Are You Paying Lip Service to Customer Success?

Published in UC Today 

The role of customer success has become increasingly recognised as an important facet of operations, with many businesses appointing dedicated customer success managers. But is this a true top-down operational change or more for marketing purposes? 

Ross Williams, Chief Success Officer at Virsae, told UC Today that MSPs need to engage with the concept of customer success and what that truly means for their own processes. 

“Most organisations that are transitioning into customer success are just changing the titles of a few people and there’s nothing more to it than that,” he stated. 

“There are a whole lot of new metrics that need to be introduced to do this properly: monthly recurring revenue, revenue churn, customer churn, average revenue per user, average revenue per account and lifetime value. If you’re clever with this, ultimately the lifetime value of a customer will be much higher than your traditional break-fix business.” 

Williams said that many organisations that are implementing customer success strategies are not doing so in a meaningful fashion, describing it as a repurposing of service delivery. True customer success managers require a new source of insight, skills and training.  

“If you are changing from being a service delivery manager to a customer success manager, you really should have full training – you’re becoming an account manager as well,” he explained. 

“Customer success managers should have revenue targets that include net revenue retention. The monthly recurring revenue, year to year, for that account should be increasing, so they should be selling more in terms of services, value add or the integration of other components into that mix. It is a major skills change, not just a relabelling of titles.” 

“A customer success manager has to find out what success is for the customer and there are multiple relationships they have to navigate within that customer to work it out. Conversations need to span from jitter and packet loss with the Data Network Manager, through to workstation performance with the Infrastructure Manager, through to Customer Experience with Contact Centre Manager, through to compliance and security with the Governance Manager, to operational cost savings with the COO.” 

Virsae’s Service Management (VSM) solution allows MSPs to overcome this challenge. Built to support the UC and contact center markets, VSM provides real-time insight into the performance of multi-vendor applications, enabling data-driven conversations at all levels.  

“What differentiates VSM is the sheer extent of the data, which is really broad and really deep, reaching into the farthest corners of technology solutions – in UC terms, there’s nothing going on that we don’t see” 

“Given the massive data sets, you simply can’t evaluate and process that into insight with a human. You need the latest technology to help you understand how for example, the customer experiences piece together, and what components in that experience could be causing problems. VSM uses Machine Learning and AI to process literally billions of data points each month into actionable insights.” 

This new insight enables the customer success practice, meaning that MSP’s can offer differentiation against others potentially selling exactly the same cloud service. MSP’s once struggling to remain relevant can suddenly become a key part of their customers’ digital journey.  

Make customer success more than just the latest job title