Customer Success, Metrics

7 Essential Customer Success Metrics ft. @UseNotion

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Excellent Customer Success leaders know that the practice is both art and science. Being exceptional in the role means being good with both numbers and people. In a way, it is the perfect marriage of using data and and building relationships. Data helps you build better, stronger, happier, and longer relationships with your customer, because it’s the data that can help you deliver a more responsive, customized and pleasant experience for your customers.

Tracking the right metrics also comes with another benefit: They’re the raw materials you can use to secure more funding for your Customer Success department, argue for changes in processes that impact your team, and back up any feedback you deliver to Product. These are the metrics that prove your worth, help you grow, and enable you to deliver success to your customers too.

Disclaimer: Many of the metrics listed below aren’t solely customer success metrics. In fact, many will be from data sources that aren’t necessarily controlled, managed, or regularly accessed by the customer success department. This can make tracking this data challenging.

We recommend a 5 step process to getting the information you need to deliver a better experience to your customers.

  1. Make a spreadsheet with each of these KPIs listed. Include additional metrics that matter to your team. Fill in any of the data that you have.
  2. Determine who owns the information you need to fill in the rest of your spreadsheet. Once you figure that out, send a personal appeal requesting regular updates for that data.
  3.  Set multiple event alerts to remind you to pester them for their numbers each week or month.
  4. Summarize the pertinent numbers weekly or monthly, so your boss is up-to-date on how you’re team’s doing. Also discuss with your team, so you can track progress to team goals, discuss areas where you can improve and celebrate wins as a team.
  5. Every quarter, re-evaluate team goals and the associated metrics used to track their progress and adjust your spreadhseet accordingly.

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Startups

The Lean Startup Way to Fail ft. @AshMaurya

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

The road of progress is paved with failures – that’s not a quote; in fact, I made it up – but when you’re talking about Lean Startup methodology, it’s nevertheless true. If we don’t fail, we can’t grow, which makes failure actually very exciting, and something we encourage. Failures force us to question our convictions, and possibly discard them to make way for new ones that work more effectively.

When you think of failure that way, it’s not so bad. But, it also opens the door to the possibility that:

You’re doing failure wrong

In Scaling Lean: Mastering The Key Metrics for Startup Growth, author Ash Maurya (also author of Running Lean and creator of Lean Canvas) talks about the right way to deal with failure so you can reap the most benefits from what appears, at first, to be a significant setback.

“Can you find the common theme across these discoveries: penicillin, microwave, X-ray, gunpowder, and vulcanized rubber? . . . In each of these cases, the inventors were seeking a specific outcome and instead got a different outcome. But instead of throwing away their ‘failed’ experiments, they did something very different from most people: they asked why.”

As Maurya points out, Lean entrepreneurs today don’t fail, they pivot – but if pivoting means rushing to correct course, instead of examining the cause of the failure, you’re doing it wrong. In fact, pivoting  might not be the best response at all. Only through careful, collaborative analysis can you determine whether to persevere with your hypothesis, pivot your strategy to reach your goal by different route, or chuck the idea altogether.

Whichever route you choose, you’ve been given an opportunity. When a hypothesis doesn’t hold true, you have the ability to learn things about your customers that you never would have otherwise – by asking “why?” (a lot).

“Why?” lets you dig deep into the reasons far below surface assumptions. The “5 Whys” exercise developed by Toyota Motor Corporation can be a useful tool after just about any failure, crisis, setback, or experiment.

Read More on Notion

Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

E-commerce Differentiation: Stand out, sell more ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Differentiation is, literally, what separates you from your competition. It’s why your customers will only buy from you, no matter what the other guys are offering. When you hit just the right differentiator for your target audience, you’ll convince them that they can only get their desired outcome from you.

What is differentiation?

Differentiation is what makes your product unique and valuable for your target audience. It’s what sets you apart. Grabs attention. Says to the world “I’m the only place you’ll find THIS!”

It can take many forms. Price can be a differentiator (“best value!”, “Cheapest rates!”). Quality can be a differentiator. Brand names and social cachet (aka. “perceived value”) can be differentiators. The fact that your product is on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list is a differentiator. Features can be differentiators, but features can also be easily copied by competitors (which means if people love a feature, it won’t be a differentiator for long). Longevity, even, can be a differentiator (“Dine at London’s oldest restaurant”). It can be your company ethics, your founder, your driving philosophy, even your personality.

Most importantly, the differentiator you choose to highlight in your value proposition and marketing should be something no one can take away from you.

Read More on Objeqt

Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

6 Ways to Alter Perceived Value to Improve Your CRO ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

What is it about that blue box – the iconic Tiffany’s box.

What’s inside isn’t, typically, very exciting in purely objective terms. A relatively plain diamond engagement ring (okay, the engagement itself is exciting), a charm bracelet, heart necklace or pair of generic earrings the like of which you could easily find at Zales? Half the magic of Tiffany’s is knowing it came from Tiffany’s – the iconic mecca for diamond and Audrey Hepburn fans. There’s romance in that box that is only tangentially related to the jewelry.

There’s also social cachet.

I don’t mean to sound jaded. I wouldn’t turn a down a blue box or its contents. But I do want to point out that its value isn’t intrinsic: it’s perceptual.

