If you’re a SaaS company (or any company, really), then customer success is important crucial the single most valuable thing you can invest in. Big talk, I know. But according to Totango, 70-95% of revenue comes from renewals and upsells. Ensuring the success of your customers over the lifetime of their relationship is critical to securing your business’s main revenue pipeline.
In businesses big and small, SaaS applications are used more and more often. The SaaS model often reduces the time it takes for companies to keep up with industry trends and best practices. But for the same reason, its easier for companies to drop SaaS vendors in favor of newer, (perhaps) better SaaS vendors.
In a great post from Jamie McDonnell entitled “Customer Success for Change,” he calls attention to the fact that implementing a SaaS solution, from the SaaS customer’s point of view, means change. And people hate change. Thus, he writes, it’s important to see it from the customer’s viewpoint:
A user needs to understand the product/service, its value and how to use it, because a tool is just a tool if you haven’t been told (trained) what to do with it.
The take-away from this is huge—and overlooked so often. SaaS companies are selling a product. But they’re not selling a product to corporations and businesses; they’re selling their products to people. If your customers (or users) doesn’t understand why they should use it, or how they can get value from it, or why there needs to be change in the first place, they’re not going to stay your customer for long.
The change, and the resistance to it internally, begin during the sales process. And that’s why customer success should begin there, too. By helping to manage the (fear of) change in your customer’s organization from the first contact to the closing handshake you’re setting up your customer for success during onboarding, and beyond.
So how can you manage the fear?
By delivering content that creates smarter customers. By content, I don’t mean marketing materials. You don’t need to sell them on your brand. You need to sell them on the idea of them successfully using your product. Show them how they will become product experts, and show them the VALUE of becoming a product expert. Change is only worth it if you’re getting more value than before.
That means the content that is the backbone for your customer onboarding and support are the content. Engaging customers with content that provides them value as your (prospective) customers—that puts them on the path to becoming product experts—is crucial to driving sales. This content is the lifeblood of how they will get value our of your product, so why keep it locked away for post-sales? Knowing that what their investing in works for them is what allays the fear, what makes change okay. Or even enjoyable, if you’re content is easy to find and use.