Who Owns SaaS CX with Helen Yu, Tigon Advisory

In this episode of SaaS Half Full, host Lindsey Groepper chats with Helen Yu, CEO and Founder at Tigon Advisory. Last year threw customer experience expectations for a loop, and companies wanting to win in 2021 have to adapt their CX to match. But what does success look like now? Helen shares the new drivers of customer experience and who in your company should ultimately own SaaS CX. 

A SaaS CX Metric Revival

Naturally, the past year challenged companies in never-before-seen ways. It also led companies and their customers to explore true partnership, according to Helen. “I believe remarkable customer experiences happen when people rise above the expected,” she said. “You set aside what’s important to you and really listen to the other person. Partnerships grow when you show you’re committed.”

Customer experience has always been important, Helen says, but more so in the new normal — as is assessing how that experience is going. She asserts teams must adopt a holistic view of their customers and use the right CX metrics to guide decision making. Start with knowing your customer’s health: Why do they invest in you, and what are their use cases? 

While most companies get the quantitative metrics like NPS or C-SAT scores and retention renewal percentages to build their concept of customer health, Helen says they need to invest more in qualitative metrics and deepen the partnership. The key moments when your team interacts with customers, like onboarding and product adoption, offer qualitative data points and show opportunities to add value. Knowing this, your team can then upsell, cross-sell and advocate using customers as references. 

SaaS CX Ownership is a Company Affair

Experience tells Helen that everyone agrees CX matters, but not much else beyond this initial agreement. For example: who actually owns CX? While many companies take what they see is the obvious route and give it to the customer success team, she cautions leaving it to one department.

“The customer sees far more than what we show them,” Helen said. “They see our value in one-on-one conversations. They learn about our mission through the causes we support. They experience our brand in the decisions our board of directors or executive team make.”

That means SaaS CX needs broader ownership. Companies with a chief customer officer can engage the rest of the leadership team in developing consistent behavior and engagement showing customers their commitment to great CX, says Helen. She says companies have to earn their customer-driven growth, which takes translating commitment to action.

She also says boards should lead CX investments and support the leadership team. This includes the CEO, who then communicates a unified CX vision and empowers the entire team. Customer success can take ideas to product teams and improve their roadmaps or feedback to marketing teams to improve overall CX.

“That’s how I see the entire company, or everybody who interacts with the customer, owning that experience,” Helen said. “And then the chief customer officer, obviously, is the architect who unifies the entire company around that experience.”

For more of Helen’s insights, listen to Episode 305 of SaaS Half Full.