Smarter, Not Harder:

Launching Customer Success from Scratch

Customer Success (CS) is one of the most important growth drivers for any company across the globe. From new SaaS companies to established industries like healthcare, the one thing every organization shares is a need to put the customer first.

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It’s Exciting When you Think About It

Your company can focus on one philosophy and see positive changes.

….in everything from marketing to product design to net revenue retention rates.

The challenge to such a powerful growth engine is it can feel a bit overwhelming.

1. Where do you start?
2. Who should be involved?
3. What metrics should you track?
4. How do you put customer success at the core of your business?

If these questions sound
familiar, you’re not alone.

Our teams have heard similar concerns from others. But, with a little guidance and a few proven success strategies, each company we’ve partnered with has been able to implement effective customer success strategies quickly.

To help you get started, here are six steps to follow to build your customer success organization today.

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

  • Create Company Alignment
  • Understand Metrics and Objectives
  • Improve Customer Visibility
  • Evaluate Existing Processes
  • Operationalize Your CS
  • Think About Scalability

Step One

Create Company Alignment

Companies with customer success at the center of their business see the best results. As such, each person needs to understand what it is and how their specific responsibilities contribute to it. The first step to building a CS operation is company-wide alignment.

These are your first three steps.

1. Show the value of Customer Success to get executive buy-in.
2. Share data and insights to align your organization around CS.
3. Create a budget proposal that receives buy-in from leadership.

Attracting new customers is approximately five times more expensive than growing revenue from existing customers. With an effective CS operation, your team can grow annual revenue more effectively than traditional marketing and sales techniques.

Beyond the bottom line, enthusiastic customers understand the value and practical applications of your products. Their advocacy can impact marketing, sales, as well as product design, and roadmapping.

To get buy-in across your organization, here are some metrics to use:

  • · Net revenue retention rate
  • · Churn rate
  • · Customer acquisition cost
  • · Customer expansion cost
  • · Customer health index

Resources to get started

on Step One: Create Company Alignment:

Watch our webinar on Mastering the Art of Budgeting

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Use our Budget Calculator to see where you are now and where you could be after investing in customer success.

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Take the Maturity Assessment to understand what growth is possible for your company.

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Step Two

Understand Your Metrics and Objectives

Once you have company-wide alignment, it’s time to clarify what you want your customer success organization to focus on immediately. Evaluate what your major objectives are for the current year, and the next few years. What are your most inefficient processes? What siloes impede your operations? How well does the future of your product align with the value your customers get from it?

List the top three goals for your customer success operation and outline the improvements you want to see based on those goals. Over time, your customer success strategies will mature in complexity, but a simplified strategy is the best way to get started.

Here’s how you should use metrics and objectives to get started with customer success.
  • · Evaluate your current pain points to identify the objectives most important to the organization.
  • · Assign metrics to each objective, ensuring that each is clear and meaningful to each department.
  • · Choose a North Star metric for the entire company.

Remember, world-class customer success operations are a direct result of a company-wide commitment. A single metric that everyone understands, and can have a meaningful impact on, helps cultivate commitment and reinforces why it matters.

North Star metrics to consider
  • · Net Revenue Retention
  • · Gross Renewal Retention
Here’s the formula for
calculating your current NRR.

(Ending ARR, plus all renewals, cross-sells, price increases) —
(down sells, churns, and other revenue contractions)

(Starting ARR)
during a consistent measurement period from ONLY your EXISTING customers.

When setting your goals, you want to aim for anything over 100%, but world-class NRR is 125%.

Resources to get started

on Step Two: Understand your Metrics and Objectives

Use the Gross Renewal Rate Calculator to identify your goals (and map stretch goals) for the next year.

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Read NRR: 10 Years of Customer Success to learn how NRR measures the momentum of your company and why it is the most important metric for growing companies.

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Step Three

Improve Customer Visibility

When customer success began, many of the strategies were reactionary. A decade later, the best customer success managers are proactive and highly transparent, both with their teams and with customers.

To ensure that your customer success strategies are proactive and effective, you need to establish a clear view into your current customer base, their priorities, and their current customer health score.

Although the Customer Success Managers (CSMs) will access this information, most frequently, it’s critical that all team members have access to it. Up-to-date customer information will inform their strategies, communications, and plans for the future.

Here are the necessary steps to improve customer visibility for your entire team:
  1. Set the standards for your customer health, including universal standards, and specific segment standards.
  2. Aggregate customer data to determine what your current customer health is.
  3. Create a single, unified view of this high-level customer data, highlighting customer health scores.

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Launching Customer Success from Scratch.