My original definition of the SaaS Business Model, published way back in 2009, included a tight-coupling of Core Product/Intellectual Property, Marketing, Revenue Model, and Network Centricity… but now I’m modifying the definition to include Customer Success.
Having worked with over 300 SaaS companies – as well as Enterprise Software vendors migrating to SaaS – I can say without a doubt that Customer Success must be a fully-integrated, tightly-coupled component of a complete SaaS Business Architecture.
Why? Simply put: No Customer Success = No Your Success.
Said another way… Customer Success is the new “vendor lock-in” … you make sure they’re successful, they make sure you’re successful. It’s a Win-Win!
Said yet another way – and this cannot be overstated – if your customers are not achieving “success” with your SaaS, your success is at risk.
Of course, what “success” looks like for your customers is 100% unique to your customers in the context of your product. So while there’s not a one-size-fits-all definition of lower-case customer success – that’s up to you to know – as far as the concept of upper-case Customer Success is concerned, I’ve attempted to define that for you.