How to Maximize Product Led Growth with Customer Success Best Practices
If you want to turbocharge your Product Led Growth (PLG), it’s time to take a long, hard look at your Customer Success Management practices. The way you approach your customer success activities can make a significant difference in how fast and how seamlessly you scale.
What Is Product Led Growth?
A product led growth strategy puts software, guides, demos and documentation at the center of a business’ growth strategy. The company’s success relies on the product to do much of the selling itself, through its ease of adoption, usability, features and performance. As your adoption funnel is developed and optimized, customer experience will become more consistent, leading to less friction in your PLG company’s growth.
An experienced product manager often runs businesses so that users are able to discover, experiment with, and adopt the product on their own terms and on their own timescale. That’s not to say that sales teams and customer support services aren’t required, they just tend to be layered in at a later stage of the customer journey.
A product led approach can enable businesses to scale rapidly, particularly when they implement customer success management best practices alongside a product led growth mindset.
What Is Customer Success Management and How Does it Underpin Product Let Growth?
Customer Success Management (CSM) is a bridge between a business’ product and its customers. When used proactively, CSM best practices can ensure you understand your customers’ businesses, helps them stand up your product with minimal effort, and guarantees that your product provides real value at every stage of the customer journey.
For product led growth companies, the customer success team acts as a guide to help customers achieve their goals. Engagement and improving the customer experience is at the heart of this approach, as engagement is the best indicator that a customer journey will end successfully - with happy customers, positive customer feedback and ideally a subscription plan.
Regular, proactive engagement also means that customers can realize greater value from the product – if they engage with your customer success team to define the scope of their project, your team can help them with tools that achieves their goals faster and more efficiently. Sharing those insights with your product team results in a more cohesive PLG company and one where product led content will invariably improve customer experience.
Top Tips on How to Maximize Product Led Growth with Customer Success Best Practices
A customer success manager uses a range of tools and techniques that empowers customers to be more efficient and realize additional value from the product. The first of these is to focus on data points, a focus which often reveals issues which customers can be helped with. By reviewing customers’ goals, SDKs, UTMs, and other hyper-personalized data points, the customer success team can quickly build up a deep understanding of each customer. The team then analyzes every step in customer onboarding, from discovery and signing up, through to growing usage and feature expansion. These instances serve as touch points to reach out to customers, cement relationships and ensure customer retention.
Another important tip is to use a tool that supports detailed customer insights. With an in-depth analytics dashboard in place, it’s easy to assess account health and discover product usage trends. That data then forms the basis of conversations with customers, as pVerify observed when it deployed Moesif’s HIPAA-compliant API analytics for Covid testing:
“It’s completely pointless if you cannot pass your analytics data onto your clients. Embedded dashboards solved that for us. As a scientist, I’m all about data analytics. Finding, displaying and sharing API metrics like 400/500 errors, when you have thousands of customers and millions of API calls, is very difficult. Moesif solved that for us.” Rob Dejournett, CTO, COO, pVerify.
With a proactive approach to CSM, analytics and monitoring, it’s possible to identify many customer problems at an early stage. This is another key tip for maximizing product led growth, as it can open up productive conversations with customers at just the right time in their growth journey, helping them overcome any unexpected bumps in the road. That’s not to say that upset customers won’t pop up, but when they do, a robust CSM approach means that you can immediately access key account metrics and take a laser-focused approach to the problem:
“It’s handy to have immediate access to key account metrics. You can see what’s happening and say, ‘Yes, you did this wrong. See all these failed calls? Let’s look into the body of those calls and see if we can reproduce that – make an autopsy of those fails.’” Oliver Burt, Customer Success Manager, Moesif
A dashboard that aggregates your accounts’ health is the final CSM best practice for maximizing product led growth. An average CSM professional will manage perhaps 15 accounts, some doing well, potentially some badly and some with errors. A dashboard provides both oversight and peace of mind. Being able to produce dashboards by account or by cohorts such as company or vertical, and with a global perspective, enables CSM teams to share customer acquisition and customer retention statistics with their line managers, product management teams and across the company.
Using Automation as Part of Your Product Led CSM Strategy
Automating certain CSM functions is advantageous to both the user and your CSM team. When certain conditions, such as onboarding difficulties, are found, it may make sense to show an in-app notification or email pointing users towards helpful content on behalf of the CSM team. This benefits the internal CSM team by taking that load off of their plate and potentially helping the user in a “hands-off” fashion. For the user, this means that help is dispatched immediately and can be used at their leisure, as needed. This approach lends itself well to the “product bumper” methodology that many PLG advocates point to.
By using automation, users can be helped more immediately versus waiting for a call with the CSM team. By strategically pointing users to docs, tutorials, and new features based on events within the application or service, user experience is improved. Of course, there is always the fallback of users sidestepping the automation and engaging with the CSM team anyways. Having a highly-available CSM team plus automation is a great way to augment your PLG strategy.
The Role of CSM Best Practices in Achieving Product Led Growth
CSM best practices can underpin product led growth in multiple ways. They can help customers stand up your product faster, reduce customer churn and accelerate product upsell. They can deliver greater recurring revenue and happier customers. And they can ensure that any growth trends are identified at an early stage, so that your business can support its customers and ensure they are ready and on the right path when usage explodes.
Are you ready to maximize your product led growth with CMS best practices? You can find out more about customer success with Moesif or jump straight in and get started today.