Top 25 bedside reads on Customer Success for entrepreneurs

by
Miruna Mitranescu

You have finally surrendered to the fact that you ought to develop a customer success strategy, but you have no idea where to start? Here’s our list of top reads on the subject of customer success for entrepreneurs.

I have a confession to make: it happened to us too. Because customer success is not the same as customer support nor customer happiness – there are some hardcore business issues behind the buzzword. It’s not (only) about hiring tens of people, ready to answer to all your customers’ dreams and crazy wishes for your product – besides, what a better way to generate frustrations and risk drowning your company in requests or for good?

In order to get up to speed on Customer Success, I’ve compiled the ultimate list of readings on the topic. Be my guest!

The Customer Success for entrepreneurs bible

The Customer Support Handbook: How to Create the Ultimate Customer Experience for Your Brand

Your actual bedside reading, if any, should be this book, written by Sarah Hatter, founder of CoSupport, and many more contributors. Enjoy!

You can also find plenty of resources online, that we carefully selected to give you only the best.

What is customer success anyway?

Customer Success: The Definitive Guide

Lincoln Murphy, Customer Success evangelist at Gainsight and strategic consultant at Sixteen Ventures, lists all you need to know about Customer Success: from customer acquisition to support, through engagement, retention, and post-churn follow-up. An absolute must-read.

Definition: Customer Success Management

Customer Success 101: definition and mission of a customer success team. For the Customer Success tenderfoot to bring themselves up to speed on the subject.

Customer Success is NOT Customer Support

I insist, customer success and support are two separate yet intricate notions. Find out how to define those two key roles and their goals for your company.

Understanding Your Customer’s Desired Outcome

According to Lincoln Murphy: “Customer Success is ensuring your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company.”

In this article, Lincoln unveils how to understand your customers’ Desired Outcomes and how to better help them achieve it.

What does Customer Success have to do with my startup/company’s growth?

Why Customer Success Is An Essential Part Of Every SaaS Startup

Customer success must be a core discipline of any SaaS startup from Day 1. At least that’s what Tomasz Tunguz says (and he knows a thing or two about startups).

Leading growth experts discuss why customer success is crucial for growth

According to Brandon Pindulic, a growth and inbound marketing expert, “Growth and Customer Success are two highly interrelated practices, and each one fails without the other.”

Read the opinion of other Customer Success pros in this article.

Driving SaaS Growth With Customer Success

A business cannot survive without loyal customers, let alone a SaaS company. Some of the leaders in the SaaS industry share their take on how you should invest in Customer Success, in order to growth your startup.

How Customer Success Meaningfully Reduces Cost Of Customer Acquisition

Tom Tunguz computed the numbers for you. Bottom line, customer success can drop your acquisition costs by converting some of your customers to your best evangelists.

How To Use Growth Hacking To Attract and Retain Customers

Neil Patel’s guide to customer acquisition and retention – when growth hacking and customer success meet and merge.

How to define your customer success strategy

Your 90-day plan as a new VP of Customer Success

You’re a new VP of Customer Success and you want to set up your strategy. Start by assessing the situation and learning all you can from your customer base and your team.

Then define your plan, and implement smart, repeatable, scalable programs.

The 5 kinds of customer success

Is customer success a high-priority for your company? Discover the 5 types of customer success: customer success as a business model, as a company-wide priority, as an organization, as a profession and as a technology.

The ultimate guide to customer support metrics

When it comes to customer support, the ability to experiment, tweak, and improve your service is a huge part of making your customers’ experience great.

Customer satisfaction benchmark

The Zendesk customer satisfaction benchmark identifies four types of customer service organizations. Dig in the report to identify best practices for your business.

The $2 Million Dollar Man (/Woman): How to Think About Scaling Your Customer Success Team

Want to build to perfect customer success team? Jason Lemkin, Managing Director at Storm Ventures, unleashes his recipe to build the best team, based on your size and pricing strategy.

Customer Success Do’s and Don’ts

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Success (webinar)

Service Source best practices around customer success: the do’s that you should replicate across your company and all-to-common “please don’ts” that you should avoid at all costs.

How To Train Your Customers To Reach First Value ASAP

Along with your Customer Acquisition Cost, your Annual Recurring Revenue, and your Customer Lifetime Value, and churn, you can now add another one: the Time to Value (TtV). It’s the time span needed for your customer to reach their desired outcome, and the very metric that can predict your customer retention from the onboarding process. Read the full article from Sarah E. Brown on Learndot to learn how you can improve your TtV.

Ensure Customer Success with Voice of the Customer (slides)

59% of companies believe that their VoC strategy will reduce customer churn, yet only 10% of companies have fully deployed programs. Learn from the experts at Gainsight and Waypoint Group at how to implement a VoC program and make it work for your business.

Customer success: 7 tools to delight your clients (tested & approved!)

Our own set of customer success tools, from brand monitoring to homepage conversion through in-app communication. Discover how we make the most of them to better engage with our prospects and users.

Customer service isn’t a department

Break out the silos! Customer success ought to be a state of mind across your whole company.

The Personality that Succeeds in Customer Support

Discover Help Scout’s personality check for hiring a Customer Success champion: 8 traits to utterly consider for your next hire.

Examples to inspire you to grow your business with customer success

The 23 Top Customer Support Pros You Need To Follow

Learn from the pros, discover Kayako’s short list of top customer success champions to get inspired from.

Support Ops: Learn to be a customer support pro

All customer support related subjects, tackled by CS champions Chase Clemons from Basecamp, Jeff Vincent from Wistia, Carolyn Kopprasch from Buffer and Chase Livingston from Automatic.

Why Businesses Should Go Beyond ‘Customer Service’

Spotted on Mashable, Okta co-founder Frederic Kerrest’s insights on customer success and how to set it up for your business.

Scaling Support Operations, by Ali Rayl, Director of Support at Slack

We’ve heard a lot about Slack and the impressive growth of the communication startup. New lesson from the unicorn: learn how they scaled their customer support team to manage more than 5,000 corporate clients including Stripe, Medium, Airbnb, and Buzzfeed.

And last but not least:

9 Case Studies That’ll Help You Reduce SaaS Churn

Reducing churn is critical to the success of your SaaS company. According to serial entrepreneur and now VC David Skok:

“Getting to negative churn is one of the most powerful accelerators for growth.”

(read more here).

In his blog, Peep Laja guides you through 9 case studies to find out how you can reduce your churn rate.

Stand out from the crowd!

Tell us what you do for customer success in the comment section, and learn how you can improve communications with your customers with Aircall.

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