Explore writings about Customer Success
Bringing Customer Success to the Spotlight
CSM Spotlight: Irene Phelps
Meet Irene Phelps. Irene has worked in Customer Success for over 7 years and is currently a Customer Success Manager at Ring.io We asked Irene a few questions about her experience in the Customer Success field and a few questions about her as a person. **Which company do you/did you most recently work for?** Ring.io **How long have you been in the Customer Success field** About 7+ years .... wow **Can you tell me a bit about your journey to Customer Success? Did your education/life experience play a part in that?** Great question! Growing up, this was not a profession I did not even consider. It might not have existed at the time. I mean, as in the current form. Most of us in Customer Success have a different story, which is always interesting. In my case, it was an evolution. I started my professional career working at a Japanese trading company handling logistics which requires a lot of skills that, now looking back, are comparable to CS—problem-solving, adaptability, project management, and of course, interpersonal skills. My journey transitioned to the tech startup world. My first startup was a Saas SEO platform. And in true startup fashion, I wore many hats: customer Support, Sales, and Marketing. Many of you know how that goes. My day-to-day was heavily focused on interacting with customers and prospects. I loved hearing from customers about the difference the tool made in their job and how excited they were. You know how that is, right? It is priceless, such a great feeling. That is when the concept of Customer Success started to come up, and I realized that is what I wanted to do. Interesting move from an introvert! The rest just started to fall into place. I got my first whole CS gig at another startup, this time in the productivity space, before landing at Ring.io, where I also work in Customer Success. **What is one important lesson you've learned from your time in Customer Success?** Learning from trial and error. What works for someone might not work for you. Patience (lots of it). Expect to wait to get results. Relationships matter, spend the time to build them. **What advice/tips would you give someone trying to break into Customer Success?** Educate yourself. There are a ton of resources out there. And feel free to reach out to anyone in the field to ask questions or gain more insights. By the way, while you are the champion for your customer, know that Customer Success is everyone. Every single role within a company is a massive contributor to a customer's success. You are not alone! Have fun ... and enjoy the ride. **Is there anything about the Customer Success industry that you'd like to see change?** Despite the increase of blogs, articles, books, and communities, the role and function of Customer Success still need to be clarified and seen as an extension of other departments within the organization. That being Sales, Support, or even Marketing. Suppose you ask anyone to define a Sales or Customer Support role; they would describe it without hesitation. This is not necessarily an industry-related matter, and as the industry grows, it will likely be much clearer for those outside who are unfamiliar with Customer Success. It is on each of us to make that shift. _In this section, we want to learn about you the person, not the CSM._ **What are passionate about aside from Customer Success?** I am a dog lover. Last year I started fostering for my local humane association. And that is how I ended up with a second dog—Foster failure. Enjoy traveling and learning new languages. I have been learning Italian through Duolingo and hold a 520+ strike. Also, I am a knitter. Talk to me about yarn and patterns, and I will be excited to nerd out. **What is your favorite quote/saying** When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle **How do you stay motivated when things get hard?** The most important, but not the easiest, is staying positive and moving forward. When you are in the thick of it, it seems impossible that the sun will shine on the other side. But it does, and it is awesome. Thank you to Irene for giving us. some of her time. You can connect with Irene on LinkedIn [here](https://www.linkedin.com/in/irenephelps/) If you're in the Customer Success field and would like to be in the spotlight, feel free to fill out [this form](https://forms.gle/z1TWVDxUDn31JMdn9)
Wed, Mar 22
Measuring Customer Success: The Key Metrics That Actually Matter
When it comes to running a successful business, there are few things more important than keeping your customers happy. After all, without satisfied customers, you'll struggle to grow and thrive. But how do you measure customer success? What metrics should you be tracking to ensure that you're meeting your customer's needs and expectations? In this blog, we'll explore some of the key metrics that you should be tracking to measure customer success. These metrics will help you understand how your customers feel about your product or service, how likely they are to continue doing business with you, and how much value they bring to your company over the long term. By understanding these key metrics, you'll be in a much better position to make informed decisions about how to improve the customer experience and drive long-term growth. **Customer Success Metrics** When answering the question "how do you measure customer success?", the first step is to establish the KPIs you will use. There are a number of different metrics that you can track to measure customer success. Some of the most important include: Customer Health Score: Customer Health Score is a metric that measures how likely a customer is to continue doing business with a company in the future. It can be calculated using a variety of factors, such as customer satisfaction, usage of the company's product or service, and the overall value that the customer derives from the offering. By tracking Customer Health Score, companies can identify which customers are at risk of churning and take action to address their concerns and needs. Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS is a widely used metric that measures how likely a customer is to recommend your product or service to others. It's calculated by asking customers to rate their likelihood of recommending your offering on a scale from 0 to 10. Customers who score 9 or 10 are considered "promoters," while those who score 7 or 8 are "passives," and those who score 0-6 are "detractors." By tracking your NPS, you'll be able to identify areas for improvement and increase customer loyalty. Qualitative Customer Feedback: While quantitative metrics like NPS are important, they don't always give you the full picture of how your customers feel about your product or service. That's why it's also important to gather qualitative feedback from your customers, such as open-ended comments and reviews. This can help you better understand the specific needs and concerns of your customers and identify opportunities to improve the customer experience. Customer Churn Rate: Churn rate is a measure of how many customers are leaving your business over a given period of time. This is obviously important because as businesses leave, your revenue shrinks. When there is a mass exodus, there is usually something causing it, and a high churn rate means it’s time to investigate. