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Customer Success: No Longer Just for SaaS Companies

Services-influenced SaaS companies are now influencing Services companies with Customer Success

Software is a depreciating asset. The solution of five years ago probably doesn’t meet your needs today, so it requires continuous investment to remain effective. Previously, this work was performed by services companies that would keep on-premise systems afloat well beyond their expiry date. Recently, the software industry took note from the services industry and adopted the software as a service (SaaS) and recurring revenue models. By building relationships with customers and continuously updating business systems over time, they are able to prevent value depreciation and keep their customers happy.

Software companies have built a new language, valuations, jobs and customer expectations. Eschewing one-time product purchases, the software industry has discovered the value of fostering long-term relationships by delivering continuous value to customers. For product companies, these values have become an expectation. Now, services companies must learn from their SaaS counterparts as their customers begin to hold the same expectations for services that they hold for software. Cue customer success.

The advent of the SaaS company brought with it a dedication to long-term relationship building and value-driven principles that have become requirements for success over the long haul. For services companies, this doesn’t entail a long engagement of paid-for hours or creating technical dependencies. Instead, it means empowering customers on the services that have been delivered so teams can move on to the next project and evolve with each other, like our friends at Canada Drives.

Empowered People Engage; Engaged People Advocate

Both customers and employees can be advocates, and the journeys they experience are similar, up to and including a graceful exit. People talk and reputation is everything, so you want to ensure that you’re building advocates in your employee and customer bases.

People form the heart of this shift towards customer success. Having value-based conversations with customers can sometimes be difficult but is always necessary in a healthy partnership. Employees that are empowered are those who are not only given permission, but are encouraged to have these conversations.

At Traction, we’re leveraging data to ensure that these conversations are meaningful and data-driven. Employees and customers log and display their sentiment towards projects. In the short term, this allows us to proactively resolve issues before they have time to grow. From a longer term perspective, we can leverage historical data in conversations that help push forward better outcomes for customers and employees.

Just the Start of Customer Success in Services

This is the first step to delivering value and enjoyment to clients rather than a billable service. The paid-for engagement should deliver solutions that companies can maintain themselves alongside long-term relationships that drive mutual value. There’s a clear lesson we can learn from SaaS companies: long-term relationships and continuous improvements (software releases) lead to better partnerships, satisfaction and higher profits.

We’re excited to welcome a new sponsor to TractionForce this year; Gainsight is the industry leader in customer success and engagement best practices and are also passionate about Customer Success in the services world. Visit the Gainsight team at TractionForce to join in on the conversation.

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