Building Out Your Customer Success Team

For a SaaS startup, customer support is pretty much second nature. It’s obvious that having someone on staff to help solve technical problems and correct user mistakes is a key essential. But how do you grow from having one or two wizards that can fix problems and help your engineers build a product to having a full customer success team? And why should you want to?

This article highlights the different roles and the strongest ways to layer them within both your customers and your team successful.

Onboarding and Implementation Professionals

By the time a team is ready to scale up, existing agents are stretched very thin. One of the most efficient ways to free up bandwidth is investing in an onboarding or implementation teams. These team members help new customers set up their product for success while driving adoption and making sure that your customers are well positioned for realized value. The onboarding team takes a lot of the how-to and setup questions from customer support, while also helping to identify and fill gaps in process documentation and help center documentation.

Account Managers and Customer Success Managers

Depending on your product, your sales folks may already be competent account managers. If your market is more technical or your processes more complex, a customer success manager is the next layer to add to your customer success organization. They stand as a post-sale point of contact (POC), and can provide both support and onboarding a more robust vision of client’ needs, while continuously advocating for and realigning the client expectations.

Professional Service Consultants

The last wedge of the customer Success (CS) pie is professional services (PS). Many organizations put professional services in place far too early, often times leading to mismanaged engineering efforts as well as misaligned customer expectations. However, if you scale the other pieces first and add in PS only after there is a strong customer-facing infrastructure, the needed documentation and process flows will naturally evolve from your existing team, creating a department able to cater to your high-return, enterprise level clients.

By starting from a strong customer support background and strategically building your CS organization, you ensure a balanced and scalable team that can truly guide your customers to success.  Just as importantly, this structure creates a meaningful pathway for your team members’ career growth.