SaaS Customer Success through Change Management

The basis of SaaS customer success is in the successful implementation of your software. For your customer that means, things on their side will likely change. You will likely need to address the necessary change management if you want to create happy customers who stick around.

What is change management?

Enterprise change can be a very complicated proposition. Once you have so many departments and managers and supervisors in play, it can be easy to lose track of even the most basic information.

To make matters worse, a CEO or executive can recognize the need for changes, come up with a plan, and it ultimately fails. Maybe employees will follow the new process for a little while, but once they come up against a challenge, they will revert to old habits.

So, how can an enterprise-level business create solutions and implement a strategy to follow-through? While a SaaS solution can help, it’s only as good as the people using it and the process it supports. Here is a step-by-step approach to implementing a change management process that supports your customer success.

Step One: Assess Your Processes From A to Z

One of the biggest challenges that companies face is that they’re focusing on the wrong problem. At first, it seems like the most pressing issue, but once you get into the details of it, it turns out that the real problem is starting elsewhere. For example, maybe sales are in a slump, so you try to motivate the sales team. However, the actual setback is that the product isn’t delivering what the team is selling, so customers are less than satisfied.

So, one of the best methods to get at the root of a problem is to walk it back to its source. How many processes, people, and systems are involved in getting to the endpoint? To ensure SaaS customer success, you have to look at each component to see where things are falling apart and then focus your attention as necessary.

Jon LoDuca talks about how documenting processes enables knowledge sharing

Paul Moynagh, CEO of Commit Works, knows the struggle all too well. His SaaS company focuses on providing software solutions for mining operations. In most cases, supervisors are trying to get something done without paying attention to all of the different pieces required to finish the job. This lack of awareness leads to costly delays and downtime.

Step Two: Eliminate Silos

Here is where SaaS technology can really thrive. In most big corporations, each department is creating and sharing information back and forth, which can create a lot of logistical issues. Documents aren’t up to date, spreadsheet formulas get broken, managers don’t receive the correct details – it can be a mess.

The best solution is to eliminate those silos and create a system of open collaboration between departments. Rather than each person creating a spreadsheet or a document, they can work off of the same program and access it whenever necessary. This way, all details are accurate and up-to-date, and no one can claim they didn’t receive it.

In Paul’s world, that problem manifested itself with a flurry of spreadsheets that would never get organized. Data would have to be transferred manually from the office to the field, and it was impossible to update it efficiently. The result was that workers would go off-plan, which in the mining industry, can be dangerous.

Step Three: Influence Change Within the Environment

This last step of creating SaaS customer success is crucial because change only works when it’s implemented over the long term. All of your plans and ideas are worthless if no one follows through. There are several components that you can use to influence this change more efficiently:

  • Individual – train key members of the business in how to perform tasks and make sure that they get help whenever necessary.
  • Group – in most cases, you can use peer pressure to your advantage. If more people know what the plan is, they can hold each other accountable.
  • Environment – if you want someone to enter data on a computer, how can they do it without a computer in front of them? Overall, you want to structure the environment to be as conducive to change as possible. Remove obstacles and make it super easy to follow through on various tasks and objectives.

On the back end, you also need to monitor the situation and step in whenever necessary to keep people from falling back into old habits. Without accountability and reinforcement, the change will never take hold for the long-term.

If you want to hear more about Paul’s approach to supporting customer success through change management, check out the latest episode of the SaaS CX Show here. You can also find out about Commit Works at their website, www.commit.works.

  • April 3, 2020
Frank Bria
 

Frank Bria is the author of the internationally bestselling book Scale: How to Grow Your Business by Working Less and founder of High-Ticket Program, a strategy firm dedicated to scaling B2B service businesses. A trained mathematician and systems engineer, he launched several fintech startups in the advanced analytics space. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and multinational tech firms on quantitative marketing solutions including AI and predictive analytics. Now he works with SaaS companies leveraging advanced analytics to improve customer experience and retention. Frank is the host of The 6 to 7 Figures Show and The SaaS CX Show podcasts. He lives in Phoenix, AZ.

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