Customer success is a crucial component of any successful business yet is often an afterthought. This is a mistake. You should consider customer success before growth and actively hiring for it while planning your technology strategy and/or new product roll-out. 

Read on to learn more about customer success, why you should hire for customer success roles early, the typical responsibilities in a customer success role, how customer success is different from customer service.

What is customer success, and why does it matter for your business?

Customer success, like many roles in startups, is often underestimated. This role is key to building customer loyalty and maximizing ROI on customer engagements. Customer success enables your company to retain a profitable customer base by having the customer success manager (CSM) as a liaison between the customer and your company. This person(s) monitors and proactively addresses any obstacles that may prevent the customer from achieving value from your product.

Why should you hire customer success managers specifically early on?

Here’s why:

Your customer’s success determines whether or not they renew their contract with your business which directly impacts your revenue and profit margins.

There are many benefits of hiring for these roles early on in your startup’s life. First and foremost, companies (especially SaaS technology companies) that prioritize customer success see their churn rates decrease immensely. This is because they’re actively building trust with customers through added value from day one, making them more likely to stay with your company.

As companies grow their customer bases and revenue streams, customer retention becomes a vital part of growth. Though you may be able to get by hiring customer success managers once your churn rates start rising, you may lose clients you never knew were dissatisfied with your service and not gaining value from your product. It’s better to focus on customer success from the beginning.

As a startup, it may seem counterintuitive to hire for something so critical so early, but you’ll do better in the long run if you take care of customers before they become fully vested in your product or service. Studies show that customer retention is about 5 times more cost-effective than customer acquisition – which makes customer success managers all the more important to retain customers.

Typical Customer Success Responsibilities

Though the customer success manager’s (CSM) job is to ensure that your company meets the customers’ needs and upholds their trust, EVERYONE–Marketers, Product Managers, Customer Success Managers, and Sales–need to work together to ensure that your company’s promise to your customers matches your product.

For customer success managers, that means providing customers with expertise and support around your product to ensure they’re getting the most out of what you offer. This is why they should be at the center of your customer retention efforts.

The typical responsibilities of someone in a customer success role include:

  • Ensuring that the company meets its customers’ needs and upholds their trust.
  • Monitoring the success of a product or service by analyzing data on sales, revenue, conversion rates, etc., to identify areas for improvement.
  • Researching new trends in the industry and making sure that the company stays ahead of competitors.
  • Retaining customers by understanding what they want from your product/service and ensuring they receive value immediately. 
  • Identifying potential risks for clients before they become problems.
  • Handling incoming customer inquiries and supporting customers with product usage, including troubleshooting and training.
  • Identifying common customer concerns and taking steps to resolve and eliminate them.

How is customer success different from customer service?

Customer service is customer support generally when there’s a problem with the customer’s order or product, whereas customer success is customer retention. While customer service is important for new companies to have in the early stages of growth, customer success is needed when a company begins to grow rapidly or when they start selling more complex products. Customer service only helps the customer when there’s a problem and your product experience does not match your promise. This is why customer success is so critical, as it will help retain customers by increasing product education and engagement. If you are trying to scale quickly or sell more complex products, customer success needs to be built up along with customer service.

Final Thoughts – In Case You Need More Convincing

Customer success is a field that’s on the rise. More and more businesses realize they need customer-centric teams to help them succeed in their industry. 

If you’re not yet convinced, here’s why we think it matters for your business: 

  • It helps keep customers happy and coming back;
  • You can reduce churn rates by having proactive retention strategies;
  • It’s an easier way to develop better products quicker than before because of increased feedback loops with customers (and potential early adopters of new products you create);

And lastly, but most importantly, if you want innovation–which every company does these days–you’ll need input from people who will use what you create–that’s (hopefully) your existing customers. Customer happiness equals customer retention. The longer they are with you, the more likely they are to be a customer for life or upgrade their package(s). Furthermore, once customers feel good about your product, they are more likely to recommend it to a friend or colleague.

Click here to contact us right now to get help with your customer success strategy.