Gainsight’s formula for SaaS customer success may turn it into a unicorn

A $52 million investment earlier this year has put customer success startup Gainsight Inc. closer to the rarefied air of a $1 billion valuation. That a company with a business model based on making other firms successful might achieve unicorn status itself is testimony to the growing importance of customer service in the growing software as a service industry.

“For a long time, people were trying to solve a 360 view of the customer, but what they were really solving is a 360 view of the deal. It’s about the customer, not the deal,” said Nick Mehta (pictured), chief executive officer of Gainsight.

Mehta visited theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile livestreaming studio, and spoke with host Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick) during the PagerDuty Summit in San Francisco, California. They discussed the elements of Gainsight’s customer-centric approach, the software company’s relationship with Salesforce and the growing influence of consumer power in social media. (* Disclosure below.)

SaaS firms dependent on retention

Gainsight’s Customer Success software is focused on identifying whether or not companies are getting value from the products they buy. This process becomes increasingly important in the SaaS industry because success is highly dependent on retention rates.

“The most successful SaaS companies are keeping their customers and getting them to spend more money,” Mehta explained. “You can’t afford to just sell a customer and then move on.”

Through Gainsight, companies are encouraged to own whether customers are getting true value out of the product experience. This includes an organization-wide understanding of the outcomes achieved, whether a company is adopting and using what it bought and if the overall experience has been positive.

“Think of us as an adjacent product to what you might do with an automation tool like Salesforce.com,” said Mehta, who pointed out that Salesforce Ventures is a Gainsight investor.

The dynamics of social media, where a groundswell of discontented customers can damage even the largest businesses quickly, have placed more importance on staying in tune with customer satisfaction. “That public voicing of the customer experience has made CEOs much more aware of why it matters,” Mehta said. “Customers have more power and they have bigger voices.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of PagerDuty Summit. (* Disclosure: PagerDuty Inc. sponsored this segment on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither PagerDuty nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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