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Top 3 lessons learned from building today’s best in class customer success

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At Totango we’ve worked with over 200 customers of all sizes to help design, build and deploy best-in-class customer success management programs for their organization. Customer success management enables them to reduce churn, encourage upsells and promote evangelism.

Through working with these companies, as well as drinking our own champagne, we’ve learned a few best practices when it comes to building a successful program in your organization.

Have the right data

With the growth of SaaS, businesses have more access to customer data than ever before. While traditionally, businesses have had to guess customer health through surveys, net promoter scores, support tickets, and other such proxies, SaaS companies can now use customer engagement and usage data directly from the product itself. Capturing this data let’s you listen to your users in real time allowing you to evaluate the health of your customers with the highest amount of accuracy. There are 5 types of date we recommend people use to determine a customer health score:

icons-15Product usage: are users logging in and using the applications regularly?


Business outcomes: is the customers getting the end-result they expected?


Service utilization: is the customer fully utilizing their subscription?


Customer feedback: what are customers actually saying to the extended customer team?


Support and operations: are there any outstanding support, SLA or invoicing issues?


Be intelligent with engagement

to whom it may concernOnce you have the right data it’s important to make sure your team is being prescriptive with their engagement. For example, if an account is having health issues then you don’t want to be reaching out to upsell them on advanced functionality. Or if some users at an account are already using a feature, there is no need to market that feature’s functionality to them; instead you can target the users who are not yet using it. Generic messages no longer cut it when when you have granular access to usage data.

Measure your impact

When building out any strategy it’s important to determine the metrics for success, and customer success is no different. Look at the data you collect so you can show how the programs you’ve implemented are actually driving customer success and what areas need more focus. Here are some key metrics to get you started:

engagementIncreased engagement: are users logging in, using all the features, spending time in your product?

health improveImproved customer health: are you customer accounts health score improving?

advocacyCustomer advocacy: are you seeing higher referral rates and more willingness to be a customer reference?

Today, more and more companies are looking for solutions that help them understand how customers use their product or service so they can take these insights to drive customer value. Organizations who have built Customer Success programs have a clear revenue advantage because they are proactively driving customer value and in turn reducing churn.

Hear more from our customers to see how Totango has helped them.


Jill Rubin

Jill is a senior marketing and business development executive with experience leading successful teams in both large companies and startups. She has taken companies from early stage to strong revenue growth and propelled established businesses to industry leadership positions.

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