Box Chooses Gainsight to Power Customer Satisfaction, Adoption, Renewals, and Expansion

Part of what you want is not just the tool, but the thought leadership. If Gainsight is talking to every other SaaS company about how they do Customer Success, we want them to tell us what we’re doing well, but more importantly, what we aren’t doing well.
Jon Herstein, SVP Customer Success, Box

Box is transforming the way people and organizations work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions. As the world’s leading enterprise content management and collaboration platform, Box helps businesses of all sizes in every industry securely access and manage their critical information in the cloud. Box is headquartered in Redwood City, California, with offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Box’s Customer Success department is comprised of all post-sales roles responsible for serving the customer, including Consulting, Support, and CSMs. Customer Success is responsible for retention while Sales owns the renewal. As an organization, Customer Success reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

The Challenge

Box’s Customer Success department, which has been evolving over the past four years, had been leveraging a variety of custom processes in Salesforce to track and forecast churn. For example, the team would create a ‘churn event’ that it used as a negative opportunity in Salesforce.

“So you go down this path without tools, and as tools start to emerge, you have the typical buy versus build conversation. At some point they cross the inflection point and I’m better off letting Gainsight build and maintain that capability than trying to do it myself.”

Although Box continued to iterate on its own processes within Salesforce, they knew that there were vendors on the market that were developing customer success solutions. The team was waiting for the ‘inflection point’ for when a vendor could provide a better solution than they could build themselves.

The Solution

The Customer Success team at Box is measured on their ability to grow the customer base.

The Customer Success team at Box developed the acronym CARE to define the four key focus areas: Customer Satisfaction, Adoption, Retention and Expansion. Adoption is measured at the user-level and considers much more than just login data, but how frequently users were taking deliberate steps in Box. The team considers retention the most important way to measure the growth in value of the customer base at both a gross and net retention basis. Box chooses Gainsight because of product maturity and industry leadership in Customer Success.

Box had been watching Gainsight evolve for about three and a half years while the company gained momentum. As the product became more mature, it eventually grew close to Box’s vision for operationalizing Customer Success. The team at Box evaluated their options and came to the conclusion that is was time to pay someone else to do it.

Another strong factor in Box’s vendor selection was Gainsight’s thought leadership in building the Customer Success community. The team wanted more than a tool, they wanted the best practices that Gainsight could provide based on its experience working with other SaaS companies in driving success. Gainsight had a critical mass of customers and conversations through its community, ready to bring to the table.

The Results

Gainsight provides Box with dashboards that give visibility into customer adoption and sophistication of product usage. Gainsight is currently deployed to Box’s CSM and Customer Advisory teams. Management has created dashboards in Gainsight to provide visibility into product adoption, and are pushing CSMs to drive their one-on-one conversations with customers and to prioritize their work using those dashboards.

“So we’ve got these dashboards. They tell you what’s going on from an adoption perspective, and we measure what we call customer sophistication. How sophisticated is the customer’s usage of the product?”

Box is building a metrics-based culture driven by Gainsight Cockpit and Calls-to-Action (CTAs).

Since the Customer Success function has evolved at Box over the past four years, the team is still clearly defining the day-in-the-life of a CSM and how they are measured. Box admitted that the more its CSMs use Gainsight to drive behavior, the clearer that vision will become. For Box, a perfect world would be where the CSM’s entire workflow is driven by the Gainsight Cockpit and CTAs.

“If you imagine the perfect world where the CSMs entire workflow is driven by the Gainsight Cockpit and Callsto-Action, and with the metrics that are presented there, what they are supposed to do every day would become pretty clear.”

By implementing a Gainsight dashboard, Box is creating a more metrics-based culture, which will be essential as the business scales.

“So I think what you would see if you kind of walked around is more and more of our CSMs looking at those dashboards. And I think that’s a pretty important thing for us.”

Box’s Customer Success executives use Gainsight to manage upcoming renewals and associated metrics.

Box’s SVP Customer Success, Jon Herstein, now has a Gainsight dashboard with the top ten open risks to renewals due in 90 days that he can use to check in with his CSM team to ensure they have a strategic plan.

“I have a dashboard with my top ten open risks with renewals in the next 90 days that I can check in with the CSM managers and say, ‘what’s going on with this account?’”

Jon Herstein is currently working with his Customer Success Operations team to develop an executive dashboard that shows an overall ranking of key metrics (satisfaction, adoption, renewals, and expansion) to help focus attention, both on a customer basis and an organizational basis.