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5 Customer-centric Processes to Begin Immediately

By Jay Nathan

Through our work with dozens of growth-stage, B2B SaaS companies and conversations with hundreds of execs and CS leaders we've identified a handful of processes that can move the needle quickly.

"A good plan, violently executed now is better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

General George S. Patton

While it's tempting to perfect our plans before we act, we have learned from methodologies like Kaizen and Lean manufacturing that executing to learn is critical to business success and long-term agility.

It's no different for B2B SaaS and technology companies who are looking to retain customers and grow customer revenue with a customer-centric approach.

In fact, we've found that by implementing just a handful of key, customer-centric processes within an organization that it is possible to unleash a wave of energy to energize a wholesale transformation toward customer-centered growth.

Here are five examples from our work with nearly 100 B2B SaaS companies over the past three years:

  • Joint Success Planning - build a success plan (account plan) together with your top customers to make sure there's a joint roadmap for the relationship.
  • Customer Health Scoring - identify the 5-7 factors that are associated with consistent customer renewals. Turn them into a score to help forecast renewal likelihood.
  • Internal QBRs - review key accounts and customer segments with a cross-functional team each quarter. Bring whatever sentiment, usage, and renewal data you have.
  • Deploy Closed-loop NPS - Begin soliciting feedback from customers. Survey 1/12 of your base each month and **follow up** with those who give you negative marks.
  • Monthly Renewal / Expansion Pipeline Review - Include a mix of sales, marketing and CS to help combat risk and pursue opportunities.

Installing any of these processes takes just a bit of work. There are four key elements of deploying a process that helps to make it stick:

  1. Playbook & Content - A definition of how the process is to be carried out and supporting tools and content that team members need to execute.
  2. Tracking Tool - It's not a process until it's tracked and measured. CRM, project management tools, customer success platforms and countless other SaaS tools exist for setting up data tracking for any of these processes. And in the worst case scenario start with a spreadsheet.
  3. Training & Coaching - Teach the team how to execute and providing support and calibration along the way (change management).
  4. Cadence of Accountability - A meeting or set review point where management can ensure that the process is being adopted and that execution quality is high.

In the long run, it's important to build a strong customer strategy by segmenting customers, mapping the end to end customer journey and building account coverage models.

But right now, we can have an immediate and material impact on customer retention, experience and growth by instituting these straight-forward tools to drive customer success.

Are you executing a good customer success plan today? Or are you perfecting your plans for tomorrow?

Take a look at Jay's LinkedIn Post for engagement from the broader customer success community around these 5 core processes

Published February 25, 2020
About the Author

I've spent my career working in technology companies to build customer-centric teams, processes and technology platforms. In 2017, I founded Customer Imperative, a consulting firm that helps fast-growing B2B SaaS companies improve renewals, increase expansion sales and scale customer engagement. See full bio ›

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