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Our Most Popular Customer Experience and Product Management Blogs in 2017

A short list of the most successful CX, customer success and product management articles we posted last year

Customer success and product management are very important topics for SaaS companies.

While we all have access to similar resources, and technologies, and the space in which we operate is pretty crowded, the true elements of differentiation are deeply rooted in the SaaS term itself: software and service.

SaaS companies that strive to provide a 360° positive customer experience are those businesses that thrive in the current customer-centric environment.

Success is deeply connected to three main factors: branding, product, and personalized customer journeys.

Your brand personality will help you cut through the noise, while your product, the UX you create, and the way you guide your users through your features and processes, will help potential customers achieve their goals effortlessly. A great customer success program, then, will allow you to make your customers feel special, knowing that they’ll always be able to rely on a flawless customer service, support, and awesome success agents.

That’s why, in 2017, we focused a lot on these specific areas.

And I’m glad because our efforts were rewarded with a growing audience and great partnerships!

 

most successful customer success and product management articles

 

Our content journey in 2017 was full of good surprises and compliments. We didn’t encounter any hurdles and the whole experience has brought us closer to the people we admire most and to an audience of experts who were willing to support our efforts with advice and amazing insights.

We worked hard to research the most important information that would be viable and useful for all the people who share our journey in the SaaS universe. As always, the most important element in the whole journey was represented by teamwork. I’m so very grateful for all the exceptional people who work in our content team, the long list of experts who worked with us, and the great guest bloggers who joined our task force and helped us provide useful information for our audience.

And 2018 will bring a lot more actionable tips, ideas, data, and great information. We already planned our content for the upcoming months and, let me tell you, there are some stellar articles on their way!!!

I really can’t wait to show you what we have planned, but, right now, it’s time to quickly look back at those articles you considered most useful in 2017.

So, without any further ado, here’s a list of the most popular customer success and product management articles we posted last year.

1. The Ultimate Customer Success Playbook

experts create the customer success playbook

 

That’s a huge one! I see why you liked it so much. We got in touch with some of the top experts in the fields of customer experience and customer success, and asked them some of the questions you suggested.

We took 13 of the most common CX and customer success related issues you told us about and asked our top industry gurus how they would tackle them.

The result is a massive troubleshooting guide for CX and customer success agents that addresses all the most common problems you might encounter on a daily basis.

The information contained in this post is pure gold! If you haven’t read the article yet, it’s time for you to check it out. You really can’t miss this one!

For us, this article represented an incredible opportunity to start a conversation with some of the people we respect most in the entire SaaS galaxy. The experience of coordinating the interviews and talking to some of our heroes has been both gratifying and exciting. Plus, thanks to this article, we managed to start dialogue and a relationship with great people (not only professionally)  which we hope will last for a very long time. We know we’ll always be here for you guys if you need us! 😀

2. Customer Success Tactics That Lead to Hyper Growth

customer success tactics that work

 

This post required a lot of brainstorming and research. There are millions of articles for marketers who are looking for growth hacks and innovative tactics. But what about customer success agents?

The field is relatively new, since customer success has only been institutionalized in recent years. Therefore, the literature is still quite scant, and we felt the need to look into our own best practices and ideas to create a list of tips that could lead to drafting a solid customer success program.

The title has been source of controversy. Some people thought that using the term “hyper growth” was a bit exaggerated. But our intent was definitely not creating a clickbait.

The title of the post derived from two main observations. Firstly, the fact that all of the most successful SaaS companies that quickly went from donkeys to unicorns present a few similarities. And one of these common components is the fact that such companies know how to take care of their customers. From educational content, to customer support, to a great customer success program, all these successful businesses invested a lot in helping their customers reach their own goals. And what else would you expect?

Happy customers are more loyal and a mutually beneficial relationship leads to more profit in two ways: through retention and advocacy.

It’s easy to grow faster when your customers have a greater lifetime value and when they bring in even more business for you because of referrals! Every marketing dollar turns into thousands of revenue dollars. Isn’t that the basis for hyper growth? 😀

The second observation that contributed to the selection of this title was a lot more personal/internal. It derives from our own experience by seeing our much (and how fast!) our own operations have flourished since we invested a lot more in our own customer success program.

As a marketer, I should be kind of scared…no marketing team could have such an impact! 😀

Therefore, if you haven’t checked this article yet, you should totally join the large group of readers who liked and shared this article.Hope you’ll find some ideas you hadn’t think of!

3. All Customer Success and Customer Experience Conferences in 2018

customer success and customer experience conferences in 2018

 

This blog post is pretty straightforward and self-explanatory.

The whole point is that we were trying to schedule our own calendar for 2018. We looked into customer success and CX events, and conferences we would want to attend.

The whole research was kind of strenuous. We found bits and bytes of information scattered all over the net. We couldn’t find a single list of events we could go through to decide what events and conferences we would love to send our people to.

Hence, we had to create our own spreadsheets and stuff. It took a very long time, but we managed to find a long series of great customer success and CX events for 2018.

Given the amount of work we invested, we felt it would be kind of selfish not to share the results with you.

I really hope this list will save you some time. I don’t think it is an exhaustive list of events. But it’s a good starting point! We managed to list over sixty meetups and conferences and we’re still updating the post on a regular basis (also thanks to your suggestions).

Bookmark the post and we’ll try to do our best to keep it up to date so that you won’t need to spend time looking for ideas on how to plan your calendar for 2018.

4. Top Customer Success Resources in 2017

top resources for customer success managers in 2017

 

This is another useful list we had originally compiled for internal purposes. We’re always eager to learn more about the expanding topic of customer success and we felt the need to look for specific resources that  would have helped us.

My colleague Elyse, did an awesome job and created an impressive list of courses, blogs, books, podcasts, communities and much more. She managed to find some great resources we ourselves can use to learn more about customer success.

And similarly to what happened for the list of conferences we found, we thought it would be great to share our research with you.

Also this list is by no means exhaustive. However, we keep looking for new and interesting sources of precious information. Stay tuned! We’ll definitely add more outlets…there are so many popular sites out there! But also a plethora of hidden gems we’d love to share with you!

5. Epic Guide To SaaS Metrics for Customer Success and Product Management

Customer care and product management metrics for SaaS dashboard

 

Here at Userlane, we’re nuts about metrics. One of our principles is being completely data-driven. Every decision we make, every discussion we have, and every activity we initiate always leads back to data and metrics.

Our inner nerds push us to collect and analyze information in every single aspect of our daily operations.

So, who else could come up with such a list of metrics?

We have data points that present trends in every aspect of our company. Our marketing board is ginormous and so our sales, product, and customer success dashboards.

There are some great articles out there that present SaaS metrics in detail. However, we wanted to create a post that would explain product and customer success metrics.

Specifically, we simply didn’t want to create a random list of KPIs and analytics. We wanted to approach each single metric explaining how to collect it and defining why it is important within the scope of product or customer success management.

Simply collecting data for the sake of it is a waste of time. We wanted to show patterns and connections and felt compelled to create an article that would explain what actions such metrics could trigger when it comes to strategy planning and decision making processes.

This is a tough one. But definitely useful!

6. User Onboarding Steps That Can Make or Break Your SaaS Business

Needless to say, user onboarding is the topic we care most about.

A great UX during onboarding leads to more customers who are more loyal and engaged within your software.

Creating the perfect onboarding experience is our mission. We work with a lot of experts in the field and this article is an attempt to define the most important stages within the onboarding experience.

As underlined in the post, you can never stop to onboard your users. Onboarding is a process that simply turns into feature, and product adoption, and ultimately customer success.

Different units within the company are involved at different steps of the process, and a well defined user onboarding strategy should allow users to have access to the entire know-how you have access to in order to successfully work with your product.

Onboarding starts even before users approach your site or product. A deep understanding of how to onboard users is the essential key that leads to success.

I’m really glad this post became one of the most popular stories we published in 2017!

7. Key Requisites for SaaS Product Managers in a CX-Centric World

Consumer satisfaction and customer journey

 

Finally, one of the articles you liked is a post which is strictly connected to digital transformation.

In the era of digital disruption, customers and their experience becomes the most important element when it comes to creating products. Users expect a frictionless experience across multiple channels following the mantra “anytime, anywhere.”

The whole world is interconnected. We create complex ecosystems in which we operate at different levels to achieve our goals throughout different platforms and tools.

Product management nowadays is not simply limited to designing a roadmap for a single application. Product management now has to take into account the overall customer experience and all the integrations that enable customers to achieve their goals.

Managing a product means taking into account an entire spectrum of activities for which the product itself only represents one of the many elements involved.

Therefore, the expectations have changed and so the requisites for product managers who are not simply involved with a software solution anymore, but with the success of their customers.

This post covers all major requisites of modern product managers. How do you measure against them?

Honorable Mentions

These were the seven most successful customer success and product management articles (according to you!) we posted last year.

Before signing off, though, let me add a couple of honorable mentions, other articles which were either successful on this blog or on social media.

1. Key Takeaways from Zendesk’s Customer Experience Council

An incredibly insightful article which covers some of the most interesting insights gathered before celebrating the Oktoberfest with our dear friends at Zendesk!

2. Different Ways to Onboard Trial Users and Their UX Score

The way you onboard your users defines the entire UX they’ll have within your product. How do you score?

3. Advanced Psychological Triggers that Lead to User Activation and Retention

Kai, one of Userlane’s founders is THE mastermind when it comes to user psychology. This thorough article is a corner stone when it comes to understanding how users behave in your software.

4. Advanced Gamification Techniques for Customer Success in SaaS Companies

Gamification is not just a fancy buzzword. Knowing how habit formation mechanisms work can truly help foster engagement and activation in your product. Game designers have always known that! This post goes well beyond simple concepts such as points and badges to create a complete overview of what is possible in terms of gamifaction within a SaaS product.

5. Why your Software needs Guidance despite Great UI and UX Design

This one is an important one. And I’m glad you agreed with us. There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to UI and UX and UX design. And some people have a hard time placing on-screen, interactive guidance in the picture. Isn’t a smart UI/UX design enough to guide users in your software? Well..no. If companies like Facebook, Google, and Salesforce (just to name a few) saw the need to implement interactive guidance in their software there must be a good reason! This post explain why this is! 😀

And last but not least…a lighter but still insightful quiz we created for all customer success managers out there who wonder what their superpower is:

6. What’s Your Dominant Customer Success Strength? – Test

The result will surprise you! 😀

Happy 2018!

Well, that’s it. This is the list of the most popular customer success and project management articles we posted last year.

Which one was the most useful to you?

As mentioned, 2018 will bring a lot more content. We’re expanding our network of experts to provide you with incredible articles. Our goal is sharing the information that actually helped us develop our own product and guarantee the success of our own customers.

As always, any suggestions, ideas, feedback, and special requests are more than welcome.

Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Happy new Year

from your Userlane team! 😀

userlane customer success and product management

 

Written by Andy Mura

Head of Marketing at Userlane. Inbound and Content Marketer, Speaker, Entrepreneur. Passionate about spreading the word about on-screen guidance and the positive effects of a great onboarding experience for SaaS companies. Starting a conversation with Andy is easy: begin with traveling, movies, music, photography, cars, philosophy, psychology and move on from there!

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