4 Key Areas for Delivering Converged Services
As tech companies shift to the cloud and subscription, keeping their current customers is as important as acquiring new customers. Claire O’Neill discusses four key areas Waterstone believes services organizations need to look at to drive a remarkable customer experience, adoption and retention.
The success and growth of a technology provider is largely determined after the product sale. Recognizing the central role Customer Services play in the post-sale customer experience, winners in the industry are redefining the Services they provide and the experience they deliver.
Services, whether human-touch or automated, are on the front lines helping customers configure and use the product, addressing issues customers encounter in their everyday use and ensuring that customers capitalize on new and updated features and services.
Services are playing an increasing role in driving customer experience and value, which drive customer retention, expansion, growth and profitability. Being good at delivering Customer Services is key to driving enterprise growth and value.
The focus on post-sale Customer Services and experience has grown with the shift to subscription and cloud. Technology has become a “service” that is delivered continuously across the customer experience by the Professional Services, Customer Support, Customer Success and Cloud Operations teams.
Converged Services: The Whole Is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts
Converge: to come together and unite in a common interest or focus
Customer Services functions—Professional Services, Customer Support, Customer Success, Cloud Operations—are reorienting and combining around a common focus: to deliver value across the entire customer lifecycle. Together, they are assisting customers to configure, use, adopt, renew, optimize and expand their investment in the technology provider’s solution.
Services convergence entails rethinking, transforming and executing on a new go-to-market and operating model, building on foundational functional excellence across Customer Services.
Technology will continue to move to the cloud. This shift requires service offerings and operations that drive fast time to value, both initially and continuously, and that monetize and price services value in different ways. Whether you are a SaaS pure play or a legacy on-premise software provider, executing on this market mandate will require continuous improvement of your Services operations and offerings.
How We Engage
While much of our advisory work is focused on driving converged services transformation across post-sales Customer Services, we also advise our clients on driving functional performance within the four Customer Services functional organizations:
Leading Professional Services organizations are shifting their strategic priorities to accelerate customer time to value and optimize customer usage and adoption. Making this shift, while optimizing Services and enterprise profitability, requires continuous improvement in PS organizations’ go-to-market approach (i.e., sales channels, offerings and pricing), operations, delivery practices and metrics by which they measure success. We will assist you in making this customer-centric transition while driving successful economics in your business.
SaaS requires technology providers to deliver a new kind of support experience to a new kind of customer. The days of solely reactive, technical-focused support are gone. Today, end users want proactive guidance and support based on their providers’ expertise. In response, Customer Support organizations are shifting their focus to offering real-time, context-specific services and consultative support—all while continuing to drive operational efficiency. We will work with your Support leaders to diagnose and improve performance while developing new engagement models to proactively address your customers’ needs.
Customer Success organizations are a critical lynchpin to ensuring customers achieve the most value out of their solutions while uncovering and supporting opportunities to expand customer adoption. We help our clients redefine their customer experience and launch and scale their Customer Success capabilities. Whether transforming your customer journey, launching a customer experience program or enhancing and/or scaling an existing Customer Success organization, we can help you develop and execute a clear path towards improved customer engagement and retention.
SaaS, Cloud and Managed Services customers have high systems expectations. Cloud Operations must provide both the continuous system availability and proactive outage management that customers demand. At the same time, Cloud Ops must meet the internal needs of the organization, providing the tools and monitoring capabilities essential to delivering the customer experience. We help equip your Cloud Operations function with the necessary system requirements, SLAs, operational practices and organizational model to succeed with both your external and internal customers.
Trends in Technology Services: Market Insights on Cloud, Services and Customer Success
Waterstone engaged with 25 technology-led companies over the past several months to capture the latest trends around Cloud, Services and Customer Success. In this concise presentation, we highlight five key findings around the shift to the cloud, challenges around cloud transformation, support and services evolution, level of investment in Customer Success and challenges surrounding Customer Success.
Created Significant Enterprise and Customer Value through Services Transformation
A global enterprise software company sought to evolve its Services strategy and operations to drive growth and profitability. We developed and advised on the execution of a phased roadmap for cloud growth and services improvement. As a result, the Cloud Services business grew from start-up to $40M with 25% margin, Professional Services margin increased 8% and SaaS business is growing at ~20% year over year.
Transform Your Customer Services to Deliver Remarkable Experiences
We bring functional and cross-services expertise from both legacy and newer technology providers to rethink and improve the way you drive customer outcomes.