Churn is the enemy of sustainable growth for any SaaS company. Negative net churn can be the fuel for high growth. To that end, every SaaS company should aim to drive loyalty amongst their customers so they can increase customer lifetime value (LTV) and create negative net churn via cross-sell, upsell, longer terms, referrals and other monetization tactics.
While it’s not controversial to propel growth through customer loyalty, most SaaS companies will simply look at net churn as an indicator in their success for driving loyalty. My main issue with that approach? It focuses on a trailing metric as opposed to a leading KPI, which means signals for underlying loyalty will most likely appear underlying problems (lack of loyalty) have had a chance to fester and proliferate – possibly past the point of return.
Although many strategies exist for increasing loyalty, Customer Success has become the cornerstone for determining customer loyalty at SaaS companies. The challenge companies now face is how to understand how loyal current customers are and meet them with a highly effective customer success effort. That’s what CompleteCSM was built to do and why I believe it is the answer to increasing loyalty through customer success, and am excited to be advising the company.
Hitting Sales Numbers Becomes Easier with More Loyal Customers
Coming from a sales background I’ve always strived to align myself with companies that prioritize customer success – whether it be through product, support, services or other approaches. Selfishly, I always found companies with high loyalty made “hitting the number” much easier, and more enjoyable, as “happy customers” are much easier to manage. More strategically, companies that are constantly focused on their customers’ success as opposed to the next customer, are typically steps ahead of their competition and the market, allowing them to make more informed and impactful decisions, whether it be about features, messaging, or even larger pivots into markets or verticals.
Besides, closely partnering with Customer Success provides an innate understanding of a company’s most successful customers. Successful customer stories can be the most powerful sales tool if that information can be effectively communicated to prospects.
Loyal Customers Spend More
While it didn’t take me long to understand the value of a loyal customer on the ability to upsell/cross-sell – higher conversion, bigger booking value and faster sales cycles – I didn’t appreciate the value of a loyal customer until later in my career. Getting P&L responsibility showed me the impact an increased LTV can have on growth and profitability.
Companies with Loyal Customers Have Better Culture
Most importantly, a loyal customer base permeates into a company’s culture and improves the working environment for all employees. Beyond supporting growth that provides cash to the business, loyal customers consistently validate the company mission which is crucial in driving employee engagement and discretionary effort.
Giving Customer Success Teams a Better Way to Drive Loyalty
Despite company and colleague names’ changing over the years, one constant was that sales technology and enablement tools were always three to four steps ahead of the tools for Customer Success teams. This always seemed strange to me given the impact that world class Customer Success reps can have on an organization’s growth.
That’s why I was immediately intrigued after first learning about CompleteCSM’s digital twin based approach to applying artificial intelligence technology to customer success, Creating a digital twin of an ideal customer success rep and their outcomes, allows businesses to institutionalize those prototypical behaviors and strategies.With its roots in engineering, the “digital twin” approach is starting to be adopted in sales and Customer Success,, Increased computing power and artificial intelligence have allowed for analysis of the data streams that customer and CS reps create (email, voice, product usage, etc.).
Most forward thinking Customer Success organizations have difficulty capturing data from multiple streams – email, calls, product, finance, Since they can’t synthesize the data, they can’t take create an action plans to increase customer loyalty. CompleteCSM is the missing piece that brings it all together, creates actionable insights, and gives CS reps AI superpowers so more SaaS companies can combat churn and hit their growth milestones.