What are the investors looking for in Customer Success?
Presenting the value Customer Success delivers to investors.
For Customer Success Managers, the customers are always the priority – their situation, progress, and any difficulties they face that hinder them from achieving success – the attainment of their expectations. However, an organization’s customers aren’t the “only customers” CSMs must deliver value to. There are also what we call internal customers who are investing their time, money, and expertise to help the company scale.
Commonly, CSMs forget to showcase the value they deliver to the internal customers, which leads most of these investors to think: do we really need Customer Success and CSMs, or are they just another cost with few returns?
Investors are also CSM’s customers.
For start-up companies, investors are keeping them alive as they try to build a name for themselves and establish a market. Depending on the size, scale, and the current stage a start-up is in, investors play various roles. Some may offer money in exchange for early access to the product or stock of the company, while others would want a seat on the board. Technically, they are employers of Customer Success Managers. However, they too must see the commonly unknown value that Customer Success delivers to an organization.
Unlike sales and marketing, the benefits of having a Customer Success team or a Customer Success Manager within an organization are not easily seen. Customer Success is not about happy customers nor the quality of support provided. Customer Success is the attainment of value that customers expect, and Customer Success Management is the process of doing just that. The interventions provided are to prevent the possibility of losing more money due to (1) a leaky bucket of revenue and (2) trying to patch that bucket of revenue which would take a considerable amount of budget. The role of Customer Success Managers in an organization is essential to ensure that existing customers remain and the company can continue focusing on its growth.
Good Customer Success is unnoticeable.
Sadly, the most common reason Customer Success is underappreciated is that very few know what it is and does. It’s not as flashy and evident as the revenue sales and marketing delivers. Customer Success provides a consistent and smooth journey towards the expected outcome that, if done well, seems like it isn’t happening. After all, when there’s no issue, where would the customers look? They would only focus on what’s ahead rather than thinking- what is making this possible? So, how can you- a Customer Success Manager, make the investors realize that your strategies are beneficial now?
Move towards the goal of the company.
A vital and valuable Customer Success Manager from a venture capitalist’s perspective (investors to start-ups and/or small companies) can understand where the company will go and how it will go there. Most commonly, “the thing that kills a company is a lack of alignment” (Rav Dhaliwal) which means that a Customer Success Manager can use these goals as a guide to select the suitable KPIs to showcase to the investors and let them realize- Customer Success Managers understand the problems customers face and makes a solution around it which in turn, makes these customers loyal to the company resulting to higher retention and more revenue; hence, Customer Success is delivering exactly what the investors hope to have.
What matters for your internal customers is the KPIs indicating that you, a Customer Success Manager, are implementing strategies that helps in the attainment of their goals. Companies in the early stages may need monthly KPIs such as monthly recurring revenues and monthly renewal of contracts. On the other hand, companies in later stages may require annual KPIs like ARR. Learn more about Customer Success Management from the investor’s perspective with Rick Adams and Rav Dhaliwal here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eolZHyTu604.
To Customer Success Leaders, check out the 3rd part of their conversation about CSM from the investor’s perspective to learn more about what your CSMs should know and the role of communication in the success of your CS Team here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBpqP1qdIxI&t=1475s.
If you want to understand your customers and investors and become better at delivering value efficiently, smoothly, and effectively, check out our Certified Customer Success Management Professional (CCSMP) course here: https://practicalcsm.com/certified-csm-professional/.
For teams looking to train competitive and the best Customer Success Managers for their organizations, click here: https://practicalcsm.com/practical-csm-academy-for-teams/.