On to the second thread of feedback I've been hearing: define this SaaS Customer Success thing. We've all heard about it, we know it's important, but we struggle to clearly define it. OK, let's tackle it right now.
I actually go with two different definitions. Because your definition of customer success in the SaaS world depends on your perspective: are you a SaaS customer or a SaaS provider?
In providing a definition from the customer perspective, I'm spinning off a definition provided by SaaS Customer Success guru Lincoln Murphy: customer success is the achievement of your desired outcome(s) through interactions with your SaaS provider.
- Achievement of your desired outcome(s) - did you get what you expected to get? Are things better than when you started your SaaS journey?
- Interactions with your SaaS provider covers all the interaction touch points: market and sales, onboarding, nurturing...did it all work together to make things better as quickly and inexpensively as possible?
From a provider perspective, the definition is a bit more quantitative than the qualitative definition customers use. It's all about maximizing customer lifetime value: CLV=APA/Customer Churn Rate
- CLV = Customer Lifetime Value
- ARPA = Average Revenue Per Account (Monthly)
- Customer Churn Rate = The Monthly Percentage of Customers Cancelling or Failing to Renew
So now that I'm up to my eyeballs in the work of a Center of Excellence for Customer Success, what's my personal bottom line? It's in creating more value more quickly for both the customer and the provider. That's a tough nut to crack. We'll talk about it in a subsequent post.
Needless to say, your feedback is always welcome. Get intimate with the comments.