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): MRR is a metric that measures the revenue generated from recurring payments on a monthly basis. It's often used by companies that offer subscription-based products or services, as it provides a reliable and predictable source of income. By tracking MRR, companies can identify trends and opportunities for growth, and make informed decisions about pricing and product development. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): CLV is a measure of the total value that a customer brings to your business over their lifetime. It's calculated by multiplying the average value of a customer's purchases by the number of purchases they make over their lifetime. Customer Retention Cost (CRC): CRC is a measure of how much it costs a company to retain an existing customer. It takes into account a variety of costs, including marketing and customer service expenses, as well as the cost of lost opportunities if a customer churns. By tracking CRC, companies can better understand the true cost of customer retention and make informed decisions about how to allocate their resources. Customer Satisfaction Score: A customer satisfaction score is a measure of how happy and satisfied a customer is with a company's products or services. It is typically calculated by surveying customers and asking them to rate their level of satisfaction on a scale, such as from 1 to 10. A high customer satisfaction score indicates that the company is meeting or exceeding customer expectations, while a low score may indicate that the company needs to improve its products or services. **How to track Customer Success metrics** Now that we have established which metrics matter, it's important to track a range of key metrics. These metrics can help you understand how your customers feel about your product or service, how likely they are to continue doing business with you, and how much value they bring to your company over the long term. Let's explore how to track these important customer success metrics. Customer Health Score: To track your customer health score, you'll need to gather data on a range of factors that influence a customer's likelihood of continuing to do business with you. These factors may include customer satisfaction, usage of your product or service, and the overall value that the customer derives from your offering. You can gather this data through surveys, customer interviews, and other forms of feedback. Once you have the data, you can calculate your customer health score by assigning weights to each of the factors and aggregating the scores. Net Promoter Score (NPS): To track your NPS, you'll need to ask your customers to rate their likelihood of recommending your product or service to others on a scale from 0 to 10. You can do this through surveys, email campaigns, or other forms of customer feedback. Once you have collected the data, the formula to apply is: NPS = % Promoters - % Detractors "Promoters" are customers who score 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 when asked about their likelihood of recommending the company's product or service to others. "Detractors" are customers who score 0 to 6 on this scale. To calculate NPS, you first need to determine the percentage of promoters and detractors among your customer base. Then, you subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to arrive at your NPS score. Qualitative Customer Feedback: To gather qualitative customer feedback, you can use a variety of methods, such as open-ended surveys, customer interviews, or online reviews. It's important to keep an open mind when collecting this type of feedback and be willing to listen to both positive and negative comments. By actively seeking out and responding to customer feedback, you can gain valuable insights into the customer experience and identify areas for improvement. Customer Churn Rate: To track your churn rate, you'll need to gather data on how many customers are leaving your business over a given period of time. You can do this by tracking customer churn on a monthly basis and comparing it to your total number of customers at the beginning of that period. By tracking your churn rate, you'll be able to identify trends and take action to reduce customer churn. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): If you offer a subscription-based product or service, it's important to track your MRR to understand your recurring revenue streams. You can do this by tracking the revenue generated from recurring payments on a monthly basis and comparing it to previous periods. By tracking your MRR, you'll be able to identify trends and opportunities for growth and make informed decisions about pricing and product development. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): To calculate your CLV, you'll need to gather data on the average value of a customer's purchases and the number of purchases they make over their lifetime. You can do this by tracking customer purchases and analyzing the data to understand patterns and trends. By tracking your CLV, you'll be able to identify your most valuable customers and focus on retaining and growing those relationships. Customer Retention Cost (CRC): To calculate your CRC, you'll need to gather data on the cost of retaining an existing customer. This may include marketing and customer service expenses, as well as the cost of lost opportunities if a customer churns. You can calculate your CRC by dividing these costs by the number of customers retained over a given period of time. By tracking your CRC, you'll be able to understand the true cost of customer retention and make informed decisions about how to allocate your resources. Customer Satisfaction Score: Start by determining the target audience for the survey. Next, develop a list of questions to ask in the survey. These should be designed to measure the customer's satisfaction with various aspects of the company's products or services, such as the quality, value, and performance. Calculate the average score by adding up all the responses and dividing by the number of responses Tracking metrics is an important aspect of running a successful business or organization. By keeping track of key performance indicators and other important metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your operations and identify areas for improvement. Whether you are using manual tracking methods or utilizing specialized software, it is essential to regularly review and analyse your metrics in order to make informed decisions and drive growth. By staying on top of your metrics, you can ensure that you are making the most of your resources and maximizing your chances of success.
