Customer Success Leaders! What’s Under Your Tree this Year?

Written by 
Deirdre Mahon

2020 has been a tough year for all. Here's wishing you a happy, healthy holiday and hopefully some gifts under your tree to make life a little smoother in 2021.

Customer success is a critical function for every SaaS. Sure, winning customers and delivering value is something we work for every day. Success teams are stretched thin and constantly juggle strategic, long-term projects with the day-to-day blocking and tackling to keep customers on track and satisfied.

You represent the ‘face’ of your company and are often on-the-hook to communicate futures which includes the roadmap and so you become the trusted advisor. You work on behalf of the entire team but you also have to consider your customer, end-user’s point of view. Ever feel like piggy in the middle? If you had a top ten list of gifts that you’d love to unwrap, neatly tucked under your tree, what would that be? To craft this list, I reached out to some of my favorite CS professionals, some of whom I work with today and some I’ve worked with over the years. Shout out to Ben Hancock, CS at Simpo and Maxwell Smith-Gee, lead for the entire CS team. Also my friends Irene Lefton and Angie Flynn Wright who leads CS at Mad Street Den. 

Here’s the list we came up with, in no particular order.

1. To never be ghosted again

Not getting a response is cold. Sure, sometimes it’s because the customer is busy working on other pressing items. But when time ticks by and there’s still no answer, you worry about retention. Imagine a world where all customers respond. Pure bliss.

2. To never be asked to reset a password again

Quite the opposite of being ghosted. Usually customer support takes care of this but you still pay close attention to how your users interact and they keep asking the same question plus it’s not a good one. Yikes! You can’t get users past first-base without logging in. If only they would save it to their password management system. Wait, they don’t have one? Maybe there’s other problems that need solving first. 

3. For Sales to stop overpromising

Just got a new account? Exciting! But wait, why does the customer keep asking for features you don’t have. Oh dear, it’s time to level-set and reassure the customer that you’ll help them reach their goals. Now, if only you could get back the precious time and no more stressful calls, that would be total pleasure. Just thinking about it makes you want to throw back some eggnog.

4. 100 NPS score from your customers

There’s nothing better than a customer advocating for you. NPS is just one measure. They not only love you but also your product and they’re willing to tell all their friends. You gotta send out that NPS survey every quarter and sometimes you gingerly hit the send button. Imagine a world where you are so confident that the result is 100 and pushing send is no sweat.The lights on your tree sparkle brighter.

5. A crystal ball tells you who wants to buy more

Renewal is coming up and you notice some accounts are really active. In fact they are bringing on more users, more seats! Bring it, you say. In fact now you have a world where you are just automagically alerted when customers want to spend more money. Before renewal time too. Now there’s a reason to ring some bells.

6. A stocking full of signed renewal contracts

Stocking stuffers are so much fun. You just never know what you’re going to get. Also, good things come in small packages and this one is full of pre-signed multi-year renewals. Docusign, we love you but now we have all contracts just appear without any back ‘n forth, saving so much time and energy. More time to read your favorite book by the fire. The latest book on customer success trends, of course.

7. Case-studies in a row

A world where you don’t even need to ask for a testimonial, G2 review or a case-study. Customers are now lining up in a nice tidy row volunteering with amazing quotes about how fabulous you are. They’re even willing to do a webcast and video because it will make your brand shine oh-so-bright. Suddenly marketing is your new BFF.

8. Product understands your job

The entire product management team is now starting to join customer calls and they totally get what you do. They feel the same pain when those features and releases are held up and are even willing to talk to the customer directly and share the juicy details. It’s so much tastier when everyone is on the same page. No more indigestion.

9. Little elves make all my QBR slides

Now where’s all the detailed data and information you need to pack into that slide deck that you need to share with tons of folks, including the executive sponsors. What about those nice pie charts and pretty diagrams that convey so much value in just a few seconds. You wake up the morning of the QBR call and the deck appears on your screen. Simply perfect.

10. All feature requests are granted

You know how customers ask for the sun, moon and stars? Well you know sometimes they also pay the big bucks? It’s hard to reconcile the two but you always do your best to validate and convey to everyone in product and engineering. Now you don’t need to worry because all those new feature requests are granted from here on out. Well except for the silly, nonsense ones which are a cake-walk for you. 

Sit back, relax and breeze into 2021 because all your wishes have been granted. May the new year bring health, happiness and more customer success joy for you and all your team.