Most SaaS companies have potential customers visiting their website every other day. Unfortunately, a lot of these prospects leave the website before landing at the sign up page, or seem unconvinced at the end of the trial after signing up. This could be because, among other things, the product was not user-friendly or the website didn’t clearly convey to the reader that the product could meet their requirements.
To fix this, you need to have someone who can say: “Hey, our product has what you’re looking for. Let me help you understand why”. A simple conversation like this can help turn that trial bird into a promising customer. This is where a Customer Success Manager (CSM) can help.
Let’s take a look at how customer success managers at Freshworks help in converting and retaining customers.
Here are the crucial functions of a customer success manager:
Customer training and consulting
All customers must know the product like the back of their hand. Only then will they be able to adapt to the product and be fluent in its language. They need to know the best practices and benchmarks of the industry, in order to unleash the product’s full potential.
To gain customer loyalty, it is mandatory to be able to retain your customers. Once you build a core of trusting customers, they will be more willing to invest and believe in the products that you build. Not only will they provide reliable and honest feedback, they will also be ready to take the plunge with you when you have new products, or new features in existing products.
In a lot of cases, it so happens that the customer might be interested, but is in two minds about signing up. This is where a CSM is most required. He/she interacts deeply with the customer, sharing various case studies and explaining the use-cases of the products, tailoring it all to meet the customer’s requirement. Being the product consultant and guiding them through their doubts and qualms is an integral part of being a customer success manager.
A customer success manager typically interacts with almost every department in the company. From discussing and strategizing with product managers, providing feedback and building roadmaps, to marketing the product, the presence of the CSM is required.
If you think of what the most critical stage for any SaaS business is, Alex Turnbull – CEO of Groove, hit the nail on the head, emphasising on the on-boarding period.
At Freshworks, we take on-boarding very seriously.
This is the phase that convinces the customer of the product they’ve signed up for. They decide if they have made the right decision or not by re-assessing the value and benefits that the product has to offer. Here, they gain a complete overview and understanding of whether the product aligns and resonates with their goals.
Once the customers have decided to go ahead with our products, we ensure that they are well trained in using them to their fullest capabilities. Of course, providing them with end-to-end support is a given.
So why does customer success play a pivotal role in any SaaS company?
The CSMs are responsible for ensuring that customers adapt to products and the setup is aligned to their workflows. In our case, it’s also important to make sure that the Freshworks suite of products is helping them attain tangible value and achieve their goals. CSMs act as the domain consultants who provide guidance on how they can derive benefits out of their investment with Freshworks.
At Freshworks, a typical day usually involves a lot of cross-functional collaboration and interaction; from working with our various product teams and support teams, to the sales and marketing teams.
The CSMs not only run reviews, but also plan and strategize customer engagement across various communication channels. Some of their most essential tasks revolve around training and conducting product walkthroughs for customers, increasing advocacy and working towards decreasing churn. The lesser the churn, better the results. Having said this, managing the churn rate is crucial for any company.
Our CSMs ensure that customers are satisfied and do not find any reason to disconnect their business journey with our product.
The formula is pretty straightforward: It costs about five times more to acquire a new customer than in retaining an existing one. So doesn’t valuing customer retention and the customer success department sound like a smart plan? We certainly think so.