Why your startup needs to focus on Customer Success

By John Bowman

John Bowman is the Director of Customer Success at Jetpack Workflow, which provides client and workflow management software for accounting firms. John started the Pittsburgh Customer Success Meetup to grow this important discipline in the local startup community.

We’re excited to host the next Pittsburgh Customer Success Meetup on Wednesday, June 20 at AlphaLab. The topic is Engaging Executives with Kristen Hayer, Founder of The Success League and one of the top Customer Success influencers in the world.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Customer Success is exactly what it sounds like: making your customers successful with your product. In a company, it is the team, group, or organization that has the goal of maximizing Customer Lifetime Value (LTV).

There is a trend in Silicon Valley of selling a business to a bigger “sucker.” You start a business, get users, and translate those users into a large pay out. Oftentimes, the company no longer exists within five years and no real value is added to the world.

Customer Success is the opposite of this kind of financial arbitrage.

Customer Success is about building a healthy, diversified, stable, and long term business that makes the world a better place by delivering value daily. In short, it’s how you bring real, tangible value to each of your customers.

The field began in 2005 and has grown rapidly across the USA. If you’re a SaaS business and don’t have a Customer Success department, you are falling behind the curve. Think of Success as Portfolio Management — and it is more than just account management.

Success is anything that delivers value to the customer. It can be trainings, webinars, renewals, upsells, churn mitigation, churn analysis, churn reduction, feedback championing, support, and project management. A Customer Success Manager is a trusted advisor any one of your accounts can call up to get more value out of your product.

Customer Success has three parts:

  1. Organization: the customer experience with the goal of maximizing retention and LTV.
  2. Discipline: best practices and processes needed to help the Organization achieve its goals.
  3. Philosophy: a top-down commitment to delivering value to your customers.

On Wednesday, June 20, the Pittsburgh Customer Success Meetup will be hosting a talk about the Discipline part of Customer Success — Engaging Exectives with Kristen Hayer.

We’re lucky to have Kristen leading this discussion! Kristen is the CEO and Founder of the Success League, and also has a Pittsburgh connection — she’s the former VP of Customer Success at JazzHR. She’s trained hundreds of Customer Success practitioners in the subtleties of Success. And she was recently named to the top 25 Customer Success influencers in the world by Mindtouch.com.

In this talk, Kristen will be talking about Engaging Executives. Customer Success Managers will often times find themselves doing Quarterly Business Reviews with the Executive champion on their product. How do you handle that relationship? How do you set yourself up for success? How do you turn the Executive into a brand advocate so you can expand more into the company? These questions and more will be answered!

The Pittsburgh Customer Success Meetup is a learning group. We meet every third Thursday of the month to hear a presentation and network. Our members get actionable advice to take back and use in their roles immediately.

We want to build the Customer Success culture in Pittsburgh. Want to help? Join the group and reach out!

AlphaLab is a nationally ranked early stage startup accelerator focused on helping founders achieve product-market fit and customer traction.

AlphaLab is a nationally ranked early stage startup accelerator focused on helping founders achieve product-market fit and customer traction.