|By Sandi Mappic||
|May 6, 2014 12:00 PM EDT||
Customer success has become an integral part of nearly every company, but an area which traditionally does not receive much attention in the enterprise software industry. Why not? SaaS companies focus on reducing churn, a major hindrance to growing subscription-based companies, so why don’t more companies focus on ensuring their customers’ success?
At AppDynamics, we quickly realized the possibility to gain our customers’ loyalty by not only giving them the tools to become successful, but also through a thorough customer success program which converts a product into a full-fledged solution for the customer. We knew that by becoming innovative in this area we could take on some of the larger legacy players in the industry. Fittingly, we coined this advanced customer success methodology “Customer Success 2.0”.
For some reason, customer success is not usually deemed a competitive differentiator among technology companies. It seems odd that one of the fastest growing, most innovative, and forward-thinking industries is so antiquated in an individual department. At AppDynamics, we showcase and brag about our customers’ love for us. There is a reason our NPS score is 84 when the industry-average is 19.
The NPS score is just a number, however. What it represents and what it leads to is much more substantial — referrals, references, and upsell opportunities.
Bottom line, customer success has a huge impact on the top line. We focus on high renewal rates, high expansions in opportunities, and high customer satisfaction. In fact, renewals and expansions resulted in nearly half of our previous quarters’ overall revenue.
This will be the first of a three-part series detailing how we support our customers and build long lasting relationships.
Building Long-Term Relationships
Clearly, the goal for any company (not just software) is to create long-lasting relationships with its customers. Referrals, word of mouth, and genuine testimonials go a long way to increasing sales and growing your company. These also happen to be sales enablement areas you can’t fake and need to create through organic relationships.
We have seen that by enabling our customers to succeed and use our product to help them solve their own problems, we in turn succeed. Our customers not only renew their license subscriptions, but also become advocates and help us grow through word of mouth.
At AppDynamics, our customer success is based on the following core principles:
help your customers solve their business problems using your tools
they renew and spread the word
repeat steps 1-3
Long-term relationships also mean something extremely important for software companies, renewal rates. Our high renewal rates is a strong testament to our customer success team. Not only does our product work wonderfully, but the customer success team is able to drive adoption and enablement among our best customers.
Most companies (should) offer some sort of support mechanism. However, the quality of this support can vary drastically. We have all been on hold with an outsourced call center who don’t really understand how to help you. The employees getting paid pennies on the dollar are not specialized or experienced enough to provide the support customers need. AppDynamics has no 1-800 number. There is never an endless cycle with support agents transferring customers to the “right” person.
What we do, and obviously recommend, is hiring the right type of people who can help a customer on the spot. The support team at AppDynamics is full of articulate engineers with years of experience with technical software. They are basically your typical nerdy engineers; however, they all have the ability to speak to your technical level and help solve the problem in ways you understand. Because every support member can solve the issue themselves, new support members are rarely introduced to an issue, creating a pact between the customer and the support process.
A positive byproduct of having such skilled engineers is their ability to realize inefficiencies in the support system and create the tools to fix them. We incentivize our teams to create such tools to help scale and improve the overall process. Promoting self-service among our customers or building scripts to automate menial tasks are just some of the examples team members have accomplished.
Technical Account Manager (TAM) Model
We have two customer success teams who each serve a specific purpose. The first of which is our Technical Account Manager (TAM) team. These are highly-technical success managers with around 10 years of experience. TAMs handle accounts with the highest complexity, typically our larger accounts due to the deployment size. These also tend to be highly technical solutions where the TAM will need a very specific skill set — more than simply customer service.
Previously, customer success teams were largely reactive — only interacting with customers if there was an issue or if it was time to renew. Our model changes that approach. The relationship begins with the onboarding and each TAM member has 3 goals:
enable product adoption
Along with regular communication, they schedule checkpoints at 2, 4, and 6 months to ensure the customer is getting the most out of the software and see how AppDynamics is solving their issues. Another goal for the TAMs is to provide value every time they communicate with a customer. Whether it’s a great tip, resource, or guide it will be tailored towards their specific use case and be beneficial for the customer.
Customer Relations Manager (CRM) Model
Our other customer success team is the Customer Relations Manager (CRM) team.
CRMs check in at least once a quarter and discuss usage statistics and how the customer is experiencing the product. They also focus on success metrics such as the overall NPS score and satisfaction scores. They use these satisfaction scores to analyze how to do their job better and help their customers succeed further.
The CRMs also send out customized emails detailing how the customer currently uses the product and tips and tricks how they can achieve the most success. A common theme among all the teams is delivering value and enabling the customer with the right tools.
In the end, long-term relationships are some of the most valuable ROI assets derived from the customer success teams. Through high renewal rates and expansions, these success metrics will have a direct impact on the company’s top line.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Customer Success 2.0 series, ROI Focused Adoption.
The post Customer Success Driving the Top Line Part 1: Building Long-Term Relationships written by Hatim Shafique appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog from AppDynamics.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Parasoft will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 27 years, Parasoft has researched and developed software solutions that help organizations deliver defect-free software efficiently. By integrating Development Testing, API/cloud/SOA/composite app testing, and service virtualization, we reduce the time, effort, and cost of delivering secur...
Oct. 31, 2014 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 569
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based appl...
Oct. 31, 2014 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,969
Dyn solutions are at the core of Internet Performance. Through traffic management, message management and performance assurance, Dyn is connecting people through the Internet and ensuring information gets where it needs to go, faster and more reliably than ever before. Founded in 2001 at WPI, Dyn’s global presence services more than four million enterprise, small business and personal customers.
Oct. 31, 2014 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,904
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
Oct. 31, 2014 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,950
European data center operator DEAC is the largest in the Baltics. The activities are orientated to provide data center services and IT outsourcing on Eurasia and America scale in order to create the primary or backup or additional data center for customer in the EU, to protect its business and, most importantly, reduce costs up to 40% within 3-5 years. DEAC is an IT outsourcing services and solutions company whose highly experienced and qualified employees offer various groups of services and...
Oct. 31, 2014 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,262
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Ashar Baig, Research ...
Oct. 31, 2014 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,356
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: ...
Oct. 31, 2014 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,301
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
Oct. 31, 2014 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,353
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
Oct. 31, 2014 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,945
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Oct. 30, 2014 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,577
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
Oct. 30, 2014 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,872
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratogent will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Stratogent is a custom managed services organization based in San Mateo, California. We design, implement, and support mission critical infrastructure 24x7 on premises, in datacenters and in the Cloud. Since 2005, we have acted as an extension of internal IT teams, achieving a customer reten...
Oct. 30, 2014 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,164
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will con...
Oct. 30, 2014 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,192
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...
Oct. 30, 2014 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,330
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to bui...
Oct. 30, 2014 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,906
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual C...
Oct. 30, 2014 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,572
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing a...
Oct. 30, 2014 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,734
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Oct. 30, 2014 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,089
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform...
Oct. 29, 2014 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,553
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...
Oct. 29, 2014 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,677