1) Put the customer first. Marc Benioff, my former boss at Salesforce, recently predicted that soon we're going to see some dead unicorns. Although he has confidence in the market as a whole, he's concerned that companies are more focused on their valuations than on customer satisfaction. "The most important thing in business is customer success," he's said. "If you have customer success, you're going to have growth, and if you have growth, you're going to get through this [correction]. And the way to get growth is by having those happy customers."
He's right. If your customers are successful, so are you. If your customers can't live without you, they won't. That's why the companies that build customer success into their core will survive a downturn.
2) Provide measurable value. So, what exactly is "customer success?" Customer success goes beyond customer service or support; it's about providing real, measurable value, and helping customers fulfill their missions as quickly as possible. Enterprise companies need to make their customers successful in order to be highly valued — both by customers and investors.
For consumer applications, the value is the experience: never having to hail a cab because you can depend on Lyft or Uber, listening to your favorite album on the go with Spotify or Apple Music, or taking an incredible underwater video of your friend with your GoPro. All enhance the consumer's life in some way. Enterprise solutions and services need to provide not only a great experience for the end user, they need to provide return on investment for the organization. Customers need to know that if they invest a dollar in your service, they will get a dollar (or more) back in business value. The subscription model, which is now common for cloud providers, allows organizations to simply turn your services off if they don't see value. Okta's own Businesses @ Work data report indicates that cloud apps and services can be readily ousted by newcomers. So unless your service is a foundational tool that delivers quantifiable value, it will be easy to get rid of your service when the bubble bursts.