Uncomplicate – KPIs for customer success

Written by on September 19, 2019

Uncomplicate by Freshworks brings you crisp and insightful videos which will focus on answering one tactical question around sales & marketing, support & collaboration, employee engagement, and growth. 

Customers are the lifeline of any business organization. While customer success is relatively new, its value, scope, and significance are growing everyday.
A question that often comes up within customer success teams at different organizations is what the best metrics to measure customer success at various stages of customer maturity are. 

“It depends truly on first, how long the handoff from sales to customer success takes,” says Emilia D’Anzica matter-of-factly. Being a partner of customer success and account management at Winning by Design, she has had conversations with multiple customers from various businesses, in different stages of the onboarding journey. 

After an opportunity is closed, you don’t want to leave your customer wondering what happens next. “Thankfully with technology, you can automate and start the conversation as you are assigning a customer success manager,” says Emilia. This is the beginning of the potential lifetime value of the customer where the partnership with the customer really beings. 

The metrics that you can measure begins with these two very simple elements:

  1. Measure how long it takes for the handoff from sales to customer success
  2. Identify, evaluate, and measure the key moments during the onboarding journey 

As Emilia reminds us, it is critical to have a CRM where you can measure how long each step takes, all the way to first value. And since first value is unique to every company, you need to keep in mind what it means for each customer. 

Regardless of the stage in the maturity model of your product and your customer lifecycle, another crucial metric to measure during onboarding comes from asking a very simple but critical question: what will success look like a year from now?

You should be able to measure that metric over the course of the year and present updates on a quarterly cadence, which will be truly invaluable to your customer. 

Once your customer is live and has that first value, you want to make sure that you are measuring what else is required to get them to the live stage. 

Once they are live, an invaluable tool that keeps you connected with the customers are surveys. “Often a conversation will elicit a different kind of feedback than a survey from perhaps your CEO or VP of customer success. So looking at survey results are important.” Emilia stresses. 

At the end of the day, each customer is expecting positive impact; be it reducing churn, deflecting support tickets, increasing customer adoption, or whatever that customers unique needs are. “Whatever those customer metrics are, is what you want to be measuring and reporting back to the customer,” says Emilia. 

She also adds that going the extra mile in terms of what being aware of what metrics really matters to your customers, will help you automate reports that can help them. For example, if you are measuring the right metrics, you can point out to them that they are using only 25% of the platform, and suggest that by leveraging the following platforms or part aspects of it, they can achieve increased efficiency. 

Such insightful reports can start conversations that lead to more meaningful usage of your product, and better reporting metrics that you can send back to the customer. And that increases the value they place on your services, making them happy users. 

The bottomline is quite straightforward. Measure success based on what it means to your customer, first. When your customer succeeds, you automatically stand to succeed as well.

Praveen Ramesh

Praveen Ramesh is the Community & Outreach Manager with Freshworks. In his primary role with the marketing team he blogs, vlogs, and runs campaigns for increasing brand awareness. When not thinking about marketing or service desk adoption, you can find him watching cricket matches from yesteryear and supporting Liverpool.