Customer success is important, but sometimes it’s just too late

In recent years we have seen a big focus on establishing customer success teams across the SaaS B2B industry. The goal is about both (initial) conversion and (subsequent) retention. Make sure your customer understands and is as successful as possible in using your product, and your conversion rate will go up and your churn will go down.

There’s no doubt that customer success plays a vital role, but there’s also a huge number of customers they will never reach, no matter how strong your customer success team and how carefully you craft each onboarding email. That’s because these users never get far enough into the product. They check out right away.

One of my portfolio companies recently discovered through a variety of a/b tests that user engagement within the first 10 minutes is crucial for their product as there’s an exponential drop-off in engagement after that time. Given the amount of products, services, and technology competing for our attention, I imagine this is a similar trend across the SaaS space. If the benefits aren’t immediately obvious, it’s easy to move on to something else.

Another take-away from those A/B tests was that there is a huge difference in conversions depending on the initial page shown during the onboarding process: people who were shown a page that was most relevant to solving their problems viewed more pages early on in their account life, completed more goals, and ultimately converted to a paid account at a higher rate.

The big question for you is how can you hook a customer in the first 10 minutes? If you want to increase goal completion, customer success emails and sales outreach might be too late and reactive. Users need to get hooked early, or they’re gone.

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