As SaaS companies grow, it’s only natural for them to consider a multi-product strategy.
New products give companies the means to find new opportunities to meet new customer needs and address new markets. But how does having multiple products affect customer success (CS)?
It is certainly true that having additional products creates more complexity for CS. Rather than managing one customer journey, you’re now managing multiple journeys that intertwine and intersect in all sorts of unexpected ways. The pressure to land-and-expand rises because a successful multi-product strategy typically relies on cross-selling to drive adoption. And the amount of customer data that needs to be processed and analyzed grows exponentially when you have customers interacting with multiple products.
But CS in multi-product strategy doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are a few straightforward strategies to get your arms around all those products and customers.
Seize the Data
When you’re managing customers across multiple products, your first priority should be clean data. Different products may have different usage patterns and different user cohorts, which can result in disparate data sets that are difficult to contextualize. Data tagging is a simple way to standardize these behavioral data sets and compare metrics across products. This big-picture view of the data makes it easier to create actionable CS strategies.
When you are gathering data from different sources, spreadsheets can get out of hand. Dashboards pull everything together from across all products to create a single source of truth that updates data from everywhere in real-time. You spend less time collecting data and more time using it to reach your business goals.
Dashboards also help you identify patterns in product usage and find opportunities to increase adoption and expansion. Ultimately, CS data should allow you to connect the dots between customer behavior and how it impacts net retention rate (NRR). Broadcasting the NRR story to internal stakeholders can build momentum for consensus within the organization. Support from leadership across various functions increases what’s possible for CS teams and helps improve retention and expansion.
Play It Right with a Playbook
In a multi-product environment, you need to demonstrate value right away to customers—ideally in the immediate post-sale period, during onboarding. Not only does this prevent early churn, but it also pulls the customer into your product ecosystem and makes it more likely they will be open to a future cross-sell.
Creating an onboarding playbook can help you articulate and solidify your onboarding plan for new customers. You’ll start off by using the information your team gathered during the sales process to understand what is most important to the customer. Your customer will have short-, mid-, and long-term goals, but at the beginning, they are probably not 100% certain that your partnership will last for the long haul. In the beginning, you will need to demonstrate quick value—it’s not about showing everything your product can do at once. It’s about delivering what you promised during the sales process.
Onboarding should make sure your customers, including those who weren’t necessarily part of the sales process, understand the capabilities of your offering and how it makes them more productive. The onboarding period is your chance to make the product part of their daily routine, which will go a long way to making it sticky. Not every customer learns the same way, so your onboarding playbook should incorporate a mix of human-led, digital-first, and hybrid strategies.
Ramp Up Engagement
Current customers are also your most reliable future customers. For every successful step on the customer journey, a customer becomes more likely to renew, upsell, or—especially in a multi-product strategy—cross-sell to your other products. In-app engagements are a powerful tool to nurture customers and nudge them along to the next step. This automated technique serves up content guidance to users based on specific usage behaviors. Not only are they effective, but because they are automated, they do the work without the need for CSM hours.
Positive reinforcement from in-app engagements can help build perceived value for users. For example, celebrate milestones that customers achieve while using your product, such as number of calls booked or revenue goals reached. You want to do everything you can to help your customers feel supported and on the right track. Additionally, in-app communication is a much more effective way to reach customers with feature releases, reminders, and other important information, compared to email or phone calls. They also work for training refreshers or guide the next-best actions for customers.
In a multi-product strategy, in-app engagements will need to be a bit more thoughtful, because there may be multiple directions to push the customer depending on when it is appropriate to cross-sell. So plan to put a little more work into the planning upfront.
Meeting the Multi-Product Moment
Companies that embrace multi-product strategies are poised to make huge impacts on revenue, but only if they maximize the power of CS. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to get started. You can learn more about how Gainsight CS and PX can assist in a multi-product strategy here.