Customer Success Industry Trends in Light of the Recession

Latest trends

The transition from hyper-growth to efficiency in the tech ecosystem over the last 6-9 months brings the world of CS to a crossroads.

Customer Success was never designed to do more with less (scale). The CS world’s foundations were built on human connection and interaction. CSMs focus on developing trust, relationships, and product utilization based on a deep familiarity with the client’s needs, work environment, and goals. 

To date, CS leaders have poured 💸 and increased their teams almost linearly to the increase in the number of customers. It was always the default solution.

Therefore, the recession exacerbated a challenge that was always there. 

How the hell do you make CS organizations efficient without compromising the quality of service and value and without increasing churn rates?

Great companies turn CS into a company philosophy. This is reflected in the day-to-day processes, the cooperation between the different teams, and the attention the entire company produces through common goals/OKRs.

They do it because it is a tremendous growth engine. 

But how do you do it at a time when efficiency is the most important thing and when employees feel they are collapsing under the burden? 

Here are three directions I have heard more from CS leaders recently:

Ideal customer profile (ICP) – true, it’s easy in theory and hard in reality to say no to deals, especially in the beginning. But this is critical because when a customer leaves because his product fit was low initially, it throws away the effort and energy that quite a few people from different teams invested. This damages business results and the company’s reputation and morale. Saying no in cases where it is clear that there is no good match is an excellent way to focus, generate business success elsewhere, and generate motivation. Employees appreciate when they feel they are investing in the right places.

In other words, strategic focus is essential to enable teams to succeed and invest resources in places where the ROI is high because a successful customer is more likely to become an ambassador and increase the contract value in additional products/services. (Land and expand) 

Customer Value Analysis – What does value look like for your customer, and how can it be measured? These questions require a clear answer because the value definition should be the basis for any process built in the company and touches the customers across the board. To answer this accurately requires intensive interaction with customers in their work environment. It should start with close cooperation between the product, development, and customer departments. At this time, an accurate understanding of the value and how it can be produced efficiently is a strategic task that impacts the strategy and methodology in your ecosystem.

Adding functions that enable scale – the transition of a startup company from seed to A/B/C usually produces an exponential increase in the number of customers. Beyond a segmentation process which is essential in itself to ensure that the company invests relative effort to the size of the contract, it is also crucial to map the customer journey and understand which tasks take time but does not require a CSM skillset (implementation, value creation, relationship building, renewal/increase) or require a different skill.

For example – in companies with a more complex and longer implementation process is necessary to ensure that the customer sees value fast. The onboarding/implementation process may require a different profile. As long as the same function does everything, this harms both the implementation process and the CSM’s ability to invest in the adoption phase. Adding one horizontal position that takes responsibility for a specific part of the process can allow the organization to scale without compromising the quality of service.

In other words, to be more efficient and effective while providing an excellent customer experience requires the organization’s ability to make bold strategic decisions and to put the customer at the center, not just as a statement. At the same time, the CS organization needs to review, define and adjust the customer journey from a function and skill set perspective and ensure that the time invested in each phase has a clear business ROI. 

a Huge disclaimer – every company is different in its characteristics, and the strategy should be adapted to the type of product, company goals, nature of the market and customers, and more.

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