Deciphering Customer Success: Creating Customers for Life

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The subscription industry is solely based on billings earned and retained. While high retention rates are a great focus and goal for any organization, how do we consistently deliver more value to our customers is the key question to answer. How do we do all of that consistently, effectively and efficiently? How do you create a customer centric culture? How do maintain those relationships at scale? What can data tell you about your customers? How does customer success fit into your organization, big or small? Do you fully understand your buyer’s perspective?

SIIA recently took its Deciphering Customer Success event series to the great town of Austin, TX. The event brought together senior customer success executives to discuss all the questions above. I wanted to provide some key comments that came out of the discussions, some of which (if you really listen to) could change how you approach customer success.

Customer Success Maturity

5 Stages of Customer Success Maturity

               Heroic – CS is ad-hoc and reactive

               Mapped – Journey is mapped and processes are defined

               Practicing – All processes are defined, documented and standardized

               Managing – Processes are measured by data

               Optimizing - Continuous process improvements are adopted by quantitative and qualitative


Evaluating Your Customer Success Maturity

               Review where you are in maturity

               Identify and deal with any gaps before working towards the next level

               Reassess regularly


It is not always about technology, technology cannot always fix problems – be sure to consider the people

Whatever technology you select, be sure to use the alert functions to make sure your team is alerted (up and down) as needed

Be sure everyone across the company uses consistent terminology in documentation

Customer Data

Need to normalize and standardize it

If you do not have clean data it is worthless

Integration with LinkedIn provides a flag if a person leaves the company

Bounced email address is a quick automated trigger

Make sure the 360 view is an enterprise view, not just a marketing view for example

Top metrics

Financial – Revenue retention/churn, customer retention/churn, renewal rate, quick ratio

Usage – Product usage, product adoption, license utilization, time in product, outcomes achieved, active user growth, top features used

Health - Product usage, product adoption, customer engagement, customer pulse, NPS

Team – Quarterly gross renewal, quarterly expansion revenue, net revenue retention, average onboarding time, average time to first value

And my favorite comment of the day, which I wholehearted believe is:

Customer Success starts with talent in your own organization, those that understand relationships, retention and growth!

For more details on the content discussed at Deciphering Customer Success please reach out to me at

SIIA’s Deciphering Customer Success series will continue in 2018. Stay tuned for dates and locations.

View the photo gallery from our event!


Deciphering CS Austin

Rhianna Rhianna Collier is VP for the Software Division at SIIA. Follow the Software team on Twitter at @SIIASoftware.