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Customer Success

Customer Success, Metrics

Why Customer Success Metrics are Critical to Every Department ft. @UseNotion

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Customer Success is, when done right, pro-active. Customer success managers are constantly on the lookout (often with the help of auto-notifications set to deploy when customers show signs of trouble) for what customers need now, and what customers need next. But the quantitative and qualitative data Customer Success Managers use to feel the pulse of the customer base isn’t just useful for their department. It’s useful for every department. Critical even.

How can customer success help colleagues in other departments?

Data Driven + Customer Centric Product Management

Customer Success data typically includes real-time visibility into customers’ health (calculated with a combo of usage data and contextual data). So CSMs know what customers are using most, and are the first to know when a feature is leading to confusion and frustration. That information alone can direct the priorities of Product Managers when they’re creating their product roadmaps, but perhaps the most useful piece of information is this: Customer Success also knows what customers will need next.

For example, if Customer Success sees that customers are doing really well with the product, but could use an expansion or new feature to reach the next level, that information is crucial to data driven product teams (and to the growth of the company). Customer Success teams can implement a system of tagging that allows them to mark similar needs and wants in each customer record. If you’ve got the right metrics tracking tools in place, your team can then regularly deliver this data to product, telling them how many customers are requesting or needing new features and how those needs have changed over time.

For example, if you’re using Intercom for customer engagement, you can create segments based on users that have been tagged by requesting a certain feature. You could deliver that raw data to product, or you can use a tool like Notion that tracks trends in those requests over time, giving product a deeper understanding of the urgency of the need and the ability to do further research into which types of customers are making those requests. The end result is a product team with a richer and more nuanced understanding of the needs of their customers and the ability to craft a more customer centric product roadmap in the long term. Learn more about that communication strategy with Notion’s recent post: How Customer Success Can Deliver Data Driven Customer Insight.

Read More on Notion


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Customer Success, Product Management, SaaS

Product Managers: Why You Should Include Customer Success Milestones In Your User Flows ft. @Wootric & @16v

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

As a Product Manager, you develop user flows to chart how customers move from signup to successfully using your SaaS product. Your colleagues in Customer Success are doing the same thing — mapping a flow of customer milestones to success.

But “success” can mean different things to PMs and CSMs. And, while both teams employ user flows (or customer journeys), what they put on them are very different, reflecting their very different goals.

You are responsible for making the product functionally work, with enough awesome UX so it’s relatively intuitive for the customer to use. For your team, “success” often means that the product works. It does what it says it will do, and does it well.

Customer Success is responsible for helping customers use the product to achieve their desired outcome. Most of the time, that desired outcome isn’t in the product – it’s outside of it. For example, if I purchase a budgeting app, my desired outcome is to save enough money to sun myself on a Caribbean beach, with a good-looking server to bring me fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. The Customer Success manager’s job is to get me there.

You might say it’s a conflict between focusing on the world inside the product and the wide, wide world outside of it.

And that conflict can bring about a deep divide between Product and Customer Success.

Yet, we’re all working towards the same goal: Creating a product people love, need and want more of.

What if you were to bring both user flows together, so the functionality inside the product meets the desired outcomes outside of the product?

Read More on Wootric


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

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.

Read More on Notion


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

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, Customer Success, Emotion

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Emotion to Drive Customer Loyalty ft. @Wootric

dont-underestimate-the-power

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Emotion is coming to the forefront of Customer Experience (CX) management, not because it’s warm and fuzzy, and not because leveraging feelings is devilishly manipulative, but because when you use emotion to drive your CX efforts, it becomes a powerful differentiator.

More companies are getting better at the functional basics of customer experience, like responding in a timely manner to questions, streamlining the purchase process, and smoothing out onboarding (not to mention creating a decent product) – which means they need something unique to offer that separates them from their competition.

What is the most unique, even unforgettable thing you can offer? The way you make your customers feel. It’s for this reason the bar for CX is inching up.

The fact that understanding and influencing emotion is a vital ingredient for business success is not surprising — it has been the heart and soul of brand efforts. It is also the foundation of the emotion-recognition techniques (measuring physiological responses) currently in pilot for some retailers and old-school ethnographic research. Forrester 2017 Predictions: Dynamics That Will Shape The Future In The Age Of The Customer

 
Emotion not only carries the ability to define your company in a sea of competitors, it can also inspire viral word of mouth marketing from people who love you and want to express that to a large audience, whether because they’re influencers with their own followers, or reviewers.

Read More on Wootric


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

Customer Success

Customer Success Managers: Prove Your Worth and Get a Raise with Leading Indicators ft. @Wootric

customer-success-managers

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Do you know your worth to your company? Do your bosses know? What if you had metrics that showed, in black and white, just how much value you bring to the table? What if you brought those metrics into your next performance review – you know, the one in which you ask for a raise?

Forget the “what ifs.” Let’s make this into an “if/then” scenario.

If you bring in real numbers that prove the value you bring to your company into your next review, THEN you’ll get that raise or promotion you’ve been hoping for. Numbers don’t lie. The only trick is in tracking them.

