Digital development has fundamentally transformed the entire customer relationship lifecycle and has led to the emergence of a new important role in customer relationship management, called customer success.
The software industry was one of the first to feel the impact of hyperconnection as it moved from traditional internally installed software to vendor-managed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) software. SaaS providers have found that they can collect valuable data about their users. In the beginning, this collection of information helped to learn about the most popular features and the necessary improvements. Subsequently, the vendors discovered that the usage data contained signals to identify termination risks, allowing them to put measures in place to ensure renewal. This is how the customer success feature was born.
Now, all businesses are leveraging technology to enrich the customer experience, which has enabled the transition from simple SaaS to everything-as-a-service (XaaS). Furthermore, customer success today is no longer just about the product, but about the ecosystem, which requires more precise measurements.
Customer-centric key performance indicators
While solution providers have strengthened their investments in customer success, they have developed key performance indicators (KPIs) that focus on their individual goals. Therefore, the role of suppliers is to understand what their customers’ ambitions and values are in order to offer them the most appropriate KPIs. In the long run, this allows you to build a personalized vision of how the customer expects to generate value with their supplier and how they will achieve it together.
The goal is always to generate revenue but in a different way based on customer success. The supplier’s sole interest is therefore the success of his customer.
Many vendors use the pre-sale value analysis process to define the outcomes that matter to the customer. However, stopping at this stage is no longer enough! Now the data must be updated constantly, becoming an iterative process, more in line with the XaaS model. In this way the customer can regularly check the value generated by the software.
However, as the XaaS model expands beyond SaaS, tracking customer success is no longer limited to the data the product collects. It must take into account all other channels used by the customer.
Quantify the KPIs
These key performance data and indicators are essential for both suppliers and customers. They can be numerous and affect many areas: customer risk management, integration transfers, retention, etc. However, the customer should not be burdened with unnecessary and incomprehensible KPIs. The supplier must set three to four goals with his client, then transform them into measurable KPIs. Maintaining a limited number of objectives guarantees qualitative monitoring over time.
The customer is therefore a winner: they can concretely understand the help provided by the solution. At the same time, the supplier who has collected a lot of data about his customer can offer him more comprehensive support to improve his performance.
Ultimately, once clear KPI goals are established, the vendor’s customer success teams need to determine how to help the customer achieve their goals. This is where the role of the supplier changes. It no longer only needs to provide a solution to its client, but also personalized support and advice to ensure its success.