Great customer success can boost revenue. In this episode, John Tzagarakis shares his expertise on how using customer success stories can increase your ROI in the SaaS world as he joins Matt Wolach, the host of SaaS-Story in the Making Podcast. Tzagarakis discusses the customer management tactics he uses as founder and director at Customer Consulting Network to help his clients scale.
Tzagarakis offers his advice on how strengthening your company’s customer support practices and setting up customer success functions can help in increasing your satisfaction score, retention rate, and recurring revenue.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Using Your Customer Success Function To Boost Revenue
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor.
Guest: John Tzagarakis, Director and Founder of Customer Consulting Network
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Build a Game Plan for Customer Success
For B2B SaaS Companies, starting a customer success journey entails understanding ways to communicate and interact with the buyers at every stage of the cycle. Tzagarakis reiterates that knowing the processes in place and what areas need to develop to communicate better are the key fundamentals to success.
Once you establish those, you can start the technical customer journey implementation, which includes building an overall game plan – playbooks, templates, and processes for each part of the journey. A clear understanding of what you want to accomplish as a company and the actions you can automate, paired with the suitable investment in skills, processes, and tools, will pave the way for growth.
Improve the Renewal Process
The ways that customer success helps companies grow are endless, but it’s usually a combination of a few things done correctly, according to Tzagarakis. The first thing on the list is to improve the renewal process. Because renewal conversations occur with much greater frequency nowadays, especially in the software industry, it is imperative to manage renewal conversations better. By having a customer manager in that department, companies can strategically manage subscription conversations, leading to satisfied customers that will always translate to another signup or a possible referral.
Tzagarakis states that “When the time comes for renewal, you can provide to the customer all the insights from all year, let’s say, that you’ve been dealing with them, of how you brought value to them. And you make that renewal process more productive, more meaningful, and you make it eventually, hopefully, successful.”
Prevent and Reduce Churn
While it is true that you cannot predict churn, there are ways to stop it. Tzagarakis says that “You can be proactive with turning your customer, educating them, listening to their feedback on your product, on what is going right, what is not going right, how you can improve, how you can grow your product, how you can change your services. When you combine all that information, what we call customer health data, then you can inform your product and development team to be proactive about enhancements, about additions, and you will help resolve customers’ problems proactively.”
Sometimes, you resolve problems that they don’t know they have yet. You speak to so many different customers that use the same product—one customer benefits from your experience as a customer success manager from another customer.
Customer Service Is Reactive
When customers have problems, they submit tickets, send emails, and make phone calls. The issue is handled by your customer support team that resolves those problems. Yes, the customers become happy, and they continue working with you. However, customer service is a reactive tactic. It focuses on fixing problems and keeping customers satisfied and is only practical short term.
Customer Success Is Proactive
Customer success is about being proactive and pinpointing problems and opportunities, collecting as much data as possible, and understanding a couple of things.
Tzagarakis: “It’s a complete mindset shift from what customer service is and what account management was traditionally in that, as I said, it’s proactive, you’re focusing on business outcomes, what does the customer want to be accomplished with your product or your service? It’s an effort across teams. Customer success alone cannot make it a function. It would help if you had sales, support services, product teams, training teams, implementation teams, and the customer success manager roles in the middle of that as a systems thinker. You have to bring all these together to serve your customers.”
Customers Hold The Power
In the world of SaaS, customers hold power. When you have software or offer a service, there is an abundance of opportunities to excel or upsell. That is if you have a customer success mechanism that identifies those opportunities you can capitalize on.
Tzagarakis: “The cost associated with acquiring a new customer in the first year will only balance out your revenue in year one. But suppose you are proactive and work with a customer success team in place, in the following years, in the subscription model. In that case, the benefits of having and the cost of having a customer success team in place are much less than the revenue that you will get with upselling and cross-selling and capitalizing on it.”
[20:12] “Nowadays, customers hold the power.”
[24:25] “The proactive, operationalizing, upselling, and cross-selling are what drives revenue on top of preventing churn and improving the renewal process.”
[0:11] “Great customer success can boost revenue.”
[16:20] “I think too many times; people try to do something without talking to experts. And they go out, and they figure it out on their own, or they don’t figure it out in most cases, they look up this, they see this blog, and they’re not actually talking to an expert who lives it and breathes it every day.”
To learn more about John Tzagarakis and Customer Consulting Network, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/company/customer-consulting-network/
You can also find John Tzagarakis on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-tzagkarakis/
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/
As part of the founding team in his first SaaS product, Matt owned the sales & marketing processes. But he struggled to sell and gain traction for the company. It took years of learning and tweaking before Matt created The Perfect DEAL Process, an innovative yet easy-to-implement method for closing more software deals. To find out more, visit https://mattwolach.com/about-matt