Building a customer success function from scratch

Fabiola Rodriguez
Case Studies

Establishing a new function within a growing business

The client 

Sunlight is a learning platform that helps companies build a highly engaging learning culture by unlocking people's access to any learning opportunity in the world. 

In 2020, the acquisition of their first enterprise customers translated into Sunlight's need to leverage the retention and expansion of their customer base. 


Sunlight's learning platform


Challenge

For early start-ups, limited resources is a constant challenge. "We simply couldn't afford a new department yet, but it was clearly the time to start paving the path for a more sustainable recurring revenue," Juan LaGrange, CEO, reflected.

So, Sunlight asked one of their customer support representatives to start building the success function, and engaged Flight CX to help.


Process 

Within a six-month period, and in collaboration with the sales, support and product teams, we did customer research, defined responsibilities, assessed skills and tools, built and implemented the first customer success process, measured the results, and made recommendations for continued optimization.


Research 

We documented the customer lifecycle, customer journey, and customer segmentation that would serve as the building blocks to build a better experience for companies using the platform.



Example of Sunlight's customer journey


People

We differentiated the journey-specific responsibilities of customer support from customer success, and outlined the three Ps as key skills to be developed by the customer success manager: people, process, and product.


Customer Success and Customer Support responsibilities


Process

We built and implemented a playbook detailing the workflows involved in the onboarding process to ensure consistent results.


Customer Onboarding


Technology

We evaluated the technology and selected tools meant to support specific purposes: record management, customer intelligence, virtual communication, usage monitoring, and a customer feedback loop.



Fabiola's Customer Success tools


Metrics

After defining the First Value, we tracked Time to First Value, customer engagement and product adoption as leading measures for success. We also set up systems for tracking and reporting on Net Promoter Score and retention rates.


Retention rates graph


Solution 

We coached Sunlight's junior customer success manager to lay the foundations of the function through the design and implementation of a comprehensive and repeatable framework including research, people, process, technology, and metrics.

The team focused on customer onboarding, for which we aligned operations toward the achievement of the established leading metrics. Every three months, we analyzed the metrics and feedback available, and made adjustments to optimize the process. On the other hand, we used the lagging metrics to forecast the customers that were likely to churn or renew down the line.


Results

After six months of collaborative work, Sunlight was equipped with a customer success program for 1,530 users across nine different companies.


With this first process in place, we'll be continuing our partnership with Sunlight to help move into the application of the same framework for the prevention of churn among customers at risk, as well as driving more expansion and advocacy from satisfied customers.


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