Why We Started Offering Account Health Checks

September 28, 2017 Anna Roberts

Why We Started Offering Account Health Checks

In the world of customer success, you’ll often hear ‘'customer health’ mentioned.

It’s a measure of customer success, or in other words, how likely it is that the customer will continue with their subscription to your product.

Clients in poor health (so to speak!) aren’t meeting their objectives with your product - and you need to respond quickly if you’re to keep them onboard.

Account health has become a key concept here at RotaCloud, which is why we implemented account health checks as part of our onboarding process.


Background

RotaCloud is a UK-based SaaS startup. We provide employee scheduling software to over a thousand businesses, with the vast majority paying for the service on a monthly basis.

New clients are offered a 14-day free trial with no need to enter payment details.

It’s the job of our onboarding team to maximise the proportion of trial users who decide to become paid users.

But that’s the easy part. The ultimate goal is to maximise customer success so that clients stick with us for the months and years to come.

For us, customer success is largely dependent on two factors:

  1. The extent to which the product meets the client’s needs
  2. Client satisfaction with the support team and the product as a whole

Although we want all our customers to rate our product and support offering highly, product fit is more important. If the product just doesn’t work for the client’s use case, they’d be foolish to keep using the software, regardless of how good it is!

With RotaCloud in particular, there are endless approaches to structuring accounts because businesses organise their employee schedules in many different ways.

What works for one business might not work another, even if they’re in the same sector and are roughly the same size.

Therefore, we can’t publish resources and user guides that cover every single use case.

Our solution? Account health checks.


How it Works

Using our live chat system and integrated customer database, we send out health check invites to all trial users who’ve been using RotaCloud for at least seven days, and have entered a significant amount of employee data into the system. We can’t check the health of an account with no data in it! 

Qualifying users can click through to a RotaCloud onboarding rep’s calendar and choose a timeslot to suit them.

RotaCloud’s account health checks take the form of a five-to-ten minute phone call accompanied by a screen share, so that the client can see our onboarding rep navigate their account.

First of all, we ask how the client is finding RotaCloud and resolve any immediate problems they might be having.

Next, we look at the structure of the account and, with the client’s input, suggest any improvements.

The screen share provides an important visual aid for the client, helping them see how easy it is for them to implement the changes we suggest.

The health check is a relaxed and flexible process - the team shapes the call around the client’s needs; there’s no box-ticking or script to abide by.


Benefits

We have a small team with limited resources. We don’t display a support phone number on our website but do call customers when they’re struggling with the software. That means that the majority of onboarding queries are answered via live chat.

For many RotaCloud clients, the account health check is only the second time they speak to a member of the team over the phone (the first being the initial software demo that they received prior to their trial). Our clients value this kind of interaction - it shows that we’re not robots! There’s also no doubt that a phone call is the most effective way of answering complex questions.

In addition, the health check gives new users an idea of the type of support they might receive while they’re a customer. This provides them with plenty of reassurance while giving us another chance to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.

It also acts as another valuable source of new client feedback, so we can improve the product and onboarding process for future trial users.

But the biggest benefit is that it helps customers get the most out of our product.

We can double check that new customers are using the system in an optimal way.

We can clear up any misconceptions about the software, including highlighting features that a client may have missed.

We can reassure customers that they’re using the right account structure for their business - therefore making the most of their investment.


Lessons learnt

For us, account health checks have been an extremely effective way of improving customer success with relatively few resources needing to be expended at our end. Our business model relies on keeping customers on board for the long term and generating referrals, so customer success is critical.

With the right setup, RotaCloud users are also less likely to require any support going forward. It’s incredible how much of a difference a five-minute account health check can make.

We’d definitely recommend implementing a similar process if your SaaS product has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Your product is used by clients with vastly different requirements
  • Your clients prefer to speak with your team over the phone
  • Your clients don’t seem to use the product to its full potential without needing extensive help from support

There’s one final point I’d like to make: we don’t use the account health check as another sales opportunity.

Sure, there’s no guarantee that the trial users we offer the check to will become paying customers. And a quick phone call is the perfect opportunity to persuade clients to enter payment details.

But we don’t do that. Instead, we might actually advise clients not to proceed!

That’s because a brief look at a client’s account (and a quick chat) will tell us if the product isn’t a good fit. We don’t make false promises about what the product can do, or mislead clients about adding features that aren’t in the pipeline.

After all, SaaS customers can ditch you anytime they want!

An account health check sets the foundation for a strong client relationship for the months and years to come - it’s an incredible customer success tool!

 

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About the Author

Anna Roberts

Anna Roberts is Head of Content at RotaCloud, a UK-based provider of employee scheduling software. Read more from Anna on the RotaCloud blog or follow her on Twitter.

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