It costs almost between 5x and 10x more to acquire than to retain [a customer].

Dutta Satadip started his Customer Experience journey at Google, leading and transforming their customer experience. He’s also worked with Pinterest to scale operations for large customers, creators, and everything in between. He is now responsible for ensuring a consistent customer experience at ActiveCampaign.


Through his experience he’s learned that Customer Experience and Success are not just about relationship-based approaches: it's all about value. Here’s Dutta:

1. Money talks, but the only way to make it is to create value for customers:

Whether [the company is] private or public, the first metric everybody will ask you is, "Did you make money?" How you make money is by providing value to customers.

If you're really providing value, you should be making money.

Everybody will optimize for revenue growth in some form or the other. This is not a moral, philosophical question; it's the fundamentals of business. Hey, if you want to value your company, they are going to ask you about your growth rates. They're going to ask for retention rates but they are going to ask you, “how much money did you actually make?”

And if you don't make any money, there is nothing to retain.

2. Once value is created, it must be nurtured:

Here's a typical journey of any customer. Number one, the customer sees a value proposition, has a vision in their mind, what they want to do with the product/software… then reality kicks in, right? It's like, "Oh, I don't have time” and what ends up happening for most people is… you move on to the next fire, you move on to the next thing that really desperately needs attention. Now time elapses, either you don't do anything with the product, because it's sort of working, or the company has actually released several features, functionality to actually bolster and make it much more useful. But the customer is still stuck on like minus six months, minus one year.

So the reason Customer Success plays such an important role in all of this stuff is, how do you make sure that you have the means to communicate, engage, and help them adopt?

This is where Customer Success really comes in… help them understand how they can accomplish those goals and hopefully get better product adoption.

And if you get good product adoption, then you ultimately get better usage and the potential of that consumption going up is significantly higher.

3. Personalization has a breakeven point, so ultimately value creation must be scalable:

There was a lot of emphasis on relationships, and using relationships all the time. Now that works if you have like 5000, 7000 customers; you can come up with some "1 is to X" mapping model or some segmentation and deploy it. What the industry then has quickly realized is, there is a breakeven point, like I said, it's a business, right? You have to employ other tactics. And you have to go on a journey of scale.

Everybody wants to use relationships as the only pivot to move things forward. And I think it's a great source of dopamine hits. But… if you're truly thinking about, "How do I help every single customer and make everyone successful?" is the best approach.

I feel like, the more we invest in clear ways to understand what is true for everybody, it removes bias from the system.

Thanks to Dutta for reminding us that Customer Success is bigger than just relationship building!

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