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Why You Should Implement a Customer Success Team


Sales and Marketing
Customer retention rates are important to the success of your business regardless of the industry you’re in. Why? According to a study by Gartner Group, 80% of a company’s future profits come from 20% of their existing customers. This means that opting not to have a customer success team undoubtedly results in lower revenue and damage to, what should be, long lasting relationships with your customers.

The Noticeable Change

Interestingly, over the past two years, there has been a significant rise in companies implementing Customer Success teams into their businesses. A study conducted by Totango on Customer Success as a profession found that 77% of companies have had a Customer Success team for 2 years or less with some still trying to find their feet. With figures increasing, it’s believed that within 5 years, all companies will see the benefits of having Customer Success Specialists.

Customer Success as a Position

Making ‘the customer always comes first’ rule into a job role is difficult especially when most companies delegate this to the Account Manager. Separating the responsibilities of the Account Manager and the Customer Success Specialist requires work when attempting to make Customer Success a stand alone department. It’s fundamental that both departments understand what they’re job roles involve; all on-boarding, issues and questions should go to the Customer Success Specialist while Account Managers are left to their main role in sales. According to a study on Customer Success by Totango, the goals of a Customer Success team is 57% product adoption, 55% churn reduction, 47% on-boarding and 42% customer advocacy – all four of these revolutionise the customer journey. It’s important to remember that Account Managers begin the journey with a customer and Customer Success Specialists continue that journey. Eve Collins, an Account Manager at email integration Ebsta, says “Sales are your starting point; it’s where you get your revenue and build your client-base. However, Customer Success is going to make you money on that client-base. It costs more for companies to get a new customer on-board than to keep a current customer renewing. Plus, you should be wanting your customers to be coming back for more because it means they trust in you over your competitors.”

The Challenges

As with any new department, there are challenges to overcome. Firstly, which other teams do they need to work with in order to understand the most about their customers? How do they combine all of this knowledge? Using a CRM software is an obvious choice when it comes to managing customer data but it is imperative to the Customer Success team. With a multitude of accounts and sales, finance and support teams all having handled them, it’s impossible to get an insight into all of that information without an organised database. The number one way to solve the biggest challenge when implementing a Customer Success team is insight into communication between your organisation and prospects/customers as it is the only way to gain an understating of clients and their history with your organisation. With the ultimate aim to keep the people that have trusted in their product/service happy and hopefully wanting to take to social media or similar consumer-heavy platforms to spread the word, it’s important to find effective solutions to these challenges which can be in the form of technology automations and/or CRM software.

Considering Starting a Customer Success Team?

Customer success is key to making your business sustainable and having a customer retention strategy ensures that it’s a success. It’s common knowledge that it costs more to continuously have to on-board new clients than to retain your existing customers. Why? On one hand, it’s because the sales process and on-boarding is time-consuming and on the other, with existing customers, you have the opportunity to sell additional features and the possibility of expanding your product/service across their organisations. When starting a Customer Success team, organisations need to be wary of finding the ‘right fit’ for the role. PayScale state that the average salary for a Customer Success Manager is $69,000 so with the continuous increase in organisations implementing Customer Success as a role, it’s important that salary expectations are discussed. When such job roles are advertised across the the job boards, they ask for candidates that are ‘customer service orientated’ and ‘excellent problem thinking skills’ but it is really dependent on the needs and structure of your company. Do they need to be able to ‘think outside of the box’ for your innovative company? Or is it more important that they know the buyer’s journey inside out? Whether you’re an SMB or a large corporation, the Customer Success role personal criteria should be greatly considered. Eve continues “You need someone that has extensive experience with the customer journey and can map it out for you. There’s a lot of resources out there but you fundamentally need someone that can deal with pressurised situations and can build long-lasting relationships effectively. When it comes to how many people should be in your team, it’s dependent on your company size. At Ebsta, we have a small Customer Success team that is aiming to expand over the coming year but we’ve managed to look after our 40,000 user community to a very high standard.”

Good Customer Retention Rate

Customer Success teams aren’t only about ‘keeping the customer happy’ – they also generate revenue for your business and keep existing customers wanting to upgrade/buy more. Remember that the only way to keep your company growing is to ensure your customer retention rate is good and ensuring successful customer engagement. This normally means it should be around the 75% mark although you should always want it to be higher. Take into consideration your customer journey and implement a Customer Success team – you will undoubtedly see more success.
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Katrina Holmes

Hey, I'm the Content Manager at Ebsta responsible for creating and maintaining our web content, blogs and our hip 'n' happening social media presence.

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