It’s no secret that when it comes to customer success and the world of SaaS, things are always changing. We’ve talked before on our blog about why customer success should be one of your core operating philosophies, but who can you follow to make sure you’re on the cutting edge of new customer success trends? We’ve compiled this list of the top customer success blogs and the experts who run them that are constantly sharing their best new ideas on customer success concepts, strategies, and tactics.
Best Customer Success Blogs 2018
1. Lincoln Murphy
Lincoln Murphy, founder of Sixteen Ventures and co-author of Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue, is a customer success thought leader in every sense of the word. He defines customer success as “when customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company.” In Murphy’s Definitive Guide to Customer Success, customer development rings in at number one on the must-have elements of customer success. Not only is Murphy one to follow because of his guides and strategies, but he is a huge proponent of customer success-driven growth, something he holds workshops and speaks about across the globe.
Read more from Lincoln Murphy:
2. Jason Lemkin
Jason Lemkin, Adobe’s former VP of Web Services turned VC Investor and SaaStr Advisor, has a wealth of knowledge built around how to incorporate customer success into your organization. Lemkin emphasizes that a Customer Success leader should be on every growing company’s “single digit hire list.” Without a Customer Success Manager in the picture very early on, either someone is splitting their time to handle customer success or there isn’t anyone to do it at all. Trying to “hack” the work with your current employees is no match for a dedicated CSM that is passionate about the customers. Lemkin also co-wrote From Impossible to Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue with Aaron Ross, the next thought leader on our must-follow list. A chapter of this book actually sparked the idea for UserIQ’s own hourglass, a concept we use to describe the buyer to customer journey and a vital part of customer growth.
Read more from Jason Lemkin:
3. Aaron Ross
Aaron Ross, author of Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine With The $100 Million Best Practices Of Salesforce.com and former Sr. Manager of Corporate Developments and Acquisitions at Salesforce, focuses his thoughts around the revenue and growth potential customer success provides. Ross blogs on Predictable Revenue and says he thinks of customer success as an investment that will later help your company make more money. To do so, Ross advises that customer success is considered your “core growth driver” and that as a function, Customer Success should have goals and metrics to measure financial results.
Read more from Aaron Ross:
4. Mikael Blaisdell
If you already consider yourself an avid customer success follower, you may know Mikael Blaisdell. He leads a highly active group on LinkedIn called The Customer Success Forumand serves as the Executive Director of the Customer Success Association. He emphasizes the value of having a relationship with your customers, and writes about what it takes to run a “Consumer Centric Company.” To Blaisdell, this involves segmenting your customer base, or “Customerium,” to recognize each group of individuals working for customer companies. Most importantly, this identifies mavens (power-users) which can help your Customer Success team ensure long-term loyalty.
Read more from Mikael Blaisdell:
5. David Skok
David Skok, best known as a five-time entrepreneur turned VC and his content on For Entrepreneurs, has many ideas regarding customer success but largely focuses on churn and how to reduce it. He explains that if churn increases as your company grows, the losses are larger and harder to offset. Aside from simply reducing churn, these losses can be made up with “negative churn,” the increased revenue coming from current customers through account expansion.
Read more from David Skok:
6. Todd Eby
Co-founder of SuccessHacker, Todd Eby has boiled his customer success philosophy down to this: “Understand what Success looks like to your customers. Make it your mission to deliver the direction, guidance, and experience necessary for your customers to achieve their definition of success and you’ll be successful. It’s as simple as that.” He emphasizes the importance of actualizing HOW to implement this philosophy to make sure your customers are getting what they expect rather than just declaring your plans to take action.
Todd was a panelist on our Customer Success + Product Management Alignment webinar where we talked through the highlights of our benchmarking report.
Read more from Todd Eby:
7. Catherine Blackmore
Catherine Blackmore, GVP of Customer Success at Oracle Marketing Cloud, is an avid writer and speaker on the topic of customer success. Not only does she discuss what customer success is all about and its importance, but she often expands on how to actually implement it as a function in your organization. As someone with a lot of experience leading Customer Success teams, she knows it is an operational need to have a CS team when your company is growing. Catherine has also spoken about the evolution of customer success, including its current phase, “Age of the CS Technologist,” which is all about leveraging data to drive business.
Read more from Catherine Blackmore:
8. Tim Schukar
Gainsight’s Tim Schukar, a Client Outcomes Manager, believes implementing a Customer Success team begins with defining the team’s value proposition, including identifying its impact on revenue, and cost and risk reduction. Additionally, he writes about how to use financial metrics to monitor customer success. Schukar’s analysis and helpful step-by-step computations of these metrics include the addition of CRC (Customer Retention Costs) to the list of values you should be using, a list that traditionally only took into account Marketing and Sales costs. Tim was a panelist on our webinar last year where we discussed the state of customer success and 2017 trends.
