The Secret Ingredient for True Customer Success

March 17, 2017 by Crescerance

Customer Success is the hot topic in #SaaS right now. For those unfamiliar, it brashly translates to: “It’s not enough that your company picks up the phone, shares tutorials, or focuses on intentional customer training– the only way to maximize retention is for users and clients to feel true success with your product”

So what does that mean for those who have built their careers on picking up the phone, developing tutorials and focusing on intentional customer training? It means it’s time to dig a little deeper. It means that what was deemed excellent service five years ago, is now the minimum viable option. Lastly, it means squeezing more out of resources, evolving with your customers and a dash of the secret ingredient: Empathy.

Personally, I work in #edtech. My team and I deliver SaaS solutions (from mobile apps to websites to databases) to teachers, administrators, parents and education-centric associations. When you work in #edtech you come across some of the most dedicated yet overworked and underpaid stakeholders and clients. This population is often starving for efficiency and direction in their technology solutions because they simply do not have time for the chaos of multiple, disjointed products that need constant re-training and help-desk calls.

Customer Success begins at the inception of a client-company relationship when the ink is still drying on the contract. The first step is understanding: What are the main client problems that can be solved and what are their expectations of the product? Who is the product champion and what does his/her day-to-day look like? Who does our client report to within their organization and what are the metrics or expectations they expect our client to achieve with the product? The deeper the questions you ask, the deeper your opportunity for empathy with a client.

So if empathy is the magic ingredient and incidentally, a tough thing to automate, how does an empathy-centric organization or team scale when the answer can’t simply be multiplying the workforce?

Create a culture of empathy. Let it seep into your hiring decisions, into your training of new hires, into the programs that you establish for customers, partners and internal teams alike. Teaching empathy can be tough, but if you choose talent that is empathetic to both management and customer, you’ll create success for your customers and wield the secret ingredient in its most efficient way.