Prior to joining HelloSign, I was at a number of SaaS companies including Salesforce, Yammer, FinancialForce, and xMatters where I was part of the post-sales organization helping to build out the professional services, support, and customer success teams. Now I'm excited to join HelloSign as the new VP of Customer Operations!
One of the main reasons I joined HelloSign was the company’s focus on “making users awesome.” In fact, it’s a phrase that’s written in every conference room throughout our headquarters. It was refreshing to see during the interview process and shows just how seriously the entire organization takes our customer’s satisfaction.
Although I run the Customer Operations team and our team’s primary purpose is to support our customers and make them successful, making customer’s awesome is part of HelloSign's DNA.
That mentality lines up perfectly with how I feel about Customer Operations:
Customer Success is Everyone’s Job
I think it’s critical for every company, especially a SaaS company, to create a culture of customer success that permeates every department and every employee.
There are a lot of ways to accomplish this.
As an example, the marketing team should ensure that a process is in place to capture customer success stories so they can be shared with others. The finance and billing functions need to make sure that invoices are accurate and easy to understand and if questions do arise, be able to respond to them in a timely manner. The product team should have a process in place to take customer input and feedback on the product so that the needs of the actual users are understood – that’s not to say every request will be implemented, but at least it is reviewed and feedback provided back to our customer as to the status of their request.
The list goes on and on.
In addition to implementing customer success tactics, instilling a "Customer Success" embedding within your company also requires that you pay special attention to how you're measuring it all. Which brings me to my next point...
Making a Customer Success Culture Count at Your Company
It is often easier said than done to get a company-wide customer success type of mindset in place. However, it’s always possible to improve when you invest the energy! One of the best ways to do that is to put key performance indicators (KPIs) in place for each department that measure some aspect of their impact on customers.
For your marketing department, it could be the number of customers success stories that you capture in a given quarter. For your finance department you can set a goal of gradually reducing the number of billing related issues that come to your support organization. For product, it could be the percent of feature requests from customers that are accepted and implemented.
Another measurement that can help you foster a more customer-centric culture at your company is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS measures the likelihood that a customer will recommend your products or services to others.
Many companies often have just the support or customer success organizations own the NPS metric. But what if all the departments had a stake in that number? Then every department would look at ways of how they could influence NPS in a positive way and create projects focused on improving it.
Here at HelloSign we do exactly that. NPS is a key measure for every department and we are constantly reviewing the feedback on how we can improve our products and services delivered to our customers. At our weekly Friday stand-ups, we often have employees talk about a great customer wins, not just in sales, but in a customer roll-out or implementation so that everybody can learn.
A Successful Customer is a Shared Win
By implementing these measures, and having your leadership and employees really taking them to heart, it will become part of your company’s DNA. This will help your company grow and thrive in an ever competitive marketplace as you win your customer’s trust.
And often you will find that your customer will not only renew, but invest in it further and often help your company in winning new business as they pass on their successes using your company’s products to their peers. It's a win for everyone.