Staying on top of all the things that need your attention every day is tough work, especially for customer success managers and professionals. You’re on the front lines with customers, working to ensure their success and growth, and trying to balance your tactical to-dos with a desire to be more proactive and data-driven.
At UserIQ, we use an alert system that automatically delivers notifications via email or Slack when significant events happen with our users. These alerts help our own customer success team focus more time on priorities and customer care, knowing they will be the first to know of fluctuations or issues within an account or segment.
Here are seven alerts customer success teams can automate to help them stay on top of customer needs and issues.
1. Customer health score has decreased
Being alerted to major changes in customer health scores as they happen lets a CSM know when an account has a big enough issue that it’s impacting their likelihood to churn. At UserIQ, our customer success team looks at and receives alerts on the following criteria both separately (some of which we’ve listed in this article individually) and in aggregate. Here’s a breakdown on the customer health components (also known as churn indicators) we use:
- Login Activity is based on the frequency of logins, which helps to identify underperforming accounts and determine whether targeted engagement campaigns are needed to boost login frequency. Login activity is a leading indicator of potential churn, but companies often have trouble tracking this data, and if they do, they may not be able to relate it back to a complete customer health score.
- Feature Adoption is based on the number of unique features that each account is using within the product. This lets product managers and customer success teams know if intervention is necessary to help users to discover core features or adopt new ones and can allow product or customer marketers understand key features to promote.
- Sentiment is tracked through Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and takes a pulse on how successful your customer feels using your product. This is a tried and true key performance indicator (KPI) for many customer success teams because it’s an indicator of growth. It’s also an important factor in identifying promoters (or advocates), passives, and detractors and giving you a starting point for relevant engagements targeting each group.
- Technical Support is calculated based on the number of support tickets that are fulfilled and closed by an account or customer. Support needs and requests can have a major impact on customer health, particularly due to severity and time to response. Additionally, if a customer is opening a large number of support tickets, this could indicate that this user may need more help or require additional training before they are at risk for churn.
- Financial Health is measured by a customer’s monthly rate, whether payments are made on time or delayed, and the validity of the account’s credit card. This indicator is often not equally weighted to the others, but knowing that a customer’s credit card is going to expire or that their account is up for renewal lets you be proactive in outreach that could prevent unnecessary churn.
2. NPS survey response received and/or change in score
NPS surveys are a great benchmarking tool to show improvement over time. At UserIQ, NPS scores are known as “sentiment” as they are a critical part of our customer health scoring model.
NPS scores are also an indicator of how your customer success team needs to prioritize outreach. Segmenting your customer base by promoters, passives, and detractors helps you know where to start in following up and addressing feedback.
Our approach is to review survey responses as they arrive, paying close attention to feedback provided and how the scores are changing for a user or aggregate account. Having real-time alerts delivered to the assigned customer success manager (CSM) helps us quickly address potential issues.
3. Renewal is coming up or payment method is expiring
It is estimated that 20% of churn is attributed to involuntary churn, ie., churn due to operational issues such as an expired credit card or account issues. Knowing when a customer’s payment method is going to expire or that their account is up for renewal lets you be proactive to prevent unnecessary churn.
Not only can you set up alerts to notify customers 30 days, 14 days or seven days before the card on file is due to expire, but you can also deliver internal alerts that remind the assigned CSM that a renewal is approaching or payment method is expiring so they can work with the customer to avoid any lapses in service.
4. Significant increase or decrease in login activity
The act of logging in shows a user’s willingness to participate and engage with your product.
Login activity is based on the frequency of logins which helps to identify underperforming accounts and determine whether targeted engagement campaigns are needed to boost login frequency. Login activity is a leading indicator of potential churn.
The frequency of logins will vary by user type, role in their organization, their business goals, and how they need to use your product. No matter the average number of logins in a given period, a decrease or sudden drop in that level is cause for concern. An increase can also mean trouble so don’t overlook that either.
Set up a threshold alert that notifies the appropriate party when login levels are fluctuating over time so you can reach out to the customer and address any issues as quickly as possible.
5. Has or has not completed an intended action within a specific time period
So you’re tracking login activity and feature usage, which is great! But it’s also important to track feature usage over time to understand user adoption.
At UserIQ, we align with our customers on the goals they aim to achieve with our product and match their desired outcomes to features they will use in the product to help them achieve those goals. We call this “intended adoption” and it’s a critical part of our team’s ability to ensure we’re driving the right value to each of our users.
If a customer has not adopted a key feature or feature set that they intended to within a period of time, an alert is delivered to the assigned CSM. Our team can correlate these alerts with predictive feature usage maps and journey paths so they can best coordinate our customer’s expected outcomes with the goals they are actually achieving in UserIQ and ensure they are finding value and success with our product.
6. User has been unresponsive to or disengaged from CS outreach
If a user’s engagement with their customer success manager and/or within the product is decreasing or showing a sudden drop, it isn’t always the end of the world, but it is absolutely something their CSM should be aware of. It could mean the user has left the company, a new champion is needed, or the user is simply out of the office for an extended period of time. With an alert for declining engagement over time, the CSM is reminded to follow-up and find out the cause of the issue before it results in something more drastic.
7. Account is nearing license or seat limit
CS teams should proactively monitor license and seat limits to help them stay aware of expansion opportunities and changes in usage of the account. CS teams then can work with the customer to implement a plan to ensure no service interruptions will occur.
Customer success is the process of ensuring your users feel that they can trust you to help them achieve their business outcomes. If they know that you will proactively be there for them, they will be confident in your ability to help them be successful. And, they will be with you for the long-run.
If you’d like to see these alerts and other features in action, request a demo.