Success is crucial for all companies, but with the competition within technology and software as a service industries, it can feel especially hard to get ahead. That’s why we asked the experts at some of the biggest SaaS companies around, what’s your number one tip for maintaining long-term success?
1. Provide exceptional support.
The key to maintaining long term success with our merchants is providing them with exceptional support; our job is to make commerce better for everyone.
As a company, we need to adapt to this ever-changing industry, and I attribute Shopify’s success to being able to thrive in constant change. None of our merchants are alike. They all have unique needs, which always keeps us on our toes striving to do better. In the end, if our merchants are successful, so are we.
Customer Success Guru at Shopify
2. Embrace the uncomfortable.
To maintain long-term success with your customers, embrace uncomfortable conversations head-first.
If you know a customer is going down a path that ultimately won’t set them up for success, it’s your responsibility to explicitly share that information.
Similarly, if you know a customer will realize significant business gain, but at an added cost, it’s your responsibility to explicitly share that information. Being honest and transparent with your customers about the things that influence their success is key to being a trusted advisor and partner.
So often, we confuse being liked with being effective. Being polite, but not direct doesn’t set you or your customers up for long-term success. Being direct and transparent sets you apart as a trusted advisor and partner, and ultimately allows your customer to achieve the highest levels of success.
Director of Customer Success at Loopio
3. Help your customers meet their business goals.
At New Relic, our mission statement is: We create lifelong customer advocates.
A successful customer is one that renews and expands. In other words, they need to use more of our products and buy more products or services over their lifetime.
This means customer success in the SaaS subscription world is not a quarterly goal – it’s a long-term relationship. That’s why the number one principle to maintaining this success is aligning your product to the customers’ business outcomes.
If you show up as a partner to help the customer deliver and meet their business goals without paying too much attention to your quarterly boundaries, you’re bound to win in the long-term, not only in making your customer successful, but also in making them your lifelong advocate.
Customer Success & Services at New Relic
4. Put yourself in the client’s shoes.
My number one tip would be to really put yourself in the client’s shoes.
Identify the exact reasons that led them to search for a different solution. Dig deep into the objectives they want to achieve by using your solution and what they consider success in its implementation. Lastly, understand what kind of impacts it’ll bring to them personally, to their team, and their company.
Victoria Gorges Santos
Customer Success Manager at Pipefy
5. Have clear goals in mind.
There are several factors at play in maintaining long term success with customers, but there’s one question that should always be asked first: What’s the problem you’re trying to solve and how are you looking to solve this problem by purchasing our product?
To really understand this, you need to make sure you’ve discussed this with the different levels within the organization because a Vice President’s goals and visions for a product could be very different than the every day user’s goals.
To ensure that success, there should be attainable goals with attainable deadlines. Setting three-month, six-month, and one-year goals is ideal, so that when it comes time for renewal, you can show that value was achieved and the initial goals were met – and then you can grow the customer stickiness from there!
6. Involve the entire company in your approach to customer success.
My number one tip for maintaining long-term, scalable success with customers is to involve the entire company in your approach.
It’s easy to think of Customer Success as just the name of a department, but true Customer Success is larger than that. It’s a mindset that should be embraced by all members of your organization. At Linode, every team member and department is responsible for our customers’ success.
Many of our customers have been with us for years, and have built entire businesses on Linode’s platform. This kind of deep investment requires close collaboration at all levels of the company to deliver the reliable, high-performance infrastructure that our customers depend on.
While our team itself acts as the voice of the customer within the company, we can’t solve all of their challenges ourselves. We bring together different teams and keep customers at the center of all decision-making, allowing us to build scalable solutions that enable our customers to reach their long-term goals on our platform year after year.
Customer Success Specialist at Linode
7. Be honest with your customers.
If you have to narrow it down to one thing, being honest with your customers should be your top priority – even if that means saying something they’re not going to like hearing.
For instance, if a customer has a specific request for a feature, but you know it’s not going to be available anytime soon, don’t be afraid to tell them. Be understanding and be polite, but let them know the situation and be upfront.
From my experience so far, this always works like a charm.
Customer Success Manager at LiveChat
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