Customer success in SaaS is growing into an infallible strategy for boosting conversions, increasing customers’ loyalty, driving referral sales, and reducing churn.
Acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than retaining existing ones—so customer success is definitely worth embracing in every organization.
This guide covers the essentials of customer success for SaaS brands. You’ll discover its meaning, its importance, and ways to properly utilize it to reduce churn and increase customer loyalty.
What is customer success?
Customer success is a defined strategy for helping customers achieve their goals using your product or service.
Every software product is meant to solve the needs of a target customer. But you won’t help your customers achieve their goals by designing and selling them a great product alone. In addition, and more importantly, you’d also need to build strong relationships with them—by providing encouragement and support.
Customer success is a proactive, relationship-based strategy for:
- Understanding your customers and their respective pain points
- Establishing and building strong bonds in your relationship with customers
- Providing your customers the assistance they need to meet and exceed their targets
- Facilitating the use of your products and services for optimum results
Customer success could mean varying things to different brands. In all cases, however, customer success is simply ensuring that your customers succeed (so that your company will also succeed).
Differences between customer success and customer support
Customer success is a relatively new concept in SaaS that people often mistake for customer support. However, they’re two different things.
The first difference between customer success and customer support is that customer success is proactive while support is reactive.
Customer support focuses on helping customers when they reach out with a question or problem. On the other hand, customer success focuses on identifying customers’ roadblocks beforehand and taking strategic actions to help them reach their goals.
Another difference is that customer support builds a transactional relationship with customers. Customer support comes in only when a customer reaches out with a request, and then the relationship ends after the request is treated. However, customer success has no “endpoint.” It focuses on consistently building solid, non-transactional relationships with customers.
Why customer success is important for SaaS brands
Customer success profits businesses in several ways. However, here are three top reasons why customer success is vital for SaaS companies:
1. It reduces churn
Customers are more likely to churn when they can’t use your software product to hit their goals. Unfortunately, a high churn rate can be disastrous for your business since acquiring new customers is no easy feat. And it’s challenging for a company to grow through the acquisition of new customers alone.
2. It promotes customer loyalty
Customers who accomplish their goals and build thriving businesses using your software are less likely to terminate their subscription. In addition to extending their contract, successful customers are more likely to grab your cross-sell and upsell offers since they’re assured of your product’s value.
3. It builds brand ambassadors
Longtime successful customers won’t hesitate to share your software with their network and even recommend it to their new team if they move to a new company. So customer success can generate consistent second-order revenue for your business in the long run and also turn customers into loyal brand ambassadors.
Getting started with SaaS customer success
Ready to get started with customer success? Below are three top saas customer success best practices:
1. Prioritize customer success early
Competition in SaaS, like every other industry, is tight. And, your customers are likely to choose an alternative product when yours doesn’t help them achieve their desired results. So, one way to grow your SaaS company is to prioritize customer success early—even if it means hiring a few extra hands.
2. Define success from your customers’ viewpoint
Customer success is aimed at helping customers build successful businesses using your product. However, this can be a tricky task to accomplish when you have a blurred idea of what your customers see as success. Thankfully, you can overcome this challenge by reaching out to them and improving your product and messaging based on their feedback.
You can take advantage of in-app surveys, onboarding email campaigns, and other mediums to get an idea of the outcome your customers want to achieve with your product.
3. Pay close attention to customer usage data
Customer usage data is essential for adequately implementing customer success strategies. Closely monitoring and studying your customers’ usage data will help you know whether a customer is using your product (and how they are using it). You’ll get a clear picture of how often a customer uses your product and discover customers who are close to churning.
Successful customers make a successful SaaS brand
Every SaaS brand should prioritize customer success—regardless of their size. You don’t need to hire a dedicated customer success team to get started. You can have two to three people from other departments spend some time executing customer success strategies every week.
Additionally, you can utilize automation to speed up your customer success operations. With chatbots and automated email campaigns, for example, you’ll be able to deploy a proactive approach to assisting new and existing customers to become successful—thereby setting up your business for success.
Keep an eye on our Customer Success topic where you can find more actionable insights.