A Customer Success Team’s main purpose is to ensure their customers get the best value from the product once they have purchased it. If it is done well, the result of it is to reduce churn and increase expansion revenue. To achieve this, the customer success manager needs to get a 360-degree view of the customer with whom they are dealing. We will have a look at how data can help in getting a whole new perspective on doing an excellent job at customer success.
What is Data Driven Customer Success?
Data driven customer success is utilising the customer-related data to help in reducing churn, upselling and providing them with the right information at the right time. The customer success team will be taking evidence-based decision to help the customer to provide right service at the right time. Using data, customer success team can deliver personalised experience, tailored to their customer’s needs.
Why is Customer data important?
There are two big advantages of using data from a customer success perspective:
- Being proactive, as opposed to reactive
- Tailoring communication and information
Firstly, the customer success managers schedule calls once every quarter or a similar duration. If their customer answers the call, they get to understand the problems they are facing. This is being reactive where the customer success manager does not really get any insight into the customer data. Only after the phone call, they understand and act on to try and solve the problem. In most cases this is too late as the customer would have already decided to move on to another product.
Secondly, without data, customer success managers just schedule a series of emails for their customers. Instead, the emails can be customised to have the customer’s name and company name, Also, sending email about a feature the customer is already using is again ineffective and they will ignore your emails.
If communication is sent with context to the customer, the likelihood of reaching out to the customer is much higher.
The two most important functions of a customer success team, apart from ensuring that customers are getting value, is to reduce churn and work on expansion revenue.
How does data help with reducing churn?
As mentioned above, data helps customer success managers to be proactive. This means they can identify at risk customers way before they churn and get that advantage of time to see whether they can fix the problem the customer is facing.
There are various leading indicators that a customer is going to churn, and this varies from product to product. By capturing data like usage, support tickets, financial transactions, survey results and processing this data a common theme will appear for customers who churn.
As an example, you may have 2-3 core features that most of your customers who use your product well might use. This forms a benchmark and using usage data you can keep track off customers who do not use these core features. These customers can be nurtured to understand why they are not using those features and be helped to get started with those features.
This is a classic example of how customer success teams can use usage data to pre-empt customers who do not use your core features and take appropriate steps before the they turn to another product. By proactively working on these at-risk customers, churn can be reduced significantly.
How does data help with expansion revenue?
As we have seen how data will help in identifying churned customers profile, we can also see customers who have expanded their accounts in the past and look at what similarities they have with the current customers. Some of the data that we can look at to gather this information includes:
- Usage Information
- Licence Utilisation
- Support ticket history
- Survey responses
- Company Size
- Licences bought vs potential licence users
By collating this data together and looking at the patterns, customer success managers can identify which customers are most likely to expand their accounts and nurture them as leads at the appropriate time.
How to get started with data collection?
As we saw from the above examples, two business critical areas – churn and expansion revenue can benefit hugely from having data. To start with data, identify all the third-party software’s that you currently use to manage your product. This would typically include software’s like
- CRM System (eg. Pipedrive)
- Finance billing and collection system (Eg. Chargebee)
- Support Ticketing system that you use (Eg. Freshdesk)
- Feedback System that you use (Eg. Canny)
- Usage data collection (Eg. Segment, Churn360)
All these needs to come into a central place. You can use a platform like Churn360 to do that for you. The best part is, once the data is in, it will automatically figure out which customers are at risk of churning and which customers are likely to expand their accounts and prompt customer success managers to take appropriate action.
In addition, Churn360 calculates health scores for each account that gives you an overview of how healthy each customer is. It can do this by consuming all the data from various systems, looking at the history of the data and then calculating and grouping customers into poor, average and good health scores.
Given the amount of data that is already connected by the various softwares that a typical SaaS company uses to run its product, it only makes sense to empower customer success managers to make use of it, to be one step ahead of customers. Customer Success Platforms like Churn360 utilises these data and takes it further by helping customer success managers to proactively manage their customers at scale.