Why Customer Success fails

Top 7 reasons why Customer Success Fails?

With a greater understanding of post-sales functions, many of the SaaS Businesses have already started implementing Customer Success as a dedicated functionality to run their Business. However, one of the challenges of building a customer success team in a SaaS organization is that most have still not acknowledged that Customer Success is a distinct discipline. It is a function with entirely different goals and metrics than Sales, Support, and Service. Hence often that is why Customer Success fails.

Since Customer Success is still an evolving function, many do not understand it properly. Customer success isn’t always easy to achieve but is possible with a little forethought. Here are some situations as to why Customer Success fails in a SaaS Business along with the measures that could be taken to step up your CS game.

1. Not Monitoring Customer Health Score

A very obvious reason why most of the time Customer Success fails in an organization is when Customer Health is not rightly monitored. This data-driven way of measuring the customer’s overall engagement with your product or platform is an integral part of your customer success process once you grow from a small company to a large one.

Customer Health Score Template

It’s important to gather your customer’s Health scores and ensure you’re taking every opportunity to recognize what makes them stay with your brand. Health Score acts as an early warning signal, encouraging you to take proactive actions. 

Most SaaS businesses mistake Customer health with only product adoption but Customer Health is not only about product adoption. There are various dimensions to the overall Customer Health than merely as to how a customer adopts your product.

The traditional form of Health Score was calculated as a single score. However, health never comes in one shape and form. As mentioned before, there are multiple dimensions to health. Applying it back to the health of an account, a single customer health score is a deception.

The need for a comprehensive picture led to the ideation of the concept of the customer 360 degree view. 

Customer 360 degree view allows you to be proactive

360 view of a customer’s data, or 360 Account Health takes into account every interaction, from product usage, the financial status of an account, touchpoints maintained and tracked, high-level risk score, segment level health to the efficiency and the effectiveness of the customer support system. 

The reason behind the concept of Customer 360 is to model a complete and precise picture of every customer. By collating each customer’s structured and unstructured data from across your company. With these comprehensive data points and knowledge, you can create amazing customer experiences. Customize interactions with your customers, and get powerful customer insights.

Suggested read: 1. Download the Customer Health Score Template here.

2. Download: The complete guide to  Customer health score.

2. Failed Communication and relationship with customers

Needless to say Customers will always have questions. The actual test of an interested customer is his or her ability to ask questions. The moment your customers go in and out of your business life without asking questions, you should begin suspecting.
If you are a customer success leader, you can’t just walk to a CSM’s desk and ask what’s going on with an XYZ account. You need to keep a tab on all communications between CSMs and customers (especially key accounts) so that you know when to step in to save a customer.

Failed communication

You could either do this by having a single inbox for all CSMs. But if you have a customer success software like CustomerSuccessBox, all customer communication including calls, emails, and tasks would be in one centralized place as we integrate with Gmail (2-way), Outlook (2-way), Twilio (for making calls) and you can also auto-create tasks via playbooks and assign to CSMs.
Now, the CSM can perform all his daily tasks right from the platform without having to toggle between systems. And as a leader, you can just log in to the platform and see what is happening in accounts at high risk of churn currently.

Customer Onboarding Template

3. Ineffective Onboarding

Most of the SaaS businesses lose 75% of their new users within the first week, that is within the early onboarding timeframe. As a result, they rarely get the full impact they want from their onboarding and enablement efforts. Even the most successful companies make customer onboarding mistakes. Reasons could be manifold-

  • lack of a customer service strategy
  • underestimating the importance of customer onboarding
  • bombarding customers with too much information
  • bad design choices
effective customer onboarding is imperative to ensure your customer success efforts doesn't fail

You would want to showcase all of your product’s features once they sign-up. However, there is no point in introducing all the features at once, just to display your product strength, this point is exactly where you need to buckle up in order to ensure an effective onboarding. Since the new users can’t process them just right at their first interaction with the product, it will be intelligent to rather introduce the core feature first.

Additional Reads: Playbooks can help in defining perfect onboarding?

3 Onboarding Strategies to Spur User Adoption and Empower Customers

4. Inaccurate handoff from Sales to Customer Success

This is where a lot of organizations fail to put up their customer success function correctly. Although both the Sales and Customer functions are different in their own way,  Aligning the Sales and Customer Success departments is now more important than ever to ensure that your entire company is working together with the major motive to deliver a remarkable customer experience and reduce churn.

The Customer Success Manager must ensure that all the things promised during the sales process are delivered to the customer. The manager can start off by understanding what are those first 90 days goals that the customer has and how can the CSM help customer achieve their first milestone in the first 90 days. The CSM needs to sit with the customer to prioritize those goals and handhold them in their journey of achieving those .

Suggested Resources:  90 days Customer Success plan,

The best way of handoff between Customer Success and Sales.

5. Clinging on to a Reactive approach to Customer Success

Be proactive to ensure your customer success doesn't fail

Moving from a reactive approach to a proactive approach is no longer a choice but is the need of the hour. The proactive approach basically means you don’t wait for your customers to reach out to you, instead you reach out to them. It can actually mean multiple things. You have to define what it means to be proactive. You can be proactive in one aspect of customer success while you can continue to be reactive in the rest of the areas.

This could be done by keeping track of your customer’s behavior from time to time. Not just a month or two, but six months and beyond. Identifying customer trends is important. This will help you predict. When you see indicators of failure, proactively reach out.

This could be done by keeping track of your customer’s behavior from time to time. Not just a month or two, but six months and beyond. Identifying customer trends is important. This will help you predict. When you see indicators of failure, proactively reach out.

Read here to know more on- Takin your SaaS business from Reactive to Proactive

6. Not segmenting Customers

A major problem experienced by customer success managers is failing to categorize customers based on desired outcomes and other factors. Failing to segment customers makes scalability difficult because growth can only occur when customer success is clearly defined, and steps towards customer goals are automated and repeatable.

When you do not segment your customers, you run into an additional problem — the risk of over-delivering. At first, glance, giving customers more than they expect doesn’t seem like much of a problem. We’ve all heard the mantra “under-promise and over-deliver” but while that approach may increase customer satisfaction, it is not focused on specific customer goals and can be a barrier to scalability. Find out what your customers want, what they need, and deliver it in a way that encourages continued use.

Learn here to know – How can Customer Segmentation drive Customer Success?

7. No defined KPIs or outcomes

How can you deliver value if you don’t even know what that value looks like? CSMs are often lured into a sense of process—just slowly checking milestones off of a list. But your customers enter into a relationship with your organization to solve clear problems and reach clear goals. Customer success leaders must make sure they don’t lose sight of these KPIs and desired outcomes. Because losing sight of these goals could mean losing a customer altogether.

Read more: 10 Customer Success KPIs every SaaS company should track

Final thoughts

Setting up a Customer success function could be really challenging but when done the right way could definitely be rewarding. With all the above-mentioned probable failure situations you can reevaluate the pitfalls coming to your business. Remember customer success is not just a mere function. Rather, it is a more holistic approach to achieving your company’s success synced with your customer’s success. You should know why saas companies need customer success.

It is because customer success proactively engages the customer with your product. Thus, formalizing those essential practices and making them the core of every part of your business will take you and your company a long way ahead of your competitors.

Payal is working in the Marketing Department at CustomerSuccessBox. She is majoring in Biotechnology and is casually curious about the SaaS economy and designing prosthetics. And in life, she readily preaches the idea of Carpe diem.