How Do You Know It’s Time to Scale Customer Success?
Customer Success Managers (CSMs) face frequent challenges that force them to make quick strategic decisions. Before you know it, they become overburdened and realize it’s time to scale customer success to make operations more efficient and increase user satisfaction.
CSMs are at the forefront of each customer’s experience. Their optimal performance impacts the entire company as they can strongly influence lifetime customer value, retention, and churn.
The fact is, there are different signs that might indicate it’s time to take the scaling step. For example, lack of time to offer more customized professional services, reduced focus on customer retention and upsell tasks, an increased number of support tickets, or flaws in product onboarding processes. This last area closely relates to customer success because “Introducing training in customer onboarding calls is the most common joint education and customer success activity,” per The Customer Success and Education Services Handshake report by the Technical Services Industry Association (TSIA). The same report indicates increases in median year-over-year product subscription growth rates of::
- 12% when training is integrated into the customer success plan
- 13% when training is included in the customer health scorecard
- 13% when training is included in the customer success package
Forward-thinking organizations often rely on automation to design streamlined onboarding processes to help them scale customer success. This way, CSMs can focus on what adds the most value to the customer and create stronger customer connections.
How Customer Education Can Help You Scale Your Customer Success Team
Customer education can play a significant role when you decide to scale customer success. Businesses can gain substantial benefits from an effective customer education program. Specifically, onboarding programs can help companies get new customers up and running faster as well as empower existing customers to learn and master their products.
In the early days, many customer success teams took a personalized approach to each customer. However, teams now have more customers, as well as a long list of responsibilities critical to the organization’s survival. According to Annette Franz in her Forbes column: Evolving Your Customer Success Approach, these responsibilities include:
- Reduce churn through value creation
- Develop value expansion strategies to increase contract value
- Provide customers with a better experience
- Build advocacy to gain new customers
- Ensure customer success by being proactive
This wide-lens approach doesn’t easily scale as the business grows and the number of customers increases rapidly. You will likely also see variations in your customer base’s needs as your business grows. As a result, you will need to think of a more segmented and scalable approach that doesn’t rely solely on hiring more CSMs.
When you invest the right amount of time and resources in customer education, you can take your scaling efforts to the next level and achieve sustained long-term success. Your team will see benefits in return, such as fewer support tickets, improved customer health stats, and improved adoption, retention, and renewals.
How Customer Education Technology Helps You Scale Customer Success
Education is an excellent way to onboard new customers and keep existing customers informed. The content in your customer education programs helps users understand and find value in your products and services.
Investing in customer education will be highly beneficial for your company if you have:
- A complex product that requires a steep learning curve before customers are able to use it and obtain value
- A product that requires users to modify existing patterns of behavior, processes, or workflows
- A diverse range of users with varying needs and roles
- Regularly updated products that have new features and functionality
- An assortment of products that can be cross-sold and up-sold
- Products with substantial support requirements
Through an automated customer education program, your business can increase customer satisfaction scores, reduce support ticket volumes, and improve product adoption, as well as drive lead generation, incentivize new business, and increase renewals.
Delivering On-Demand Training to Scale Customer Success
There are different ways to deliver training, and how you decide this aspect will inform the impact you’re likely to realize. For example, you can start with webinars, live or recorded instructor-led training (ILT), or automated sessions that are taken together to form a full course. No matter which form of education you choose, automated training software will help you scale customer success faster while maximizing business results.
If you have recognized experts in your field that will contribute to the engagement with courses, you may want to consider webinar or ILT training. However, many companies have turned to virtual instructor-led training (VILT) as a form of on-demand training through a Learning Management System (LMS) that can be delivered instantly, regardless of time zones or instructor availability. Providing on-demand training is a proven, effective strategy for improving customer onboarding and education.
By offering on-demand training, you’ll be able to support more customers and speed up the onboarding process. You can help build relationships with your customers by providing them with access to the right content exactly when they need it. When customers get the right content at the right time, they will build trust and positively impact your business.
By investing in automated customer education, you and your team can focus your attention on higher-value strategic matters and improve customer engagement. Using on-demand training, companies are able to handle a broader base of customers and make the onboarding process more efficient.
Skilljar is the leading education platform designed for external customers. With our enterprise-grade platform, you can onboard, engage, and retain customers at scale, increase product adoption and engagement by reducing time to value, and drive product adoption and usage. Additionally, you can scale customer success by maintaining consistent training to support your growing customer base, without having to grow your customer success team as well.
Ready to use automated customer education to help you scale customer success?