Why Customer Success is a good idea for hardware companies

How can a hardware company benefit from a Customer Success initiative?

In this 2-minute short, we’re going to talk about how a hardware company can benefit from running a Customer Success program.

For this one, I’m going to share a personal story.

A couple of months ago, I bought an Arlo security camera from Netgear. There have been a number of break-ins on my block and I wanted to make sure we had footage of our front porch. Now the Arlo is really neat b/c it’s wireless and you can install it anywhere.

After a few days with the Arlo, I was hooked. I saw raccoons sneaking around my porch at night; saw a package arrive at my door when I was at work; and could tell that my 5 year old had arrived safely home from school.

After a few days, I bought another Arlo – this time to watch my baby girl while she slept. I know that’s a little helicopter parent-ish, but I’ll own up to it; I thought it’d be great to be able to see her napping while I’m at work. So I dropped another $150 on another camera.

Then, a few days later, the battery on the first first one died. It had only been 7 days. A few days later, the batteries on the 2nd one died. I got 7 days of battery life on each camera. The batteries cost $2 each – and the unit takes 4 batteries. So, that’s $8 in batteries every week or $416/yr. The reviews on Amazon say that the re-chargeables last only a day. Plus, I’d need to climb up to my roof to replace the batteries every week.

I was bummed out. That was a month ago. Here’s what my Arlo home page looks like. And here’s what my email from Arlo looks like. You see that I went from about 100 motion alerts a day to virtual dead silence.

What I see here is a perfect opportunity for Customer Success. My battery died just a week after initial installation – and I haven’t streamed video from the cameras in over a month.

This is a clear opportunity for bringing customers back from battery death. A simple play would be to add me to a drip email campaign that shows me how to optimize battery life. Even better, if they want to spend a little, they could offer a coupon for buying another set of batteries. As someone who purchased 2 cameras in the span of week and then used the product for only seven days, there’s certainly an opportunity to help me get more value from the product – and then once I’m seeing value, to up-sell me to more cameras and or their subscription plan.

So that’s a simple example showing how a hardware company can benefit from running a Customer Success program.

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Ben started his career as Lead Engineer at a social software company, acquired by Student Advantage, and co-founded a company that built award-winning web sites for Nokia, The North Face, Sony Pictures, and Calvin Klein. In 2002, Ben became CTO of DFILM, a web and mobile company with clients such as Sam Adams, Hyundai, Old Navy, IBM, The Sierra Club, and Scion. Ben graduated from Stanford University with Honors, Distinction, and Phi Beta Kappa.

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