In the past 5 years, Customer Success as a discipline has grown steadily together with the rise of SaaS and the subscription economy. Forbes.com listed it as a top job of 2017 with year over year growth of 85%. LinkedIn reports it’s a top job in 2018.
This blog will share the launch of the TokBox Customer Success initiative and share our wins and challenges in helping our customers design and launch profitable, customer-pleasing products and services using WebRTC.
In the Beginning…
Since 2012, we have developed the most mature, scalable and commercially available Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) in the market. We grew steadily in both minutes streamed and in the number and size of our customers. Our Support team provided support and services and reported into Engineering. This approach relied on using senior developers to work on customer projects and help with tickets. It also used an offshore team to provide 24X7 coverage. Plenty of customers were happy, but our NPS score and feedback suggested we could rethink and improve our engagement strategy.
A new team with a new mission
In early 2017, TokBox added two teams to drive continued growth of the OpenTok platform: Ecosystem and Customer Success. Our CEO, Scott Lomond, gave Customer Success a mission: Make TokBox the people’s choice of CPaaS. He summarized it like this: “We want people to use our platform, not because they have to, but because they want to.”
From Support to Success
TokBox Customer Success includes Sales Engineers, Professional Services, Strategic Account Management, Technical Support, and Training. This broad charter allows us to provide proactive guidance early in the customer journey. We had many plans and ideas for our first initiatives, but we identified the top priorities and opportunities for improvement by talking to our customers. They shared common concerns that could be addressed quickly. Customers were telling us:
- We want more visibility / transparency around releases and product changes
- We need closer and better partnerships throughout our journey
A common theme was that we had the information, services, tools customers needed but that they couldn’t always find them.
Blue Oceans and Green Fields
Following our conversations with customers, we moved from being reactive, support-centric to becoming proactive and customer-centric. Our earliest wins changed our customer experience significantly.
Improved visibility and transparency with our monthly newsletter and quarterly webinars
We launched the highly personalized monthly email in the summer of 2017 to better communicate our release, product, and company plans. We included usage stats, Insights, and recommendations. Recently, with the launch of Insights, we now show Enterprise customers how healthy their integration is.
We started doing roadmap webinars for Enterprise customers in which they can talk directly to Product Management and share their successes, challenges, and requirements. One customer CTO shared during the first webinar, “Now this is engagement!” We intend to expand this to other customers in H2 2018 as well but using a broadcast format.
Launched a customer success manager (CSM) and onboarding program for Enterprise customers
In the summer of 2017, we formalized an onboarding service that included a CSM-led meeting with new Enterprise customers to explain the services, resources, and tools available to them. For Enterprise customers, we also do health checks and business reviews. This service significantly changed our NPS score and has been extremely well received.
“TokBox gets the right resources to help us align our roadmaps. We don’t have to waste time figuring out the best way to implement a new feature or upgrade. We have a quick meeting with the right experts and we’re good to go.” – Ashit Joshi, VP of Engineering, Chegg
Launching live chat in the Help Center
We are now providing live Chat support for customers who visit our Help Center. A historical challenge we’ve had is quickly converging on an actionable, reproducible summary of a problem in a support ticket. Early analysis of Chat shows we are more quickly defining the problem and answering questions much faster. Stay tuned!
Hiring a Director of Strategic Account Management
One of the biggest changes we’ve implemented was hiring an amazing Director of Strategic Account Management, Natalie Cowie. By prototyping an onboarding and CSM experience, we demonstrated how positively impactful this service is.
Natalie is now growing the service to ensure our largest customers have the active partner they need.
TokBox Customer Success in 2018 H2 and Beyond
TokBox Customer Success is only just getting started. Stay tuned to find out more of the useful features and services we’ll deliver to ensure our customers are realizing value from their investment in us.