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An Evergage White Paper

The Beginners Guide to


Customer Success

48 Grove St. Somerville, MA 02144 P 617-764-5415


www.Evergage.com

Contents
Focusing on Customer Success............................................................................... 3
Customer Success is Different from Customer Support.......................................3
Similar to Account ManagementBut Different.................................................... 3
Subscription Renewal, Retention & ChurnWhy Customer Success is Needed
Now More than Ever ............................................................................................. 3
Challenges of Implementing a Customer Success Program.................................... 3
Deep Knowledge Required................................................................................... 3
Scalability...............................................................................................................3
Organizational Structure........................................................................................ 4
The Black Box Problem......................................................................................... 4
The Making of a Customer Success Manager ......................................................... 4
Inside the Black Box: Providing Tools to Ensure Customer Success.......................4
Gaining Visibility into Real-Time Customer Use....................................................4
Enhancing Customer Success to Achieve Business Goals...................................... 5
Moving Customers from Free Trials to Paid.......................................................... 5
Moving Freemium Customers to Paid................................................................... 5
Ensuring Subscribing Customers Renew.............................................................. 6
Developing Customers into Advocates................................................................. 6
A Quick Look at the Evergage Solution.................................................................... 6
The Evergage Integrator........................................................................................6
Segments Tool....................................................................................................... 6
OnMessage Communication System.................................................................... 6
A Powerful Platform............................................................................................... 7
Summary .............................................................................................................. 7

Focusing on Customer Success


Customer success is a vital but often misunderstood factor in the business world
today. The huge value in focusing on customer success is that the more you can
help your customer derive maximum value from your solutionthat is, the more
you can help them to be successfulthe more loyal that customer will be to you
and the more invested he or she will be in your solution.
As simple and logical as that premise might be, a number of problems and
misperceptions exist which have prevented companies from ensuring success for
their customers. Customer success is a new term for what used to be called
account management. The job of a Customer Success manager is to proactively
help customers gain the most from your product, and to help ensure the customer
develops a deep involvement with your product.
In short, the Customer Success managers role is get product buyers up and
running and deriving value from your product, and to ensure continuing
involvement with the product. The Customer Success manager succeeds when his
or her customers succeedthrough use of your solution.

Customer Success is Different from Customer Support


Despite similarities, customer success is not the same as customer support.
Customer Support is reactive, and involves customers contacting a company with
a problem, and hopefully being shown a solution. Customer Success is proactive.
The purpose of customer success is to make that user successful, which helps
establish an enduring relationship with your organization and solutions.

Similar to Account ManagementBut Different


The Customer Success function has much in common with account management,
but differs in important ways. Organizationally many operations are divided
between hunters and farmerswith the sales force out hunting for new customers,
and account management playing the farmers role of cultivation and growth.
Customer Success fits between the two. After a customer is onboarded, the
Customer Success function should be there to help the customer get up to speed,
and to monitor the customers use of the product to ensure they are gaining full
benefit from itincluding making use of feature sets relevant to their needs.
Customer loyalty is born of users who discover that the richness of your offering is
so great that they wouldnt want to do without it. Customer Success should be
there to help them explore and discover the wealth of your solution.

A Beginners Guide To: Focusing on Customer Success An Evergage White Paper

Subscription Renewal, Retention & Churn:


Why Customer Success is Needed Now More than Ever
Customer Success has always been important, but it is enjoying a resurgence as
the traditional sales model is altered by software as a service and hosted software
solutions combined with a subscription model. Hosted software tends to involve
fewer services, such as multi-year service contracts. That makes the services
function a byproduct of the software sale.
As more vendors, and customers, move to a subscription model, there are fewer
opportunities to lock in long-term customers and maintenance agreements. The
new reality is that in the case of monthly or annual subscriptions, you are
constantly in the position of being just months or weeks away from potentially
losing the business. By ensuring the success of your customer in using your
product, you are creating organic loyalty.

Challenges of Implementing a Customer Success


Program
Customer Success management is a new role for many organizations, and
knowing where it fits into existing structures isnt always easy. Because Customer
Success has elements of customer support, sales, as well as of account
management and product management, there are plenty of areas for potential
confusion, including:

Deep knowledge required


Scalability
Organizational structure
The black box problem

Deep Knowledge Required


Customer Success management requires a deep understanding of the solution
being offered. The job also requires broad knowledge of the customers being
served. Combining these two knowledge sets enables a great Customer Success
manager to guide new customers to the feature sets that will be especially helpful,
deepening the customers success with the product, and hence their loyalty.
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Scalability
Scalability of the Customer Success function can be a special challenge. It is
mandatory to find smart people who can do this well, and then help them become
maximally efficient so that they can increase the ratio of successful customers.
Even at maximum efficiency, scalability can be a challenge, which is why there is
such a great need for applications that can be used to enhance the Customer
Success function.

