CS Corner

How To Build A Great Customer Warning System

Patrick Schumacher
Patrick Schumacher
July 19, 2021
How To Build A Great Customer Warning System

Most of the companies we talk to have the same challenge: they are sick and tired of firefighting their customer accounts. Firefighting happens when you don’t have visibility into what is going on in your customer portfolio so you are constantly putting out fires, especially around renewal time.

Monitoring the vital actions that sail through a customer journey allows you to make lists that your manager can review. This could include checking a product engagement tool, or maybe a notification when a client starts to peruse a specific facet of the dashboard, or it can even tell you when a periodic business is due.

Not only that, but these are also planned out in a manner that drives customer success team to reach out to the clients whenever something changes from their usual patterns that could be subject to attention. With this, you can get to know if the customer is doing well.

On this note, you can also ask your customers to explore new value-oriented opportunities. Else, you can begin with sharing product improvisations that may benefit a customer. All that matters at the end of the day is deeper value and adoption.

First: Choose a powerful Customer Intelligence tool like: journy.io

With journy.io you can easily help those in need, even before they know they need help. When dealing with customers at scale, you need customer intelligence to know who's at risk of churning. journy.io's churn detection provides such intelligence throughout your entire organisation.

Second: Set up Rules for Health Scores

Build consistent health profiles that align to each individual customer journey, from very first ad click and website visit, over becoming a paying customer to possibly churning. You need to create a consistent and comprehensive system to track customer health score, which is a metric measuring whether customers are satisfied with your product or at risk of churn.

To use customer health score effectively, create scoring systems and dynamic segments specific to each phase of your customer’s journey and each type of customer. For example, you might have a health-rank scoring system for customers in the free trial, onboarding, and adoption phases, subdivided for SMB and enterprise customers. Each profile should have a health score based on the expected behavior for that customer segment.

Health scores are complied from two types of indicators: proactive and reactive. We recommend using two or three proactive indicators and up to two reactive indicators.

Proactive indicators alert you to changes to customer accounts prior to human interactions. They provide the best way to notify your Customer Success Team of the need for action. Positive and negative changes they can act on include:

  • Product Usage: How often are users logging in and using key product features?
  • Business Outcomes: Is the customer getting the end result they purchased the product for?
  • Service Utilization: Is the customer fully utilizing their subscription?

Reactive indicators are data collection points from customer-facing teams and surveys such as NPS and CSAT, which provide qualitative information about customer accounts. This data can provide useful action items for your Customer Success Teams, but often after it’s too late to do anything about it. It can include:

  • Customer Feedback: What anecdotal feedback has been collected by the extended customer team and surveys such as NPS and CSAT?
  • Support and operations: Does the customer have outstanding support, SLA or invoicing issues?

Once you have a health score system in place, it allows you to prioritize and plan engagements as needed for your entire customer base. As you continue to collect data, your scoring system can adapt to become even more accurate over time.

Third: Create Lifecycle Stages

Build consistent workflows on customer journey stages, by tracking platform behaviour and customer interactions within the company. Build a better flow of customers by understanding which features most contribute to getting a customer into a certain stage.

Forth: Set up Rules for User Segments

Customers with same behaviour and properties are often grouped into segments, for targeting purpose. journy.io lets you define such segments, and automatically assign any customer meeting same defined criteria.

Fifth: Choose your desired Connections and set up hyper personalized Campaigns

Synchronize customer data and activities between website, platform and supported ecosystem apps; while enriching it with health, lead qualification, customer segmentation, feature adoption, churn detection and other customer intelligence.

Do a Periodic Check-In

The biggest advantage the early warning systems provide you is the periodic check-ups. Basically, these are time-based milestones that help to reach out to the clients on a timely basis. And just in case, you see that the customer is doing poorly, you can zero in on drafting a mutual well-being plan. This should put a laser beam focus on getting the client back on track.

Further, it will help to identify the root cause of the situation and create an escalation plan to curb out that issue completely. It is never a problem to send out a friendly nudge every now and then to your client base.

This only helps you to know them better. What are their thoughts? Are things working out for them or is there any assistance you would like to delight them with? You never know, you could actually save up a client from churning away.

Create Customer Success Management Plans

In addition to monitoring health scores, your team should actively monitor customer portfolios and identify customers who reach important milestones or obstacles. These might include drops in engagement, adoption of a key feature or the arrival of the due date for a periodic business review.

Monitoring such key actions allows you to create dynamic segments that Customer Success Managers can review each week. There are two types of check-ins your Customer Success Team should monitor: event-based engagements and periodic check-ins.

Event Detection

Out of all the low level signals that are constantly collected by journy.io the platform identifies and interprets business meanings. These are intentions, segments and motivations of the customer. These meaningful higher level events represents both risks and opportunities that a customer success organization can make a good use of. The business events are derived and deduced automatically by the sequence, frequency and intensity of the data points that are constantly collected.

Signal and event detection connect the dots of customer information so the organization can take action proactively. What should be the right response? This is where decision support comes into play.

Decision Support

With decision support, you can help the front-line customer success and account managers to follow tested and proven responses to the various customer situations. In customer success, these are called Success Plays. The system triggers a set of sequenced activities assigned to the customer success manager. The system supports the customer success manager with the business event (what happened?), the full context (what was the previous sequence of events and data-points) and set recommended activities to follow.

This makes it easier to engage with customer or collaborate internally in order to engage effectively with the customer is what makes effective and efficient workflows for the engaging customer success teams.

Customer Engagement Framework

A SuccessPlay usually requires the customer success manager to engage with the customer and to engage internally to orchestrate proper organizational response.

Although there are many options to engage with customers (email, telephone, web-meetings, slack) and similar set of tools to collaborate internally, what’s unique about a customer success platform engagement framework is the ability to tie the engagement and collaboration both within the context of the SuccessPlay and the customer context. In addition, it is important to ensure that any customer event represented by a SuccessPlay is actually being followed up and is effectively yielding proper business outcomes and closure.

All of the above mentioned Tips are designed to align your team to deliver an outstanding customer experience during the buying process and beyond. In order to create a best in class Customer Warning System you do need the right data at the right time. With journy.io you will have all necessary informations at your fingertips to speed up the important transitions during the customer journey.

Get in contact with us and start sharing valuable customer journey insights across different departments to enable an aligned and consistent customer experience, while still keeping granular control over what's being shared.

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