For subscription-based businesses like SaaS in particular, Customer Success is of the utmost importance. The service you provide post-sale to ensure that customers are meeting their objectives with your products is the fastest way to drive loyalty and improve customer retention.
Customer acquisition is still important, but retention is the key to growth. Without those customers who choose to continually renew their subscription, month after month, and year after year, your business is doomed to failure.
Customer Success means your business is fulfilling the promise it made to customers during the sales and marketing phase. You avoid leaving your customers to figure it out for themselves and instead take a proactive role in guiding them to success.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered together the top Customer Success quotes from leaders in the industry to inspire you.
11 of the best Customer Success quotes
1. Konosuke Matsushita
“(A) company’s vision must be driven by the aspirations of its customers.”
– Konosuke Matsushita.
Matsushita was a Japanese industrialist who built Panasonic, the biggest Japanese consumer electronics business. Matsushita said it best, since everything you do as a company must reflect what your customer wants to achieve with your products. Company vision cannot be created in isolation from the aspirations of your customers.
2. Jeff Gardner
“The faster you can help customers understand and extract value from your product that is in line with their business goals the stickier and more successful they’ll be.”
– Jeff Gardner
Gardner is CEO and founder of Canua, and previously Head of Customer Success at Graphy. With SaaS customers, it’s a race to help them find the most value in your product from the minute they pay their first subscription fee. This means you need to optimize the onboarding process to help them immediately reach business goals.
3. Marc Benioff
“Once you know what you want and what is important for you to achieve, also define the values associated with it. What is important? That is something a lot of entrepreneurs pass by too quickly. For us, the things that were important were, No. 1, customer success. Nothing is more important to us than making sure every customer is successful in our service.”
– Marc Benioff.
Benioff is an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, and is the co-founder, chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce. He advocates defining your values when figuring out your strategy as a company. Customer success should be classed as important in order to make sure you prioritize it as your business grows.
4. Brian Gladstein
“You are not the hero. Your customer makes their own success.”
Gladstein is Senior Vice President of Marketing at A-LIGN. He puts it succinctly when he says the business needs to take the focus off themselves and recognize that customers are the ones who make themselves successful. Businesses shouldn’t congratulate themselves when customers are successful because they are only the enabler.
5. Nick Mehta
“The biggest barrier to customer success is CEOs not making it an important part of the culture.”
– Nick Mehta.
Mehta is the CEO of Gainsight, a market-leading Customer Success company. He says it is down to senior leadership to embed Customer Success into company culture, so that everyone in your business naturally thinks about this. Customer Success is not something that can be added on as an afterthought.
6. Don Peppers
“Your job, if you’re a customer success manager, isn’t to make friends with your client. Your primary job is to challenge them, and get them to think, in order to make them more successful.”
– Don Peppers.
Peppers is a best-selling business author, Customer Experience expert, and founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group. He puts it well when he says that it’s not your job to make friends with your customers, meaning that it’s not important whether your customers like you. Instead you should aim to push customers outside their comfort zone in order to help them achieve more with your product.
7. Kaiser Mulla-Feroze
“Companies need to prove their worth — day after day, month after month, year after year.”
– Kaiser Mulla-Feroze.
Mulla-Feroze is a cloud and B2B software executive and formerly Chief Marketing Officer of several SaaS companies. With SaaS businesses, they need to keep demonstrating the value they provide over a long period of time. Subscription software isn’t paid for once and then kept for life. Customers are continually deciding whether they want to keep doing business with you.
8. Lincoln Murphy
“You can focus on Adoption, Retention, Expansion, or Advocacy; or you can focus on the customer’s Desired Outcome and get all of those things.”
– Lincoln Murphy.
Murphy is a Growth Consultant focused on Customer Success. He highlights how you can either focus on the different stages of the customer journey or you can set your sights on what your customer actually wants to achieve. That is the fastest path to Customer Success.
9. Jeff Bezos
“We’re not competitor-obsessed, we’re customer-obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”
– Jeff Bezos.
Bezos is the founder, executive chairman and former president and CEO of Amazon. As a highly successful entrepreneur, Bezos explains that their path to success has come from obsessing over customers rather than competitors. This involves having a deep understanding of customer needs, and then creating products to fit the demand.
10. Jason Lemkin
“Customer Success is where 90% of the revenue is.”
– Jason Lemkin.
Jason Lemkin operates SaaStr, which is globally the biggest community for B2B and SaaS founders. He’s also the managing director of SaaStr Fund, a $90m venture capital firm that targets early-stage enterprise investments. Focusing on Customer Success not only benefits your customers, but ensures that your business will also skyrocket your revenue. Customer Success simultaneously prevents churn and helps you identify opportunities for cross-sells and upsells.
11. Adam Toporek
“One of the best methods for retention I have found is continuing to add value after the sale. Silence is a retention killer.”
– Adam Toporek.
Toporek is a customer experience strategist and founder of CTS Service Solutions. As we’ve already mentioned, Customer Success is a key driver of retention. In order to increase retention, Toporek says, companies must continue to add value even after customers have parted with their cash. It is this added value that will keep customers coming back for more, and remaining happy to pay your subscription fee.
Your existing customers are your most valuable source of revenue. When you invest in Customer Success, you also ensure that your business is successful and sustainable in the long-term. Customer Success is about proactively finding ways to help your customers derive more value from your products and services.
Customer Success is a powerful driver of customer loyalty. Loyalty means your customers are immune to the temptations of your competitors and will always pick your brand when given a choice. They can become vital sources of referrals for new customers and advocate for your business.
What these 11 experts have in common is an emphasis on customer-centricity. As Jeff Bezos put it, you must cultivate an obsession with your customers that puts them at the heart of everything you do as a company.