What is Customer Success?

As a software leader, you know that the key to running and managing a thriving software development business is built on acquiring new customers and retaining these customers. However, did you know that there’s a new methodology centered on helping customers succeed, which many companies and organizations are quickly implementing? Yes, it is customer success.

You may have heard of customer success in the past. It is a commonly-used phrase in business and most industries today, including software design and development. However, people often confuse customer success with customer service. So, what is customer success, and why has customer success become such a crucial role within the B2B industry?

We can define customer success as a methodology that helps bring together a cross-functional organizational team with the mission or aim of helping customers adopt the company’s products, including software programs, using them in a way that will make sure that they reach their goals.

This approach requires software vendors to offer all the tools and education required to ensure that your customers:

  • Know and understand the purpose of the software product they are using.
  • Understand how to use it effectively and efficiently in order to drive their own revenue growth and business success.

It is worth noting that your products exist to help your customers solve a problem. And customer success is the rational extension of that. This means that you don’t only help your customers by offering a great product with the right features—you also provide encouragement, support, and consultative help.

By ensuring that customers are successful with your product, note that customer success increases the chances that your customers will stick around.

The Importance of Customer Success in Software Development

Customer Success vs. Customer Support

Using the terms customer success and customer support interchangeably is problematic as it can cause confusion to your customers and your internal team.

While both of these functions are important to the success and growth of your software development organization, it is essential to know their differences and understand what the differences are between these two functions.

Although there are many differences and nuances between the two, the biggest and most crucial distinction boils down to this:

  • Customer success is proactive
  • Customer support is reactive

Keep in mind that excellent and reliable customer support is vital to any software business. Whereas customer support teams in organizations react to inbound customer communication and requests, customer success proactively eliminates customer problems before they can rise to a customer support touchpoint level.

So, customer success is a proactive approach that helps customers while customer support is reactive. This means that when customers have an issue with your product, support is called in order to fix the problem.

As you can see, the customer success function was essentially born out of the vital need to retain customers as well as help them realize the full value of a product, providing opportunities for further product offering “upgrades” during the customer cycle.

It is worth noting that excellent customer support is still very important to the success of your software development business, contributing to overall success. However, it isn’t enough to drive new revenue or prevent churn. So, if customers are unhappy with your products and services, it is unlikely that customer support will ever receive a call. Rather, customers will simply leave without any explanation.

Customer Success Responsibilities at Autify

There is no doubt that when you develop customer-centric software or applications, user feedback and insights are crucial for the next stages of software development. When it comes to customer support, interactions and communication with clients are usually fast and far between.

Your customers will call you, you will solve their problems, and they are on their way. Note that there is no room for relationship-building.

It is understandable that changing from this mindset to developing and sustaining lasting relationships with your customers can be challenging. Again, this is where it is vital to consider the consultative nature inherent in customer success.

How to be active or proactive in your customer’s lifecycle? There is no doubt that finding the right answer for your customers is not easy. This is because every company’s customers tend to go through a unique lifecycle.

Determining how to develop relationships that last and are valuable throughout this lifecycle is a challenge. While there is no quick fix, the right tools, strategy, and training will help. However, in the end, it all comes down to knowing and understanding your customers as well as what they need.

Customer Success engineers at Autify are responsible for offering proactive support using their knowledge and expertise in software development. The primary responsibility of a customer success engineer at Autify is to appropriately encourage users to leverage Autify to increase usage and minimize churn.

Because of the risks that churn poses to businesses that use recurring revenue models, many savvy organizations and companies have started to focus on customer success as an effective way to combat them. To achieve this, customer success engineers visualize and analyze usage and then proactively take various actions. They also collaborate with Sales and Marketing members as well as Customer Support Engineers.

Due to the specific nature of the service, Autify offers experience and knowledge of the development flow and the testing phase which is crucial for understanding use cases and encouraging usage.

Customer Support Responsibilities at Autify

Customer support engineers at Autify are responsible for providing passive support using their knowledge and experience in development. For example, this involves handling customer requests, complaints, and questions on various support channels.

However, note that this doesn’t mean customer support engineers at Autify passively respond to inquiries. On the contrary, one of the most important responsibilities is to listen to questions and requests from users and communicate with them to uncover the user’s burning needs and keep track of customer expectations as well as recurring issues.

And it is up to the customer support engineer to turn the customer’s voice and insights into a treasure trove of valuable information and reflect those voices into the product. In addition, customer support engineers also manage the Help Center as well as the user community.

User Case Studies

SMN Corporation

The best thing about codeless test automation solutions is that they handle the burden of coding for businesses and organizations that cannot allocate extra programming resources and time or keep up with demanding and extensive maintenance of test scripts. And Autify helped SMN Corporation lower regression testing from forty hours of testing to zero with the help of codeless test automation.

Mr. Naoki Shigetomi, a tech development leader and professional at Logicad, and Mr. Takahiro Yoshii, a Quality Assurance (QA) manager at SMN Corporation, said that they liked the simplicity and intuitiveness of Autify’s UI. They also appreciated that they and their team could chat with customer support, and they responded quickly. They think it is not easy for live chat customer support agents, but it gives them an immense sense of confidence and pleasure as a user.

ITI Inc

Autify’s customer success team also proactively helps software teams integrate easily into their testing suite. Yuki Harada, Project Planning and Development Department manager, and Makoto Yonekura, QA/QC leader at ITI Inc, described the process of implementing Autify.

Makoto said there wasn’t anything in particular that ITI struggled with. They liked how intuitive the platform was. They didn’t think much about the implementation process and just went with it, solving issues as they came up.

This is why their system and Autify did not work very well at first. They contacted Autify’s customer support through chat and were extremely grateful and happy that the support staff responded quickly.

Makoto was the only one who used Autify for the first two years. But when a new member joined the QA team, he encouraged other members to use it more. This freed some of his time, so he created resources and ran workshops to share his knowledge using our tool.

Key Takeaways

There is no doubt that the most successful and proactive businesses and companies ensure the continued satisfaction and success of their customers. Keep in mind that the combination of responsibility (for sales revenue) and knowledge (what to develop to drive renewal) means that it is inevitable that customer success teams in companies will own an increasingly bigger share of the product roadmap in upcoming months and years.

Customer success is crucial for companies because they are a constant voice of the customer for your business. Keep in mind that by investing in customer success, you will notice that the communication and interactions you have with your customers will be more impactful and fruitful to both parties.