Oct 27, 2017

Read Time 3 min

6 Scary Things About Customer Success


With Halloween just around the corner, let’s discuss some things about customer success you might find spooky.

1) It’s Not Just Your Product

We’ve seen from experience that SaaS growth depends on customer success, but here’s the scary thing about customer success…it also exists outside of your platform. Success means that customers are not only using your product, but they are also getting their desired outcomes. This doesn’t mean you should give up the ghost though. If you bring your platform together with a strategy to help your customers achieve those outcomes, you have a recipe for retention and revenue growth.

2) Long-Term Contracts vs. Future Growth

Scared and fragile organizations will often times insist on long-term contracts to try and keep their customers from leaving. However, having these long-term contracts in place can be a big barrier to growth. Although it might be tempting to try and lock them in, you are better off doing the work to have the systems and people in place to continually drive greater growth from your existing customer base.

3) Relying on Automation

If you build a high performing customer success team you will in turn see the business grow, which will then mean the number of accounts each CSM is managing will also grow. It can be a very scary thing to move away from your CSMs knowing every customer like the back of their own hand to relying on automation. Don’t get spooked though, by utilizing these best practice processes you will be able to personalize and drive success at scale.

4) Effect of a Bad Experience

A bad customer experience will have a reach twice as large as a good experience, and it will take 12 positive experiences to make up for a single bad one. Super scary, right? Although most customer success stats you see are related to financial investments you can’t forget about the amount of time and energy involved as well. If your company commits to customer success you can mitigate those negative experiences as much as possible, so you’ll be spending far less time making up for them later down the road.

5) Customer Feedback

Customer feedback may seem scary, but it’s a powerful way to grow your business. The main fear with opening up the customer feedback loop is that there will be negative feedback. Since no product or service is perfect, feedback is necessary and allows you to take action to improve or fix the situation if it is negative. Without customer feedback it is really difficult to improve.

6) Bad Customer Fit

Your drive as a CSM is to do everything you can to bring new customers onboard and get them set up for success. But what if it’s just not happening? You haven’t been able to deliver immediate value and the customer and yourself are getting increasingly frustrated. It might be scary to admit that it’s just not working, and let the customer go, but sometimes it’s a must. Bad-fit customers are a drag on growth, they waste resources, hurt moral, increase negative market sentiment, and ultimately hurt everyone involved, including the customer. Use these instances as a lesson learned to be able to spot bad-fit customers from the get-go, and save you and your organization the headache in the future.

Don’t be a scaredy-cat and let these worries keep you up at night. It’s important to focus on what is working for your organization and repeat those successes and quickly identify what’s not working to course correct. As we all embark in this new age of Customer Success, we should be willing to look at things through a different lens, adopt new technologies to optimize and enhance our processes, and think about the customer experience first.

If you do run into a scary customer success issue, never fear – check out these tips for handling customer problems.

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