In recent years, many companies – especially SaaS companies – realized that creating a great software product, which can be purchased online and implemented easily from a technical perspective, doesn’t necessarily mean customers will get optimized results when they use it.
Plus, it’s no longer just easy to buy and try these products – it’s also easy to stop using them.
To overcome these challenges, most SaaS companies introduced a new department in their organizations called “customer success”. Managers in this department are often in charge of ensuring successful deployment at the customer environment in order to reduce churn rate.
Customer Success Management Fills the Gap in the New Age of Deeper Customer Relationships
Customer success departments are based on 3 fundamentals: an in-depth knowledge of the customers, an in-depth knowledge of company products, and extensive domain expertise.
That’s because customer success managers have many functions, and often collaborate with multiple departments across the organization.
According to the Customer Success Association “customer success management is an integration of functions and activities of marketing, sales, professional services, training and support into a new profession, to meet the needs of recurring revenue model companies.”
The Importance of Customer Success in the Telecom Space
At first sight, it looks like the new position, “customer success manager,” is similar to what we used to call a “project manager” or a “delivery manager,” especially in the telecom space. After all, we all know that project deployment in telecom is a large, long stretching project that needs a manager in charge.
In addition, there is a big myth in telecom that churn is not a real threat in this industry, because customers who commit to long deployment periods are in it for the long haul.
But that’s not always the case. In my role as VP Professional Services at MIND, I decided to adopt the customer success methodology. I’m pushing the idea of working closely with our Telco customers, and ensuring that deployment and operations are serving customers’ business goals, and helping them overcome challenges.
The 3 fundamentals we mentioned before are key. The deployment success teams must know the platform and have a deep understanding of the telecom space. It’s also extremely important that they understand the customer’s business, challenges, and what’s important for the organization.
When done correctly, customer success in telecom is a win-win situation. On one hand, the vendor helps customers increase efficiency and revenue. On the other hand, that means a bigger potential budget for the vendor to offer upsells and cross-sells, or team up with the customer on a revenue share model.
Turn Knowledge into Action
The importance of customer success is getting more fundamental when talking about BSS solutions. In BSS implementations - regardless if it’s a wireless, wireline, cable or a combined business - a true vendor who acts for its customer success will leverage its experience to identify gaps in business processes that are not properly defined at the customer end.
In-depth understanding of the Telco industry combined with customer success strategy implementation could help reduce customer churn rate and optimize revenue collection processes. At the same time, it enables vendors to share best industry practices with their customers and turn knowledge into action.