The World’s Top CS Leaders Are Doing These Four Things Image

The World’s Top CS Leaders Are Doing These Four Things

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” That’s a pretty humble statement from the man who invented calculus. But Sir Isaac Newton had a point when he wrote that famous quote in 1675. Individuals have made incredible contributions to the store of human knowledge—but did they really do it alone? Like, let’s say Newton had become a farmer instead of a scientist and mathematician. Would our species have ever devised a methodology for calculating integrals? We already know the answer to that question, because modern calculus was independently created around the same time (if not earlier) by Gottfried Leibniz. And neither developed their systems out of whole cloth either! As Newton wrote, they “stood on the shoulders of Giants.” In the U.S. especially, we tend not to give due credit to the incredible mathematical advances made by Islamic scholars during the medieval period, or even earlier in China—all of which (and many more!) became the basis for Newton and Leibniz’s discoveries. Okay, so why are we talking about this? I don’t claim that the techniques we’re inventing and honing in the Customer Success Movement are on the same scale of significance as calculus […]

6 min readMarch 29, 2019
How to Make Your Product Scientifically Irresistible Image

How to Make Your Product Scientifically Irresistible

Your product can’t suck. That’s a given. But it’s also not enough to be a good product that doesn’t hook your customer and connect to their pain points. When you boil it down, your product falls into one of three categories: 1) shelfware (no one uses it, no one remembers they have it); 2) a tool someone has to use, but hates doing so; 3) the one you want it to be: something so useful it’s not software, it’s a habit-forming product. But what does that mean for a product to form habits? And what the heck are habits anyway? I thought this was a blog about product management! This better not be about zombies again. These are all the right questions—and for the answers, I’m going to draw upon an excellent presentation from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Nir Eyal. The presentation, featured by Traffic Is Currency, shares what every product manager needs to understand if they want to create habit-forming products. For more, check out Nir’s book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. What is a Habit? The term “habit” isn’t anything new to you, but in the context of a product, it might be. Habits are impulses to perform an […]

5 min readMarch 28, 2019

Stay up to date with Gainsight

5 Tips for Leveraging Usage Data in Your Customer Health Score Image

5 Tips for Leveraging Usage Data in Your Customer Health Score

Operationalizing customer success is simple: Measure usage. Improve adoption. Measure again. Except it’s not that simple, is it? Most companies struggle to get full value from their usage data due to the complexity of mapping it to business outcomes and the cross-functional coordination required to even get started. In other words, it’s not easy to get the right usage data, and it’s not easy to understand what it actually means. But there are proven strategies and tactics you can apply to your health scorecards immediately to improve your customers’ success with your product. In this webinar, you’ll learn five tips on how to bring usage data into your scorecards so you can: Better predict risk Deliver successful outcomes Deepen your relationships with customers And much more.

910 registered
How to Close the Loop With Customer Feedback Image

How to Close the Loop With Customer Feedback

There’s nothing worse than submitting feedback about a product you love and hearing nothing back. Okay, there’s probably a few things that are worse, but it’s still pretty painful when it happens. It feels like they aren’t really listening to you, and if they aren’t listening, then do they really even care? Now imagine that your customers are experiencing this disappointment, day-in, day-out. They’re providing you with high-quality feedback and you aren’t responding to them, you aren’t closing the loop. The feedback process doesn’t end with you using the feedback you’ve been given, it ends with you communicating back to the customer. As it turns out, this communication is probably the most important part. If you don’t close the loop you risk alienating your customers. Best case scenario: They stop helping you to build a better product. Worst case scenario: They look elsewhere. So, with that in mind, let’s look at some of the ways you can close the loop when it comes to customer feedback… 1: Transparency An honest, open approach to your feedback process is the best way to close the feedback loop. If your customers can always see when feedback changes status, or when items are added […]

5 min readApril 1, 2019
The Essential Guide to Product Experience Image

The Essential Guide to Product Experience

“The world is changing and we’re all feeling the pressure. Product experience isn’t a radical new idea, but it hones in on the most important element: the user. Building a product is hard enough. Getting people to come back is the ultimate challenge. Know what your customers truly love and you’ll have loyal customers for life.”

14 min read
Seven Reasons Why Your Customers Won’t Renew Image

Seven Reasons Why Your Customers Won’t Renew

The natural tendency of customers and vendors is to drift apart, not closer together. Let’s say it another way: The natural tendency of all your customers is to churn. But is that true? Let’s play it out. You make the sale, close the deal. Then you do nothing. What happens? I think we can all agree that on a long enough timeline, everybody quits, cancels, or lapses. On a long enough timeline, everybody churns. 100%. Okay, maybe that’s overblown. Let’s say 99.9%. And we see this play out in the data. This is a pretty standard SaaS retention chart. We almost always see the steepest drop-off during the onboarding process, an inflection point, and then a steady decline in users over time. In a perpetual licensing model, that doesn’t really matter. You’ve made your margins on the initial deal. Every ex-customer is just another lead for a new sale. But in subscription, recurring revenue is the lifeblood of your company. You have to do something to retain and expand customers. And we’re not just talking about logos, we’re talking about dollars. Partial churn, downsell, contraction. These are just as bad for business. But you know that. That’s why you’re here. […]

