You don’t really have a business until you have reached the holy grail of entrepreneurship: Product/Market Fit. Product/Market Fit, or the point at which your product can effectively satisfy a strong market demand, is the sign you’ve launched a successful venture and are on track to raising the funds you’ll need to scale both the product and the company.
What role does Customer Success play in reaching that critical point? There are three core advantages to implementing a CSM team early on to help you reach Product/Market Fit and get into a successful scaling phase.
No Product Stands Alone.
Every entrepreneur wants to think their product is life changing, and it very well might be! Yet, no product is able to change its user’s life on its own and instantaneously. Implementing a new product requires a change in behavior from the user. If your customer keeps doing what they’ve always done but does it differently, what is the true added value of your product? Customer Success facilitates that behavioral change and ensures that the user truly understands how their operations need to evolve.
In short: how would you know whether or not a product satisfies a market demand if your early adopters are not supported and encouraged in their adoption? A dedicated Customer Success team ensures the product as it stands is being fully adopted and used by early adopters.
Build a Product Users Want and Need.
Customer Success has access to, well, the customer. In building a product that answers a market demand, the input from the market itself – users – needs to be heard and listened to. Customer Success knows the customers, how to product fits in their everyday life, and the problems they encounter in using it. A business can go a long way in the wrong direction if Customer Success isn’t signing off on the product roadmap along with Product Management and the CEO.
In short: Customer Success has the ability to save months, if not years, of “guessing and trying”. Customers know exactly where your product’s potential lies in changing their lives and becoming indispensable.
Fill the Gaps in Your Product.
By definition, a product that hasn’t reached Product/Market Fit has some gaps. While building a complete product for the market, some work needs to be done behind the scenes to ensure early adopters get what they signed up for. Customer Success is responsible for making configuration changes and filling in the gaps until the product can completely support itself at scale.
In short: Product/Market Fit is the point after which the product is able to support itself in achieving a market-driven value proposition. During early start-up days, all teams need to work fluidly in various areas and that includes a “human duct tape” approach to Customer Success.
Investing in Customer Success early is not only a smart idea, it’s essential to business success. Having a multi-dimensional Customer Success team puts the customer at the core of your product and business model, which will only facilitate success down the road.