Perception is a very individual thing, influenced by life experience, personality, past interactions with your brand and your competitors (and with certain classic movies). Perception is the voice that whispers “Yes, you should buy the Poinsettia Flower Pot Cake for $165 because Oprah said so,” or “Hey, maybe I’ll give AirBnB a chance – Kim looks really comfy.”

Just checked into our NYC penthouse. Thanks @airbnb for the gift of our home away from home.

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Perception is so subtle, many of us don’t pay it much attention. But marketers do. CROs do. And you should, too.

Even the words you use in your value proposition, marketing, and product pages will mean slightly different things to different people. The words quality, premium, economy, value, guarantee might mean “an intelligent purchase decision” to some buyers, or just mean “cheap” to others.

It’s because perception is so varied, and I would argue malleable, that it can be influenced to generate higher conversions – without increasing your own costs.

And you don’t need Oprah or Kim to do it.

Hey now – this isn’t entirely self-serving. Customers want to feel good about their purchases, that they’ve made the best possible decision on a product that meets their practical and emotional needs. And, when they do feel that way, they tend to be more loyal. Everybody wins.

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Customer Success

Top 10 Myths about Customer Success — Busted! 💥 ft. @Wootric

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Image created by Yasmine Sedky (‏@yazsedky).

We’ve seen so many myths out there about how best to do Customer Success, propagated by well-meaning CSMs and business owners who are trying to translate what worked for them into what will work for you. And we’ve also seen advice that may have worked in the past, but is obsolete for 2017. We’ve rounded up the worst offenders, with a weather eye to those that are just plain counter-intuitive.

Read More on Wootric


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Customer Experience

There is a Correlation between CX and Revenue Growth – and Here’s the Data to Back It Up ft. @Wootric

The-Correlation-between-3

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

“Our conclusion: superior CX drives superior revenue growth.”
Harley Manning, Forrester

“Customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experiences”
Peter Kriss, Harvard Business Review

There is a lot of chatter happening in business circles about customer experience (CX) as a growth engine. It’s almost intuitive – you and I both understand how having a great experience affects us as customers. We all have businesses we love, products we’ll follow to the ends of the earth (in hopes they’ll finally go on sale), and websites we follow with almost religious fervor.

As CMO, VP of Success, or Head of Customer Support, you are constantly advocating for customer experience within your company. After all, from the very first moment the second blacksmith’s shop appeared in the village, creating competition for the first blacksmith’s shop, customer experience has been a deciding vote for who gets the business – just as much as price and quality. But as a business owner, or a professional marketer, you can’t afford to go with your gut. To win resources you need data to back up your argument that CX is the future (you know it is).

There is a correlation between CX and revenue growth, and we’ve compiled the research to back it up.

Read More on Wootric


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Photo Friday

2016 in Photographs, Collages, & Digital Graffiti by @NikkiElizDeMere

I captured some beautiful moments this year and was reacquainted with my creative side, so I took my art to the next level and started creating collages and digital graffiti in addition to taking photographs. 📱💜

(See also: 2015 in Photographs.)

Follow me on Instagram.

Startups

Build, Measure, Learn, + Communicate ft. @LauraKlein

build-measure-learn

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Build, measure, learn. They’re the fundamental building blocks of Lean Startup methodology. Critics equate this 3-part cycle with tossing half-baked products to consumers to see if they work – a mistake easily made if you don’t fill in the spaces between Build – Measure – Learn with a little common sense and a lot of communication.

But first, let’s clear up a miscommunication. This isn’t simply about building a product. It’s about a lot more than that.

The goal of Build, Measure, Learn isn’t to build a final product, or even a prototype. It’s to learn as much as possible about your target audience, their pain points, price points, and possible solutions through incremental, iterative engineering. The value of approaching product development this way, rather than the waterfall model (in which a set of requirements leads to product design, followed by implementation, verification and maintenance), is that the product develops as a result of customer feedback from the beginning, rather than developing the product before sending it to Alpha and Beta testing.

Read More on Notion


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Startups

Test Big Strategies via Small Experiments ft. @AshMaurya

test-big-strategies

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

“The best way to test a big idea or strategy is through small, fast, additive experiments.” – Ash Maurya, Scaling Lean

Lean startup methodology is predicated on the idea of making a minimal investment (and taking minimal risk) to learn the most valuable lessons. When it comes to creating highly effective strategies, the method is the same: creating small, fast, low-risk, highly informative tests.

How do you create “small” tests?

Small tests begin by getting to the heart of your strategy – what is the biggest, perhaps riskiest, assumption your strategy makes?

Ash Maurya in Scaling Lean: Mastering The Key Metrics for Startup Growth uses a content strategy as an example.

For instance, if you wanted to test a new content marketing strategy, what would you do? Here’s a possible task list:

1. Pick a name for your blog.

2. Register a domain.

3. Design a logo.

4. Set up a WordPress site.

5. Publish your first blog post.

6. Promote the blog post.

The first four items on this list require acquisition of additional resources. While relatively inexpensive in money terms, they cost time, which is more valuable than money. More important, they don’t do much to test the riskiest assumption in this strategy, which is ‘Can you write compelling content that engages your audience?’ This is tested only in steps 5 and 6.

Do you even need your own blog to do this? You can instead leverage other people’s networks by guest blogging first. Not only does it get you to step 5 faster, it also takes care of step 6.

Read More on Notion


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.