Adoption is a stage in a journey, not a point in time. It is the process of continuing to derive ever-more value from your products and services. This experience of value is critical to the health of your customer relationship, so you need a customer success adoption plan.
What is Adoption?
Breaking down the customer journey into modular stages helps to operationalize customer success strategies. At each stage, you can apply goal-based, outcomes-driven engagements that keep your customers on the path to value and growth.
The customer journey can be divided into four main stages. Note that stages may overlap.
- Onboarding: The customer is introduced to the product and learns how to use it to accomplish their goals.
- Adoption: The customer gets more and more value from the product.
- Escalation: The customer raises a concern and the customer success team responds to solve the problem.
- Renewal: The customer decides whether or not to continue their partnership.
The adoption stage is the longest part of the customer journey. It is where the customer begins to use your product regularly. Success in adoption is determined by how often and how effectively your customer uses your product.
How to Measure Success During Adoption
To maximize customer lifetime value, enterprises have to continually deliver value over cycles of renewal. By anticipating customer behavior, you can make sure every customer is accessing your product and using the right features to achieve their goals.
Several key adoption metrics will let you know if your customer is heading in the right direction to achieve maximum value from your product. Keeping track of customer data will give you the information you need to personalize your customer success adoption plan for each customer. That said, there is no one formula for measuring adoption, and different teams should track different metrics. Beware of vanity metrics like login rates, which don’t give insight into adoption.
Best Practices for a Customer Success Adoption Plan
A customer success adoption plan is made up of standardized processes that your entire team can use to guide the customer through the adoption stage. The elements listed below are practical elements you can incorporate into your plan:
Focus on Features
Adoption is primarily about making sure the customer is using the right product features. Each customer will have their unique set of priorities, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, you must match your customer’s business goals to features that will lead to success. Monitor feature usage and take proactive action if you notice that a customer is not using a feature that you know would help them meet their goals.
Don’t take feature usage for granted; you’ll need to educate customers about new features if you want them to know they exist and use them.
Prepare Collateral and Set it to Send Automatically
The customer success team should always take a proactive, not a reactive, approach. Have a range of situation-specific collateral ready to go, such as:
- Personalized emails
- Product training
- Detailed information on how product features relate to business success
Having these materials prepared in advance lets you act quickly when customer metrics alert you to possibilities or problems. Better yet, send them automatically at specific milestones so that people don’t have to wait for alerts to take action.
Your preparation will ensure a consistent, scalable, repeatable customer experience.
Share Information Across Your Enterprise
Your customer should feel surrounded by personalized service no matter how they engage with your enterprise. Gathering data from every touchpoint and making this information available to every member of your team in a central location keeps everyone on the same page.
Create and Celebrate Customer Milestones
Milestones are a great way to demonstrate customer growth. Your customer success adoption plan should contain several such milestones that link to business achievements. These might include achieving 100% license utilization, the transition to advanced product features, or passing a predefined number of hours in the product. Continually referring to future goals reminds customers of the value still to be achieved on their journey with your organization.
Plan for Escalations
Nothing dulls customer adoption like hitting a bottleneck or technical problem. Have a plan in place, including a rapid communication chain, to respond to and solve customer escalations as quickly as possible. Be sure to inform your customer how their problem will be addressed and give them an accurate timeline for resolution.
Use the Right Customer Success Software
Accurate, up-to-date customer information is central to your customer success efforts. Your customer success software is the central repository and point of analysis for every piece of information you collect. You can see measurements of customer health, which will help you scale your efforts, prioritize accounts, and launch proactive engagements. Customer success software provides you an early warning system; it will alert you to significant changes in customer behavior so your team can take action right away to optimize the adoption stage. It’s an operating system that even performs some actions automatically, such as assigning next steps.
Cultivate a Customer Success Adoption Plan
Creating a customer adoption plan helps you make sure your customers are getting the most value from your product as possible. By gathering and sharing information, setting up internal lines of communication, and preparing event-specific collateral, you can guide your customers to thoroughly and effectively adopt your product into their practical workflows.
Once your product becomes an indispensable part of your customer’s future, you will be on the path to long-term, mutually beneficial growth.
Totango’s customer success platform has the capabilities needed to accelerate your customer’s experience of value in the adoption stage. Take the time to explore Spark, the only goals and outcomes-based platform on the market. Create a free trial account to get started today.