Scaling Customer Success

Scaling Customer Success

I joined Bazaarvoice to lead the scaled customer success efforts. Bazaarvoice, and most SaaS companies, had become very good at growing enterprise customer success and sales teams. But with a growing SMB business, they needed ways to support and grow these customers without adding additional headcount.

This is a growing segment of customer success organizations. Teams have gotten good at enterprise - it’s generally easier to add more love and time into accounts. But what is new, and different, and requires a new mindset is to retain and grow clients in a self-serve and efficient manner. Even with additional headcount, it’s unwieldy and confusing and difficult to scale support and retain a good customer experience.

The more optimized the end of your growth funnel is, the more efficiently you can spend on acquisition.

Now teams and organizations, especially in the wake of COVID and being in a remote world, are challenging the notion that people need to be at the heart of customers success. Product, customer success, support are all melding together to form a customer experience first approach.

So what does this require?

  • Data
  • Tools
  • Content
  • Engagement

Data

A scaled initiative is only as effective as the data that supports it. It’s vital for you scaled team to partner with product or engineering teams to set a data roadmap to support customer health tracking and engagement. Without data, you won’t have the visibility, segmenting, and universal customer view, to effectively drive outcomes and measure your results.

Tools

Your data isn’t helpful if you cannot make use of it. This is why SaaS companies are using marketing automation tools and client success software, such as Gainsight, Drift, and Intercom. These allow you:

  • Source of Truth: Act as a central source of record for your customer data
  • Segment: Search, filter, and find data to best segment your customers
  • Engage: Engage with customers automatically based on pre-defined segments, timing, and triggers

Content

In addition to the data needed to support engagement, you’ll need a person or team to capture best practices and translate that into content customers can consume to both self-serve and discover new best practices but also when your engagement team needs to intervene.

Engagement

Engagement refers to the intervention used to orchestrate customers into higher levels of product maturity. One might think this is the same as content, but I view it separately. While you might use or refer to content in your engagement, these are separate. When and how you engage with customers is a different task altogether and requires a full understanding of your customers, what they plan to accomplish, and the friction points along the way.

If you liked this post, considering signing-up for my weekly digest. Each week you'll receive all these posts, plus interesting ideas from what I'm reading and listening to.