Client Success Story-1

Specific information has been excluded due to disclosure agreement with the client.

This frustrated customer success leader went from struggling to crushing customer success goals

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Overview

  • The company is a Series A SaaS startup. They are a small team of fewer than 50 employees.

  • Customers pay either monthly or annually and are typically small-medium sized businesses with a few well-known global enterprise companies as well.

 

The Problem

  • Max is the VP of Customer Success & Support, and he created the customer success team from scratch. The customer success organization was a little more than two years old at the time.

  • Acquiring customers wasn't a problem. His team struggled with customer retention and low customer satisfaction. As a result, investors were unhappy, employees were leaving, and the future of the company was uncertain. Max needed to refocus its customer success organization from being obsessed with numbers to supporting their customers in their journey.

  • Max lost three employees within the past year (two customer success managers (CSMs) and one director). He had recently hired another full-time CSM, but that person never showed up on their first day!

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Success Metrics

Customer retention rate at the time-75%. New Goal-90%.

Max’s Top Paint Points

  • High churn, low retention

  • Low customer satisfaction

  • Overworked CSM

  • “We didn’t have a lot of tools, staff, and programs to help make our customers and team successful and I believe that contributed to the revolving door of customers and team members. We neglected some of our customers post-sale."

 

Solution-The Turning Point

  • Max hired me on a 12-month contract to help improve their customer success operations, specifically create customer success programs and advise their customers on product usage for maximum value. I approached the project from a high-level holistic viewpoint to connect the dots.

  • We analyzed reviews and surveys from customers and former employees, internal processes and churn data to help determine root causes. 

  • In my analysis, the CSMs needed better account management tools. We trialed three different products and purchased one customer success software (within budget) that allowed the CSMs to monitor account health accurately and automate tasks. Previously the team used four different software programs with a lot of manual tasks.

  • The product is a bit complex, and it was a challenge for me to grasp quickly. Based on my data analysis, there was a considerable training gap resulting in a lot of customers abandoning the product and high customer support ticket volume. If customers don't fully understand your product, they will not receive value and will become frustrated and leave for a competitor.

  • I developed and led monthly use case and product education webinars for current and prospective customers with a high attendance rate.

  • Created product video tutorials to help empower customers and improve the company's knowledge base. I rewrote a lot of articles to make them less technical and more user-friendly and easier to understand.

  • Hired a sales and marketing conversion consultant to help write engaging content and emails that would make our customers excited to use the product. We developed and launched new customer success communication programs (high and low touch) including onboarding, features, and product best practices based on customer lifecycles and plan tier level. A larger team and higher paying customer requires a bit more touch points and training than someone paying $150 a month.

  • In addition to working on the customer success improvement project, I also managed a portfolio of customers with an annual recurring revenue (ARR) totaling $1million.

Key Achievements:

  • Identified and closed upsell opportunities resulting in 489 additional user account seats, which added six figures in revenue.

  • 92% account renewal rate across my portfolio of customers (goal 85%).

  • Resolved complex (churn risk) issues for an important enterprise customer ($75,000 annual contract) that resulted in a contract renewal and upsell opportunities.

 
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Results=Victory

  • Max scaled his team to three full-time customer success managers, one director, and one customer success education lead.

  • After working with Max and his team for a year, Max exceeded his goal and increased the customer retention rate to 95% (up from 75%) and decreased net churn.

  • Max's team exceeded their KPIs and received more revenue from expansion opportunities than the previous two years.

  • Customer support ticket volume reduced 25%, and the company’s customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) increased to 89% up from 50%.

  • Customer engagement increased by 125%.

  • Happy team, customers, and investors!

Please do not share, copy or reproduce without my consent.