Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Lori MacVittie, Harry Trott, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Hovhannes Avoyan

Blog Feed Post

Customer Success Driving the Top Line Part 1: Building Long-Term Relationships

image_pdfimage_print

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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 9.15.43 AM

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:

  1. help your customers solve their business problems using your tools

  2. they renew and spread the word

  3. continue helping

  4. 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.

Quality Support

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:

  1. enable people

  2. enable process

  3. 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 appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog from AppDynamics.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By AppDynamics Blog

In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally.

DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.

@CloudExpo Stories
While there are hundreds of public and private cloud hosting providers to choose from, not all clouds are created equal. If you’re seeking to host enterprise-level mission-critical applications, where Cloud Security is a primary concern, WHOA.com is setting new standards for cloud hosting, and has established itself as a major contender in the marketplace. We are constantly seeking ways to innovate and leverage state-of-the-art technologies. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Mike Rivera, Seni...
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue o...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseDB (EDB), the leading worldwide provider of enterprise-class Postgres products and database compatibility 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. EDB is the largest provider of Postgres software and services that provides enterprise-class performance and scalability and the open source freedom to divert budget from more costly traditiona...
In their general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Michael Piccininni, Global Account Manager – Cloud SP at EMC Corporation, and Mike Dietze, Regional Director at Windstream Hosted Solutions, will review next generation cloud services, including the Windstream-EMC Tier Storage solutions, and discuss how to increase efficiencies, improve service delivery and enhance corporate cloud solution development. Speaker Bios Michael Piccininni is Global Account Manager – Cloud SP at EMC Corporation. He has b...
EMC Corporation on Tuesday announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Virtustream. When the transaction closes, Virtustream will form EMC’s new managed cloud services business. The acquisition represents a transformational element of EMC’s strategy to help customers move all applications to cloud-based IT environments. With the addition of Virtustream, EMC completes the industry’s most comprehensive hybrid cloud portfolio to support all applications, all workl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud en...
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
We are all here because we are sold on the transformative promise of The Cloud. But what good is all of this ephemeral, on-demand infrastructure if your usage doesn't actually improve the agility and speed of your business? How must Operations adapt in order to avoid stifling your Cloud initiative? In his session at DevOps Summit, Damon Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of the DTO Solutions, will highlight the successful organizational, process, and tooling patterns of high-performing c...
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will address the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affec...
There is no question that the cloud is where businesses want to host data. Until recently hypervisor virtualization was the most widely used method in cloud computing. Recently virtual containers have been gaining in popularity, and for good reason. In the debate between virtual machines and containers, the latter have been seen as the new kid on the block – and like other emerging technology have had some initial shortcomings. However, the container space has evolved drastically since coming on...
T-Mobile has been transforming the wireless industry with its “Uncarrier” initiatives. Today as T-Mobile’s IT organization works to transform itself in a like manner, technical foundations built over the last couple of years are now key to their drive for more Agile delivery practices. In his session at DevOps Summit, Martin Krienke, Sr Development Manager at T-Mobile, will discuss where they started their Continuous Delivery journey, where they are today, and where they are going in an effort ...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. Acco...
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, will cover the union between the two topics and why this is important. He will cover an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then show how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He will end the session with some interesting case study examples.
SYS-CON Media named Andi Mann editor of DevOps Journal. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Andi Mann, Vice President, Strategic Solutions, at CA Technologies, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, communicator, and thought lea...
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of integrating SaaS/Cloud applications, API and on-premises data and processes, to unleash hidden value. This webinar explores how managers can use a Microservice-centric approach to aggressively tackle the unexpected new integration challenges posed by proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and big data projects. Industry analyst and SOA expert Jason Bloomberg will strip away the hype from microservices, and clearly identify their advantages and d...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. 8th International Big Data Expo, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. As advanced data storage, access and analytics technologies aimed at handling high-volume and/or fast moving data all move center stage, aided by the cloud computing bo...