March 01, 2016

Your Success is Our Success

When most people think about customer success or customer service, they automatically consider call centers or help desks or shipping departments. But truly focusing on customer success goes beyond just customer facing departments and workers. Ultimately, non-customer-facing and back-end operation workers are as critically important towards truly delivering success to customers.

Non-Customer Facing Roles

If one were to ask company leaders which role in their organization has the biggest impact on the customer experience, they’d likely name someone customer-facing roles such as frontline employees or even the CEO. But this is not necessarily accurate. Workers in non-customer-facing roles have a tremendous impact on the company’s customer experience. Yet because their impact is not as direct as customer-facing workers, it’s often overlooked, which means that the company is missing out on an opportunity to further improve customer satisfaction.

Below are some of the roles whose impact is overlooked the most.

Recruiters: Every organization trying to build a great customer experience needs committed people onboard, and recruiters need to understand the company’s customer experience strategy so they can map their hiring standards to it. When hiring for customer-facing roles, recruiters should look for candidates who enjoy working with customers and have a willingness to learn.

Product Managers: When customers are presented with offerings that don’t fit their needs, it’s harder to satisfy them. Often product managers are already using customer focus groups and market research to evaluate competing offerings.

Financial Analysts: The work financial analysts do in terms of strategic thinking and analysis ensures that an organization has the resources it needs to make investments in customer success improvements. By providing financial analysts with the right tools and incentives, they can also predict which investments will provide the biggest ROI for the organization.

IT: In many companies the IT department is directly responsible for reducing customer friction by keeping digital touchpoints running smoothly and efficiently. IT workers also ensure that the rest of the company has access to the resources and information it needs to deliver a good customer experience. By providing the IT department with insights into the way the organization communicates and collaborates on customer success allows them to design their infrastructure to support and aid in the process.

Ways to Encourage Non-Customer Facing Workers

There are several ways that HR departments and managers can involve non-customer-facing workers in day-today customer relationships:

  1. Incentivizing them for helping customers outside of the workplace. Non-customer-facing workers can still be great brand advocates, providing help and information to customers met outside of the workplace. Some companies reward workers for customer referrals and involve them in customer communication campaigns.
  2. Map the customer ecosystem. Often back-office workers are unaware of how they are ultimately connected to the customer experience. Tools such as customer experience ecosystem maps are a great way to visualize the connections between customer journeys and the workers who play a supporting role.
  3. Communicate customer feedback. When passing on positive customer feedback, it’s important to communicate to the entire workplace so that there is inclusion and recognition of the importance of customer success.

 Create a Customer Success Goal-Based Management Plan

Customer success should be a theme that is cultivated throughout the entire organization. Some of the top customer-service organizations set goals and metrics for teams that directly correspond to customer success. This includes company metrics that apply to the entire organization as a whole, success goals that push teams to achieve success related company metrics, and individual goals that are applicable to each member of the organization.

SaaS Metrics For Growth and Customer Success

In companies with a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product, customer service is particularly important. Many SaaS companies consider their biggest uncertainty to be that they don’t always know how long customers will stay with them. As such, there are some important elements to understand:

  • Subscription Renewal Rates. Subscription renewal provides a basic and key insight into customer patterns. Understanding which customers are renewing, unsubscribing, or canceling can help detect patterns and characteristics.
  • Recommendation Rates. For SaaS companies, customer recommendations are key to not only growth but to obtain further insight into customer satisfaction.
  • Churn Rates. SaaS churn is the percentage rate at which customers cancel their recurring revenue subscription. It is considered a key metric of historical business performance and an important parameter in revenue forecasting.

Additionally, there are a couple of important metrics that companies should calculate to obtain a full and clear picture of customer success and retention and the impact on the business.

  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). The lifetime value of a customer is simply calculated as the average monthly returned revenue of a customer, multiplied by the average customer lifetime.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). This metric is defined as the amount of money a company is spending to bring in new customers. If the CAC is higher than the LTV, it indicates that customers are not profitable.