Nov 27, 2019

Read Time 3 min

Customer SuccessCon Berkeley 2019 Takeaways


Customer SuccessCon Berkeley 2019

Last week ChurnZero sponsored Customer SuccessCon 2019 in Berkley, CA. The Customer SuccessCon event series provides an intimate setting to learn, share best practices and speak freely and openly about the current state of Customer Success

The Customer Success AssociationThe event, hosted by The Customer Success Association, featured sessions from a variety of CS thought leaders. Emceed by CSA’s Executive Director, Mikael Blaisdell, this year’s event focused on The Profitability Blueprint.  

While Customer Success has become directly involved in corporate profitability, discussions surrounding this have traditionally been lacking. Customer SuccessCon Berkley tackled this topic head-on during the event’s sessions. 

Didn’t attend? Read on to discover some of our favorite insights from this year’s event. 


Barriers Must be Broken to Effectively Monetize Customer Success 

For this relatively new business function, barriers persist when monetizing Customer Success. Careful end-to-end change management is a must when working to position CS as a profitability center. Afterall, a move like this involves significant changes to all parts of your organization. 

As a part of change management, executive, CSM and client buy-in is essential. This along with proper education, planning and an openness to adjust your approach are important tools for breaking down barriers to monetization.


Metrics Aren’t Just for Board Meetings – The Value of Customer Metrics is Immeasurable  

We often think about CS metrics as being internal KPIs – after all, these figures surface in board meetings and other internal discussions. Don’t be afraid to discuss these numbers with your customers. For them, these insights are just as valuable. 

Furthermore, while attaching financial value to your product features isn’t always clear cut (or comfortable), it’s an important part of the customer dialogue. By fully understanding the metrics that matter most to a customer, you’ll be best positioned to demonstrate the value and ROI of your solution. 


Premium Onboarding Packages Are an Important Part of Customer Success’s Evolution 

A significant change to client onboarding has been the rise of Premium Onboarding Packages. This alternative (to onboarding being baked into your product costs) provides a new opportunity to elevate your CX.  

Should every customer pay an additional onboarding fee on top of their subscription cost? It depends. However, when resources are limited and your product is mission critical, Premium Onboarding Packages provide a valuable function. They can serve to increase the accountability of both your customers and your team.  


Customer Success Skepticism Exists in Many Organizations (But Can BCombated) 

Drivers for corporate growth are no longer limited to Sales and Marketing. Customer Success has proven itself as a new driver for growth. Despite this, not all executive teams have fully embraced CS.  

When trying to elevate CS within your organization and combat skeptics, keep the following in mind: 

  • Always be working to define the value your team provides. Keep in mind that this will evolve over time. 
  • Growing confidence in CS is a marathon, not a race. Always appreciate the small growth steps along the way.  
  • Learning is key to your long-term success. Don’t forget to always be learning today, tomorrow and well into the future. 


Getting Resources for CS Isn’t Necessarily Easy, but is Essential to Your Team’s Long-Term Success 

ChurnZero’s CCO, Abby Hammer, spoke about getting the resources you need to combat the major obstacle to scaling your SaaS business – Churn! 

Abby highlighted several tips surrounding making the case for investment to an executive team. As she explained: 

  • Being an effective agent of change is a must. Exploring the perspectives of everyone (including your detractors) helps gain buy in and build trust. 
  • An executive champion can make or break your case for investment. An effective champion is more than just access to senior management. They should be an advocate that can reinforce CS’s value to the entire organization.  
  • When determining the technology that can best support your team, step back and consider your end goals. These objectives should be top of mind when considering solutions. Are you assessing health? Automating processes? Or trying to identify trends and patterns that maximize renewals, upsells or logo retention? 

Looking for more valuable CS takeaways? Check out Customer SuccessCon for yourself. Upcoming events will be taking place in Seattle, Boston, Denver, London and Berkeley. For more information and how to register, check out the CSA’s forward looking schedule here.

Customer Success Around the Web


Subscribe to the newsletter   

Four customer engagement strategies for SaaS companies

Early-stage SaaS businesses tend to put most of their focus on acquiring net new customers. For a little while, customer retention is a manageable task with existing staff. When you have only a handful of customers, your sales team, product team, customer support...

Where do you stand?: Five hot topics of debate in Customer Success

The Customer Success industry is constantly evolving and developing new strategies for driving customer-led growth. With the emergence of new technologies, market trends, and CS practices, the industry is abuzz with debate and discussion. To explore some of the most...