How to Get Numbers that Prove You’re Worth Every Penny of that Promotion

Measuring ROI isn’t a new concept for customer success – metrics are an integral part of the job description. Since customer success is a relatively new field, success managers are typically eager to demonstrate the value of their department to the company, which means the metrics you need most (for when you’re sitting across the table from your boss) are ones you’re probably already tracking.

So let’s talk about the best metrics to tap into.

These metrics are the common ways to measure the core work of customer success as a whole, and your worth in particular.

Activities

Your first step is simple, but it might take you a while to come up with the list. You need to quantify all of the things you do. All of the activities, the health checks, the number of companies onboarded. It’s important to know how much you actually do, even though activities can be difficult to measure in terms of impact.

Now let’s look at the classic measure of the efficacy of customer success:

Read More on Wootric


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

Customer Success

The Future of Net Promoter Score is Here: from Lagging Indicator to Crystal Ball ft. @Wootric

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Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Revenue growth and profitability – are the two metrics the C-Suite cares about the most. They tell you exactly how you did this month or quarter. But do strong sales predict next quarter’s results? Hardly.

What if the C-Suite had a crystal ball that could not only predict their growth and profitability, but give  glimpses into the minds of their customers in time to save accounts that might otherwise go under?

We haven’t really had that capability, until now.

Traditionally, Net Promoter Score has been a “lagging indicator.” NPS surveys were typically sent out once a year, or once a quarter at most. There would be a big push to get the survey out, another push to respond, and then a mad dash of trying to piece together what happened during that time to result in the scores received.

But modern NPS programs are different. They can be that crystal ball.

Read More on Wootric


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

Customer Success, Tools, Visual Communication

Words Are Awkward — Respond Faster, Visually, Without Typing a Word of Text ft. @SlackHQ & @CloudApp

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Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Slack-based Customer Success Ideas to Amaze & Delight Your Customers

Slack customer service has been making headlines in tech communities. Some say it’s a crowd-pleaser and a time-saver, others say the opposite. In short: A few forward-thinking companies are using the Slack not just for internal team communication, but also for customer communications.

If you’ve ever gotten into an argument with a significant other via text message, you know that you can’t express everything with words alone.

Words are awkward.

They can be misleading and confusing or imply the wrong sentiment all together. Use too few words, and the reader thinks you’re callous and uncaring. Use too many and they’ll just think you’re weird. Without the benefit of visual aids, vocal inflections and physical gestures, communication, especially between strangers, is tough.

When it comes to customer service and customer success, clear communication is vital. But clarity isn’t the only goal. That communication also has to be fun and engaging. It has to tell the customer “I care about you, your experience, and your success.” And, each communication should make the client stop and think “Wow, I need to tell my friends about this company.”

That’s a tall order to place on faulty words, so some companies are beginning to bring in visual communication tools to use with Slack, like CloudApp.

Read More on SaaScribe


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

Customer Success, Product Management

The Critical Steps to Aligning Product Managers and Customer Success ft. @UseNotion

thecriticalsteps

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Once it looks like product market “fit” has been reached, Product Managers may be quick to celebrate. Building and iterating a product until it hits this level of success takes considerable effort. Inevitably, Customer Success will provide feedback about gaps in functionality, issues with usability and obstacles in guaranteeing a stellar customer experience. While valuable information, this input can feel rather unwelcome.

Customer Success teams aren’t trying to rain on the parade, but it can sure seem that way. And this tense relationship between Product Managers and Customer Success can foster an environment of unproductive resentment that drags both teams down.

It’s a natural human reaction. The customer feedback reported by Customer Success can sound less like constructive criticism, and more like straight-up fault finding. Any suggestions offered may get automatically labeled impractical by frustrated Product Managers. Nobody wants someone standing behind them, continuously pointing out flaws in their work, especially when they’re already working hard to create a good product.

But Customer Success sees it differently – they just want to make sure the product delivers its promises to customers! And from their positions on the front lines of the customer experience, they feel like their feedback is invaluable (and they’re right). Imagine their frustration at getting labeled as “complainers” for sharing real customer feedback.

Ouch.

Both teams are doing their best to create products people will love – and both are having trouble effectively communicating with each other.

Read More on Notion


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

Customer Success

Personal Service at Scale – The Secrets of @ArielKlein, Head of Customer Success at @DocSend

ari

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Ari Klein is one of those rare people who is equally comfortable discussing the finer points of human relationships as industrial engineering. Balancing between customer needs and product requirements, Ari builds customer success programs that tow growth and product strategy in their wake for companies like CrowdFlower, and currently, DocSend.

But my favorite thing about Ari, the one that knocked my socks off in our conversation, is when he talked about how closely his Customer Success department works with Product Development.

It’s the kind of collaboration that strengthens the entire discipline of Customer Success, and it so very seldom happens.

So, if you want:

  • Bleeding edge opportunity spotting,
  • Personalized messaging at scale,
  • And customer success content that not only solves problems, but does so in ways people will talk about for months afterward…
    – Ari’s your man.

I sat down to discuss Customer Success at its best. What came out was the true story of one company leveraging a Customer Success mindset to its greatest potential.

Want in on some of those secrets? Read on. From this point forward, all words are Ari’s.

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