Civitas Learning Rapidly Grows Customer Advocacy Using Gainsight for VoC

"Gainsight Surveys are the key way we gather feedback and understand sentiment across our customer base."
- Eric Grunden, Senior Vice President of Partner Success

Civitas Learning is a student success company. Their Student Success Intelligence Platform leverages higher education institutions’ unique data to identify insights to personalize support, scale meaningful action, and measure impact to improve student outcomes. Their customer base is comprised of two distinct lines of business. One is a high-touch enterprise business line, averaging around 10 accounts per CSM. The other is a lower-touch business line recently acquired by Civitas Learning, where CSMs own about 100 accounts each.

Civitas Learning and Gainsight partnered to build out an impactful VoC strategy consisting of 3 components: Listen, Act, Analyze. We’re excited to highlight their Senior Vice President of Partner Success, Eric Grunden, Chief Partnerships Officer, Tony Capasso, and their Director of Operations, Melissa Terrell. Their quotes and data you’ll see within. For clarification, please know that Civitas Learning using the term “customer” and “partner” synonymously, not in reference to channel partners.


"Gainsight Surveys are the key way we gather feedback and understand sentiment across our customer base."
- Eric Grunden, Senior Vice President of Partner Success

To create a holistic view of customer feedback across different elements of the customer journey, Civitas Learning is currently running three different survey programs and is actively rolling out a fourth. These are an ongoing NPS program, a Support CSAT program, a Training CSAT program and they are currently rolling out an Implementation CSAT program.

The distribution of these surveys to key stakeholders, case submitters and training recipients is automated using Gainsight, ensuring that no customer gets missed. The NPS Survey is triggered twice a year, the Support Survey is triggered by Case closure, the Training Survey is triggered by completion of a training, and Implementation CSAT surveys, four in total, will be triggered based on completion of key project milestones.


"We quickly respond to every response using the Calls to Action with email tasks in Gainsight. It scales and streamlines our messages to let our customers know we really care, reflected in the huge increase in our advocate base."
- Melissa Terrell, Director of Operations

For every survey response, a Call to Action is triggered in Gainsight. The CTAs for poor responses are routed to the functions’ Director or Senior level leader to follow up with the customer. Neutral and positive responses are routed to the accounts’ CSM. Attached to these CTAs are Playbooks with Email Tasks, making a catered follow-up quick and easy for any type of response.

Civitas Learning’s NPS program has been particularly impactful in building their base of advocates. The Playbook for NPS Promoter responses includes an email task asking if the customer will join their reference program. If they accept, the CSM can easily update the referenceability of that Contact from within Gainsight.

Analyze to Drive Impact

"Our sales team is feeling the support of customer advocacy like never before."
- Tony Capasso, Chief Partnerships Officer

As Civitas Learning’s advocate pool grows, it’s been a major boon for their sales team. The base of referenceable contacts has grown 40% in the past 6 months.

They also did a deep analysis of their NPS data, and found a clear connection between the customer’s time-to-value and their willingness to advocate. The faster outcomes were achieved, the happier they were and the more willing they were to be a customer reference. Time-to-value was also directly linked with a CSMs ability to spend time with the customer. This was the rock-hard data that was needed to continue investing in a high-touch Enterprise model, maintaining a 1-to-10 CSM to Account ratio as their Enterprise business grows.

"Our NPS program made it clear that positive customer outcomes were directly correlated with willingness to advocate. This gave us the leverage to secure a resource specifically focused on analyzing and delivering outcomes for customers." - Eric Grunden, Senior Vice President of Partner Success