Weight Management for Health in Customer Success?

October 10, 2016 Paul Philp

Health scores... here's how they work. Every SaaS company sets their own benchmarks tied to activities they deem important to customer health in an attempt to keep customers engaged and happy—and ultimately reduce churn.

SaaS companies set customer health scores that typically include:

  • User Activity: login stats, system usage
  • Engagements: emails, personal contact, support tickets
  • Subscriptions: billing information, renewals
  • Risk Assessment: other intel affecting health, NPS scores
  • Lifecycle status: onboarding, expanded use cases, renewals
  • Outcomes: measures of value that customers receiving

Then, within each category, minimum acceptable thresholds are preset to flag unhealthy levels of activity. For example:

  • Individual login falls below a certain frequency
  • A specific number of support tickets are recorded
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) is not at an acceptable level
  • Open or click rates of emails don’t meet minimums for desired engagement

More esoteric measurements can be scored, too. If you determine that customers who download your white papers are more likely to renew, or paying their bills on time points to good health, those activities can be added to the mix. In this article, Brooke Goodbary offers up a number of things to consider when creating a health score.

To weight, or not to weight? That is the question.

There are (at least) two ways to set health scores:

  1.  Give weight to each item based on its impact in determining customer success
  2.  Assign a score or threshold to each measurement as an indicator of health

Both have merit. It’s easy to see how an activity like frequency of logins could be viewed as a key indicator of good health, and would carry significant weight in scoring. Other activities that are harder to measure in absolutes might be more challenging, like weighing the importance of a quarterly account review.

How do you know if a customer isn’t healthy?

There’s no shame in keeping it simple

Author Sarah Payne Stuart is quoted as saying, “You’re only as happy as your unhappiest child.” In other words, if your customer reaches any health score measurement that you determine warrants attention, that’s cause enough for an alert and an intervention.

In customer success, your customer is really only as healthy as their unhealthiest health score…weight or not.

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About the Author

Paul Philp

Paul Philp is a leading innovator in SaaS and Customer Success. As Founder and CEO of Amity, Paul has spoken with Customer Success professionals from over 1,000 SaaS providers. Paul has a lifelong passion for helping business put customers first.

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