While in the subscription economy, where the prime growth center lies in the customer success effort of the business. Most SaaS businesses fail to align the Product and Customer Success teams to drive great experiences and outcomes. In this blog, we have covered why a product-driven approach is important to step-up your customer success game and a few strategies to adapt the approach to your business.
Why Aligning Product and Customer Success Is important?
It is no denial of the fact that, in the SaaS world, retention, expansion, and advocacy are the primary sources of revenue growth. Which again requires your customer base to be successful enough. As each current customer is a potential lead for a renewal event, an upsell or cross-sell, and a source of sales and marketing proof. And, in order to make a customer successful, a CSM(Customer Success Manager) does not only need to focus on providing training, responding to risk, answering customer emails, and driving feature adoption.
Rather your ultimate goal should be to make your product sticky enough so that customers are bound to stay for long. Now, this can only happen when you have a focus center on merging both the product and the customer success team efforts in a smooth way.
What is the product-driven approach for scaling customer success?
Product-led customer success is essentially the one where the key growth facilitator is the product itself. The product-driven approach involves constant monitoring of your user data, behaviors, and engagement, along with assessments of customer health. Thus it is safe to say that, the product-led customer success strategies are triggered by by-product usage and in-app metrics.
So, Product-led customer success is when data tells us how customers feel about our product. It is not based on guessing or doubts. Understanding how your user interacts with your product, and where they feel stuck in the customer journey will help you to improve retention and focus on product improvement. Which in turn will lead to better conversion rates with overall customer success and growth.
With the product-driven approach, now you can exactly know how the customers feel when they’re inside your product. So, instead of making guesses about how we can help our customers, we know exactly what needs to be done. Having a deeper insight into the product data also helps in tailoring a better customer experience. Thus, it is indeed the most effective way to ensure a successful long-term relationship. With that let’s have a look at the few dimensions of adapting the product-driven approach to scale your customer success game.
Product-led Customer Success best practices
Growth-oriented CSM; Product-Driven CSM
A Customer Success Manager focusing on scaling the customer success game with a product-driven approach is hyper-focused on empowering the product to drive successful outcomes for the customer at a user level and at an account level. They do this through deep alignment with Product teams using systematic processes to surface insights from the customer and pass them on to developers. CSMs capture desired outcomes and map journeys from the outside in, which directly influence the product roadmap. They communicate with the right-time, right-channel message, whether that’s inside the product or through one-to-one / one-to-many communication. Customer Success Managers have robust access to user-level product data.
The Proactive approach to product-led Customer Success
The essence of product-led customer success lies in reaching out to your customers exactly when they need it. This requires proactive, fast, and educational outreach. Fortunately, thanks to your user onboarding triggers, customer journey, user segments, and user identification, this won’t be too hard. Especially because you’ll know exactly how to reach out to and help them.
Additional Read- Learn how to take your SaaS business from a reactive to a proactive approach
User Segmentation on point
As we are taking our approach to customer success from a reactive to a proactive mode, knowing how to address them is essential. Segmentation is the qualification of your customers, in order to better choose the way in which you will address them. Customer segmentation aims to provide close monitoring of product use and customer progress. This ability is as important as the action you are ready to take when an opportunity or danger arises.
You can segment customers in various ways. Some types of segmentation might only be applicable to your company. The most common ways of segmenting customers are through in-app segmentation and account-based user segmentation. So having a helpful onboarding flow and a set of valuable queries will help segment customers.
Additionally, you can use customer success software to segment customers based on your requirements.
For example, in CustomerSuccessBox, you can choose various attributes such as health, usage, frequency, users, subscription, etc. based on your business requirements. You can even put multiple conditions to segment the customers more efficiently.
Defining User Journey and feature adoption flow.
While we consider scale, the major concern lies in knowing where your customer is stuck in the customer journey and then acting upon it. And with this data, you’ll be able to create feature adoption flows, user onboarding, and user journey. This is when the aha moment is mentioned so that the user feels the value of the product. Fundamentally, user onboarding and feature adoption flows are based on different behaviors and triggered by in-product experiences.
In-product experiences that are triggered by the users’ context or actions (such as trying to use some new feature) are the new way of onboarding. So when you understand how the product works based on in-product experiences, you can alter your customer success strategy accordingly. This is based on good customer onboarding which goes beyond educating the customer on the basics.
Essentially when your customers succeed, you know that your product is winning. That’s how directly product success is related to customer success. While customer success is all about ensuring that customers are satisfied and happy with the company, product success is all about ensuring customers are satisfied enough to become product advocates.
P.S. – The main image has been taken from pexels.com