By Andreas Knoefel
The Customer Success Performance Index™ (CSPI) measures operational Customer Success excellence in eight dimensions from internal alignment to ROI. In 2018 over 100 companies participated in the global CSPI benchmark survey and confirmed the strong correlation between high Net Revenue Renewal (NRR) rates and high CSPI scores. If you would like to receive your personalized report, please take the 8-10 minute 2019 CSPI benchmark survey.
In addition to the summary of the 2018 global benchmark, I am presenting three high performing business leaders from the US, UK and Japan. Today’s blog post features Sue Farrance, the Head of Customer Success for Signable in the UK. She achieved one of the highest CSPI benchmark scores. Congratulations to Sue and her team!
Overall Value of the CSPI benchmark
Customer Success is about value and therefore my first question is always about the value of the CSPI benchmark.
Here at Signable we do things in a unique way. Being able to compare our performance to over 100 businesses provided further proof that we are on the right track as a Customer Success oriented SaaS company.
Internal Alignment and Relationships
Customer Success is more than a business function, it’s a culture. The companies with the highest NRR score also very high in the Alignment dimension of the CSPI and integrate Customer Success tightly into all departments and functions. Sue shared with us how this looks like.
At Signable we celebrate a culture of transparency without silos. Our OKR’s include open communication and influencing each other. This provides all of the team with a voice at the table to influence the success of our over 6,000 customers at Product, Marketing etc.. We achieved tremendous growth without a Sales team. Our new customers come through word-of-mouth from our extremely loyal customer base and through our Marketing team’s extensive work on content and optimisation. Without the awesome work our Marketing team continually does, our growth would not be as it is. We also have the benefit of a brilliant product team that is just finalising our new platform and even though they are tech we can all speak with them, they are not hidden away in a darkened room and they can and do speak to customers. The CS team handles prospects from the beginning and helps them to define and realize value early on. Different people and companies have different values and we try and focus on meeting and exceeding values that match or help them to move on. The continuous focus on customer value allows us to maintain our costs without offering discounts and ensures a high solution-match.
Signable has one of the highest scores in the Playbook dimension. One factor is the early focus on customer value, the common theme throughout Signable’s customer journey. Another is how the CS team use playbooks.
We believe in an enabled and empowered team. This starts with the hiring process, which includes a project that the candidates complete. We hire only CS Champions who have demonstrated their relationship building, are globally oriented and understand customer’s problems and how Signable adds value, and who have people skills along with the mindset to evolve as needed. We have basic structures for specific customer journey stages in place to aid and guide the success team. They can change a Playbook (we don’t term as a Playbook as it’s a tad corporate for Signable) on demand, and we constantly review and adapt to incorporate new lessons learned and retire what is not effective anymore.
In Customer Success you rarely get a second chance for a first impression. That is why the early stages and early success are so important.
We are now asking our customers how they like to be implemented and onboarded. This will allow us to improve our library of tutorials and videos to fit the needs of different customer personas. Throughout the onboarding process we focus on the Time-to-Value, but specifically focus on the individual’s/businesses needs.
Next Steps for 2019
This leads us into what is next on Sue’s plate to further improve the success of customers.
Our next project is Onboarding related. We are implementing new platforms to help us to the next level while still retaining the human contact, as it’s paramount for us with our lovely rebuild. Exciting times ahead!
. . . . .
Once more congratulation for one of the highest scores in the 2018 CSPI benchmark Survey. I hope to see you again for the 2019 CSPI benchmark survey.
Sue Farrance - Sue is passionate and driven to take business to the next level incorporating all aspects of CustomerService/Success to enable this. Her philosophy is to educate the business that customers, and how they are dealt with, is not a cost centre but crucial to development. After Eastleigh college she worked at various companies in marketing and operations and heads now Customer Success for Signable. When Sue Farrance isn’t keeping the Customer Success team in order (in a nice way), she’s out buying all things Tiki and accessorizing her dog, Rex with punky neckerchiefs.
Andreas Knoefel - Andreas is the inventor of the Customer Success Performance Index™ (CSPI) and a passionate customer success leader. He applies his practical and holistic approach to startups and giants SAP and Apple alike, combining his Ph.D. from KIT and MBA from Santa Clara with his international experience leading customers to success. He recently headed client success for NextLabs and is currently advising two startups on how to preserve their customer base and expand their revenue stream. Andreas finds work-life balance through modernist cooking, outdoors photography and teaching high-octane cycling classes.