Humans of CS vol. 05: Chris Dishman | CSQLs (CS qualified leads) and other metrics you should be tracking

Lauren Davis
Product Marketing Manager
February 21, 2024

1. How are you adapting your customer success strategies to meet the evolving needs and expectations of your customers in today's rapidly changing business landscape?

One of the key aspects to a successful CS practice is agility and your ability to iterate in ensuring your teams are helping your customers achieve value and succeed. While there are many nuances around this, the key focus on ensuring value through customer’s goals and objectives in a direct and measurable way has become the norm. This is where “Customer Success” is more than just a post sale team or motion, but it starts well before the execution of a contract or sale. From Marketing through the sales experience, then threading through implementation and adoption, having clearly defined, consistent and measurable goals and outcomes are critical. This is the foundation for a realized ROI, which has been a long running need of focus for Customer Success teams. Additionally, creating a frictionless experience for your customer is becoming increasingly important. This includes alignment between the various functions that engage with the customer after the initial sale, such as support, product, sales and CS. Streamlining these processes, and having unified systems to help keep all the teams aligned will continue to grow in importance as we work to efficiently support the needs and growth of our install base.

2. What innovative approaches are you implementing to ensure seamless onboarding and continued engagement with your customers in a predominantly remote or hybrid work environment?  

Staying creative in how we support customers through onboarding and implementations has been a key part of how we have scaled our organization over the last year.  While we continue to provide a premium project implementation track, we have also created multiple channels for customers to engage and get the information they need to be successful with our platform.  This includes self-paced certified training, 1:Many webinars, office hours, AMA Sessions (Ask Me Anything) and the creation of a “Success Squad” where customers are able to sign up for time with individual Customer Success Managers or Engineers, similar to the “Genius Bar”, to get answers to their unique questions or needs.  This along with various aspects of community allow for customers to have a successful approach to onboarding which meets their specific needs.

3. With the increasing importance of customer retention, what metrics and KPIs are you prioritizing to measure the effectiveness of your customer success initiatives and drive long-term customer satisfaction?  

There are a number of metrics and measures that can help capture the overarching success of a post sales team.  From the standard GRR, NRR, and NPS numbers to variations of health scores, engagement metrics, CS Team account coverage, sentiment, etc.  It is important to also align on support metrics, ticket volume, average time for tickets on cohorts of customers, and ticket aging as a key customer satisfaction measure.  

As we enter 2024, the importance of growth metrics, and the impact of the CS Team on revenue has become increasingly important.  This includes more leading metrics to NRR such as CSQLs. (CS Qualified Leads), on time renewals, and upsell or growth opportunities. 

4. In light of emerging technologies and trends, such as AI-driven analytics and personalized customer experiences, how are you leveraging these advancements to enhance the overall customer journey and maximize customer lifetime value?!

The evolution of AI will absolutely help to improve the overarching impact of the customer journey and how the CS teams are able to proactively engage with their customers.  From more customized automated support, to clear assessment of risks or action items needed for a customer, the power behind AI will create significant efficiencies for the CS teams.  We have seen some direct positive impact on leveraging AI to not only create clear assessments of customers, but significantly reduce time for more menial tasks, while improving overall customer experience and engagement, such as detailed summaries, follow up actions for calls, predictive actions for customer engagement, and identification and clarification of areas of risk, focus and even growth for customers and customer segments. 

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