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Customer Success Committee

CS Committee: The Art of Customer Success

Ryan Chan

About CS Committee

The Customer Success (CS) Committee was established to tackle key objectives that we believe will help take our team to the next level as a Customer Success organization. Once a month, the CS Committee will be releasing CS-related content in the form of blogs and videos. Here is the first of many blogs to come by Rae Johnson, our Senior Customer Success Manager, about the art of Customer Success!


My CS Journey in a Nutshell

“All of the information in the review was beneficial for myself and for my team. It was accurate and done in a timely manner. Rae was helpful with explaining the information given, along with any questions or concerns I have.”

I couldn’t help but smile as one of my favorite customers’ review about me chimed into our Customer Success Slack channel. A wave of satisfaction and comfort in knowing he had found value and enjoyed the Business Review as much as I did served as both reassurance and confirmation that we were on the right track. I thoroughly understood their needs and knew they were going to be successful.

I’ve always had a passion for connecting with people. I suppose this is why all roles I’ve excelled in since starting my career have been customer facing.

When I began my path as a Senior Customer Success Manager at UpKeep, I knew I was signing up for an adventure that would help me dive deeper into my passion of understanding and connecting with others. But, I didn’t know doing what I loved naturally would be an integral part of the growth and success of the customer’s experience on both a strategic and intimate manner. 

Customer Success is Important

It’s a fast-growing field in the tech industry as companies seek to differentiate themselves between competitors with a more unique touch. Customer Success is about establishing long term impactful client relationships, geared towards ensuring the client not only finds value in the product, but is also set up for abiding growth. Specifically, the Customer Success Manager (CSM) is a partner, an advocate if you will, that serves as their client’s voice.

The CSM not only helps with excelling the product roadmap, but creating a stickiness to promote long term retention. As I dove deeper into my role as a CSM, had more experiences like the ones with my favorite client, and grew more invested in my role on the CS Committee, I began to develop a more clear understanding of what CS is and why the department is so integral in any organization. That’s when I came across Gainsight’s article “The Essential Guide to Customer Success”, which unpacks the fundamentals of the department flawlessly.  So, let’s break down the main takeaways in the first part of the article.

Why does Customer Success matter?

The success of a business is intertwined with the success of its customer.

If customers succeed while using the product, they will stick and continue to move forward with the partnership. At the core of the fundamental role of a CSM is strategizing and ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using a product or service. As a matter of fact, it’s becoming a significant factor across various business types. It is a focus on relationship building between the client and vendor, paving the way for both parties to experience mutually beneficial end results.

Gives visibility into the health and needs of a company’s ideal customer profile.

Ensuring the strength and success of a customer isn’t easy. It requires people, processes, and data to provide insight as to when, why, and how a customer is using a product. The CSM’s goal is to get real time visibility into the health and needs of their ideal customer profile. To do this, a proactive, holistic and organized approach is needed to ensure the customer stays on track to success.

Retains Customers!

Customer retention requires a devoted team who can not only forecast churn, but play a part in preventing it. The CSM is a dedicated resource obtaining a combination of valuable feedback and insight into customer health data. This not only informs product development teams of enhancements and additions to focus on, it gets ahead of predicting customer churn because their accounts have been identified as  “unhealthy.”

Drives Revenue!

And last, but certainly not least, CS drives revenue!  With countless opportunities to expand, up, and cross sell, CSMs provide a procedure for not only creating these instances, but capitalizing on them through retention. When we break down the cost of acquiring a new customer through the need for marketing, sales, and overhead resources, and compare it to the potential revenue generated from keeping a customer over the course of two years through the use of dedicated CSM resources, you’ll see a substantial increase in profit. High retention provides the foundation for long term growth and Customer Success Management plays a significant part.

Just the Beginning

And, that’s just scratching the surface. So, why the deep dive into the intricacies of Customer Success? At UpKeep our goal is to be leaders in customer success by continuing to build a world class CS organization! To do this, I’ve joined the CS Committee, taking on the role of UpKeep’s very own CS Influencer.  My goal is to share customer success best practices in a way that is both engaging and thought provoking.

Through a mix of blog posts, quick videos, and interviews with other CS leaders, we’ll embark on an adventure of painting the CS world together. Now that we understand the basics, let’s dive into the fun stuff and see what other thought leaders in the industry have to say. Our next blog post will feature UpKeep’s very own Vice President of Customer Success, Joe Schmitt, to get his take on the department! 

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