Why We’re Building Kaizan!

Team
Kaizan

The teams responsible for ensuring client happiness, retention and growth have been overlooked for too long.

They go by many names: Client Success, Client Service, Client Managers, Account Managers. Until now, these teams have largely been forced to cobble together their own spreadsheets, CRM reports, and project management tools to help them manage and prioritise their client work. As we move to a digital-first era of work and client management, Kaizan aims to change this. We’re building a Client Intelligence Platform, a holistic AI solution that identifies the risks and opportunities that exist across the client portfolio, automates task management, and most importantly guides them on what they need to do to increase client happiness and revenue.

In building and scaling prior startups, and through experiences at large enterprises, Kaizan’s founding team have witnessed the same challenge over and over again. The majority of time and resources go into product thinking, planning and development, followed by huge sales and marketing efforts to win clients and market share. But what happens after you’ve won the clients? Optimising the client experience and how the client is scaled is largely an afterthought. It never receives the planning, resources or products required to truly maximise the potential that companies have to deliver exceptional experiences and results for their clients. Revenue enablement solutions have shone a light on sales pipelines so they can be optimised and the sales team developed, why not post-sale?

If Net Dollar Retention (i.e. how much your existing client base scales revenue year on year) is a core measure for understanding the health of your company’s products and services, and deriving your valuation as future revenue and cash flows become more predictable, why isn’t there a conscious effort to optimise the team who can fundamentally move this metric?

When understanding a CS team's core tasks to be done and the friction they have in delivering these tasks, Kaizan has uncovered a way to effect change.

Client Success teams are expected to:

Have competent project management and organisation skills to manage multiple workstreams and projects across multiple clients.

Have deep product and domain expertise in order to be credible and help clients.

Have commercial capabilities to strategically scale a client year on year.

Regularly share information with all stakeholders to ensure alignment.

The complexity of the role creates many pain points that can be addressed. Especially as their client basis grows and they’re expected to do this primarily using digital tools.

What are the most important tasks that I should work on today?

What is the true health of my client portfolio?

Who should I focus on as they’re a retention risk or have the opportunity to scale?

How do I provide visibility to the company on client risks, opportunities and workstreams?

What are the early warning signs we may lose a client?

How do I increase adoption, sentiment and revenue across my client portfolio?

For the Client Success Leaders; how do we rapidly accelerate new Client Success Manager’s abilities in all of these areas?

Kaizan’s purpose is to fix this.

We’re building the de facto AI to guide companies and their Client Success teams on what they need to do to increase client retention, happiness and growth. By applying intelligence to client interactions, we can surface action items, valuable insights, and information that improves the client experience and automates repeatable workflows. We’re early in the journey in figuring out what an operating system for Client Success teams should do, how a co-pilot that assists them should be experienced, and how a ‘Siri for Client Success teams’ would operate, but our early customer adoption would suggest this is a huge opportunity to address.

Why now?

We’re entering an era where work habits and technological progress will reshape how companies will operate. In an economy where products and services are delivered digitally, and communication is primarily digital, teams will require new capabilities and interfaces in which to manage their tasks and workstreams. The last two decades saw horizontal and vertical SaaS solutions automate workflows and use cases, but the solutions are passive - they require users to input information to make them useful. This is not the future. The future is pro-active systems auto-completing and generating content for users and augmenting the work you’re doing in real-time. With cues and information surfaced to you to aid decision making and tasks completed on your behalf.

ML, NLP and Language interfaces

While this may sound futuristic, recent advances in ML and NLP are making this possible. The deep learning transformer models are able to learn context and thus meaning from all kinds of text, including communication data. This means that our models can learn and ‘understand’ video, email and chat conversations to not only extract insights but crucially provide real-time prompts and guidance to Client Success teams. What’s even more exciting is that these models can generate text and ‘talk’ to people, creating a whole new paradigm.

Systems that extract and optimise traditional quantitative metrics have been around for at least a decade, if not more. The next innovative leap is happening with extracting quantitative data from qualitative data. Not only will businesses have access to data they couldn’t have before, but they’ll be able to optimise their teams through conversational interfaces! These breakthroughs usher in new ways for companies and their CS teams to be more efficient and innovative in delivering client happiness and revenue.

The future of client management

With client interactions primarily being digital we have the ability to create processes and methodologies for holistic best practice client management, we can now enable a framework to guide and optimise a CS team to deliver effectively, surfacing opportunities and risks early and pathways to scaling revenue. Similar to methodologies and processes deployed in product, engineering, research and project management teams to maximise the best outcome and ensure alignment, Kaizan aims to assist CS teams in a structured approach that maximises client health, and ensures risks and opportunities are surfaced quickly.

How will Kaizan achieve this?

Task management and prioritisation: Extract and surface all the tasks due that have been promised to clients.

Understanding client health: Understand language and activity to provide true unbiased health scores. Decipher the difference between the top 5% and bottom 5% of your portfolio and what drives client happiness and revenue.

Commercial development plans: Remove manual client development spreadsheets that are filled out once at the start of the year, and move to dynamic real-time suggestions on how to grow client product adoption, retention and revenue.

Insights on what clients want: What are your clients asking for across your team? Which features? What competitors keep being mentioned and why?

We envisage not another passive and overbearing CRM or Project Management tool, but a Client Intelligence Platform, acting as a smart assistant and guiding Client Success teams on how to grow client retention and revenue.

Kaizan’s vision

Kaizen is a Japanese term for continuous improvement in the context of work, and how incremental improvements compound over time to create a lasting competitive advantage. In building a solution to harness the collective intelligence in businesses to provide real-time cues, guidance and automation, we wanted to capture the essence of Kaizen in a product that helps teams manage and scale their client relationships. The essence of Kaizen is at the heart of Kaizan’s product and brand vision.

We’re supported by some of the most accomplished funds and individuals in technology. It’s a pleasure to be working with Jigsaw who led an oversubscribed pre-seed round, and Founders Factory’s AI programme to develop the solution with their portfolio and corporate partners. Our angels are from Europe’s leading funds and scale-ups, including Entrepreneur First, Charlotte St Capital, Silicon Roundabout Ventures, NICE, Ledger, IPONWEB, MIQ and Gtmhub.

If you are interested in solving hard ML and UX challenges, or helping define a new category through sales and marketing that can serve businesses globally, please get in contact.

Team Kaizan

[email protected]