DisrupTV: The importance of customer success management in the subscription economy

Mike Fauscette, Chief Research Officer at G2 Crowd; Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight; and Natalie Petouhoff, Principal Analyst at Constellation Research discuss why companies are reconsidering how they acquire and retain customers in the subscription economy.

On the latest episode of DisrupTV we chatted with Mike Fauscette, Chief Research Officer at G2 Crowd (@mfauscette); Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight (@nrmehta); and Natalie Petouhoff, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research (@drnatalie).

Buying has changed, but selling hasn't.

According to Michael Fauscette, Chief Research Officer at G2 Crowd, 62% of B2B software buyers and end users will only contact a vendor's sales team after they already made their purchasing decision.

Increasing Power of the Customer

Customers are conditioned to look at reviews during the purchasing process. During Amazon's Prime Day, for example, we look through the positive and negative reviews before buying an item. If we want to try a new restaurant, we jump over to Yelp to ensure we're making the 'right' dining decision. Fauscette explained that buyers want to get information from people that are like them. Relevance, timeliness and context are key to feeling confident about decisions.

Similarly for B2B and other technology purchases, G2 Crowd focuses on providing the right type of data and context for buyers and end users as they determine and/or validate their purchasing choices. They want to establish a real connection with other people from similar companies who are looking to solve the same types of problems. The increased value of crowdsourcing and brand advocacy requires companies to reevaluate their selling strategies based on the new mindsets of buyers.

Elevating Focus on Customer Success Management

As business models continue to shift, companies need to think differently about the way they sell. It's no longer "sell and move on."

Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, discussed the growing need for effective customer success management (CSM) with the changing buying/selling relationship. Customers have a lot more power and information available to them than in the past. Subscription-based companies are expected to provide value to their customers or risk having customers switch to a competitor.

The importance of CSM has evolved within companies, and now the CEO and board members are taking note of how to better implement these programs.

Changing Technology Evolving the Customer Experience

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, explained that companies are thinking more about how to use data and technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) to better serve their customers. Companies are leveraging sensors and data from their products to determine where, how, and when a customer uses the products. This data creates the "algorithm of you (the customer)" and enables companies to deliver services tailored to the customer's preferences.

At the end of the day, all companies should strive to make engagement and purchasing as frictionless as possible for customers. Long-term strategies should focus on this flow to keep the value and experience high. Dr. Natalie also highlighted the importance of saying "thank you." For customers and employees, that message of gratitude can go a long way and make a difference in this fast-moving digital economy.


The Algorithm of You: How IoT Transforms Customer Experience

DisrupTV is a weekly Web series hosted by R "Ray" Wang (@rwang0) and Vala Afshar (@valaafshar). The show airs at 11:00 a.m. PT/ 2:00 p.m. ET every Friday. DisrupTV dissects the latest enterprise news, highlights hot startups, and interviews influencers and technology luminaries. Tweet questions with the hashtag #DisrupTV or @DisrupTVShow.

Check the DisrupTV schedule here.

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