The HotLine Magazine Archives
For The Profession of Cloud/SaaS Product Support
By Mikael Blaisdell

The CSM video series is a joint effort by DreamSimplicity and The HotLine Magazine, and there will be a new short video on various aspects of CSM published each week.  As each video is released, I’ll add the link below.  Each video is about two minutes in length.

Introduction

About the Series.

Origins of the Customer Success Manager

Being successful in the SaaS/Cloud sector increasingly requires that application vendors become directly involved with the success of their customers. When the bulk of the profit from a customer must be earned incrementally over time, the longevity of the customer relationship is a critical factor in corporate profitability. A new role is appearing in the corporate organization chart: Customer Success Manager.  [ Click here for the video ]

The Levels of Customer Success Management

In the past couple of years, a new role has been proliferating rapidly across the SaaS/Cloud sector’s organizational charts. Although fairly commonly known as Customer Success Managers, there is wide variety in the actual functions of these positions. The differences seem to be associated with what might be called a maturation process for CSM teams. They begin as a new name for senior customer support engineers, and, hopefully, start to grow towards being the trusted advisors of the company. [ Click here for the video ]

Product As A Relationship

When the features and functionality of Product A are essentially the same as Product B, what will truly distinguish one software vendor from another? What can justify a premium price when software becomes a commodity? It’s not about the software anymore, or the insistent race to add ever more features and functionality. The true product is the relationship wherein both parties, customer and vendor, profit from continuing their work together. [ Click here for the video ]

The Customer Success Toolkit

The ability of a CSM group to be effective is highly dependent upon the technology that is available to them.  The starting point is the ability to track what the customers are doing with the application; this is a must-have core element of the technology suite.  With it, you can develop detailed profiles of your customer value tiers and identify behaviors you want to encourage.  Without it, you’re flying blind.  The technology is only the beginning, however.  The data won’t present or use itself.  That’s where the domain expertise of the CSM comes into play.  [ Click here for the video. ]

See Also:

The Technology of Customer Retention

The Metrics of Customer Success Management

There are No Lost Customers in SaaS

The shift to the SaaS/Cloud business model has had profound effects on every aspect of the technology industry, including the very definition of the term “customer.” Is it only companies that are customers? What about the people who make up those entities? The reality is that both people and companies are part of your “customerium,” the community of people associated in some way with your company. And the only way that you can truly lose them is to throw them away yourself.  [ Click here for the video ]

See Also

SaaS/Cloud Success and the Customerium

Marketing Your Customer Data

Every Customer Support group is essentially a knowledge inventory operation, with knowledge repositories and access channels to those sources. Some access channels are inherently more efficient and effective than others for handling particular kinds of distribution requests. The key is to understand which requests to send to which channels, and why. The key to winning in Customer Success lies in effective usage and marketing of your data resources.  [ Click here for the video. ]

See Also

The Knowledge Inventory Operation

The Technology of Customer Retention

June 29, 2012