5 Essential Customer Success Strategies

Imitation is the best form of flattery, right? Industry-leading customer service teams are prioritizing agility, transparency, flexibility, and a “beyond the support ticket” mentality. Don’t be afraid to emulate these customer success strategies!

Zight | April 08, 2022 | 5 min read time

Article Last Updated: June 26, 2023

5 Essential Customer Success Strategies

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If you want to be the best, you can’t hesitate to borrow from the best. This rings true for customer service and customer success teams, especially in the ultra-competitive SaaS landscape. More companies are taking customer success strategy seriously these days, which can often make it difficult to stand out in your CS approach. Consider these three simple truths:

  • Strong support is near the top of your customer’s wish list: 
    • 68% of consumers will pay more if a company has great service, according to HubSpot.
  • Your competitors are focused on customer service, too:
    • 72% of companies say improving CS is their top priority, per Forrester Research.
  • In an increasingly competitive CS landscape, retaining customers is difficult:
    • 30% of SaaS companies are reporting an increase in churn year-to-year, from 99firms. Customer success strategy for SaaS companies is especially important.

The status quo likely won’t cut it for your customers. That being said, you don’t need to overhaul your entire customer success strategy to make meaningful improvements. Department leaders looking for growth should follow examples of customer success provided by some of the world’s best SaaS companies. These organizations are providing great service by exhibiting agility, transparency, and flexibility – while carving out time to solve customer problems beyond the support ticket queue.

Your organization might not have a large team or the name recognition of the companies below. But don’t worry! You don’t need to be a market giant to borrow simple lessons from some of the most successful SaaS customer success teams.

Looking for more advice on nailing your customer success strategy? Download Zight (formerly CloudApp)’s free eBook, How To Deliver Incredible Customer Support Experiences.

The Keys to a Strong Customer Success Strategy For SaaS Companies

Let’s explore some stellar examples of customer success strategy, with a bonus tool to help teams close tickets 3x faster, with higher customer satisfaction:

1. Evolve your customer success strategy as you go.

Embrace the fluid nature of the customer success world! Rather than spending energy on building the perfect process, don’t be afraid to adjust your strategy on the fly.

The team at Slack, the workplace communication and messaging tool, embraces flexibility. The Slack CS team understands that customer preferences are constantly changing. Slack employees design customer success procedures to last 6-9 months. This provides constant opportunities for measurement and evaluation. The CS team can constantly improve.

Slack has also drifted away from customer success quotas. SaaS companies often grow at a blistering pace, so sticking to specific numbers amidst new product launches and growing customer pools can take away from the real purpose of the work: helping customers reach their business goals.

2. Be transparent with customers – especially when things go wrong.

Trust is essential for industry-leading customer service. Respect your customers’ intelligence by openly communicating with them; they’ll often appreciate your openness. 

Buffer is a SaaS application that helps teams manage their social media accounts. In 2013, the company experienced a security breach, with customer data at risk. The Buffer team managed to turn a potential crisis into an opportunity: thanks to their transparency.

The team published regularly updated blog posts sharing details of the breach with customers. After a speedy response and sincere PR approach, Buffer actually gained customers in the wake of the swiftly-solved breach.

Transparency is also important internally. The Buffer customer success team prioritizes an open feedback loop with product, sales, and marketing to prevent issues before they arise.

3. Let customers decide how to problem solve.

Customers want options. That applies to choosing their SaaS provider, but also to how they interact with their customer success team.

As a customer engagement operating system, Intercom’s culture is tied to providing its clients with the tools they need to succeed.

Intercom recognizes that the perfect customer experience might look different for each one of its unique partners. Some customers want to speak with a human when they’re having trouble, while others prefer a live chat tool or a Reddit-style forum to address their needs. Rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach, Intercom offers all of these customer support services (and more) so that clients can work on their own terms.

4. Break the cardinal rule in customer success strategy for SaaS: take a step back from the support queue. 

Stepping away from the support queue seems like a major no-no for many customer service leaders. In small doses, however, a break from ticket duty can lead to ultimately larger wins. 

The CS leaders at Fullstory, the customer experience and tracking tool, don’t want their teammates to get stuck in a never-ending loop of closing tickets. Their team blocks scheduled calendar time for colleagues to focus on meaningful work (not meeting time!) that actually solves business problems or makes improvements to the product. Scheduled time might be used for reviewing the quality of documentation or analyzing feedback trends.

5. Focus on providing value – not putting out fires.

It can be easy to fall into the “open/close” rhythm of customer success. A little extra work on each ticket, however, can easily reduce future problems by getting to the root of the customer’s needs.

Fullstory’s strategy closely aligns with that of Hubspot, the customer relationship management (CRM) company. Hubspot’s customer support leaders preach providing incremental value instead of stopping the tickets

Customer service specialists are encouraged to provide their customers with more feedback and information than they were initially expecting when they called up for support. Perhaps the customer can learn a new tool or feature, which gives them new ways to achieve their goals. 

How Zight (formerly CloudApp) boosts your customer success strategy

The SaaS companies providing the best examples of effective customer success strategies have broken free from norms and found better ways to communicate with their customers. 

Zight (formerly CloudApp) is the visual communication tool that your customer success team needs to differentiate its approach. We help CS teams create quality content for customers – from annotated screenshots to GIFs to interactive, pre-recorded tutorials. 

Zight (formerly CloudApp) has enabled customer support teams around the world to close tickets up to 3x faster – with higher customer satisfaction rates

The best customer success strategies shouldn’t be a secret.  Download Zight (formerly CloudApp)’s free eBook, How To Deliver Incredible Customer Support Experiences to see some of the SaaS industry’s best examples of customer success strategy at work.

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