Women@Austin December Recap

2018 was a strong year for Women@Austin. We were able to reach more female entrepreneurs, understand the needs of our ecosystem, and connect through Roundtables and Venture Dinners. In 2018 we also became part of the Notley ecosystem which will provide more resources and support to our growing network. We look forward to what the new year brings and hope to see you at our events!

Our final Roundtable of 2018 was held in early December and featured guest speaker, Beth Yehaskel. Formerly the VP of Customer Success at Spredfast, she now leads a team at Jungle Scout as their VP of Customer Success. As we get ready for the Roundtable series to kick off again this January, we are excited to look back on this wonderfully informative discussion.

Beth Yehaskel’s career has been centered around customer success for 13 years. As the VP of Customer Success at Jungle Scout, she takes a holistic approach by involving all teams and considering the entire journey of the customer. With the understanding that acquiring a new customer is more expensive than retaining one, Beth led the group in discussion around ways to optimize the customer experience.

Beth’s experience lies mostly within the SaaS (software as a service)  model, but her advice is applicable across any industry. Throughout the discussion, Beth exclaimed that “customer success just makes business sense.” When you invest resources in customer success you reduce churn (when an existing customer leaves), increase customer value, and gain advocates for your product or company.

At a small startup, customer service begins as a reactionary tool. Once you open your doors to customers and begin making sales it’s not long before inquiries and feedback make their way to your inbox. At a small business, you may not have a dedicated team to field these messages and often the CEO is the one responding. As your company grows, so does your knowledge and understanding of your customer. Eventually, you identify the pain points and recurring questions and are able to implement tools such as an FAQ that free up your time to work on other things. In some cases, you will need to make investments into the product to solve for those pain points. This is where your customer success journey becomes more scalable. As you continue to collect data you learn what a “good customer” looks like and you’re able to iterate on your process with a more informed data-driven approach.

Beth also spoke about the structure of a successful team and the most useful KPIs for scalability. Tracking churn rate, customer happiness, and length of implementation will provide data-driven improvements that help your customer reach satisfaction sooner. “Customers who hit value sooner in their experience will churn less.”

Thank you to everyone who joined us at The Refinery for our final Roundtable of 2018. Each event brings new voices and meaningful questions. We hope to see you at our January Ruondtable on January 16th when we welcome guest speaker Annie Hardy to the stage. You can RSVP HERE.

Christine Fahey