Organizational Structure
Some companies stumble on the organizational structure of the Customer
Success function simply because it could easily live within so many different
groups, including Sales, Customer Service, Account Management, or Product
Development.
Another path is to establish Customer Success as its own organization, working in
concert with all of the above. Establishing Customer Success as a separate,
dedicated group (preferably led at the VP or similar level) empowers the
organization to act as the voice of the customer, and to lobby on the customers
behalf across functions to help ensure customer success, which, of course, also
helps ensure organizational success.

The Black Box Problem


Even with a dedicated Customer Success organization with highly knowledgeable
staff, an ongoing challenge can be the black box problem, which refers to the fact
that once a customer has started to use your product, it is very difficult to know
how they are using it.
The opacity of the black box problem means that you cant see if, when, or where
the customer is stumbling. You cant see whether you have a user interface
problem, nor can you see when feature sets that could be of great value to
particular customers are left untouched.
The black box problem means that the Customer Success manager must
interrogate the customer: Whats working for them? What isnt? Have you tried
this? Have you tried that?

A Beginners Guide To: Focusing on Customer Success An Evergage White Paper

And, from a scalability standpoint, the black box problem makes it time consuming
to reach out to customers, limiting the number of customers any one person can
effectively deal with.

The Making of a Customer Success Manager


A great Customer Success manager should have deep product knowledge as well
as a robust customer knowledge. The best Customer Success managers have
such a broad knowledge of what has worked, and what hasnt, across a spectrum
of customers that they can serve as unofficial, yet highly valued consultants in
helping their customers succeed.
Personality traits can play a big role in forming a great Customer Success
Manager. Typically a Customer Success manager is someone who loves to solve
problems. They are highly service oriented and customer focused to the point of
genuinely wanting to see their customers succeed.
This is why, despite their vast product knowledge, Customer Success managers
can sometimes be poor performers in sales. And this is good. Rather than thinking
about selling, they are taking on the customer's problems as their own, and are
helping the customer to solve their problems and become successful by getting
the most from the product. In helping their customers succeed, of course, they are
making life much easier for the sales person who may later contact the customer
to offer upsells, cross-sells, and product upgrades.

Inside the Black Box: Providing Tools to Ensure


Customer Success
Weve seen how important it is to find a great Customer Success team, and to
position it within the organization to maximize its impact and ability to provide
value-add on a cross-functional basis. It is at least equally important to provide
your Customer Success team with the tools they need to peer inside the black box
of the customer user experience.
No matter how much Customer Success managers know about the product, the
industry, and the customers, their efforts will always be severely curtailed without
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visibility into that black boxwithout a knowledge of how the customer isand
isntusing your product.

Gaining Visibility into Real-Time Customer Use


Evergage has solved the problem of the black box user experience by creating a
cloud-based customer engagement platform that provides visibility tools that let
you directly observe how a customer uses your solution in real-time.
The Evergage solution monitors keystrokes and user commands, to determine
how often the customer is using your product, which features they are using, and
extremely importantlywhere customers are unsuccessfully trying to do
something and failing, perhaps because of poor user interface design.
Evergage gives you the analytical data to bring light to the black box. You can now
see exactly how your solution is being used, and provide automated, yet userspecific, guidance on how to get more from the product.
And by solving the black box problem, Evergage helps you create happy
customers. Happy customers are one of the greatest assets a company can have
because happy customers stay customers. Happy customers provide great lifetime
value. They suggest you to their peers, building the critically important word-ofmouth and referral business. Happy customers also provide valuable feedback
and cheer your product development on each step of the way.
This powerful functionality eliminates the need to constantly interrogate customers
about their product use and interactions. You can see it directly so that the
conversation can begin not with a question, but with suggestions for getting more
from the product.
Evergages customer engagement platform provides a number of benefits,
including:
Targeted Communication.
Your Customer Success personnel can know before contacting a customer
exactly how they are using your product, including any difficulties they might
be having as shown by ineffective menu selections and unproductive
solution searches. All forms of communication, including telephone calls,
emails, social media, or other venues can be improved by knowing how the
customer is using the product.

