On November 8-9, Gainsight hosted their Pulse Europe Conference London and a few members of our team were lucky enough to attend. This was Pulse’s largest Europe conference ever, with over 1000 attendees joining the Customer Success conversation.
After two days and several thousand miles, here’s what we learned:
1. Customer Success isn’t just a new name for Customer Support.
Customer Success is an entirely new way of approaching business, all from the perspective of the customer.
What does that mean?
Capital C, Capital S—Customer Success—starts when companies take a proactive approach to ensuring that their customers derive full value from products and services through their lifecycle. The conversations we had at Pulse Europe definitely reinforced this idea. In short, slapping a new name on your Customer Support department does not a Customer Success department make.
Customer Success = Providing Long-term Value
The Customer Success teams that we met at Pulse were laser-focused on understanding the full scope of the customer journey and optimizing every step of the way—from the close of the sale to the onboarding process to the long term customer experience.
Customer Success is all about the lifetime value of your customer for your company and the lifetime value of your company to your customer. Moreover, recognizing that the success of your business is intrinsically tied to the success of your customer is something we were able to see first hand at Pulse Europe, with thousands of attendees investing time and resources into learning how to help their customers—not just their companies—be successful.
2. Customer Success is a company-wide philosophy.
As we mentioned above, slapping “Customer Success” on your Customer Support department doesn’t really cut it when it comes to a long-term business strategy. Customer Success must be a top-down philosophy that requires everyone’s buy-in.
“Customer Success is the business methodology of ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service.”
It seems simple, but ensuring that customers achieve their desired outcomes can be tough. It means setting pre-sale expectations, consistently meeting those expectations, and being able to repeat that process with every single customer.
And those expectations start at the top of your organization.
Our CEO, Blakely Graham participated in a CEO Panel at Pulse Europe during which she described the process of embracing Customer Success as an organizational philosophy at TaskRay.
Providing consistently positive, powerful and forward-looking solutions for your customers isn’t just a challenge for support and success teams anymore—its for everyone in the company, from execs to admins.
3. Customer Onboarding is a good place to start.
Maybe we’re biased, but we believe that it all starts with onboarding. If you don’t have a strong customer onboarding process in place, how can you ensure that you aren’t constantly fighting a losing battle against churn?
We hosted a session at Pulse entitled, “The Do Re Mi of Customer Success: Start At The Beginning” in which we discussed our new eBook (out now!) on the same topic. We received some great response and a lot of questions about how to get started with building an onboarding program.
We’ll be hosting a webinar on this topic later this month as well, don’t miss it!