Thu, Mar 23
Adding a Customer Success Specialist to your team
Customer success managers have an incredibly important job. According to Google Trends, the phrase "customer success manager" has nearly doubled in the last year, with a significant increase in August. Great managers need very good players to execute their winning strategy. As a customer success manager, you shouldn't be focusing on monitoring mutual action plans, consolidating calendar notes, or triaging support. You should be focusing on how to increase net revenue retention and your Net Promoter Score. One actionable solution is to add a customer success specialist. You might be asking yourself, "What exactly does a customer success specialist do, and how does this role differ from other customer success roles?" A Customer Success Specialist is a member of your Customer Success team who will guide a user through key stages in their journey with your company, including onboarding new customers, account management, and other customer needs. As with all roles in customer success, customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal. Adding a customer success specialist can help in so many ways, but most importantly, it will free up your strategists to strategize. With more time to strategize, better SOPs and execution plans will be established, which will lead to the thing every team cares about: more revenue. You would never expect a builder to build without tools or any type of support, so how can you expect that from your customer success manager? What to look for in a Customer Success Specialist will vary based on your specific needs, but here are a few skills you should add to the required skills section of your job listing. Experience in a customer success or customer-facing role Strong written and verbal communication skills Attention to detail Information analysis skill Reporting Skills As with any customer success role (or any role at all, for that matter), there are more skills that your organization will deem important, but the above skills are a good starting point when looking to hire a customer success specialist. One of the largest obstacles to adding to your team is the current state of the economy. While more companies are realizing the true importance of a great customer success manager and team, companies are tightening their belts across all departments. These runway extension plans are cutting vital resources from customer success as well as other important roles. There are solutions that won't break the bank and can seriously improve the workload heaped on your customer success manager and other team members. The simple solution is to simply hire a part-time customer success specialist. As with any part-time position, less work equals fewer dollars spent on payroll. This is an especially good solution if your Customer Success Manager is particularly adept at triaging some of these issues, allowing the part-time hire to immediately begin addressing the issues that the CSM has prepared for them. The most obvious downside to this approach is that your CSM still has to focus on pulling all those tasks together, so while time is freed up, it's not maximized properly. Another downside to this approach is that a part-time hire doesn't always feel like a true member of the team. This can have a terrible effect on team cohesiveness, which is definitely something you want to try to avoid. A second approach is to hire a full-time, non-experienced worker. With no experience, the price tag on this team member will be lower than an experienced alternative. You will also have the ability to mold that person into the customer success professional that you want on your team. The downside here is the time it will cost your CSM. Training an employee can take a very long time, and it's time that your CSM already doesn't have. Finding the right candidate to train can also take an immense amount of time that you might not have. The third solution is to add a full-time, offshore Customer Success Specialist. Because of currency differences, offshore talent is extremely affordable, especially when compared to American talent with similar competence levels. Because of this, you can add top-tier talent at a fraction of the cost. Some of the downsides to this approach are that this specialist will be 100% remote, which might matter to some companies. Another issue is sourcing these specialists. There are solutions (like Baton) that can find top talent for you, but if you're going to do it alone, the going can get tough and it can take a long time. Adding a customer success specialist does wonders for your team. There are obvious revenue benefits that come along with adding to your team, but another aspect that is often overlooked is the effect this has on burnout. When your team is overworked, burnout isn't far behind. Adding another head (especially using one of the more affordable solutions above) takes the stress off your team that software often won't. To sum it all up, customer success managers play a crucial role in ensuring that a company's clients are satisfied with their products or services. They are responsible for maintaining and improving customer relationships, and their efforts can have a direct impact on a company's bottom line. As such, customer success managers often command large salaries, with some earning six figures or more per year. However, it's important for customer success managers to prioritize their work-life balance and take time off when needed to recharge and maintain their mental and physical health. There are several options for expanding a customer success team, including hiring a part-time or full-time specialist, training a new employee without experience, or outsourcing to an offshore worker. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on the specific needs and resources of the company.
Thu, Mar 23