With the Customer Success Festival just around the corner, we're running a few pre-event Q&A sessions. Joining us today is Jason Noble, Vice President of Global Customer Success at Vinli Inc.
His talk is on February 10th and if you haven't already, it's not too late to register for his presentation.
Jason caught up with us to discuss more about his presentation, the nature of his role and his best customer success advice.
Fancy a sneak peak into the presentation? Read on.👇
Hi Jason! Please can you tell us a little about yourself, your role, and your upcoming Customer Success Festival talk?
Hello everyone - very excited to be here. I’m currently leading the customer facing side of the business at Vinli (which covers customer success, support, training and onboarding) and building out our European operation. I always like to say that I’ve spent the last 25 years or so helping companies to become more customer centric, in a wide range of roles and with both big and small companies, and with global customers. I’m super passionate about what we call customer success and have been lucky enough to work with some incredible companies and teams (and of course customers) throughout my career, and have worked in pretty much all of the traditional customer facing roles. At Vinli we provide our customers with insights and value from mobility data, working with some of the world’s leading automotive companies and help to drive the big changes in the world of mobility.
In my spare time, I’m co-host of The Jasons Take On podcast series, a customer focused podcast where we have conversations with some great guests all about customer success, customer engagement, customer experience and much more. And I’m a very proud dad to two fast-growing not-so-little Nobles (who have their own demands and expectations when it comes to technology and good service).
My session at the festival is all about what we really mean by being customer centric - strangely enough it’s not that simple to understand sometimes. I’m going to dig into how customer success can be positioned in our companies to really drive customer growth (and of course growth for us), and how we can work better across our businesses and look at the critical pieces of what is needed to get customer success working as the new growth engine.
To summarize your talk, how do you approach customer success as a growth engine? And why should SaaS businesses follow this strategy?
One of the big things for me is having customer success as a company-wide way of working, and not just one team (where it often starts). This can take a big shift in how we think and work, and really does require both a top down and company-wide approach, with everyone being part of how we deliver value for our customers. It’s a super critical part of being a SaaS business - as we want our customers to want to stay with us and grow, and funnily enough that’s what our customers want.
How can customer success work in tandem with other departments to create a business-wide growth strategy?
This is a great question and for me it’s at the heart of this big customer transformation that we’re all part of today. You simply cannot deliver real customer success without everyone in the business understanding what our customer’s success is and how we all are a part of helping them achieve that success. Customer success and customer success leaders are the great facilitators for this, working across the whole business, working to break down any internal silos (which we all still have to some extent).
What do you think are the key ways businesses can measure customer success?
It’s not any specific measures or KPIs, but more the ones that work for you as a business. The big ones that you need to do well are growth (net revenue retention) and customer sentiment (using NPS and CSAT - but with both of these it’s not about the score but about setting your baseline and then measuring the trends over time, and the real feedback and why behind the scores).
What are your top tips for preventing churn?
Customer success isn’t about preventing churn - it’s about delivering value and success for our customers, and if we’re doing that (and if we can keep innovating and delivering more value), then they will stay with us. That’s the real magic of customer success.
Is customer success going to continue growing in importance as a SaaS role?
Absolutely yes, there’s no question at all about this - and not just as a SaaS role. It’s now a growing role and idea in many different industries and businesses, that are far from what we see as traditional SaaS businesses. Customer success is critical for everyone. Even more so in the current climate whilst we’re all in the middle of a global pandemic.
How can a startup go about budgeting for a customer success team?
Not an easy one. You need to ensure that you bring in customer success from day one, and not as an afterthought to fix a particular issue or problem, like churn. It’s about growth. You then need to figure out what customer success means to you and your customers, and put in place a plan to deliver and grow as you grow and as your customers grow, and budget around that. You need to look at people, processes and tools - and in that order.
What’s the best customer success advice you heard in 2020?
Share, share and share again. What I love so much about customer success is the global community and being part of something much bigger. Without exception, everyone in this space is here to help others - including our customers, our peers and our team-mates. Being able to share what we’ve all done and tried (and failed at) helps everyone.
Last of all, what is it you love most about working in customer success?
Too many things to count. For me it’s the passion everyone has for doing this, the breadth of skills and experience needed to do it and do it well, the rapid pace of change and growth that is needed, the global community and last but not least - it’s all about doing the right thing for our customers (and delivering the very best services and more).
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