A Definitive Customer Success Roadmap For Early Stage SaaS Companies

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A Definitive Customer Success Roadmap For Early Stage SaaS Companies
At a Glance

Customer success is an extremely important operational aspect for SaaS businesses. By ensuring that the customers are able to achieve the desired outcome from using the product, SaaS enterprises can ensure long-term profitability. When it comes to early-stage SaaS enterprises, a customer success roadmap is the most important determinant of the long-term future of the organization.

Customer success is critical in helping customers get more value from your product.

Caleb Elston

If you are looking for wisdom related to customer success in early-stage startups. It is vital to note that the end goal is always the ability of a SaaS enterprise to retain customers and reach a position of consistent revenue generation. Every SaaS enterprise is striving hard to gain an edge over its competitors, and in such a space, ‘customer success’ is a pivotal determinant to what sets a business apart.

We see our customers as guests invited to a party, and we are the hosts.

Jeff Bezos

One of the most prominent examples of the importance of customer success is Amazon. The eCommerce behemoth has managed to become the leading online shopping platform in the US. At present, more than half of the total eCommerce sales in the US take place on Amazon. What is the reason that customers keep coming back to Amazon? It is amazingly simple. Instead of taking a reactive approach to the problems, Amazon takes a proactive approach. This ensures that the level of customer service sets such high benchmarks that customers then start looking for such service with other platforms. Their staff undergoes regular training to ensure that the customers have an incredible shopping experience with Amazon that compels them to return for shopping repeatedly.

A question that arises here is that does your SaaS company need to deviate its investment into building a customer success roadmap instead of sales and marketing, which drives more leads and customer acquisition? The straightforward answer is yes. So, let us take a closer look at why this is true.

A Customer Success Roadmap

The best SaaS companies can grow almost 40%, 50%, 60% a month year over year, just upselling to the existing base without even new customers.

Jason Lemkin

As a SaaS enterprise, sustainable and predictable growth is a major determinant, it is time you start taking customer success seriously. The first step to do so is to lay out a strategic customer success process and a predictable roadmap for unrestricted startup growth.

Why is customer success important?

Customer success in early-stage startups will generally be a dedicated team effort. Everyone from the founding members, salespeople, product managers, marketing team, and beyond will be actively involved. However, in the case of B2B enterprises, the need for customer success managers (CSMs) comes into play.

Most SaaS enterprises operate on a subscription-based basis which means retaining and striving for the satisfaction of existing customers is of more value than being in a perpetual chase of getting new customers. When you entirely understand these metrics, you begin investing in customer success.

When you hire your first customer success manager and sow the seed of developing a strong customer success team, you by default get into a ‘customer success debt’ or a ‘sales debt.’ This implies that to retain and build customer satisfaction, you are implementing an easier strategy in the short-term instead of devising the greatest overall solution. A CSM will take care of all the factors from product feedback to renewal rates, customer adaptability, and beyond.

Build a better perspective

Perhaps, the most critical aspect of gaining customer success is changing your perspective. It is necessary that you stop looking at customer success as the amount of customer acquisition. Stop dwelling on acquiring customers and start investing your energy into understanding them.

Start asking yourself the following questions.

  • What is the specific problem a customer is trying to solve, and how does your product fit?
  • How competent is your product in solving that problem?
  • How competent is your product in adding value to a customer’s life on a regular basis?
  • How will your product be of a customer’s use for a lifetime?

Remember that customer success is not a numbers game; it is a game of understanding the psychology behind a customer’s purchases.

Engage with your customers

Your SaaS product might appear valuable in theory, but if it does not provide ease and value in terms of usability, it will never tip. It is then your duty to invest the time and resources to ensure that your customers are achieving their desired outcomes and the best way to do that is by engaging with them upfront.

To enable startup growth, you must critically analyze what makes a customer stick. To question yourself.

●      Why do some customers never go beyond the loading page?

●      Why do customers not go beyond the free trial?

●      Is the product complex to a point where it is not delivering value?

●      Are you facing an increase in the number of canceled subscriptions?

Answers to these types of questions lie when you switch to effective communication with the customers. It can be in the form of scheduled emails or even calls for feedback on how your SaaS product can serve them better. Note: The goal is customer satisfaction.’

Take small but impactful steps

When you start focusing on customer success, it is not necessary you start taking herculean measures to how your SaaS enterprise operates. Once you start setting customers at the forefront of everything you do, giving directions to your marketing team, reforming the implementations of your sales team, making valuable changes to your product development, and all such activities can be executed in small and effective ways. It is unbelievable how long a ‘thank-you’ goes to attain customer success.

Scrutiny and improvement

Scrutinize your SaaS customer success process at every step because that is where improvement resides. If your target is unparalleled customer success, the most functional way is to determine a handful of key metrics against which you measure your customer success activities. This will provide a clear picture of the level of impact it has on your customer. This is a great way to study customer psychology and to buy patterns.

Customer success is not a once-in-a-while activity that will give you the desired output. It is an entire transition of perspective and must be a continuous process so that there is a perpetual flow of value and customer satisfaction.

Follow the philosophy: “Customer is the king,” and you are halfway there. Gradually, as you educate yourself better about the customer needs, what problems they are looking to solve, and why they do what they do, you can expand your customer success horizons. There are never-ending ways through which you can achieve customer success, so start with small and actionable measures. Follow a data-driven and analytical approach. Eventually, you will see your SaaS enterprise growing leaps and bounds.

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