The Toronto Customer Success Executive Breakfast is a forum whereby local industry leaders get together over breakfast to discuss the still young and rapidly evolving field of Customer Success.
Co-hosted by Natasha Narayan and myself, and Sponsored by Gainsight, senior executives in the field of Customer Success are invited to share their knowledge and expertise amongst their peer group in an intimate and highly interactive setting.
The breakfast is an opportunity for these leaders in Customer Success to convene, exchange ideas and further define industry best practices.
Maropost Vice President Customer Success & Support, Steve O’Connor, was this week’s Executive Breakfast speaker.
Steve shared with the group how Maropost leveraged Customer Success Plans to decrease time to on-boarding, increase Customer Effort Score (CES) and product adoption, and improve overall customer health.
Maropost, an email marketing platform provider were, by all accounts, doing everything they should be to drive product adoption.
The problem however was that their customers were still telling them things like, “It’s hard to get going without a lot of help”, “I don’t really know where to start” or “I don’t really need all the features you have”.
In a concerted effort to address these concerns, the company took a hard look at how they were onboarding customers, driving product adoption and delivering on-going value.
The solution was to create a holistic Customer Success Plan across all three phases of customer maturity - Onboarding, Adoption and Established - to retain account knowledge throughout the journey for a consistent experience, and track responsibilities to keep both Maropost and the customer accountable to keeping the project on schedule.
Time to On-board Reduced by 33%
In an effort to reduce on-boarding time, the company took a hard look at their on-boarding process.
People from across the business, including leadership, sat in on customer sessions to gather feedback and create an on-boarding success plan that a cross-functional team of four is responsible for.
The resulting process focused on ensuring that the customer’s main users understood and were using key features of the product required to meet their objectives.
A prescriptive set of activities that Maropost knows will help the customer achieve their goals, as well as information about product feature usage and requests, are tracked to ensure that customers understand how to leverage the product to accomplish their objectives.
From the information tracked, every functional unit at Maropost has a slide with the top 3-5 customer items they are responsible for addressing (which has full visibility of leadership) and keeps everyone accountable to addressing product needs.
Increased Product Adoption by 46%
Prior to this review exercise, the customer handoff was done manually and prone to error.
There was no process, framework or accountability to make the experience consistent for the customers or to easily track their progress to goals.
Maropost introduced an internal Quarterly Business Review (QBR) success plan to create a framework for fluid product adoption and tracking to objectives.
Customer objectives are collected and recorded at the start of adoption, and the corresponding activities and deadlines are reviewed throughout the process to ensure that both the customer and Maropost are held accountable to reaching the goals.
Internal activities are also tracked and recorded to ensure Maropost is seamlessly transferring account knowledge across the entire organization for a true, cross-functional team approach to customer success.
Customer Health Increased by 23%
The team was previously constantly in firefighting mode, unable to be proactive and continued to get questioned by the customers about timelines and price.
Product adoption was something they struggled with and which negatively impacted customer health.
By introducing a customer facing QBR success plan, the company created a framework to support continued dialog with the customer ensuring that conversations about action items, timelines and holding the customer accountable happen.
If anything regarding the customer project needs to change, Maropost has a conversation with the customer to adjust timelines and highlight how the project is impacted as a result.
It also facilitates product conversations allowing Maropost to offer suggestions to customers about features that can be leveraged to solve business needs.
Internally, Maropost introduced a very disciplined approach to addressing product issues and feature requests which allows them to prioritize, with the input from the customer base, high demand features that customers want and deliver them with faster turn-around.
In the end, as a result of introducing customer success plans to drive improved customer on-boarding, adoption and on-going value Maropost improved their time to on-boarding by 33%, increased product adoption by 46% and improved their customer health score by 23%.