Data drives your customer success program.
It adds up to highly effective scorecards. It enables correlations that help predict renewals and expansion opportunities. BUT, it can also create delays in your program, confusion among teams, and derail your target CS outcomes. Avoiding those data pitfalls is imperative for early-stage maturity teams.
Recently, Gainsight’s Director of Customer Success Strategy, Tim Van Lew, spoke with Cameron Marijosius SVP, Customer Success at GovOS about how to ensure your data is both accurate and actionable. The conclusion? Narrow your data focus early on in order to amplify its impact. Then, layer in more streams and feeds to add depth and dimension to customer health over time.
The idea of less data seems counter-intuitive. However, there are several reasons why harnessing less data at the onset of your customer success journey will help accelerate your growth.
Accuracy Drives Urgency
Not all data is created equal. In any organization, certain systems are maintained better than others. If you blend too much data too soon, it can be difficult to determine where the truth lies. When CSMs feel let down by data in their day-to-day tasks, trust in the data, and the platform quickly erodes. That impacts CS platform adoption and leads to inconsistencies in the customer experience.
Instead, start building a strong data layer using one or two sources of “good” data. Those sources will be based on the specifics of your customer base and the priorities of your CS program.
Start with a System of Record
When evaluating different data resources from within your company, it will be imperative to identify a primary system of record. This system will become your primary source of truth, and your default winner when data appears out of sync.
Oftentimes, your system of record will be your CRM. Clean contact records drive workflows and automations. Something as simple as a new customer welcome email can fall flat if your contact record data isn’t well maintained.
For other teams, particularly those responsible for renewals and expansions, financial data becomes paramount. Still, for some CS orgs, product usage might be the data that drives their early-stage success.
While your primary system of record can vary, one consistency is that it should have current, up-to-date, and well-curated data to enable the actions your CSMs need to take to make your program effective.
Data is Relational
Change management is tough. When it comes to data management with your CS platform, you rely on system owners elsewhere in your organization to supply that data accurately so it can enable your customer success strategy. That can take some time to get right because you will need to educate those cross-functional colleagues about why tweaks to their data processes are necessary for the success of yours.
Having good rapport and relationships with those other team members will be a necessary investment of your time. You can imagine the time required to do that with one system and set of stakeholders, let alone several.
MVP Your Way To Scale
For early maturity teams, there is no all-you-can-eat approach to data. Creating your MVP data plan will enable you to put the right activities into practice that result in the biggest impact on your business. Too often, new CS platform users try to over-complicate things too early. That can have the adverse effect of not only delaying the launch of your system but also delaying the impact and outcomes you want to generate from your CS program.
Instead, if you focus on getting fewer, staple elements right, you’ll yield the largest amount of meaningful data that you can actually do things with. With less, good data in place, you can then craft more effective health scores, triggering reliable workflows and useful playbooks to keep your team focused on the most impactful activities.
Early maturity CS teams can get more tips and best practices in each episode of the Catapult Webinar Series.