Data Drives Customer Success
One of the biggest challenges facing fast-growing software companies is enabling their customer success organization with complete and accurate data. According to a Harvard Business Review study, 99% of firms are trying to shift to a data-driven culture but only ⅓ have actually succeeded at doing so (2018). This is especially alarming when you consider the critical role that data plays in an organization’s customer success strategy.
Success for recurring-revenue companies depends on creating strong and lasting relationships with customers. To achieve this, your CS teams must have a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of your customers by capturing, analyzing and implementing data from a variety of sources. Given the vast amounts of data available, many companies fall short in determining the right customer success data sources that will properly enable and empower their CS organization.
So, how do you determine which data sources to use for driving customer value and revenue retention?
Here are 5 of the most important customer success data sources that your CS team should be tracking.
1) Usage Data
The first step in determining if your product is actually valuable, or even useful, to customers is through tracking usage data. For cloud-based companies in particular, this is fairly easy as this can be done directly through the product itself.
Evaluating which aspects of your product customers are using, how often and for how long, can provide critical insights into the health of your product and customers. At an aggregate level, this data can signal issues with your product that need immediate attention. At an individual level, it can provide deeper insight into customer behavior and how to guide them in leveraging your product for maximum value.
2) CRM Data
CRM tools provide a wealth of customer data but, unfortunately, many companies fail to make the most of this invaluable customer data source. CS teams often encounter CRMs with incomplete or out-of-date information, hindering their ability to deliver meaningful customer experiences.
Consistency in recording and updating data in CRM tools is the first and most important step in setting your CS organization up for success. Key data points to track include contract and billing details, major stakeholders and any communication with customers. To really optimize the value of your tech investment, take it one step further by encouraging your teams to record any observations and notes through their interactions with customers, such as organizational culture and characteristics.
3) Support Data
While many companies ignore support issues once they’re resolved, this data source can provide valuable information about both your customers and your product. Support tickets and open tickets generate strong insights into customer sentiment, product assessment, and any adoption issues. Combined support data can help you determine which aspects of your products can be improved and which customers require additional attention.
4) Survey Data
Surveys offer a good pulse on customer sentiment and product evaluation as a primary feedback source from customers. While support tickets are generated after customers use your products, surveys can be implemented at each stage of the customer lifecycle, from onboarding to adoption and all the way to offboarding. Conducting surveys at each stage, especially during the onboarding process, will ensure that you spot and resolve issues before they arise and improve your revenue retention efforts.
5) CS Interaction Data
While all the aforementioned customer data sources provide an abundance of valuable insights, your internal CS organization will ultimately be your best and most informed data source. Your customer success teams are a treasure trove of knowledge, as each and every customer interaction provides a wealth of learning about the customer and their key goals, challenges, and needs. Ensure your CS teams are tracking every meeting and capturing any complaints or feedback as this data can inform everything from customer success strategy to product features and new offerings.
Connecting Your Company, Your Customers And Your Data
While usage, CRM, support, survey and CS interaction data are all essential customer success data sources, they are often siloed and time-consuming to retrieve. In order to truly get a 360-degree understanding of your customers, you need to bring this data together through collaboration. In our experience, the most successful companies implement a data-driven mindset across the organization by initiating cross-functional knowledge sharing sessions across their customer-facing teams. and empower their customer success teams to use data to make decisions.
Are you ready to leverage your data to maximize customer value and accelerate revenue retention? Read our interview with Valuize’s Solutions Delivery Director, Mathieu Brillon, on how to build a data-driven customer success operations model.