This is a guest blog post by Justine Dennis, Manager, Customer Success & Support at Fusebill.
Mattias Putman and Ewout Meyns launched PieSync in 2014 with a goal in mind: keep customers satisfied.
“Mattias and I are very aware that PieSync’s success depends on that of our customers. If you take care of your customers from day one, you create a kind of kick-start for new customers,” Meyns said on the business’s blog.
PieSync is a SaaS business that offers solutions to synchronize cloud applications. It scaled so well that the Belgian-based business was acquired by HubSpot for an undisclosed amount in 2019.
“Mattias and I could hardly grasp that a company like that was keen on acquiring us. At that moment you feel so validated, it really hits you: we’ve done good things,” Meyns said.
Like many B2B SaaS businesses, happy customers are at the core of PieSync’s success. Meyns notes their product was created with simplicity in mind, so customers wouldn’t have trouble using it.
The goal of Customer Success is to keep your customers satisfied and realizing value from your product, in turn, making them loyal and reducing churn.
Jonas Rasschaert, PieSync’s Customer Success Manager, pointed to three things that make PieSync’s Customer Success strategy thrive.
- Implementing a system that captures feedback from customers, leads and other prospects.
- Taking a “helicopter view” and occasionally a step back from the Customer Success strategy to see what can be improved.
- Addressing customer concerns proactively through high-quality content.
The company’s story illustrates an important lesson for any SaaS business looking to scale: Customer Success is a significant factor in supporting SaaS growth.
For a deeper dive, here are three key Customer Success insights that can help drive SaaS growth.
1.Who are your most successful customers?
For Clearbit Chief Marketing Officer, Matt Sornson, redefining how his SaaS business views success was important in creating growth.
Clearbit, a B2B tool that personalizes customer interactions, initially focused on top-line revenue as a key metric.
This is often the case for many B2B SaaS businesses.
“We might ask again: is all revenue good revenue? Why not just sell to anyone, while also investing more into healthy customers? Dollars are dollars, right?” Sornson said.
The problem with this concept is some customers inevitably won’t get enough value from the product, he says. A lot of upfront time and resources will go into closing these customers that will be much less likely to find success with the business in the long run.
As a result, these customers are more likely to have a lower lifetime value (LTV), which entails the amount of money a customer is expected to spend on your SaaS over the course of your business relationship.
Delving further, Sornson said he found that 86% of the business’s long-term revenue resulted from 18% of leads.
It’s a pattern that follows the Pareto principle, which states that roughly 80% of business comes from 20% of your customers.
This helped Clearbit paint a picture of its ideal customer profile (ICP). It meant the business could better use its resources to target customers that would be more likely commit to the business over the long term.
Customer Success teams need to understand who their most successful customers are, not only to allocate their efforts most appropriately, but also so they can support marketing and sales departments in developing more successful strategies based on best fit leads.
Clearbit changed its marketing strategy by focusing on routing ICP leads to the sales team, Sornson noted.
“Budget expectations were also renewed: if the new value per lead for ICPs is much higher than before, it opens the door to more fun and interesting marketing activities,” he added.
2.What products, services, and features do your customers use most?
To drive growth, it’s important to understand what your customers want most out of your SaaS.
Customer Success teams should spend most of their time understanding the needs of their most successful customers.
Addressing their unique needs — whether through a customizable dashboard, feature creation and development, or integration with apps they already use — is a strategy SaaS businesses are using to stand out above the crowd, and to drive growth.
If you’re using a subscription billing platform, this can be used to track your customer usage and purchase patterns on a granular level — important data that can help you better target your business to your customers. These platforms can be a valuable tool for Customer Success teams to use in their journey of understanding their current customers, and to entice more customers like them.
Slack is one B2B SaaS business that’s driving growth by offering users a personalized experience. The business communication platform delivers customers a variety of extensions to tailor the software to suite an array of business needs.
Slack makes the customization process simple. This ease of use has made the business a huge success.
That’s especially important today amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with many businesses going remote with their work and facing new pain points.
Slack currently has a market capitalization of $24 billion, making it one of the biggest business communication tools around. And as Slack illustrates, customization should not come at the cost of making your product unnecessarily complicated.
You can mitigate this by testing your product to find that right balance between increased conversions, satisfied customers, and developers who aren’t bogged down with unnecessary work.
3.What else could you be offering to satisfy the needs of your top customers?
The chance of selling a product to a new customer is 5-20%. That number jumps to 60-70% when you consider selling to your existing customers, according to Market Metrics.
It’s no wonder many SaaS businesses are selling to their existing customers.
Slack caters to its ideal customers by offering them higher-end, add-on products. This is called upselling.
Slack’s users see an upsell message once they’ve reached the 10,000-message limit, which makes sense.
Users that have reached this point will likely find added benefit in the platform’s additional products, and they’re more likely to purchase them. It’s about offering the right upsell at the right time. And by upselling, Slack is extending its customers’ LTV.
Upselling well in part depends on your product’s design. Similar to Slack, a product should have an element of discoverability — it should encourage your users to seek out new features.
Current users that find value in your product will be enticed to purchase your upsells once they discover them.
Finally, your customers offer valuable insights on what upsells they’re seeking. Your Customer Success team should be asking for customer feedback on what users deem most valuable when using your SaaS product.
It also doesn’t hurt to ask your customers about room for improvement around your current product.
Understanding what works for your customer and what could be better can help you strategize your next upsell. It also continually evolves your product in line with what the market wants and needs.
Customer Success teams can drive retention and new growth
Effective Customer Success teams are valuable assets for SaaS businesses seeking growth. It’s through the lens of Customer Success teams that SaaS businesses can put a finger on the pulse of their ideal customer base, the needs of these customers, and any opportunities for product enhancement and development.
And of course, departments like marketing and sales can use the knowledge housed in Customer Success teams to launch effective new strategies.
If you’re looking to garner growth at your SaaS, consider leveraging your Customer Success team.
Justine Dennis is the Manager of Customer Success and Support at Fusebill. She has been working in client-facing roles, including technical support, customer success and implementation and training for the past 10 years. Justine truly enjoys connecting with customers to understand them as well as their business needs, and to create long-lasting partnerships.
Customer Success Around the Web
- The Customer Success Jobs Report for January 2021– Given the trend of increases in open Customer Success jobs last year, we remain bullish for 2021 and believe that we will see growth for this role in 2021.
- 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Customer Success – Discover seven goals to kick-start your Customer Success prosperity & expansion in 2021.
- 7 Ways to Make Every Interaction With Customers Fantastic – Follow these handy tips to make every customer interaction memorable.
Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero