Back to Parative

Customer Success Reporting Structure: CEO vs. CRO

January 20, 2023
January 12, 2023
January 12, 2023

When it comes to SaaS companies, customer success is often seen as a “nice-to-have” rather than an essential part of the equation. But research has shown that strong customer success strategies lead to 3x higher growth and retention rates for SaaS businesses.

So, how can SaaS companies ensure their customers have a successful experience and remain loyal?

The answer lies in creating a strong customer success reporting structure.

In this blog post, we'll look at the roles of the CEO and Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) in managing customer success and the organizational structure of the customer success team. I'll also cover managing the customer lifecycle, measuring success with data, and preventing churn.

Are you ready to learn more about building an effective customer success reporting structure for your SaaS business?

Let's dive in!

The Role of the CEO in Customer Success

The success of any business is largely determined by how well it serves its customers. The CEO plays a vital role in setting the overall strategy for customer success and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that customers have an exceptional experience, resulting in growth and loyalty.

Creating a Customer-Centric Culture

The CEO must create a customer-centric culture within the organization, focusing on customer needs and wants while driving innovation. This means ensuring that clear goals, processes, and systems are in place to ensure that all departments are aligned with a customer-centric approach.

It also requires creating incentives such as rewards and recognition for employees who demonstrate excellent customer service.

Additionally, the CEO should ensure that employees receive adequate training to understand customers' needs better.

Finally, it's important to communicate with customers regularly to collect feedback, which can then be used to improve the overall product or service offering.

Ensuring Performance Excellence

The CEO needs to ensure performance excellence from all departments within the organization.

This means setting clear objectives and targets for each department, having effective communication systems in place, providing regular feedback and support to teams, and establishing accountability measures when needed.

Additionally, the CEO needs to set expectations around customer service levels so that everyone within the company understands what it takes to deliver an excellent experience to customers.

Leading Through Example

Finally, the CEO needs to lead by example when it comes to serving customers. The best way to do this is by proactively listening and responding to customer feedback as soon as possible.

Additionally, taking time out of busy schedules to personally thank customers or address their concerns shows them that they are valued members of your team—which goes a long way towards building loyalty and creating brand ambassadors who will spread positive word-of-mouth about your product or service.

By following these steps, CEOs can effectively set a strategy for customer success within their organizations, resulting in loyal customers who continue doing business with them over time.

With strong leadership from the top down and an organizational commitment to delivering outstanding experiences, businesses can achieve sustainable growth through customer satisfaction.

Parative Revenue Expansion Offer

The Role of the CRO in Customer Success

The Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) is a key figure in any organization and is responsible for driving revenue growth. As such, the CRO plays an integral role in customer success.

The CRO is responsible for aligning customer success with the overall business goals and objectives and ensuring that customer-facing teams are properly resourced and trained.

At a high level, the CRO’s responsibilities include developing the strategic roadmap for customer success, ensuring alignment between sales, marketing, and operations teams to create a unified approach to customer success, and providing leadership to the customer success team. The CRO should also be able to identify potential areas of improvement in customer service and implement changes quickly when necessary.

The CRO should also be involved in setting up and managing the organizational structure of the customer success department. This includes determining team roles, delegating tasks, setting expectations for performance metrics, and creating systems to measure performance. Additionally, they should ensure that all team members have access to necessary resources like training materials and tools that help them do their jobs more effectively.

The CRO also manages the entire customer lifecycle from onboarding to post-sales support.

They must ensure that customers receive quality service throughout their journey, from initial contact to purchase completion and beyond. The CRO must also take steps to retain customers by understanding their needs and preferences so that they can deliver personalized experiences that will keep them coming back for more.

customer journey map template

Finally, measuring success is essential for any organization's growth strategy.

The CRO needs to track key metrics such as retention rate or churn rate to understand how they're performing against goals.

Additionally, they need to be able to analyze customer data to identify trends that could indicate opportunities or problems within their processes or systems. By utilizing this data-driven approach and taking corrective action when needed, organizations can continually refine their strategies to ensure maximum success both now and in the future.

In summary, the role of the CRO is vital when it comes to driving long-term revenue growth through successful customer service management.

From strategizing a unified approach across departments to tracking critical data points throughout each stage of the customer journey ––the CRO plays a critical role in ensuring companies meet their goals for increased profit margins with satisfied customers at every turn.

Organizational Structure of the Customer Success Organization

Customer success is the practice of ensuring a great customer experience throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

It involves understanding what customers need, providing them with the right information and tools to succeed, proactively addressing issues, and continuously measuring success to optimize customer satisfaction.

