Quick—name an industry that requires you to ensure your customer’s customer’s success. Yes, you read that right. Not just your own customer’s success, but your customer’s customer. I can think of no other than the practice of customer success management (CSM).

People purchase products to achieve a particular set of outcomes. In the practice of customer success, the unique position of the SaaS customer success manager requires a deep understanding of those outcomes; and those outcomes are invariably tied to customers making their customers happy.

For those of us providing customer success solutions, it’s customer success—twice removed.
Or as we see it, twice the responsibility.

Here’s a simple illustration:

SaaS company Saasy.com offers a subscription-based project management tool.

Saasy.com’s customer success department works diligently to onboard customers and promote adoption.

Customer success managers empower their customers to realize full product value at all stages of the customer lifecycle.

So far so good. Consider this:

Saasy.com’s project management software company has a customer, ABC, in the construction business.

ABC has industry-specific and/or company-specific project management requirements.

ABC is relying on Saasy.com’s project management software to meet their project management objectives.

Saasy.com must ensure that ABC is able to leverage specific product features to achieve desired outcomes.

Now think about this:

Saasy.com’s project management software is used by hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of customers.

Their customer base operates in scores of industries with varying project management requirements.

Each customer is working to achieve desired outcomes to keep their customers happy.

If SaaS companies do not commit to understanding and supporting the goals of each of their customers, they will be faced with unpleasant churn rates.

Customer success is all about committing to the goals of your customers—understanding them and working towards helping your customers create happy customers of their own. Hence our customer success credo:
Think twice.