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Everything You Need to Know About Customer Success

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

What is Customer Success (CS)

Customer Success is an engagement strategy where companies assign a designated team to proactively explore customers’ needs and assist them in achieving those desired outcomes with your product.

Why Are Customer Success Teams so Important?

The success of your business is intrinsically tied to the success of your customer. If your product helps the customers achieve their goals, they are more likely to stick around and even refer to new leads.

Data shows that

  • 93% of customers are likely to buy again from companies with excellent customer service (HubSpot)

  • Happy customers are 87% more likely to purchase upgrades and new services than unhappy customers (McKinsey)

  • 60% of loyal customers will talk about their favorite brands with people in their social circles. (Yotpo)

Satisfied customers always equate to business growth. And to do that, you would need a customer success team.

An effective CS team takes a data-driven approach to improve customer experience and ensure customers reach their goals while using your product.

As a result, your company would also reach your top-level goals, including

  • Accelerating upsells and revenue growth

  • Inspiring customer loyalty and improving net logo retention

  • Reducing churn and increase net dollar retention (NDR)

Of course, a successful CS team requires customer-centric team members, scalable processes, and data (ALL of it).

How to Get Started?

You can start with the fundamentals and hire core team members.

CS teams often consist of individuals from different departments across the firm. In other words, CS teams are cross-functional teams that include (but are not limited to):

  • Onboarding Manager

  • Sales Engineer

  • Customer Support Representatives

  • Customer Success Manager

  • Community Manager

  • Upsell and cross-sell Representatives

These job functions work closely with each other and your customers. The synergy across departments will provide excellent value to customers at every step of their journey and enhance the overall experience.

Once the team is established, identify goals, establish processes, and track key metrics are your next steps. Understanding what success looks like and how to get there is vital.

To further support your CS team, you must enforce a customer-centric company culture by making customer success an organization-wide goal and priority. Essentially, here are the top 9 KPIs that any CS team must track to build comprehensive customer profiles.

1. Product Usage


3. Interaction Frequency

4. Support Tickets

5. The severity of Support Tickets

6. Upsells/Downsells

7. Customer Maturity

8. Renewal Sentiment

9. Customer Owner Pulse

Check out The Ultimate Guide to Customer Health for more detail.

But as the volume of your customers grows, you would need a scalable/automated approach to process and analyze big data. One effective solution is to leverage modern technology and implement AI solutions to your strategy to boost overall productivity.

In fact, the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that AI could increase productivity by up to 40%, double the growth rate, and lead to an annual economic boost of up to $13 trillion in 2030.

Allow AI to do the tedious work, so your team can focus on strategic planning and get more work done in less time.

But When Should You Invest in Customer Success?

You might feel compelled to start building your CS team in the early stages like you would with customer support. But you don’t necessarily need it from the start.

Below is a Customer Success Roadmap to give you an overview of when to start.

Customer Success Maturity Roadmap (retrieved from Sapphire Venture)

Although you don’t need a CS at the get-go, you should consider it part of your growth strategy. So when the time comes, your integration process can be as smooth as possible.

Customer Success is Customer Support on Steroid

Customer Success plays a vital role in your business longevity. An effective CS team will reduce churn and accelerate revenue growth by proactively helping customers achieve their goals while using your products and services. But to make the best use of customer success, you will get started with setting company goals, planning the key positions to hire, implementing CS culture across the organization, and essentially adopting scalable processes.

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