This post was co-authored by Meenal Shukla and Harshita Banka.
Customer Success is more important than ever during this crisis. As new sales slow down due to uncertainties in budgets and spending, retaining customers is the easiest and more effective way to keep the cash flow going.
At Gainsight, we have two really interesting data sources to get a real-time view of how Customer Success teams are hard at work to deliver outcomes and retain clients:
- Through our Product Experience (PX) technology, which is inserted into the live application code of hundreds of leading SaaS vendors, we can watch global cloud adoption in real-time as the impact of COVID-19 hits
- We use PX in our own Customer Success platform to track our customers’ usage of the CS product. Through this, we can witness how CSMs are reacting to COVID-19.
PX Data Shows SaaS Usage Is Growing Rapidly
We observed some interesting data points about our customers’ products and their usage:
- Weekly Active Users (WAUs) have grown by 36%
- The use of Gainsight PX has gone up >45% the past 3 months
- Average Days Active by accounts in our product increased >10%
Some of our customers obviously were more impacted in their industries and saw declines in usage as well.
- 0-50% usage increase for 40% of our customers
- 50-100% usage increase for 7% of our customers
- >100% usage increase for 8% of our customers
- Usage Decline for 45% of our customers
We then looked at usage trends by Gainsight’s customer segments.
- Our SMB customers are seeing a significant increase in their usage. Technology companies and start-ups across Insurance, Education, Video Conferencing Tools, and similar industries.
- The majority of our Mid-Market customers are seeing up to 50% increase in their product’s usage including Healthcare, Analytics, Data, and tangential industries.
- Our Enterprise customers are seeing smaller increases and even usage decline in a few cases. (e.g., technology companies across Events and Marketing Platforms)
As more of their users stay at home and engage with their products, companies are increasingly leveraging in-app engagements to drive higher levels of adoption and value at scale.
- PX Customers are launching In-Product Engagements 46% more since January 2020.
- The biggest growth is in in-app guides (hotspots, tooltips) and dialogs (pop-up lightbox).
- Customers have 15 – 30 In-App Guides active at any given time.
- The most promising increase is in Knowledge Center (KC) Bots – this allows customers to create end-to-end journeys to guides users in learning your product. This increase shows increased maturity and sophistication among companies with in-app messaging.
CS Usage Data Shows Customer Success Teams Are Stepping Up
As we mentioned above, we “drink our own champagne” and use PX to track our clients’ usage of our Customer Success platform. We have seen usage rise for all customers across the board:
- Weekly Active Users have grown by 21%; CSMs not traveling means they spend more time on Gainsight
- The use of Gainsight CS has gone up >70% in these past 3 months
- Average Days Active by users in our product increased >8%
Negatively impacted business verticals: For customers that are severely impacted by COVID-19, in verticals such as travel, hospitality, and restaurants, Customer Success teams are hard at work with a 43% increase in Active Users. These customers are using Gainsight to manage risky renewals, track and record concessions, and review health indicators all within Gainsight. This level of account insight is allowing organizations to gain access to critical information fast, allowing for quick shifts during these unstable times.
Category 1: 43% Heavy Active Users in Jan rose to 62% in May; a 44.18% increase. We are comparing our Active Users in Jan (so right after the holiday lull but before COVID-19 started impacting businesses) to the Active Users in May (right in the middle of the pandemic). (Ps: we also looked at previous years data to eliminate confirmation bias and account for seasonal trends. We did not see any significant uptick during this period for previous years).
Positively impacted business verticals: Our customers in industries and verticals that are positively impacted by COVID-19 such as online education, eCommerce, cloud services etc, have seen tremendous growth in their use of Gainsight with a whopping 76% increase in Active Users. This is not surprising to us as these teams have to suddenly scale to support their doubled book of business overnight. They are moving or transitioning customers across their burgeoning portfolio, using a hybrid approach of automation with a light human touch for some segments and totally automating the digital segment of customers to account for the hyper-growth. All of this requires a systematic approach, a solution that supports that scale and allows for flexible workflows.
Category 3: 34% Heavy Active Users in Jan rose to 60% in May; a 76.12% increase
Doing more with the same or less: With most companies having frozen budgets and hiring, Customer Success teams need to do more with less and many companies are relying more than ever on process simplification, automation and consistency to add scale.
We looked at the use of two key features in Gainsight that provide scale to CS teams—Email Assist (provides semi-automated templatized emails) and Journey Orchestrator (email and in-app automation). Both these features have spiked in usage.
Journey Orchestrator usage (number of outreaches sent from Gainsight)
Email Assist Usage (number of templated emails sent from Gainsight)
Collaborating with Sales and other teams: As new logo deals are far and between, the installed base of customers will be the primary source for growth and sustainability of the business. To drive that growth, Customer Success teams need to collaborate more than ever with Sales teams and other functions within the company.
We looked at the use of two key features that provide seamless collaboration between teams within companies–Timeline (note-taking and activity tracking) and CRM Widget (to expose Gainsight insights in your CRM Account/Opportunity page). Both have seen big spikes in usage as teams collaborate better across teams.
Timeline usage (number of activities/notes in Gainsight)
SFDC Widget usage (number of views in Gainsight)
This pandemic has definitely brought about a huge change in the way we conduct business. Software as a Service (SaaS) usage is exploding as users stay at home and engage more with cloud applications. And regardless of whether a company is negatively or positively impacted by the crisis, Customer Success teams are harder at work than ever before, to drive outcomes for their customers and retention for their companies.
How is your company investing in Customer Success to drive outcomes and experiences for your customers?