A Beginners Guide To: Focusing on Customer Success An Evergage White Paper

Feature Usage.
The Evergage solution lets companies look at feature usage across
individual or groups of customers. By capturing the clicks and actions and
visits of the customer, they can know how many people are using one
feature versus another, and how often each feature is used. Actually
studying usage across large numbers of categorized customers lets the
company know which pieces are used, and how, and by whom, and which
pieces are not used, and the various other usage patterns that occur in
different situations.
Automated Alerts.
Alerts can be set up to indicate if a user has reached either a positive state
or a problematic state that may require intervention, or at least contact.
Customers can be segmented into behavioral groups based upon which
things have done with the solution, and any number of other criteria. The
Evergage solution can detect attempts to do so, and set up an alert to the
correct person to solve that problem. This is in effect a frustration meter tied
directly to the customer success person most relevant to that problem.
In-Context Communication.
You can use Evergage to communicate directly with your customer from
within the app. This provides an immediacy far beyond e-mails, and
because your message is appearing from within the app, you benefit from
complete context. The more the Customer Success team can communicate
in context, within the product, the more effective the communication can be.
Communications can be automatically generated according to your own
rule sets.
Integration with CRM.
The Evergage customer engagement platform integrates with SalesForce,
Sugar CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, and other customer relationship tools to
enable capture and analysis of customer engagement information. You can
use customer behavior data to guide communication with that user. In
addition to messaging customers based on a set of rules, direct messages
can be sent to someone currently using the solution software, which is
intended just for them.

Social Media Monitoring.


Social media provides another data stream companies can use to study
customer behavior and to make contact with customers. Google alerts or
social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook can provide an up-todate stream of information, by allowing the company to follow customer
accounts and their contacts within social media. This information might alert
them to events inside the customer's company, and other business
problems the customer must deal with to become more successful, which
helps the solution provider deal with each customer in a more powerful way.

Enhancing Customer Success to Achieve


Business Goals
Customer Success managers are in a strategic position to enhance an
organizations profitability by using their customer engagement platform to achieve
a set of incremental goals, each setting the foundation for the next.
Evergage can help Customer Success organizations achieve critical business
goals including:

Moving customers from free trials to paid


Moving freemium customers to paid
Ensuring subscribing customers renew
Developing customers into advocates

Moving Customers from Free Trials to Paid


The central goal of a free trial is to get the customer to use the product, find value
in it, and convert to being a paid customer. Therein lays the challenge. From a
sales standpoint, the free trial is only valuable if it succeeds in getting the user to
convert to being a customer.
The challenge is complicated by the pre-defined time limit of the free trial, and the
fact that typically both the customer and sales team are busy. The customer may
be too busy to fully explore the power and capabilities of the solution. While the
sales team may be too busy to touch base with the free trial users to ensure that
they are finding the power and capabilities and having a successful experience.
A Beginners Guide To: Focusing on Customer Success An Evergage White Paper

The Customer Success team, using the Evergage customer engagement platform,
can see exactly who the customer is using the product, and can make contact
personally, or set up a set of rule-based automated in-app communications to
guide the customer deeper into the product, creating happy and successful
customers who will gain a personal understanding of the products value
propositions and convert from the free trial to a full paying customer.

Moving Freemium Customers to Paid


The major challenge with freemium is striking the difficult balance between offering
users enough value to interest them in the product, but not so much that they
won't convert to the premium edition. The Customer Success team can use their
insights into customer usage to either personally, or through event-driven
automated in-app communications guide the user into discovering for themselves
why the additional features in the premium version make it wise to upgrade from
freemium.

Ensuring Subscribing Customers Renew


The same insights into customer use, and the ability to intervene either through
personal contact or through event-generated automated in-app messages that
help convert customers from free trials and from freemium to premium can help
ensure that subscribing customers renew.
Customer Success teams can use the Evergage customer engagement platform
to monitor frequency and depth of use. Long before customers come up for
renewal, the information enables the team to intervenepersonally or
automaticallyto highlight features that might not be used, or to in other ways
encourage full and frequent use of the product, helping to ensure subscription
renewal.

Developing Customers into Advocates


An ultimate goal is to help a customer become so successful in using your product
that they agree to become an advocate for your product. In this way your
successful customers become part of your sales team, whether through
participation in webinars, industry events, serving as customer references, or
participating in case studies.

