Originally posted at http://glideconsultingllc.com/
Author: Dan Gamito
There’s a common misconception that Customer Success is just a more advanced version of Customer Support for SaaS companies.
The core logic looks something like this:When customers aren’t happy, you throw Support at them until they’re happy.
Happy customers = successful customers = renewals.
Ergo, Support orgs that drive happiness = Customer Success orgs.
If this is how Customer Success works at your company, then you don’t actually have a real Customer Success (CS) org – you have a Support org with a trendy name.
The distinction we must make here is that success does not equate to happiness. This has to do with the fickle nature of how we perceive happiness.You could have an industry-leading Customer Support team and still have failing customers.
Nobel laureate Dan Kahneman exposed that our perception of happiness is inconsistent and relative. For example, something which causes momentary happiness may very well be remembered later on as something which caused us great unhappiness. Happiness is an extremely difficult outcome to control for, and it rarely correlates to the things we think it does.
Success is a more robust, objective outcome. We can achieve success (or not) by applying a systematic approach to solving a well-defined problem.
From the customer’s perspective, the question shifts from the subjective “are you happy with our response to your problem?” to a more objective “how close did we help you get to a successful outcome?”.
Which question do you think has more utility over time?In last week’s post, we touched on how beginner customers use more support resources and churn more frequently than any other cohort.
I witnessed this firsthand as Director of CS at a startup that grew from $1,300 MRR to $150,000 MRR in about 18 months.After reading many hundreds of account cancellation requests, I distilled the most common ones into a couple of scripts. They looked something like this:Script 1: “Hey guys, thanks for all the support with getting set up, but the tool doesn’t do [use-case] as well as [competing product], so I’m sticking with them.”These were very happy customers, but they wanted features we were never going to build, and couldn’t use our product to achieve their version of success.