Customer Success

Lincoln Murphy defines customer success as “when customers achieve their desired outcome through interaction with your company.” He argues that customer success-driven growth is growth that happens because “your customers succeed, upgrade, buy more, and tell their friends.” It reflects a key difference with more transaction oriented business - unless your customers derive ongoing value from your application they will stop subscribing.

The following resources help you understand what customer success is, and how to implement it in your SaaS business.

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Key Recommendations

Customer success: the definitive guide

Whether you have a Software-as-a-Service, subscription or membership business or you sell one-off products or services and simply want to...

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Customer success: the best kept secret of hyper-growth startups

Lemkin, now managing director of Storm Ventures and software as a service (SaaS) maven at SaaStr, speaks from first-hand experience. Before venture capital, Jason grew EchoSign from zero to one hundred million dollars in annual recurring revenue and heavily invested in customer success throughout his journey.

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Aligning SaaS customer success

SaaS businesses develop intimate, long term relationships with their SaaS customers. Keeping that relationship positive and aligned over the years is a real challenge. In fact, many public SaaS companies have yet to turn a profit. If they don’t keep their customers around for years, then all that capital invested in customer acquisition will have gone to waste.

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The five pillars of customer success

More than anything Customer Success is a philosophy. Of course, there is an organisational element to it; real disciplines, applications, platforms, career paths. But more than anything else Customer Success is a mindset that focuses on ensuring customers achieve the maximum possible benefit from the solution or service offered.

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The 4 teams within customer success organizations

At Gainsight’s Pulse Conference on Customer Success, Mike McKee of Rapid7 spoke about the structure of his customer success team. He projected a slide, which I’ve copied in the image above, that depicts the way Rapid7 sells a contract, deploys its software, engenders adoption and expands accounts. It’s the best visualization I’ve seen to describe the sales and customer success process and the inter-team collaboration required to be successful.

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