I’ve loved being a pioneer in the customer success industry. Over the last six years, I have seen an entire discipline blossom and I’m proud to have championed that growth alongside thousands of other leaders and through a ton of “roll-up-your-sleeves” hard work. If you are someone who leads customer success or are responsible for driving revenue growth and retention, you know the kind of slog I’m talking about. It most likely includes sorting out answers to these questions:
- Compensation and Hiring: Sales or Non-Sales role? Where does Professional Services fit? Who ultimately owns the customer relationship and where are the hand-offs?
- Health Scoring: What are the best data types and sources? How often should you look at your customer health score (and why is there so much lagging data?)? How can I make health scores more meaningful (and stop hating the color yellow!)?
- Customer Activation: When is a customer truly “activated” and onboarded? How do you align customer adoption against the business outcomes established upfront? How do you segment customers to better predict revenue potential?
In my previous role championing customer growth across IBM’s SaaS businesses (having led customer adoption and services at Silverpop, who IBM acquired in 2014), I have been fortunate to connect with leaders doing this kind of daily blocking and tackling all around the world. In our “let’s compare notes” conversations, I’ve heard one consistent concern ring loud and clear and it goes something like this (I’m paraphrasing from one Chief Customer Officer at a major B2B technology brand who recently summed it up well):
“Despite all the progress, I’m not sure we are closer to the customer than we were before. Yes, we have a ton more data. Yes, we finally have a good-looking customer dashboard that everyone loves, but I worry that we are now spending more time talking internally about the customer rather than actively engaging with and listening to that customer.”
This comment and others like it confirmed for me what so many of you already know: success, like happiness – is fleeting. If you turn your back for a minute or leave the conversation momentarily to focus on something else, you could miss the “what’s next” or “aha” moments– and the revenue growth that comes with it. What a waste after so much hard work getting that customer through the funnel. For the last ten years, we have seen an explosion of marketing and sales technologies all focusing on converting prospects to buyers. It’s time we start shifting our attention to that all-important “what’s next?” and maximize every successful moment that follows.
It’s this opportunity that has brought me to UserIQ as its new CEO.
UserIQ is fast-becoming the Customer Growth Platform™ that empowers SaaS companies to foster growth beyond the funnel. By combining user intelligence, targeted engagements and customer health, we help you deliver what each of your customers need to be successful at every moment.
Most of us know that feature usage only tells a fraction of the story. David Skok provides a fantastic perspective that I have referred to frequently on the need to quantify business outcomes and other important elements of customer success. By constantly listening and delivering the right message to the right user at the right time, UserIQ helps companies stay in conversation with their customers, promoting strong product adoption, retention, expansion and advocacy. By facilitating a clear and consistent voice to and from the customer – companies ultimately deliver better products, faster time to value and more predictable revenue growth.
The best companies are built one customer at a time and those customers grow by one user engagement at a time. I’m proud to lead a company that takes this philosophy very seriously. I’m also excited about our own “what’s next” and the incredible journey we are on with our growing customer base. I plan to share more about this in the coming weeks and look forward to staying in conversation with you.