Welcome to Sandpoint Consulting, where we are driven by customer success. We work directly with teams at early-stage startups to ensure their customer base stays healthy and continues to grow. Our focus is on B2B (business to business) software, SaaS (Software as a Service) and Enterprise software companies. Here is our mission statement:
Empower growing and soon-to-be-growing companies to retain customers effortlessly while improving team efficiency and happiness.
This is our blog where you will find tips, tricks, musings, learnings and opinions from our Co-Founders, Emily Speer Ryan (that's me!) and Adam Croce. We will center primarily on customer success-related topics, including structuring your business for customer success, customer delight through data, communication for success and much more.
Customer Success is a Business Imperative
The world is full of amazing, innovative and valuable technology; just open up your smart phone and page through the dozens of apps you've downloaded! In this fast-paced and novelty-driven age of tech, how do you ensure that your software stands the test of time and keeps its customers coming back? Lead with Customer Success.
But what is Customer Success with a capital "C-S"?
You are probably familiar with the phrase Client/Customer Service and you are certainly familiar with Client/Customer Support, but have you heard of Client/Customer Success? It's a fairly new phrase and is primarily used in the technology industry. When I think of Customer Service and Customer Support, I think of calling a help desk to answer the question I have or solve the problem I face. I imagine a room full of friendly, helpful people who wait for me to call so that they can respond to my need. They're reacting to my need. They are re-active.
Customer Success is different. Customer Success is pro-active. Customer Success directly collaborates with your enterprise customers and forms strategically aligned relationships with your customer champions and stakeholders, ensuring value delivery, anticipating needs, promoting growth and expansion and, most important, retaining their business.
But isn't that what Account Managers do?
Yes! Customer Success is the evolution of the Account Manager function. Customer Success builds the relationship while focusing on driving value from your software into the customer's business. Many business models saw something similar to this:
Sales Director --> Account Manager --> Customer Support
(new business) --> (expansion & renewal) --> (troubleshooting & help desk)
In this model, the customer's experience is either sales-oriented or reactive. Every person at your company that interacts with the customer is either trying to actively sell them something (or will sell them something at some point) or they are reacting to a negative experience the customer is having (Help me do this. Is this broken? How do I...?)
The Customer Success model looks something like this:
Sales Director --> Customer Success Manager --> Customer Support
(new business & upsell) --> (relationship & value assurance) --> (troubleshooting & help desk)
Now the customer, especially your most valuable enterprise customer, has a strategic partner in your business. They have a trusted advisor who isn't trying to sell them something. They have a person to get excited about strategy and business outcomes with. They have someone focused on their success.
That sounds like a lot of work with very little upside...
It costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. (source)
Let that sink in.
Now think about this: increasing your customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. (source same)
By investing in Customer Success, you are investing in the future of your company. We can help you convert those sales into long-term, case study-ready, enthusiastic evangelists, and we can help you do it at scale using data, lightweight process and clear, consistent communication.
Exploring Customer Success at Emerging Software Companies
This Customer Success blog builds on the experience Adam and I have designing simple, inexpensive and "scrappy" solutions at growing and soon-to-be-growing companies. It shares with you our passion for scalability, repeatability and simple, practical company solutions that focus on substance rather than flash.
And in an industry where everything changes in the blink of an eye, we focus on speed and agility to ensure you'll see success quickly and be able to flex the process as you grow and scale.
Rules of the Road... er, Blog
What we publish in these blog posts represent our views, opinions, experiences and ideas. Where applicable, we will cite our sources and encourage you to be thoughtful & critical readers. If you ever have questions or thoughts about a post, we'd love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading!