By Josh Santos, Director of Customer Success and Worldwide Support, Clarizen

Standfirst; Clarizen found that when it comes to customer success, it had to listen to the messages from its own sales force about the power of the cloud before it got support right.

It’s all about the customer, stupid, and that means the product/service AND the after sales/deal support. That might sound like child’s play, but actually, it’s so much harder than it sounds.

Our business is about connecting islands – of knowledge, experience, insight, and of execution. It’s what we do. It’s what our software does –it’s collaborative work management software, and we’re really good at it. We have thousands of customers across 79 countries, including dozens of the Fortune 500, who rely on our award-winning solution.

But five years ago, we failed to put into practice what we preach and got our first user community so wrong. It wasn’t moderated, wasn’t pretty and had no knowledge base. Needless to say it failed. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Two years ago we gave it another shot. Rebuilt from the ground up on a new platform it had integrated ticketing and self-help resources, was moderated by our success team and every question was always answered. We added other resources – our user manual, the trust site, video tutorials – and adoption went through the roof with as many as 50 posts a day.

But still we had islands. Our user manual was on a different platform to our community. Users had to search twice to get self-help answers – on the community site and then on our user manual.
So this summer, two years on, we launched our new customer success site. The islands are gone, replaced by a one-stop shop for self-help and collaboration. One search accesses all our help resources and the site is moderated 24×7. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can ask a question and you’ll get an answer within a working day, often sooner.

In the first month we’ve had a jump in new subscriptions, offered 275 answers to customer questions and had nearly 58,000 views. Our average response time was just 4.2 hours.

Customer success is all about customer support and when you get it right you retain the customer. The cost of recruiting new customers is five times higher than retaining customers, according to Gartner, the market analysts, so it’s a no brainer to look after those already signed up.

Our key insights are:

  • Have a modern design built with end users in mind
  • Integrate community, user manual and support ticketing fully into one site
  • Offer simultaneous search across all help resources
  • Allow visitors to post questions and make suggestions from within your user manual and knowledge base
  • Encourage votes for favourite features
  • Offer email alerts for new features and updates

Interesting links:


josh santosJosh Santos
Director of Customer Success and Worldwide Support, Clarizen

Clarizen has had an incredible 12 months, doubling the number of large enterprise contracts, and reporting a 74 per cent year on year rise in total bookings. The company is trusted by organisations such as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Barclaycard, British Gas, Cisco, Mazda, NHS, Sodexo and Western Union. Earlier this year, Gartner analysts named Clarizen as a leader in the 2015 Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services based on its ability to execute and completeness of vision. It was also named in Forbes Top 100 Cloud-based enterprise software start-ups.
It is based in San Mateo, California, with offices in London, Tel Aviv, Taipei and Melbourne. Privately held, Clarizen’s investors include Goldman Sachs and Benchmark Capital.

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