Startup Lessons

Why We Choose to Make Customer Success Our Priority

Here at Piktochart, we not only need to focus on our customers, we WANT to focus on our customers. Without our Pikto-users, there would be no Piktochart. No more awesome infographics, no more Pikto-Geeks, no more inspiring visuals!

Figuring out the best way to ensure that our customers are getting the most value out of their Piktochart subscription has been an adventure.  A fruitful one at that.  From day zero, the wheels in our head have been constantly turning, thinking of methods and guidelines to make our customers successful.  The questions that we have been asking ourselves over and over are:

How do we define success?

How do we know that people who sign up for Piktochart are satisfied with their decision and gain value from their experience?

How do we convince them to stay with Piktochart?

How can we give customers a channel to voice their opinions and ask for support?

Our fantastic product (not to toot our own horn) and traditional outreach avenues like blog posts and user messaging are par for the course.  But it’s the “above and beyond” that we here at Piktochart are aiming for.  Hence, why Piktochart created the role of customer success.

What Exactly Is Customer Success?

A couple years ago, customer success wasn’t even on the radar of SaaS companies, large or small.  Nowadays, you can’t mention sales, engineering or product management without thinking of customer success.  In theory, it’s a timeless practice but ever important to SaaS businesses, including Piktochart.  It emerged because of the need for high retention rates right out of the gate for these fast-growing companies.

Customers pay monthly (or yearly) to use products and services.  They’re looking at the recurring credit card charges and wondering, “should I be paying for this?”  This is where our focus on customer success comes in.  We want our customers saying, “yes, I do want this service because using it helps me complete my tasks and complete them efficiently”

So that’s why we’ve tried to align with users through proper onboarding, listening and taking their feedback to heart. By keeping a finger on customer pulse, we’ve been able to understand their “engagement moments” or milestones.

By the way, “engagement,” in our opinion, is when our users become invested and are truly getting value out of using Piktochart.  Whether they are creating their first infographic or sharing their 100th poster, it means they’ll be nurtured every step of the way to becoming Pikto-pros.

What We Know

The journey for a user to go from having no experience to becoming a Pikto-pro requires absolute buy-in and focus from our team, top to bottom.  Yes it’s hard work, but from initial introduction to signup and onboarding, we are trying to encourage our users whenever we can.  We feel like we are cheerleaders on the sidelines, watching the magic unfold.  And trust us, we embrace this role!  We know that Piktochart can be a tool that delivers massive value to our users. Whether they’re creating a newsletter, or a timeline for a history project, it’s clear.  We see this on a daily basis.

But we also know that being proactive (rather than reactive) with our users from the moment they sign-up impacts their continued use.

Create Opportunities For Learning

It’s critical to be a part of customer interaction in the early stages.  It’s when customers develop their first impressions of the product.  We capitalize on this crucial moment by coaching up customers and illuminating the value of the tool.  In a sense, we’re laying the foundation for that particular user to have a great experience within the tool.  If we don’t, we’ll start to see a drop-off where customers leave forever.

We want to give our customers the proper training needed to use Piktochart and use it well.  We understand that there is a bit of a learning curve when using software for the first time. But providing the proper education up front allows a user to take the bull by the horns and ignore the “new technology” intimidation factor.  We’ve started by hosting regular training webinars, offering 1:1 training, and introducing on-screen walkthroughs.  All these actions, paired with our ebooks and guides, are creating feature awareness and are helping our users “get” how Piktochart works.  Ultimately, these actions will help them achieve their goal of creating awesome infographics!

Engage The Customer Early And Often

We’ve tried to determine what Piktochart success means to our customers and how that’s related to why they’re using the tool.  In our minds, a successful outcome is when a user creates their first visual story and starts using Piktochart to tackle a wide range of projects.  We keep track of where our users are in relation using Intercom (a tool we cannot live without!).

pasted-image-0-1-6448404 We also use Intercom’s personalized auto-messaging feature to nudge customers towards success milestones like creating their first infographic or downloading, publishing and sharing their work.  We also offer real-time answers to questions (via chat or Skype/Google Hangouts) about features or best practices that users may have about Piktochart.  These exercises have been useful to us in understanding where and why some of our customers are dropping off after sign-up.


Another tool we are planning on using is an NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey program.  This will ask our users, on a scale of 1-10, how likely they are to recommend Piktochart to friends and colleagues.  We are hoping to install this by the end of the year.  Just like the boutique glasses giant Warby Parker, our goal is to set up a quantitative benchmark around our customer loyalty and Piktochart editor sentiment.  This will also establish a feedback loop about what customers like the most and what they dislike the most.  With this essential feedback, we can hopefully shape our product roadmap and improve our user experience, top to bottom.

Lessons Learned

While some of these points may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how much you might miss with so much to think about in the customer success realm.  If you don’t talk to customers and listen to what they need to achieve their goals, you’ll never be able to discern why exactly they chose your service over the competition, you’ll never find out what’s preventing them from achieving their goals and you’ll never rollout a feature that will keep the majority of them coming back again and again.

All in all, we’ve determined that the best way to grow Piktochart is to help our customers grow.  If they’re creating graphics that put their stories to paper, we’ll have happy customers.  And their success is our success.

How do you define customer success?  What do you think we should be doing to complement our current customer success plan?  If you have any thoughts, tell us in the comments section below!

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