CSM's superpower, it can also be a pitfall. Product teams must balance the perspectives of individual CSMs to make well-rounded impacts that benefit the entire user base, rather than just a single client.
But why is customer success so critical? Let's examine a few case studies.
First, let me share my own experience. Over the past year and a half, I have been involved in building a category-creating product. Our users had never encountered anything like it before, which naturally necessitated a shift in behavior and complicated change management. Initially, our team dedicated extensive resources to every new rollout. However, as time went on, this approach became unsustainable. We needed a smoother rollout process with fewer touchpoints. Enter the customer success organization. Since their involvement, our customer success team has significantly increased weekly and even daily engagement with our product. They have driven adoption across our ecosystem, which not only improves customer satisfaction but also boosts revenue. We owe them a great deal of gratitude.
Now, let's consider another story. A friend of mine runs a company that achieved rapid success, reaching $10 million in annual recurring revenue within just a few years. Impressive, right? However, they soon encountered a churn problem. Their product is an insights platform heavy on data, capable of driving impactful business outcomes. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a proactive customer success approach, users began to churn as they didn't see enough value in continuing to pay for the product. Recognizing customer success as the key to longevity, they are now heavily investing in building out a customer success strategy to retain customers.
Invest in customer success before you have a problem
The lesson here is clear: invest in customer success before problems arise. Adopting a value-based approach to revenue expansion is essential, and your customer success team plays a pivotal role in achieving this. Wouldn't you rather identify opportunities for growth rather than react to issues that lead to stagnation?
By investing in your success team, getting closer to your customers, and sharing valuable insights throughout your organization, everyone stands to benefit. So, let's give our customer success teams the love and recognition they deserve.