Read more from Tim Schukar:
9. Irit Eizips
Irit Eizips started as a technical marketer at Gainsight and as her role expanded there, she had a tremendous opportunity to shape thought leadership for customer success as we know it. Irit is now the founder and CEO of CSM Practice, a customer success consulting firm working with public, high growth and startup companies who place customer success as a top priority. Irit posts often on LinkedIn and the CSMPractice blog about topics like scaling your team, budgeting, and how to be proactive.
Irit was a panelist on our Top 5 Customer Success & Product Management Trends for 2018 webinar.
Read more from Irit Eizips:
10. Nils Vinje
Nils Vinje, founder of Glide Consulting, was voted the #1 speaker for his session at Gainsight’s Pulse 2017. Pulling from his experience as a CSM, Manager, Director, VP and Consultant in customer success roles, Nils is recognized as a top 25 influencer in Customer Success by MindTouch and is a sought-after thought leader with expertise in the operations, data, and feedback gathering of customer success.
Nils joined our webinar earlier this year where he helped us crack the code on user segmentation strategies.
Read more from Nils Vinje:
11. Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré
Truly a jack of all trades, Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré is a thought leader in the SaaS space with focuses in areas like customer success, marketing, and product management. Her writing and expertise span many verticals and disciplines, which provides her with a unique and throughout perspective in her consulting roles and the content she writes. She also has a new book coming out soon, called SaaS Growth Playbook, that we are so excited to get our hands on!
Nichole Elizabeth will be joining us for our May webinar on Customer Onboarding: Real Talk from the Trenches, so be sure save your spot so you have a chance to ask questions about her experience.
Read more from Nichole Elizabeth:
12. Ellie Wu
Ellie Wu is the Senior Director of Customer Success at SAP Concur and one of MindTouch’s Top 100 Global CS Strategists. Her blog, Picturing Customer Success, and her LinkedIn Pulse articles are chockful of excellent advice and tactics on customer success, customer experience, and ultimately how organizations can get customer-focused. She also counsels leaders and teams responsible for customer outcomes and helps guide cross-functional teams develop an understanding of the customer journey, sales, product marketing, and operations.
Read more from Ellie Wu:
13. Jason Whitehead
Jason Whitehead, CEO of Tri Tuns, is a passionate thought leader in customer success and software user adoption. Jason’s 20+ years of experience leading high-impact technology implementations and user adoption programs enables him to help organizations overcome the largest challenge they face – getting people to effectively adopt technology in a way that delivers exceptional, measurable business outcomes.
Jason was a panelist on our fireside chat webinar on why the best user adoption strategies require a top-down, company-wide approach.
Read more from Jason Whitehead:
14. Adam O’Donnell
Adam O’Donnell, co-founder and president of Successly, has been interviewing customer success thought leaders for over a year and gleaned insights from some of the smartest people in the space. He is now building a learning library for professionals across a variety of industries, job roles, and companies.
Our CEO, Rachel Orston, joined Adam on his Successly Live series to discuss NPS, user adoption, and delivering time-to-value.
Read more from Adam O’Donnell:
15. Jeanne Bliss
Jeanne Bliss is the founder and president of CustomerBliss and co-founder of The Customer Experience Professionals Association. Jeanne is a true trailblazer and a jack of all trades in customer success, acting as a speaker, writer and mentor. For over 20 years, she led customer experience at companies like Lands’ End, Coldwell Banker, Allstate, Mazda, and Microsoft. Since 2002, she has guided customer experience transformations for major global organizations through her firm. She’s also best selling author of three books, with her fourth book ‘Would You Do That To Your Mother’ out now.Jeanne’s blog is a fantastic blend of tips and tricks, leadership advice, and innovation.
Our CEO Rachel Orston hosted a fireside chat webinar with Jeanne on what it takes for Chief Customer Officers to deliver exceptional customer experiences in today’s market.
Read more on Jeanne Bliss:
16. Kia Puhm
Kia Puhm is the founder and CEO of K!A CX Consulting where she works with companies to accelerate business growth through customer experience innovation. Kia has 21 years of experience in chief positions in customer success, services, account management and support for top tier companies like Oracle, Eloqua, Adobe and more. We have great admiration for her holistic, creative, and forward thinking approach. Check out her blog here.
We had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with Kia to discuss the top trends from our 2018 User Adoption and Onboarding Benchmarking Survey released earlier this year.
Read more on Kia Puhm:
These influencers will keep you updated, excited and well informed about the growing world of customer success. Make sure to follow them to read more about their tips and tricks to help you continue leading in a way that helps your customers achieve their idea of success. Is there someone you follow that you think should be highlighted here? Drop us a line in the comments below to let us know!
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We’ve compiled a list of the top #CustomerSuccess thought leaders you should be following on social media for the latest CS trends and news. Find out who they are and check them out! https://t.co/cN8u7gVAV5 pic.twitter.com/eaJplopcXO
— UserIQ (@UserIQ) May 8, 2018