Continuum Tackles Partner Success Using Gainsight for VoC

Continuum is an IT management platform that sells solutions in the channel. Their partners are not on a traditional subscription model. Instead, they’ve coined the partner relationship as “Pay as you Grow,” where the value the partner brings to Continuum is directly tied to product adoption. In this sort of model, actively monitoring and acting on partner feedback is critical to maintaining the relationship. Gainsight’s VoC technology allows Continuum to listen and close the feedback loop with partners to identify specific pain points that have directly led to significant product improvements.

Continuum and Gainsight partnered to build out an impactful VoC strategy consisting of 3 components: Listen, Act, Analyze for Impact. We’re excited to highlight Nicole Hunter Hart, Senior Manager of Partner Success Programs. Her quotes and data you’ll see within.

Listen

"Our partners aren’t on a traditional subscription contract model. On any day, they can choose to partner elsewhere, so we’re very invested in our partners and their satisfaction. Our Voice of the Customer programs keep a pulse on our partner base."
- Nicole Hunter Hart, Senior Manager of Partner Success Programs

Continuum generates a steady stream of feedback through an ongoing NPS program driven through Gainsight. Every six months, partners receive an NPS survey. The partner base is divided into A and B groups to stagger the surveys so that one group is surveyed each quarter. This ensures that representative feedback is coming in regularly enough to drive consistent insight into customer sentiment without overwhelming partners.

Gainsight lets Continuum customize survey delivery details. This customizability has significantly increased response rates to NPS. Continuum’s platform includes multiple products, and its surveys map to the different products a customer has purchased.

One of the most effective CSAT questions, which follows up the NPS question, is “What’s the most important thing to improve next quarter?” Responses are correlated to pressure from competitors to drive meaningful improvements to both the products and customer experience.

Continuum is also currently rolling out a closed-loop Implementation CSAT program that will gauge the satisfaction and readiness of customers as they exit onboarding.

Act

"Our field teams are now equipped with the information and alerts they need to respond quickly to any sort of feedback."
- Nicole Hunter Hart, Senior Manager of Partner Success Programs

Gainsight for VoC is built to close the feedback loop by triggering meaningful actions based on survey responses. Completed or partially-completed surveys fire a Call to Action (CTA) to the partner’s Technical Success Manager (TSM). Each scenario has its own tailor-made Playbook. For example, when a TSM records an NPS score of 9 or 10, it immediately triggers a series of advocacy asks. If the customer agrees to act as a reference, another CTA is triggered with another Playbook to execute on that opportunity.

Gathering insight at a Contact, Account, and product level is critical for understanding and retaining partners. As part of Continuum’s “Voice of the Partner” initiative, they leverage Gainsight to track average customer NPS by partner. Any big change in the sentiment by Partner will trigger a risk CTA, with suggested tasks on how to address challenges at the partner.

Analyze for Impact

"Gainsight helps me see the low-hanging fruit: the things that will greatly improve the partner experience that won’t consume a huge amount of effort."
- Nicole Hunter Hart, Senior Manager of Partner Success Programs

For visibility into customer sentiment, a “State of the Customer” reports roll up to the executive team that summarizes survey data. Continuum’s leadership closely monitors overall NPS and CSAT (including response rates) by segment, vertical, and USA vs. international.

The information surfaced in the Voice of the Partner initiative and the State of the Customer report directly impacts executive priorities at Continuum. Resources are allocated and product decisions are made based on this invaluable feedback. Weak CSAT and freeform response around a particular product directly led to the executive team to prioritize a set of enhancements.

The company has also honed its technique by pinpointing the most effective delivery mechanism. They found that response rates increased when it switched from sending surveys on behalf of the VP of Product Management to the regional account team. Since implementing Gainsight for VoC, Continuum has seen a steady increase in the response rate.

"We were seeing pointed dissatisfaction around one aspect of our product and through NPS and VoC we were able to better understand that, dig into the details, and prioritize work to where it’s now resolved."
- Nicole Hunter Hart, Senior Manager of Partner Success Programs