Using customer data to illuminate the road ahead is always going to be far more effective than winging it or blindly assuming that what has worked in the past will continue to work in the future.
Still, customer data needs to be carefully tracked and evaluated in order to be worth gathering in the first place. Understanding how to use customer success analytics to your advantage is key to seeing your enterprise’s roadmap for the future.
Tracking Data Throughout the Customer Journey
Utilizing customer success analytics intelligently begins with identifying what to track and how to track it. It is important to track data throughout the customer journey to have a complete picture of your customers’ needs. It is always the easiest to take all the data points that you have across all systems, but this just creates noise and unnecessary work. Your team should take note of isolated data points that indicate individual victories or failures, as well as what they say about the customer’s overall experience. Different types of data become more valuable during different stages of the customer journey (note that stages may overlap):
- Onboarding: The onboarding stage is your team’s chance to make a great impression. The more efficient your process, the better. As such, important metrics to track during onboarding typically include things like time between milestones and adoption.
- Adoption: The adoption stage of the customer journey is also called the growth stage. During this time, your team should be keeping a close eye on key adoption metrics like how much time customers are spending with a product and feature adoption rate.
- Renewal: During the renewal stage, it’s important to prioritize at-risk renewals. Customer renewal rates and churn rates are obvious KPIs here, but it is also important to track things like customer behavior continuously—not just 30-60-90 days before renewal.
- Escalation: When a customer reaches the escalation stage, the most important thing your team can do is help the customer feel heard and help them find a satisfying solution. The second most important thing they can do is to learn from the experience. The best way to do this is to track data related to important factors like the cause of the escalation, what warning signs might have been present prior to the escalation, and how quickly and effectively the escalation was handled by your team.
Customer Success is everyone’s business, not just the CS team’s, so escalation handling may be a cross-team effort. Product gap escalations will involve the Product team, for instance.
Tracking the right data at the right time is a vital component in crafting a successful business strategy, particularly for optimizing customer success. Knowing how to use that data, however, is equally as important.
Using Customer Success Analytics to Take Action
Customer success analytics form the backbone of good strategy. Analyzing customer data shows you more than just what each customer’s experience looks like. It allows your team to tailor each customer’s success strategy and predict how their needs and preferences will change as time goes on. Some examples:
- Onboarding analytics help your team identify areas of improvement, like which parts of onboarding take the longest or which customers may need extra support. Then, your team can use this information to improve processes and optimize the overall onboarding experience.
- Adoption analytics give your team a window into which product features are most valuable to which users, and who your key champions are. If you then identify a product feature that is particularly valuable, you will know to give this feature special attention during onboarding.
- It also provides you insights into areas that you know that your customers are not using, and can help build training programs to promote usage.
- Customer success analytics related to renewal and churn highlight warning signs. Advanced notice gives your team time to prepare and respond effectively. If you see a customer who may be at risk for churn, you can engage them proactively to prevent it.
- Escalation analytics allow your team to achieve a clear understanding of what is going wrong. That way, your team can adjust processes to prevent the issue from arising again.
For any of this to happen, customer data must be readily accessible to all organization members that need customer data to help guide their decisions (not just your customer success team) from a central location. This promotes efficiency. These analytics should also always be viewed in the context of larger strategies—both within the customer success department and across the enterprise as a whole—to enable your organization to be more customer-centric.
Using the right customer success solution will ultimately allow your team to get the most out of your customer data.
Advanced Technology for Using Customer Success Analytics Effectively
Your team needs effective customer success technology to scale their operations, make data-driven decisions, and track activities against goals. The right solution should combine analytics with action, giving your team clear next steps based on a given situation. Totango’s solutions include:
- An advanced customer data platform that can collect, organize, and present data clearly and intelligently within the context of your team’s overall strategy.
- An intuitive operating system that actively monitors each customer’s progress and includes an early warning system that will alert your team to significant behavioral trends and suggest ways to address them.
- Powerful technology between the CS team and the rest of your organization.
When your CS team can gather, analyze, access, and take action on real-time customer data, your team will be more efficient at meeting measurable business outcomes. Remember, it isn’t just about the numbers; it’s about the actions you take based on these numbers.
At Totango, we pride ourselves on offering top-notch customer success solutions to enterprises in a variety of industries. If you’d like to learn more, explore Spark at your leisure or create a free trial account and get started today.