Sharing Customer Success Experiences

The first time I heard about Customer Success was in September 2012. We had public launched our SaaS software, RD Station, and we discovered that some customers had payed for the first month but not for the second one. How come?!

Those were the early days of our startup, we began studying about that awful thing called churn when we discovered "Customer Success". My partner and CEO at RD (Resultados Digitais), Eric Santos, asked me if I wanted to drop my position as Head of Product and start our CS division. At first I thought he was kidding, I hated that name "Customer Success". It seemed like a fancy term to make the traditional software post-sale operations a cool thing.

Well, I've been running our CS division for more than 5 years now and I am totally passionate about it.

Me and all our CS team members in a team building session.

I've learned that customer retention is the single most important metric on a SaaS business, and there is no retention without success. I've learned, that it is impossible to make B2B software companies with zero human interactions. Even though customer success is not merely about human interactions, getting in touch with your customers is the most important thing you can do to create a strong software company.

I've learned that making business is making relationships, and relationships are made of people.

We've grown from a dozen customers to more than 7 thousands. From 2 people firefighting churn to a complex 130 people CS organization. We've reduced the churn rate by one tenth. And we've made friends with tons of successful customers.

I've been speaking about CS on multiple events since a while. Last year I organized a fully dedicated CS track at RD Summit, our annual event.

In that period I was glad to meet and make friends with some inspiring CS thought leaders, such as Lincoln Murphy. Guys like him encouraged me to create a lot of the things that make our CS organization thrive today. However, in that period I’ve also failed many times. I’ve learned how to implement the CS concepts I was reading about by trial and error. I always thought there were few practical examples of the CS concepts being shared to help me on those moments. That’s why I’ve decided to start this blog.

I want to share my practical experiences in depth. I am not here to re-write concepts and I will not offer silver bullets for common CS problems. But I'll share details of how our Customer Success organization is run and why some projects worked really well for us while others didn't. By doing so, I'd love to start conversations and get to know people on similar roles or with similar challenges. So please, share, comment or connect.

My plan is to write a long blog post once a month. The first one is about how to create Leading Indicators to predict and prevent churn. Stay tuned, follow me and the publication above.