While the definition of Customer Success can be quite broad, we see it very simply:

Customer Success means ensuring that users adopt your technology and can quickly and measurably derive value.

While our definition is straightforward, delivering Customer Success is complex and requires a significant cross-organizational transformation to deliver an integrated and outstanding customer experience across the end-to-end customer journey. 

Throughout enterprise technology there is demonstrable urgency around Customer Success, for example:

  • 80% of top software companies have a Customer Success or customer experience emphasis
  • On LinkedIn, there are 125,000 job postings for Customer Success Managers
  • There are more than 350 Customer Success-related LinkedIn groups and forums

Two Forces Driving Customer Success Adoption

The Customer Success movement is being driven by two primary forces—subscription economics and customer expectations:

1.      The continued migration of software to the cloud and “as-a-Service” subscription models is fundamentally altering technology business dynamics. Lower initial revenue opportunities are pushing providers to broaden their offerings and provide value-added services throughout the customer lifecycle. As an example, the forecast below shows that subscription software will continue to command an increasingly larger share of the commercial software market, with its share projected to grow to 31% by 2018.

2.      Customer expectations have changed dramatically. Today, customers are demanding that their technology investments deliver meaningful business outcomes. They want their products to be ready to use more quickly, to have help whenever they need it, to pay for only what they use, to receive a steady stream of high value and low cost (or no cost) upgrades, and most importantly, to derive real business value from the products. 

Why Customer Success Is Important to Providers

In the subscription world, a thoughtful, integrated Customer Success strategy is integral to forming close, profitable, and predictable long-term customer relationships. Through Customer Success, software companies can:

  • Increase adoption, upselling, and cross-selling
  • Improve renewal rates
  • Create a loop between customer needs & product roadmap
  • Increase speed of customer-acquisition-cost payback
  • Decrease support costs

Barriers to Success

Some common challenges that companies face when planning and implementing Customer Success initiatives include:

  • Lack of awareness of the end-to-end customer journey
  • Functional silos that inhibit a seamless customer journey
  • Many roles but no accountability for Customer Success
  • Archaic approaches to measuring customer health 
  • Lack of clarity on how to justify and fund Customer Success initiatives

Waterstone Helps Clients Deliver Customer Success

Waterstone offers a comprehensive set of services to help our clients design, launch, and scale their Customer Success capabilities. We tailor our approach depending on where a client is along the Customer Success path, including:

  • Defining Customer Success Initiatives
    • Leading Customer Success executive briefing
    • Performing a diagnostic assessment of the current-state customer journey and identifying opportunities for improvement
    • Designing the Customer Success operating model and building the investment case
  • Executing the Customer Success Program
    • Establishing role clarity to deliver an integrated customer experience pre- and post-sales
    • Re-designing workflows to drive Customer Success
    • Designing Customer Success offerings
    • Developing and implementing a technology roadmap to enable scale
    • Driving program execution
  • Maximizing Customer Success Results
    • Evolving and optimizing the Customer Success capability by defining predictive metrics and refining role accountabilities and workflows

To learn more about Waterstone’s perspective on Customer Success and strategies for improving Customer Success within your organization, please contact us.