Back in early March I had the pleasure of joining Qotient, Inc as their Director of Customer Success for North America and Europe. The CEO of Qotient, Justin Wright, brought me on because he saw how important the role of Customer Success was in his vision for Qotient.
Qotient was created to help revolutionize the sales process, but one of the biggest factors in even getting it off the ground was ensuring that we were building strong relationships with our customers. With that in mind, we put together a list of the five keys to building the right type of relationship with our SAAS customers, during all stages of their journey with Qotient.
- Get to know your customer LONG before the sale has been closed.
Being involved in the pre-sales process is critical to a successful sale and the long-term success of your customer. Salespeople spend a ton of time nurturing an account prior to a sale, and when a prospective customer sees the Customer Success Team taking the same care and attention it signals to them that they are important, and that their business is going to be in good hands after they sign.
At Qotient, our Customer Success team is responsible for putting together a project plan prior to the sale close in addition to our normal introductions, which has helped the establish and maintain the trust once the sale is closed.
2. Identify your internal champions early, and often.
No one stays in the same job for long these days, and the person who was once your champion might end up moving to a department who has absolutely no need for your product anymore. That’s why it is key to make sure that your list is updated regularly.
At Qotient we spend a lot of time on the phone with different companies, and any time someone new is introduced CS evaluates whether or not they are someone that we might be able to consider as a champion for us.
3. Establish not just what you consider to be success, but what your customer considers to be success.
Your customer got excited about purchasing your product for a reason, and in all likelihood they have told themselves a story about how your product is going to change their lives. Knowing what that story is and the outcomes they expect is going to be the best tool in your arsenal when rolling out a new product, and in establishing long-term goals.
At Qotient we spend time during our initial rollout chatting with executive stakeholders as well as the day-to-day users of the product to ensure we understand their needs and wants from a relationship with us, and let them know upfront just how we can help them meet their goals.
4. Measure everything.
Once you know what your customer and you consider to be success, and you’ve agreed on that criteria, then the next step is to ensure that the data you look at is relevant to that goal, right?
Of course. But what about the other data that has nothing to do with that goal? How can it possibly help?
After taking on the Customer Success team at Qotient, one of the first things that I made sure we put in place was Google Analytics, so we could start to track not just logins or when a user created a meeting, but also small things like how long a user spent looking at a page. Our customers now receive information regarding both mindshare and user loyalty, which can be extremely hard to capture accurately, in addition to reporting around basic metrics like sales numbers.
5. Ask questions, take feedback, and be willing to change.
Owning the customer account means owning the customer experience. A customer success manager has to be willing to be the face for their product– this means every little bug and every failed login are going to make your customer think of you, but it also means every win they have you’ll be able to share in as well.
At Qotient we try to take feedback on what isn’t working and highlight what is in equal measure, then share it with the whole Qotient team. Hearing from someone about how excited they are to use a particular feature makes our day, but we also take time to listen to when our users run into difficulties. The data, customer quotes and victories are what drive us forward, and we take what we learned and feed it back to our product team to help improve the experience for every Qotient customer.