A ways back on SaaStr, we wrote an important post on your customer success leaders — The 5+2 Rule.
That every member of your CS team needs to visit 5 customers in person a month — and be issued 2 customer badges a year (because they visit in-person so often). At least the ones that manage slightly larger accounts ($20k+).
It’s an even better rule to follow today, now that we know the best customers in SaaS literally last decades:
Forcing your CS team to visit 5 customers in person means “more than 1 a week”, and keeps in-person visits top of mind.
But what about you — the CEO?
You have your own Bare Minimum Customer Visit Quota. That’s to visit your Top 5 Customers Every Year. And to meet them in person Twice a Year. If you have a customer event, or a steak dinner where you meet them, that can count as the second in-person meeting. But the in-office visit has to be at their shop, in person. No matter where that is:
- Go ask how things are going.
- Go present your customer roadmap for the year.
- Go ask for unstructured feedback on where you could do better.
Do a 20-30 minute presentation first. That will ensure your champion / chief contact invites as many other stakeholders at her organization as possible. If you just meet informally without a presentation, fewer folks will come.
Then just talk.
Ideally, bring someone on your team with you. Your head of customer success, or head of product are usually the right wing people. They can answer some questions at some point you won’t be able to, too.
And if you do this, your Top 5 customers will buy more. And churn far, far less often. And you as CEO will learn more. You’ll get unfiltered, in-person, genuine feedback from the folks writing the largest checks.
All your customers deserve this. But you can’t visit them all. But you can, at a bare minimum, visit the Top 5.