9 min readMarch 21, 2019
3 Ways to Structure Your Customer Health Score (No Usage Data Required) Image

3 Ways to Structure Your Customer Health Score (No Usage Data Required)

When I think about health scores, it’s hard not to picture the analogy that’s built into the name: health. In the health analogy, customers are like patients and Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are like doctors. CSMs do tests and measure signals to diagnose any “diseases” and prescribe the right treatment to reduce risk and improve customer outcomes. Fun fact—the healthcare economy has been increasingly thinking about patient outcomes not just as a programmatic way to benchmark how care providers are performing, but even as a way to think about billing and control costs. But let’s take that healthcare analogy a bit further (too far, probably). Your doctor has all sorts of ways to understand, diagnose, and treat your health. But imagine if they only were taking your blood pressure? That’s the trap we get into—especially in SaaS. We can become overreliant on usage data to the extent that some companies overlook other signals. Outside of SaaS, some companies assume they can’t “do” customer success without usage data and end up underinvesting in their customer base. I interviewed three of our customers to find out how they were thinking about health scoring, and each gave me a dramatically different model based […]

6 min readMarch 29, 2019
The Essential Guide to Product-Driven Customer Success Image

The Essential Guide to Product-Driven Customer Success

"Imagine a world where CSMs aren't focused on filling gaps in the product. Instead they're free to build success plans, align stakeholders, accelerate expansion, and drive advocacy. Customers are getting more value and CSMs are driving growth. This world only exists when Customer Success and Product Management are aligned on how to scale."

20 min read
Confessions of a Former Pendo User: Product-Mapping Pains Image

Confessions of a Former Pendo User: Product-Mapping Pains

Imagine a world where your computer didn’t have any folders, only files crowding your desktop. That’s the feeling of analyzing usage of your product’s features without any hierarchy to organize them. As the former CS Ops Director for a business intelligence software company, I invested a lot of time making the most of our usage analytics application, which was originally built for measuring general web traffic. I’m proud of what I was able to create. With the help of their tool and their team, I increased usage, assisted our finance team with tracking down overdue invoices, won a customer award, and shared what I’d learned at their company events. But if you’ve ever tried to use a pair of chopsticks to pick up those last few grains of rice, you know how much extra time is spent making a tool fit your needs—chopsticks are great, but not quite right for the task at hand. Let me share with you my Friday ritual. Manual Tagging, Duplicates, Load Times, Oh My! Every Friday around 4:00 p.m., I’d finish those last few important emails, grab a beer from the office kegerator, and spend the remainder of my day tagging pages in Pendo. Since […]

6 min readMarch 18, 2019
Is Your Product Analytics Tool Missing These Major Moments? Image

Is Your Product Analytics Tool Missing These Major Moments?

Do you know where your users are? And the last time they were in your product? And what they did? And if they saw your newest feature? And if they used it? And for how long? Understanding how your customers are using your product is essential to helping them maximize the value they get out of your product. It can also help product leaders guide future decisions and demonstrate the impact of decisions to date. When you are able to segment your user base, you can deliver truly targeted experiences that are critical for adoption, retention, and overall business growth. The better you can target your in-app engagement and feedback capturing, the easier it is to guide customers to value, drive adoption across the product, and grow through your product. While there are many solutions in the market that offer either these product analytics components or the in-app engagement and feedback components, there are few that are able to successfully provide both. Gainsight PX and Pendo both offer in-app engagement and product analytics capabilities, but Gainsight PX is unique in its ability to provide incredibly powerful segmentation. But what does this mean for your business? Are you missing out on key […]

5 min readMarch 18, 2019
How to Bring Dead Users Back to Life Image

How to Bring Dead Users Back to Life

You may think your product is healthy, but there’s a scary secret hiding in your data that you may not be equipped to defeat. Why is it that when discussing the health of a product, it’s more common to ask how many active users you have instead of total users? This doesn’t give you a complete view of product health. Peel back the layers of your data and you’ll discover a sinister surprise. You likely have a large segment of your user base who are zombies—inactive accounts that are just waiting for Dr. Frankenstein to bring them back to life. But how can you reactivate these lifeless users if you can’t get them into the product in the first place? It’s a tricky question—people have abandoned your product, and if you’re using a solution like Pendo, the only tools at your disposal for engaging users are inside your product. In-app messaging and walkthroughs are great, but the problem is in the name: in-app. They’re not very effective for someone who hasn’t logged in for months. Everyone who has seen a scary movie knows that garlic only works on vampires, silver bullets on werewolves, but did you know there’s a secret weapon […]

4 min readMarch 14, 2019