Customer Success is the Secret of Hyper-Growth SaaS Startups

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A customer who makes a profit for himself also makes a profit for you. 

Talking about profit, software-as-a-service (SaaS) is one of the fastest growing business models in the age of the internet. The SaaS market worldwide in 2017 was estimated to be worth more than $56 billion dollars! These huge figures will only skyrocket in the near future.

You may ask, what is the secret behind the phenomenal growth of SaaS startups? How do they manage to increase revenue every year? The secret is customer success.
What is customer success?

In simple words, customer success (CS) is basically making sure your customers' business grows with the help of SaaS services. SaaS allows customers to use the software as a service. Just like a news magazine, there are monthly and yearly subscription which they can purchase as per their needs. 

If your business was doing really well, thanks to SaaS solutions, would you cancel the subscription? You wouldn't do that. That's the whole idea behind customer success - providing not only the software service like a Zendesk alternative but also all the support customers may need (technical or otherwise) to makes sure their business make a profit. This will ensure a long-term relationship with the customers.

Customer success in SaaS startups

SaaS startups successfully employed customer success strategy in their business model. It is one the main reason behind their meteoric rise in the last few years. If you also have a service-based business model, you could also use this approach to help your business grow.
Customer success at SaaS startups involves a three-way approach aimed at helping a customer be successful in his venture:

1. Technical help to the customer

Not every customer that purchases a SaaS service would be tech savvy. Even if they are, they would need guidance for setting up the software for their business. A lot of technical jargon would come into play when using the software as a service. If the customer feels confused and doesn't know how to go about the service, they would eventually lose interest and cancel their subscription.

Hence, it is crucial to provide a knowledge base regarding any technical issue. For example, setting up the software for the first time could be troublesome for a new user. A technical assistance team is responsible for making sure the SaaS is up and running for a customer.

2. Providing customer knowledge about the software

If a customer is unaware of what all a particular SaaS can do, it could be difficult to get the best out of the service. The SaaS startups strive to make their customer well aware of their software's potential and how they could benefit from it.

Some startups even provide training to their customers. They also focus on building an active community website where they can interact with each other and learn more about the software and what all it offers. As you can see, proactive customer support is of utmost priority for SaaS startups, everything else comes later.

3. Customer's business relationship with the company

So you have provided excellent customer support a user could have asked for. The SaaS is working really well for the customers and they are really churning out good profit from their respective ventures. What next? The most crucial aspect of CS comes into play - business relations with the customers. 

The SaaS customers are successful with their venture. It's time for the startups to make their fair share of profit off their loyal customer base. A business relations team would strive to persuade customers to extend or renew their subscriptions. They would also try to get more and more customers to move from a freemium to a premium model.

Customer Success Manager at your service!

Customer success managers (CSM) is the bridge between the software vendor and the customer. CSM keeps an eye on the customers' usage of the SaaS and offers sound advice when necessary. One of the key roles in the company is to generate maximum value for both parties. In a nutshell, a CSM is the first point of contact for the customers and is responsible for their success. 

Applying customer success strategy in your business

The SaaS startups have used CS strategy effectively to achieve hyper growth in a relatively short period of time and you can too!  Every business wants to retain their customers and yearns for a long-term relationship with their customers. The concept of customer success could be applied to more or less any service-based business model. 

While the field of customer success is still in its infancy, the ground rules are pretty straightforward. The success of your business depends on your customers' success. Are you offering enough technical assistance? Does the customer understand the scope of the service? How good are business relations? These are a few questions a startup should ask itself.

If you own a service-based startup that is losing altitude every passing day and you have no idea how to improve your situation, maybe all you need to implement is customer success.

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