As more businesses move to recurring revenue models, companies are investing in Customer Success teams to drive retention, expansion, and advocacy in their client bases. And just as firms have invested in Sales Automation and Enablement to drive sales productivity and Marketing Automation to increase marketing effectiveness, hundreds of organizations have invested in Customer Success Management (CSM) solutions to minimize churn, increase retention, and maximize client lifetime value. According to a Gainsight Customer Success Index Benchmark survey, we found that optimizing Customer Success operations led to an 18-point expansion in net retention driven by reduced churn and increased upsell. Recent research shows that close to 70% of organizations now have a dedicated customer success function in their company, and another study finds that robust CS expansion drives improved retention, renewal rates— and exponential growth. The same survey found that customer success investments often generate an increase in account values, too. Yet another ROI-boosting opportunity? Leveraging analytics to improve CS outcomes. For any reasonably scaled business, then, investing in a CSM solution can create a multi-million dollar opportunity.
Customer Success teams need to think carefully about when, where, and how to deploy a CSM solution for the greatest business impact. That being said, most mature Customer Success organizations find that there’s no perfect moment for deployment. They say that instead of waiting, it’s best to move fast and iterate as you go.
We had to start putting the customer at the center of everything we did. We needed to demonstrate differentiated value and create a positive experience for our customers... We knew it would take more than just data to make this shift. We needed a platform to enable it. My team was able to get leadership buy-in. They heard what we wanted to prioritize on a strategic level and we listened to the CSMs to figure out how to make it work tactically. - Laura Salonga, athenahealth
What’s in this doc
Good planning is at the heart of every successful CSM platform deployment. Here’s our 11-step outline for developing a well-thought-out timeline and a step-by-step process: