I’m sorry. There’s nothing you can do

Customer Success needs to be a company-wide philosophy.

Customer Success starts with Sales and Marketing.

You’ve heard these or other obvious statements often enough.

But I don’t think that CS as a company-wide philosophy cuts it anymore. Here’s why.

The recent Apple keynote introduced cool innovations, but the one that stood out to me the most was that Facetime can now also be used on Windows and Android. An obvious move to compete with Zoom, but there’s more behind it.

It’s about integrating with third parties.

The world of SaaS LOVES enterprise suites. Salesforce. Hubspot. We all want to move our solutions towards being THE go-to for our customers.

But I believe that that is a thing of the past.

Because here’s the thing:

Customer Success doesn’t start with the Customer Journey as it relates to your company. Your customer’s success is dependent on other companies, and how they make your customer successful. 

To win in Customer Success today, you need to not only make your customers successful, but also the other companies in the market, even if they might be your competitors.

Many SaaS solutions serve a very specific need. And the way that product develops it has historically be: Let’s start deep, and then go broad. Meaning you would start with a simple solution (say, a messaging application), and move towards a company-wide suite of solutions (say, a collaboration platform. Did someone say Slack?).

But customers don’t want 15 sources of truth. They want to log in to 1,2 services a day. And not switch permanently.

That’s why microservices and API’s are the future of SaaS. Tightly integrated services, that often aren’t even visible to the end customer anymore. Many SaaS applications will not even need a frontend anymore.

The market is already splitting in two pieces:

1) The all-encompassing suites that combine multiple services

2) Hyper-specialized services that are targeted not towards the end customer, but towards integrators that re-sell to the end customer.

For your Customer Success team, this is a big difference. Because the way to success is fundamentally different if you are providing a suite that “reads” other solutions, versus a tech solution that runs “under the hood”.

Customer Success will be leading partnerships. You heard it here first. 🙂

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