Our first Customer Success Meetup took place on August 28th in our Bonn office. Christian Richter (VP Customer Success Management) shared a lot of insights on how to reduce churn, increase upsells, drive product adoption. He presented the concept behind Customer Success and how it is managed at LeanIX. Independently of the industry we at LeanIX believe that customer success is the key for every company in a subscription business where the majority of the companies’ revenues stems from the customers having signed up in the previous years. Therefore, it is crucial to continuously add value for the customer.
During the Meetup, a lively discussion evolved around the following topics:
“Customer Success” starts after the signature of the contract
Once the contract is signed the next stages in Customer Success take place:
- Onboarding: realizing short time-to-value
- Continuous Management: ensuring customer health and developing new use cases
- Upsell/Renewal: realizing contract upsells and renewals
Along the three stages of Customer Success we put into practice what we consider is our Customer Success action plan. At some point in the presentation, one member of the audience asked how it is possible that we do not consider “making the customer happy” as Customer Success. -
Christian Richter expressed the importance of making our customers successful as priority, as a consequence the customer happiness will come along the way.
Customer Success has 3 major goals:
- Reduce churn
- Generate upsell
- Drive product usage
Goal 1 – Reduce churn
An important component of Customer Success is to reduce churn. We summarized four main activities to reduce churn:
- Customer Health scoring: Considers factors such as product usage, engagement with the customer and feedback from the customer
- Monitor churn patterns: identify them before a customer churn.
- Be close to your customers: regular follow up with the customer via call or trainings is useful to keep the customer updated on product enhancements
Goal 2- Generate upsell
Upsell generation is one of the key objectives of Customer Success, for that we consider the following three points:
- Keeping track when the customer reaches the limit of their subscription and approaching them proactively leads to an upsell opportunity
- Developing new use cases for the customer to generate added value
- Becoming a trusted advisor of the customer
Goal 3 - Drive product usage
To drive the product usage, it is important to enable the customers or users to work with the product. Customer Success Managers help customers to incorporate best practices and avoid implementing any detours / useless workaround which might act as future blockers.
At the same time, it is relevant learning from customers when communicating with the power users so that we can understand their business needs and concerns. Finally, by communicating the product usage to the customer, we make sure that the customer champions have the right data at hand to convince their internal stakeholders.
Customer Success - where do we go from here?
Starting with a reactive approach to Customer Success at LeanIX, we identified further steps to increase maturity in Customer Success:
- Reactive approach: ad hoc reaction to emergencies
- Repeatable: Increase professionalism and repeatability of processes
- Proactive: maximize customer value by proactively working with the right customers at the right time
As a conclusion, if you are in a subscription business, Customer Success Management is crucial for your company success. We suggest the following aspects that will create a unique value proposition for the customers:
- Incorporate data-driven CSM
- Focus effort on high-value customers, automate where possible
- Understand business value of your customers
Join our upcoming Customer Success Meetup on 18. October in our Boston Office
And our next Sales Meetup on 30. Oktober 2018 to learn more about Pre-Sales Management.