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. 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. Find Lincoln Murphy LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. 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. Find Jason Lemkin on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find Aaron Ross on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find Mikael Blaisdell: on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find David Skok on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find Todd Eby on LinkedIn, Twitter and the SuccessHacker blog.
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. Find Catherine Blackmore on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find Tim Schukar on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find Irit Eizips on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find Nils Vinje on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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! Find Nichole Elizabeth on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find Ellie Wu on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find Jason on LinkedIn.
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. Find Adam O’Donnell on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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. Find Jeanne Bliss on LinkedIn and Twitter.
16. Kia Puhm
Kia Puhm is the founder and CEO of DesiredPath 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. Find Kia Puhm on LinkedIn and Twitter.
17. Michael Redbord
Michael Redbord joined HubSpot in 2010 working with customers, and led the Support and Services team for five years. As HubSpot grew to over 40,000 customers, he scaled the customer team to over 500 employees and learned how to engage, guide, and grow better customers that today drive HubSpot’s growth. Now, he leads HubSpot’s recently launched customer service product line as General Manager of Service Hub. Before joining Hubspot, has worked with a variety of different sizes and shapes of companies and helped shape their marketing plans, traffic acquisition methods, and competitive online strategies. His SaaS Customer Success Blog discusses prime topics in customer success. He brings in a variety of well-known guests in marketing, sales, and customer success to share their unique perspectives. Find Michael Redbord on LinkedIn and Twitter.
18. Adam Joseph
Adam Joseph is the Founder of CustomerSuccessManager.com and built the site to share his thoughts and experiences about working in customer success. He’s held customer success roles since 2003, starting his journey at OneSource/Avention as a Service Account Manager. Nearly 12.5 years later, he was the VP of Customer Success. He also served as the Client Services Director at ChannelAdvisor, helping retailers grow their online revenue through various online marketplaces including Amazon, Walmart, Ebay and more. He was included in the MindTouch’s March 2018 Top 100 Customer Success Strategists list. Find Adam on LinkedIn and Twitter.
19. Benn Winn
Ben Winn is the Founder of CS in Focus, an organization committed to building a strong Customer Success community through events, resource-development, an active Slack team, and career development opportunities. Before CS in Focus, he originated the Customer Success team at SeamlessMD and was on the Founding Team for the Venture Out Conference. Ben was made an Acts of Greatness Champion in 2016 and won Customer Success Innovator of the Year in 2018 for creating the Account Behaviour Formula. He also published an eBook: The Beginner’s Guide to Customer Success. Find Benn on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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!