CSPI Excellence Blog – Genshin Maruta @ Abeja

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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. In addition to the summary of the 2018 global benchmark, I presented Lauren Costella at Medrio and Sue Farrance at Signable, two high performing customer success leaders in the US and UK.

Today’s blog post features Genshin Maruta, the Head of Customer Success for Abeja in Japan. With the help of Hiroko Otsu at Success-Lab Japan, who extended the 2018 survey to Japan, he was able to measure his performance and achieved one of the highest CSPI benchmark scores and Net Revenue Retention rates. Congratulations to Gen and his team!

If you would like to receive your personalized report, please take the 8-10 minute 2019 CSPI benchmark survey.

Customer success for Abeja

The summary of the 2018 global benchmark demonstrated already a difference between Japanese and other companies, even though Abeja is positive exception. I asked how Abeja sees customer success as part of their business strategy.

The retail industry embraced more and more SaaS solutions. Customer success is crucial to retain the relationship with our customers and we use best practices like user communities and data driven analysis to optimize the value for our customers.

Customer Segmentation

Gen shared with us how Abeja segments their customers, breaking with traditional segmentation strategies.

Our customers know their business and their business goals better than us. It is our role to align with these goals and provide solutions that enable them to achieve and exceed these goals. Therefore we segment our customers primarily by business outcomes before using traditional metrics like contract value to create a high-touch/low-touch set of playbooks.

Customer Journey

The customer journey should lead to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for each customer and the solution provider alike. How to get there differs between leading companies and those not quite there yet. Here is Abeja’s solution:

We took already one step to a customer-centric view with our segmentation strategy. We extend on this approach and define together with each customer how the journey unfolds to improve their business performance. The frequency, agenda, goals, and audience for each touchpoint are defined together and adjusted as needed. This increases participation and collaboration and fosters a positive climate to look beyond the current solution footprint into upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Demonstrate Success

A positive experience is nothing without renewal which is nothing without getting business value. Abeja is in a fortunate position

Our AI-driven solution measures retail engagement for our customers based on their desired goals and outcomes. Therefore we are in the position to track and measure the business value our customers are achieving. In our executive reviews we confirm this with our customers to ensure that every stakeholder understands the value they are getting with Abeja’s solution.

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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.

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Genshin Maruta - Mr. Genshin Maruta is the Head of Customer Success at ABEJA, Inc. He formerly worked as an equity analyst at CREDIT SUISSE, as an entrepreneur at an internet advertising agency, and as a consultant of organizational development. He won the championship at the biggest Customer Success presentation competition in Japan in 2018. Graduated from Keio University and completed ESEC (Entrepreneurship Summer Extension Course) at UC Berkeley.

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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.