Essential Considerations For Your First Customer Scorecard Image

Essential Considerations For Your First Customer Scorecard

We’ve all been there. You think everything is going great, the customer is always so kind and enthusiastic on the phone. But when it comes time to renew, they churn.

It’s painful and a bit confusing. But it happens all the time. Customers can’t offer their honest feedback in the moment, often because they don’t know how much value your product is delivering. Or what pain points others in their organization feel.

That’s why we suggest health scorecards to all our customers. It’s the best way to get a complete picture of your customer’s satisfaction and likelihood to renew.

The benefits of a well-architected scorecard are clear: 

  1. Proactive vs. reactive customer interactions
  2. Mitigated churn risks
  3. Readily identified expansion opportunities
  4. Predictability for renewals
  5. And more! 

If you’re a CS leader in the process of creating your first scorecard, you may find a pretty wide chasm between the promise of an effective scorecard and actually delivering on that promise. Gainsight has made conversations around crafting effective scorecards foundational within our community. In a recent Catapult Webinar, we spoke with Elaine Cobb, SVP of Customer Success at Coveo about what it takes to make a meaningful and predictable health scorecard, even if it’s your first one. 

Whether you’re creating a scorecard for the first time, or improving on one, you’ve already established, there are essential components you need to consider so that you can be certain the scorecard is a useful business tool.

Be Clear About the Data You Need Now

When putting together your first health scorecard, data can be tremendously useful, or it can create unnecessary noise. Be clear on the metrics that help you understand the value and impact of your offering within your customer base. Here are key measures to aggregate when getting started: 

  1. Product usage. What is the number of people using the product relative to the customer’s entitlements? 
  2. Feature adoption. Are users leveraging the features and functionality available to them?  
  3. Customer sentiment. What are customers actually saying?  And, if any customer sentiment is ‘red’, how do you rally around it to turn it around?  
  4. Customer engagement. Measure this based on the attendance of cadence calls and if they follow through on Executive Business Reviews. 
  5. Relationships. Is there an active executive sponsor? Is the customer participating in advocacy activities? 
  6. Customer value. Determine business outcomes that demonstrate the customer is receiving value from your offering.  

These points of data represent leading indicators for customer health. Many of these become objective ways to monitor health, and most of them can be automated using customer success tools in order to optimize your team’s time. 

Give CSMs The Means To Create Maximum Impact

A health scorecard needs to empower your customer success managers to keep customers aligned to the value they expect from your product or service. Seeing the scorecard is one thing, but the business impact for both you and your customer results from a CSMs ability to act upon the information. When setting up your first health scorecard, here are some activities to prioritize: 

  1. Red Account Review. Set priorities for health check calls and executive business reviews. Encourage CSMs to open up risks and bring things up sooner than later. 
  2. Value-Focused Success Plans. Use health score measures to identify risk and set up success plans to ensure customers are achieving value. A useful scorecard drives the rest of your CS program.
  3. Proactive Risk Management. Establish benchmarks and monitor changes over time in order to make program improvements and mitigate the risk of revenue loss. If you do find yourself getting blindsided by churn in a couple of successive quarters, that’s an indicator it’s time to revisit and rework your scorecard to restore predictability. 

Add Depth And Dimension Over Time

As your customer base grows, and your customer success program matures, you’ll identify more measures and ways to monitor customer health. Be thoughtful and intentional about adding in new dimensions to your scorecard so that you maintain data integrity as well as actionability for the CSM. 

Your customer success platform should grow along with your program’s changing needs. As you start to leverage more features, be sure to plan whether they should get represented in your scorecard, and the resulting impact on your holistic view of customer health. 

Get more tips and expert insights on how to build a strong start to your Customer Success journey in our monthly Catapult Webinar Series. 

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