So we’ve been writing about the power of a strong, funded, dedicated customer success organization since the beginning of SaaStr way back in 2012. While now mainstream, our early thinking on the power of Second Order Revenue, in many ways, informed a generation of SaaS entrepreneurs and the whole CS space.
But … things have changed in the past 24 months or so.
I now dread calls and Zooms with Customer Success — and I’m not alone.
Just a few of the recent emails and calls we’ve gotten:
- A random person in CS emailed us they are increasing our pricing more than 10x. Thank you much.
- A VP of CS sending us an NPS survey for a flawed product, getting a low grade, and only sending an automated response days later.
- A Director of CS we’ve never heard before telling us they’d shut off access to our product early if we didn’t agree to a 20% higher renewal price.
How many CS execs in that same time period reached out, for real, to see if they could help us?
None. Nonce. Zero.
There are a lot of factors at play here. Pressure from slowing growth. Pressure to maintain slipping NRR and slipping renewal rates. A focus on NRR over GRR. Price increases across the board, often handled poorly. And the worst root cause IMHO? Having CS report to sales. This turns it into a sales function — not a success function.
I was sent an NPS survey from a vendor we pay $100k to
I gave honest, tough, rough feedback
I got an automated response back from the VP of CS and a price increase#CSin2023
— Jason ✨Be Kind✨ Lemkin (@jasonlk) May 27, 2023
The rise of the CRO is here to stay. Everyone wants to be a CRO now. But if that means Customer Success is now just a glorified upsell function — count me out.
I’m missing the good old days when Customer Success was really just about … customer success. I no longer want to talk to Customer Success anymore. 9 times out of 10, they either don’t help, or just want more money. No Thank You.
A related post here:
(Dreaded call image from here)