|By AppDynamics Blog||
|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.
ScriptRock makes GuardRail, a DevOps-ready platform for configuration monitoring. Realizing we were spending way too much time digging up, cataloguing, and tracking machine configurations, we began writing our own scripts and tools to handle what is normally an enormous chore. Then we took the concept a step further, giving it a beautiful interface and making it simple enough for our bosses to understand. We named it GuardRail after its function - to allow businesses to move fast and stay sa...
Dec. 22, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,675
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud 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. Cloudian, Inc., is a Foster City, California - based software company specializing in cloud storage software. The main product is Cloudian, an Amazon S3-compliant cloud object storage platform, the bedrock of cloud computing systems, that enables c...
Dec. 22, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,139
SYS-CON Media announced today that Sematext launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal with over 6,000 story reads over the weekend. 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. Sematext is a globally distributed organization that builds innovative Cloud and On Premises solutions for performance monitoring, alerting an...
Dec. 22, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,568
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
Dec. 22, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,102
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
Dec. 22, 2014 11:15 AM EST Reads: 2,811
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, 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. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
Dec. 22, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 3,024
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Dec. 22, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,208
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.
Dec. 21, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,584
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 21, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 2,787
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
Dec. 21, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 3,152
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 21, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,654
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 (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Dec. 21, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 3,184
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Dec. 21, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,681
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard 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. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
Dec. 21, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,778
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Dec. 21, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,851
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...
Dec. 21, 2014 06:30 AM EST Reads: 2,649
AppZero has announced that its award-winning application migration software is now fully qualified within the Microsoft Azure Certified program. AppZero has undergone extensive technical evaluation with Microsoft Corp., earning its designation as Microsoft Azure Certified. As a result of AppZero's work with Microsoft, customers are able to easily find, purchase and deploy AppZero from the Azure Marketplace. With just a few clicks, users have an Azure-based solution for moving applications to the...
Dec. 20, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,744
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 2,339
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
Dec. 20, 2014 05:00 AM EST Reads: 2,187