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Internally, the marketing and sales groups would do well to involve the Customer
Success team in seeking and vetting potential customer advocates. This is
another area in which the Evergage solution proves to be a powerful tool. The
process of developing a customer into a happy customer, and then to an advocate,
can be automated to an extent, such as by identifying customers with a very high
engagement score, and sending an in-app message.
An in-app message can congratulate the user on the depth of their use of a
particular feature set, and ask if they could share their experiences with others.
This also provides the opportunity of building a deeper engagement with those
customers. When they become an advocate, they make a choice to speak on
behalf of the company, and they associate themselves more personally with it. As
a result they are going to feel an even greater loyal to the company, and feel like
they're part of the community around that company, and part of its success. For
this reason, asking them to be an advocate is a powerful way to build upon an
already strong relationship.

A Quick Look at the Evergage Solution


Evergage is a cloud-based customer engagement platform that helps you to
increase your revenue by better understanding and responding to customer
behavior. Evergage provides a complete solution for capturing user behavior and
other data and using the information to provide custom messaging to users to
enhance conversion of web visitors.
The browser-based Evergage has a robust feature set that includes:

Evergage Integrator
Segments Tool
OnMessage Communication System

The Evergage Integrator


The Evergage Integrator allows you to easily integrate the Evergage service into
your website or web application. You can visually configure Evergage as you
explore your site. Point to URLs, page titles and page content to have Evergage
track them as page loading actions, user information, clicks and other properties.
You can then use this information for rules, reports, and trends and to conditionally
show users in-app messages through Evergage's OnMessage system.

A Beginners Guide To: Focusing on Customer Success An Evergage White Paper

As the Integrator runs in the browser, it captures the selected data in the
background, and sends it to Evergage, where the information is stored in a large
data center, and analyzed with results forwarded to clients. Collecting historical
data on a user lets it be combined with that from the current session, to guide
messaging and targeting strategies.

Segments Tool
The Segments Tool is a rules engine that runs against data collected by the
Integrator. You use the Segments Tool to define a set of segments of users based
on actions taken on your site. The Segments Tool can be used to implement
whatever strategies you like. If you find that customers who use a certain feature
set tend to have higher rates of conversion from either free trial or from freemium
to premium, you can create messaging strategies to encourage users to discover
and use the features.
The Segments Tool rules engine can also take into account any background data
on a user, such as the industry they are in, or even the number of followers they
have on Twitter.

OnMessage Communication System


The Evergage OnMessage Communication System delivers custom messages
through the delivery mechanism of your choice, as specified through the
Segments Tool. OnMessage makes it easy for you to deliver custom messages
while the user is within your app or website.
OnMessage delivers what we call Smart Messaging because of how it is driven by
user-specified rules. After a message is set up, in terms of appearance, contents,
function, recipients, and the like, the process can be taken further with Evergage's
Campaigns feature.
Campaigns are a group of sequential messages that can be used so visitors see a
series of sequential messages that change based on various criteria. Evergage
makes it very easy to create an ordered sequence driven either by immediate
previous actions, or by a history of actions over time. Specific numbers can be
used to control the campaign feature, such as the number of visits by each user,
the specific actions they took and how many times, or over what period of time.
Both the specific sequence, and the difference in messages for each step of the
sequence, can be selected.

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A Powerful Platform
All of this adds up to Evergages powerful platform that provides a spectrum of
high-value benefits, including:

Convert Free Trials & Freemium to Premium. Guide trial users to


a successful user experience, leading to more paid conversions and
upgrades.

Ease Onboarding. The best place to help new customers with


onboarding is in-app. Walk them through setup each step of the way.

Showcase Features. Highlight new or rarely used features to


increase and test usage with specific visitor or user segments.

Personalize Content. Tailor content to individual users based on


their preferences, viewing history, purchase behavior, you name it.

Improve Product. Fully understand current feature usage, so that


you can make informed product decisions your customers will love.

Increase Lifetime Value. Promote upgrade options, upsells, and


cross sells to highly engaged customers most likely to convert.

Drive More Leads. Solutions are available for helping convert leads,
but few help drive leads in the first place. Evergage does both.

Prevent Churn. See the signs of churn before its too late and
discover how you are can help the customer be successful.

Leverage Top Users. Turn happy customers into brand evangelists


by asking them to share your solution with others.

Summary
Evergage provides an ideal solution for empowering your Customer Success team
to capture and analyze the data they need to help ensure that customers are
making deep and frequent use of your product, and in the process, achieving
success in their own endeavors. Help a customer become successful, and youve
got a very loyal customer, and perhaps a valued advocate.

A Beginners Guide To: Focusing on Customer Success An Evergage White Paper