In Customer Success, setting trip wires to notify you when your customer isn’t doing so well can save you a lot of time and pain. Your version of an early warning system should be thoughtfully designed to best reflect what matters to you. Aggregated, these signals constitute a health scoring system which will allow you to assess risk and opportunity at first glance.
- Define the challenge you’re looking to solve. This is the goal and raison d’être of your warning system and subsequent customer health score. You’re not setting all of this up just because you’ve read online that you should, right? So make sure the challenge – the risk – to be tackled is clearly outlined before you start anything else.
- Define your actions. In Customer Success, everything ought to be actionable. This means that whatever challenge you’ve identified should be solved by a specific response. The action can be manual or automated, depending on the challenge you’re facing, the customer you’re solving it for, and the lifecycle stage.
- Define your signals. This is the heart of the matter, you’ve identified the risk and the response, now you need to design the metrics that will notify you to get in action mode.
Identify Your Sources of Signals
Signals notify you that risk A is happening and you need to deliver response B, but where do those signals actually come from? There are different sources of signals:
- Business Outcomes: your customer isn’t achieving what they’re supposed to.
- Adoption: your customer isn’t using your product as much/well/deeply as they should.
- Delivery and Operations: your customer’s progress is delayed.
- Customer Feedback: CSAT, NPS.
- Relationship: your customer champion left their company.
Measure Sources of Signals
For the above sources, there are different types of measures:
- Minimum or maximum threshold: X > Y or X<Y
- Trend: X + 10%
- Goal: X = 80% of goal completion. Goals should always be time bound, measure X against a goal line associated with an allocated amount of time.
Combine Signals into a Health Score
Think about how to best weigh your signals into a combined customer health score. You could give outcomes a 50% weight, usage a 30% weight, and relationship a 20% weight. That combined health score will give you an overview of how your customer is doing, and it will be easily understandable for everyone on your team.
- Start small and iterate. There’s no need to design a complex health score to realize 60 days later that you need to throw it all out the window and start again.
- Enable manual overrides. There’s no better signal than the “CSM intuition”, they’re the ones talking to the customers every day and they’ll know when something is wrong – even if your system isn’t picking it up.
- Manage your signals and health score closely. You should always be in re-evaluation mode: your product, your customers, and your relationships evolve – be sure your health scoring system evolves with them.
- Share your signals and customer health score with your customers! Being transparent and notifying your customers of how well they’re doing with your product is important to building a relationship.
About the Author
Amity provides the world's most powerful Customer Success software. Amity, senses changes in customer health or rhythms, recommends the right actions and measures effectiveness. The combination of real-time playbooks, intelligence and automation helps customer success organizations scale quickly and efficiently.Follow on Twitter More Content by Amity Team