Are you achieving the Return on Investment (ROI) that you set out to achieve when you initially purchased Gainsight? This question is typically challenging to answer. The ROI your organization receives from Gainsight is unique to your business, your Customer Success (CS) charter, goals, and strategic plan. It is also highly correlated to the maturity of your CS organization. In my experience, identifying opportunities for improvement, both technically and strategically, starts by triangulating your CS goals with end-user feedback and a Technical Audit of your Gainsight instance.
In leading many organizations through this type of analysis, I’ve identified three areas where CS gaps are common. These include Value Realization, Consistent Lifecycle Delivery, and User Adoption Trends. Let’s explore the importance of these areas and some items to consider during the rollout of each.
Arguably, the most impactful achievement of a high-caliber CS organization is a well-defined Value Realization Process. This process is critical to ensuring customers realize the value they are gaining from your solutions. Having documented ROI increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, and it allows your customers to communicate the success of their project to stakeholders, which increases retention and drives expansion potential.
But how do you show value? Start by collaborating with your customers to define desired outcomes from your solution. Ideally, these goals are quantifiable; such as reduced costs, increased revenue, and increased efficiency. Once you’ve aligned on these outcomes, leverage Gainsight Success Plans as a shared space to collectively track and manage goal progress and achievement. As a finishing touch, be sure to acknowledge and celebrate success with your customers.
A few items to consider when designing a Value Realization Process:
If you don’t have Success Plans set up in Gainsight today, you could start by documenting customer goals and the date of goal reviews in C360. This information could be provided to you by the customer or you could survey customers to understand their top goals and definitions of success.
Once you are ready, set up Gainsight’s Success Plans to create a more standardized roadmap to track progress toward achieving the customer’s goals. You could also document Verified Outcomes or Value Achievements in Timeline.
If a customer accomplishes one or more of their original goals, continue defining new outcomes to achieve and repeating the fundamentals of this process throughout their entire lifecycle.
Consistent Lifecycle Delivery
You made the sale. Now you need to ensure your customer is using your products, finding value and having a great experience with your organization. However, sometimes providing a consistent experience across your customer base can be challenging. There could be many reasons for this lack of standardization, but common causes include poor internal communication, a confusion with customer lifecycle ownership, or messy handoffs between lifecycle stages.
Many times, I see customer journeys that are overwhelming, meaning their activities are lacking intention. In other words, activities and engagement throughout the Customer Lifecycle stages of Adopt, Optimize, and Grow are not well defined, and events triggered during these stages are typically reactive risk-mitigation alerts that are often too late for appropriate intervention.
A few items to consider when trying to deliver a consistent lifecycle:
Outline your customer journey stages with key milestones, owners and customer touchpoints. Identify points along this journey where you should be collecting and tracking data to ensure adoption.
To standardize team handoffs between stages, leverage Calls-To-Action (CTAs) and Playbooks to guide internal teams through the transition from department-to-department (like Onboarding to Training).
Establish a health scorecard that measures the success of your customer base. Also, determine if you need to develop health scorecard frameworks that align to different types of customers (ie. segment, customer type, products purchased).
During a hand-off between teams, ensure your team has a holistic view of each customer that includes the health score and the details of each interaction and email in Timeline. This historical information will create a seamless transition. As we like to say, “If it's not in Timeline, it didn't happen.”
Ensure Executive Business Reviews (EBRs) happen according to a defined cadence by logging the meetings to Timeline, and firing a CTA when an EBR is overdue.
User Adoption Trends
Product usage data tells you how customers use your product, the amount of time they interact with your product, and the features they are or are not using. It is critical for a SaaS business to have usage data that is accessible for analysis and transferable to other systems, like Gainsight, that can make this data actionable. The bottom line is that this data is imperative to driving high-caliber CS initiatives.
Most SaaS businesses are using product data to trigger CTAs, calculate health scorecard measures, and build reports for data analysis. However, I’ve learned that a deeper dive into the right data points can uncover an abundance of unrealized insights. Properly analyzed adoption data should provide suggestions for your product roadmap, ways to improve your onboarding and enablement experience (specifically when/why customers need additional enablement to increase adoption and reduce required billable resource support), and reliable indicators of cross/upsell opportunities.
Some things to consider with Adoption Analysis:
Something is better than nothing. If User Logins are all you currently have access to, leverage this data point in a health scorecard, to trigger CTAs, and embed trending reports on C360.
Generate deeper insights on simple metrics in analyzing by segment and determining healthy thresholds for each.
Cross reference product usage data with support data to begin uncovering areas for improvement to your product roadmap, onboarding experience, and enablement curriculum.
If you are interested in assessing your organization and determining key areas of improvement, it is important to triangulate your goals with end-user feedback and a technical audit. This analysis will aid in identifying areas for improvement, including enhancements to Gainsight system configurations and/or additional training required to improve user adoption and CSM communication skills.
If you are looking to identify opportunities for improvement as we outlined above, check out nCloud Integrators’ Blueprint Offering for Gainsight.
The author, Ryan Tillison, is a Senior Consultant at nCloud Integrators, an industry leader in Gainsight implementation, Gainsight administration, and customer success strategy with a track record of improving customer journeys at hundreds of organizations every year.