A customer success team must have a clear and well-defined organizational structure to function effectively and meet its goals.

The Role of the CEO in Customer Success

The CEO is ultimately responsible for setting the direction and vision of the organization. This includes creating a culture within the company that values customer success and focuses on delivering extraordinary results. The CEO should also set key performance indicators (KPIs) for the customer success team, such as reducing churn or increasing revenue per user.

The Role of the CRO in Customer Success

The Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) oversees all aspects of revenue generation and ensures that sales targets are met. This includes setting sales targets and ensuring that they are achieved through effective marketing, pricing strategies, and product launches. The CRO should also be involved in developing strategies for retaining existing customers and acquiring new ones.

Organizational Structure of the Customer Success Department

The organizational structure of a customer success department will vary depending on the size of an organization, but there are typically several key roles that need to be filled:

  • Customer Success Manager – The primary role of a Customer Success Manager is to build relationships with customers, understand their needs and provide solutions to ensure their ongoing success with your product or services.
  • Product Specialist – The role of a Product Specialist is to identify areas where customers can benefit from additional features or customization options available through your product or service offering.
  • Product Specialist – The role of a Product Specialist is to identify areas where customers can benefit from additional features or customization options available through your product or service offering.
  • Support Team Leader – A Support Team Leader provides guidance to support personnel so they can respond quickly to customer inquiries and resolve any technical issues that may arise.
  • Data Analyst – A Data Analyst collects data from multiple sources, including usage patterns, surveys, feedback forms, etc., to gain insights into how customers use your product or service so you can improve user experiences over time.
  • Account Executives – Account Executives are responsible for developing long-term relationships with key accounts by understanding their needs and helping them achieve desired outcomes through your products or services.

Managing the Customer Lifecycle

To ensure optimal levels of customer satisfaction throughout the lifecycle, it’s important to have processes in place that clearly define each stage, from onboarding through retention and renewal:

  • Onboarding: Developing processes for onboarding new customers so they can quickly become familiar with your product/service offering;
  • Retention: Working proactively with existing customers to identify potential issues before they become serious problems;
  • Renewal: Reviewing existing contracts with customers to renew them at optimal times;

Measuring Success: Customer Data and Churn

Any customer success team needs to measure their progress against defined KPIs such as reducing churn rate or increasing average revenue per account (ARPA). To do this effectively requires collecting data related to usage patterns, survey responses, etc., which can then be analyzed using various analytics tools such as machine learning models or predictive algorithms.

This data can then be used to identify trends that may indicate when customers are likely to churn or upgrade their subscription plan so proactive steps can be taken accordingly.

An effective organizational structure within your customer success department is essential if you want to ensure positive outcomes throughout each stage of the customer lifecycle.

Establishing clear roles across all levels ensures everyone understands their responsibilities whilst also allowing everyone involved in managing customer relationships to feel empowered by owning different parts of the process, from onboarding to retention and renewal.

Finally, collecting and analyzing data related to usage patterns and surveys helps teams track performance against KPIs such as reducing churn rate and increasing ARPA so proactive steps can be taken accordingly when needed.

Customer Segmentation and Operational Excellence

Customer segmentation and operational excellence are two key components of the customer success department. Customer segmentation is the process of dividing customers into distinct groups based on characteristics such as age, gender, lifestyle, interests, purchase history, etc. It helps the customer success team target specific customer groups more effectively and efficiently by providing them with tailored customer service experiences.

Operational excellence is a business strategy focused on improving efficiency and effectiveness to gain a competitive advantage. In the context of customer success, it means using data-driven insights to improve customer loyalty and satisfaction. By analyzing data from customer interactions, customer feedback surveys, reviews, etc., businesses can identify areas for improvement in their products/services and create processes that improve the overall customer experience.

Benefits of Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation allows businesses to target their customers more effectively based on their individual needs and preferences. This enables them to tailor their products/services to meet those needs more closely, resulting in higher conversion rates and improved customer loyalty. Additionally, this approach helps businesses focus their marketing efforts on those customers who are most likely to become repeat buyers or drive referrals. This can help reduce costs associated with marketing campaigns by targeting only those customers who are most likely to respond positively to them.

Benefits of Operational Excellence

Operational excellence helps businesses become more efficient and effective in providing quality services/products to their customers. By analyzing data from customer interactions and feedback surveys, companies can identify areas for improvement in their products/services that may lead to higher customer satisfaction.

Additionally, investing in operational excellence helps businesses stay ahead of competitors by streamlining processes that make operations faster and more efficient while ensuring they remain cost-effective at all times. Companies can also use analytics tools such as dashboards or custom reports to track performance metrics over time to identify patterns or trends that could be used for further improvement initiatives.

By leveraging the power of customer segmentation and operational excellence, companies can create a better experience for their customers while achieving operational excellence simultaneously. This combination can help businesses deliver superior services/products while increasing efficiency through cost savings generated by improved processes and better use of resources. Furthermore, this approach also helps companies develop long-lasting relationships with their customers as they continue to provide tailored solutions that meet their needs more closely than ever before.

Managing the Customer Lifecycle

The customer success department manages customers throughout the entire customer lifecycle, from acquisition to retention. The success of any business depends on understanding and addressing customers' needs at each stage. By mapping out the customer lifecycle, a better understanding of each customer’s journey can be gained, which can then be used to identify opportunities to improve the customer experience.

Identifying Key Touchpoints

The first step in managing the customer lifecycle is identifying key touchpoints in the customer journey. These touchpoints include pre-purchase activities like researching a product or service and post-purchase activities like onboarding and support. By looking for patterns in customer behavior at these touchpoints, it is possible to develop strategies for improving engagement and loyalty.

Creating Customized Experiences

Once key touchpoints have been identified, it is important to customize experiences for each individual customer. This can include providing personalized recommendations based on past purchases or offering discounts for loyal customers. It also involves creating a seamless user experience across all platforms, from web and mobile to social media. This ensures that customers can find what they need quickly and easily.

Retaining Existing Customers

In addition to acquiring new customers, it is also important to retain existing ones. This involves providing ongoing support throughout their journey, including through regular check-ins and follow-ups. It also includes offering additional services or products that might be relevant based on past purchases or interests. By focusing on relationship building rather than transactional sales, businesses can build strong customer relationships, leading to more successful long-term engagement and loyalty.

Measuring Results

Finally, measuring the effectiveness of any strategies implemented for managing the customer lifecycle is important. This can be done by tracking key metrics such as average order value (AOV), lifetime value (LTV), churn rate, and attrition rate.

By understanding how customers interact with your business at each touchpoint, you can gain valuable insights into what works best in engaging them and retaining them over time.

Measuring Success: Customer Data and Churn

Every organization wants to be successful, and measuring success can often be tricky. The customer success department is tasked with all activities related to the customer journey.

These activities range from onboarding new customers, supporting existing ones, understanding how they use a product or service, and providing feedback.

As such, measuring success in the customer success department requires looking past traditional metrics, like revenue and profit, and focusing on customer data that reflects their experience.

The Role of Customer Data

When measuring customer success in the customer success department, customer data is key.

Customer data can provide insight into how customers interact with a product or service – from when they sign up until when they churn - and how engaged they are overall. Data points like usage statistics (e.g., how many times a user logs in), feedback ratings (e.g., surveys), NPS scores (e.g., Net Promoter Scores), and support tickets (e.g., how quickly issues were resolved) can provide an invaluable window into understanding the quality of a customer’s experience with a product or service.

The Role of Churn

Customer churn is another key metric used to measure success in the customer success department. This metric tracks when customers stop using a product or service, either by downgrading their subscription/plan or canceling it altogether.

Tracking this metric helps identify when customers are unsatisfied with their experience and provide insight into areas where improvements may need to be made to retain them as customers for longer periods–whether improving product features or offering more personalized support solutions.

In conclusion, tracking customer data and churn are invaluable metrics for measuring success in the customer success department.

By leveraging these metrics and other key performance indicators, organizations can better understand what drives customer engagement and loyalty and better manage resources devoted to ensuring positive customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle of their relationship with a company’s products or services.


In conclusion, customer success is key to driving revenue growth and customer retention for SaaS companies.

Having a well-defined structure and process in place to monitor customer behavior, usage, intent, contract consumption, feedback, and market conditions are essential to predicting customer likelihood to buy more or churn.

Parative’s Revenue Scoring Engine provides the tools necessary to track important revenue signals and score each customer’s outcome readiness in real-time.

It also allows businesses to combine data from multiple sources into unified records and segment customers to identify signals predicting revenue opportunities.

With its implementation within 15-30 days and dedicated access to expert humans in addition to software, Parative’s Revenue Scoring Engine can help any SaaS company achieve its desired outcomes.

We recommend taking advantage of this solution for a successful approach to customer success.

Get new content delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe
Mark Lerner

Head of Marketing @ Parative, the Customer Behavior Platform. SaaS enthusiast, B2B Marketing Specialist, Startup Survivalist. Dad x2.

Stay up to date with the
best in customer behavior.