Measuring Customer Health: A Guidance and Feedback System

March 7, 2016 Kia Puhm

Measuring Customer Health: A Guidance and Feedback System

There is an adage that it is difficult, if not impossible, to be all things to all people.

For SaaS companies, it is difficult, if not impossible, to assist every customer at every point in their journey when the business is continually growing faster than resources.

So what is the solution for companies that want to scale customer success? How do you continue to provide exceptional customer experience in a way that is effective and efficient?

One of the keys to success is being able to monitor and measure the health of your customers. Healthy customers adopt faster, are more efficient to manage and have a better experience.  The goal, therefore, is to keep customers on the right track to product adoption.

With clear and well-defined metrics, a company can ensure that customers are on track while simultaneously reducing reactive and resource intensive escalations.

Having the insight into which customers need help and when lets customer success teams to get ahead of the curve by resolving issues before they escalate into bigger problems. It allows customer success teams to be pro-active rather than reactive so they can deliver the best customer experience.

The monitoring and measurement of customer health is a guidance and feedback system that provides companies with a structured and disciplined approach to customer success.  It is the operationalization of your customer success strategy.

Think of it as an early warning system to deal with problems and escalations so more time can be spent on activities such as adoption and retention, rather than reactively chasing and dealing with customer fires.

As important, it allows a company to prioritize its time and resources so every customer benefits from exceptional customer experience. This drives operational efficiencies because the right help is delivered to the right customers at the right time.

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So how do companies monitor and measure their customer health?

  1. Identify the customer journey to identify metrics: knowing the customer’s path to success lets you identify the key metrics to measure customer progress. If these metrics are not being met, you know that your customers need help moving along in their journey.

  2. Get a handle on your account coverage model to identify workflow: understanding the skills required to support the key activities in the customer journey, the team that will help the customer achieve success, and the accountable owners for the customer along the way. This lets you define your customer success workflow that will assist the team in prioritizing their work.

  3. Operationalize your customer success strategy into a tool to measure customer health: with metrics and workflow in hand from steps one and two, you are now ready to operationalize your customer success strategy into a tool. This tool reports on the health of your customers and proactively notifies the account team when to help a customer at a key moment, or when a customer is trending towards a problem that could indicate an at-risk or unhealthy account.  

The bottom line: The key to effective and sustainable customer success is monitoring and measuring the health of your customers. Metrics allow you to proactively monitor the progress of your customer base and address problems before they happen. It lets you deliver the right experience at the right time with the right amount of resources. It lets you be all things, to all people, only when they need it.

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About the Author

Kia Puhm

Kia Puhm is an entrepreneurial executive with 21 years of experience leading strategic corporate initiatives. She has held executive positions in account management, customer success, services, and support at companies such as: Oracle, Eloqua, Adobe (Day Software), Intelex Technologies, and Blueprint Software Systems. Kia has pioneered the art of Customer Experience by leading businesses through the transition to customer-centric organizations. Her methodology provides clients with a disciplined and sustainable approach to increasing customer lifetime value & loyalty.

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