Managing customers can be all-consuming work. It doesn't help that the online world is conspiring to steal your attention away and cripple your productivity. Below are 5 practical steps you can take to make your days more productive.
Out with the old...
We launched Akita in 2018 with the goal of making effective Customer Success Management software that was affordable for small businesses.
By most measurements, it was a success. We had a rapidly growing customer base (and revenue) and our customers loved us. Despite this, we decided it wasn’t working. At least, not as well as it should be. A couple of reasons:
Whether you are an Enterprise SaaS looking to manage staffing costs or a rocketship startup with a tsunami of customers and few resources to manage them, the automation a Customer Success platform can deliver will ensure you can minimize your hiring while maximizing the value each Customer Success Manager can deliver.
It comes down to applying a strategy of Nuanced Segmentation and Playbook Automation (or the more snappy Set and Forget!)
I've been involved with Customer Success Software for a while now and sometimes I make the mistake of thinking everyone understands what Customer Success is all about 😬. So, to clarify, here is what I think about when I think about Customer Success...
In SaaS, REVENUE COMPOUNDS, this is the 9th wonder of the world (the 8th is compound interest — according to Albert Einstein) i.e. If you keep adding new customers AND retain the existing ones long enough, you will likely see huge growth and profitability. It’s simple (but not easy).
Implementing a Customer Success platform will resonate across the business so the CEO should make the ultimate call on where to invest but who else should have oversight of or influence on the decision …
Customer journey modelling and a belief in the efficacy of applying a structured journey to customer engagement through time is deeply ingrained in SaaS culture. That Customer Journeys deliver greater Customer Lifetime value is an article of faith for many.
Why is this? Is it time to look to some other, better way of maintaining long-term relationships and maximizing revenue streams?
Firstly, it’s important to recognize that there are (at least) 2 reasons we are so tied to Customer Journeys:
As a startup you don’t have the luxury of behaving like an Enterprise business and spending months (or longer) on implementing software that is going to be key to your growth, you’re also likely looking for less complex and expensive tools with the agility to match your own.
There are 2 elements to how long it will take that are difficult to estimate as they are 100% under your control. It really is down to the amount of time and effort YOU want to allocate and the complexity of your business model… namely:
- Audit of your systems and processes to identify which data need to be passed into the Customer Success software application and which CS processes need to be managed, either manually or automatically by your new CS system.
- Training your users to optimally use the Solution. note: If you’re a Start-up choose something with lots of self-help resources for your Customer Success team. Choose a tool that is intuitive to set up and administer for a non-technical person and one provides a comprehensive user Knowledge base and responsive support. [You can find such solutions, for under $300 per month.]
Once you have done that you’re well on your way. So how long will it take…
Maybe, maybe not, but the fact that you are a Startup is not the reason to avoid it.
Plus, you probably don’t plan on staying small 🤩 … don’t make your decision purely on budget — while there are CS software vendors out there that require $50k+ annual up-front payments, a Startup can acquire an excellent solution for under $300 per month.
Ask yourself these questions …
Who this article is for:
SaaS Startups looking to purchase Customer Success (CS) software but limit their spend to under $300 per month.
“Thanks for reaching out, unfortunately we don’t feel you’re a fit at this present time…” 🤬.
Startups looking to invest in Customer Success software hear this all the time! The vendor’s SDR takes one look at your company profile and hits the reject button. You’re too small apparently…
Being ignored, ghosted and rejected doesn’t make for a satisfying buying process.