Every day, companies and leaders are starting a new journey of Customer Success. At Gainsight, we want to be there throughout your CS journey to help you become more customer-centric and ultimately improve your bottom line. One of the most significant CS topics that should be addressed early on is building a foundation for customer visibility.
The Danger of the Lack of Visibility
The lack of visibility into customer data is one of the core business challenges we hear from companies that have decided to deploy a purpose-built customer success platform. Companies usually have an abundance of data about their customers. But it’s often siloed in different systems, making it difficult to glean the right insights.
Having a centralized source of truth allows any customer-facing employee to access customer data needed to deliver a consistent customer experience. A holistic view also creates alignment across the company, improves communication, and increases your CSM’s productivity.
When companies begin their CS journey, they expect to immediately reap the benefits of a formalized CS strategy and purpose-built technology. However, they aren’t always sure how to begin. An excellent place to start is by defining a framework to understand customer health and tracking product usage. With this information, you can compare which customers are falling out of the prescribed health “zone” and act on it instantly.
Basic Customer Health Scores
Monitoring customer health is critical to the long-term success of any business. The only way to do this consistently and automatically across all accounts is by using a CS technology platform. It will yield valuable results from identifying health issues and churn prevention. You will also know when the customer’s experience improves and can continue the proactive work required for renewals.
Before implementing a health scoring framework, you need to decide what “account health” actually means to your company. Ultimately, a customer health score is a predefined analysis of a discrete data set brought together into a single score. There is, however, a variety of recommended inputs to make it easier for you, such as customer sentiment (NPS, CSAT, survey responses) and overall adoption or usage of your product or services. Adoption also includes the depth and breadth of usage indicated by the number of features or licenses used.
Product analytics has become a significant health indicator for many businesses. Why? The product is the most scalable way to deliver a great experience and measurable value to your customers. By understanding how they are using or aren’t using your product, CS teams can gather insights that can be shared with the product leadership, ensuring greater adoption and retention over time.
SaaS companies are most likely capturing usage data in some format, but the key is making this data available to customer success teams for action. One way to accomplish this is to integrate your product analytics into Gainsight. You may also consider using our product experience tool, Gainsight PX. By leveraging usage data as a critical measure of customer health, you can understand what practices and functions are helping your healthy customers and what your unhealthy customers are missing.
Analyzing this data internally is helpful to your CS and product strategy. Sharing it with your customers to prove the value you provide takes it a step further. The essential part of gathering data is creating actionable motions to guide customers to the most valuable features and teach them how to use those features.
Creating a Baseline
All forms of data need a baseline to allow you to start tracking your team’s impact. It will also aid in deeply understanding your customers and their success. Some questions need to be asked and answered to establish the baseline:
- What are your health goals? First, you should have a well-understood definition in place to measure health for all of your customers and their segments. Second, the goal is to get to a place where your team feels confident in your health scoring, so when they see the aggregated number, they trust that it is accurate and actionable.
- What are your usage goals? These goals can be set in terms of retention rates. For instance, you can measure how many daily active users, duration in the product, logins, customer funnel placement, and where they are in the customer journey. It is all about where the customer is within your product and the outcomes being completed by your users. This insight will also vary by understanding your various segments of user personas.
Once the baseline is established, you can see if the customer is meeting milestones, or “moments of truth,” on their customer journey. Based on the prescribed goals for their segment or unique field, each outcome achieved is proof to the customer that they are obtaining value while you are providing them with success. Most importantly, a customer finding value and achieving their goals is a healthy customer that will be retained, likely to expand, and possibly be an advocate or referral.
How Gainsight can help you improve visibility
Gainsight’s Customer Success Solution is a wholly integrated analytics tool with a built-in knowledge base within its platform. It rapidly brings visibility to your customer’s entire engagement along with a clear picture of the user experience. Gainsight CS can collect, organize, and share customer data across the whole company with reporting specifications tailored to predetermined metrics—all in real-time. With all the information in one place, users don’t navigate away from the product but stay in it to find all the information they need.
CS can harness your data to bring a level of visibility and predictability to your customers. With this information, you can be proactive in encouraging users to adopt and engage while creating relationships with them.