How Your Customer Success Team Can Harness the Power of Data

August 24, 2020
ReCharge team
Recharge team

Acquiring new customers was already more costly than retaining existing ones before COVID-19. It is almost certainly even more costly in the fragile post-COVID-19 economy. The pandemic has only heightened the importance of customer success managers’ main priority: securing renewals. 

That’s why sales teams shouldn’t be the only ones using data to drive their decision-making. It’s more urgent than ever for customer success managers (CSMs) to have access to customer data they can make sense of in order to offer clients the most tailored and strategic solutions possible.

Two Denver-based tech companies, ReCharge and Adtaxi, have long recognized the importance of data-driven customer success management for not only retaining existing clients, but also indirectly acquiring new ones. Customer-facing professionals from both organizations told Built In Colorado that an emphasis on data analysis should be built into CSM team culture.

“We’ve invested in people who have a passion for data governance and organization so that we gain insights based on sound, accurate data,” Ryan Littleton, manager of customer success operations at ReCharge, said.

But a data-smart CSM team can’t do much without access to data visualization tools and training to glean full insights. To that end, ReCharge and Adtaxi both use internal and external programs to provide critical advice to their clients on how to maximize winning strategies and alter less successful ones.

Ryan Littleton
Manager of Customer Success Operations

The subscription e-commerce industry has exploded in the last five years, now estimated at over $10 billion. And every year, the recurring billing platform ReCharge processes around $2 billion in e-commerce subscription payments for its 10,000 merchants.

The industry is poised for continued growth, thanks to rich customer data making it easier for businesses to personalize product offerings and ongoing marketing efforts. That data is essential to how ReCharge helps merchants find targeted ways for their customers to reorder products. 

Littleton said that in recent years, the company has invested heavily in expanding both its customer success team and its engineering infrastructure, creating its own analytics tool and training courses for CSMs to be conversant in the data. 

 

To build a data-driven team culture, your team needs ready access to data. How do you ensure your CSMs have access to the data they need, and what tools are you using to collect or analyze it?

The data we use to ensure we’re providing the best possible customer experience is extremely important: context on a merchant’s use cases, previous interactions with us and account usage. The more readily available this information is, the more quickly our team can gather insights and help our merchants meet their specific needs. Our internal tools help make useful customer data easy to access without requiring too many clicks to drill down into it. And we’ve invested in people who have a passion for data governance and organization so that we gain insights based on sound, accurate data. 

 

How do you train your CSMs to improve their data literacy and ensure they feel empowered to leverage the data that they can access? 

Data is a powerful tool for the e-commerce merchants we work with every day. We’ve created training courses so our CSMs can have productive conversations around analytics and business trends they see, sharing insights and offering recommendations. Understanding our merchants’ priorities and goals and where they stand in relation to those helps us provide them with assistance that is customized to them. This work is never really done, as trends and best practices continue to evolve. 

 

What specific steps have you taken to bake data into your culture and the conversations you have with members of your team?

As an organization, we have to make data-driven decisions. Continuing to scale and grow our customer success team in a way that meets the needs of our merchants and our company requires us to evaluate trends like ticket creation, new sign-ups and agent productivity on an ongoing basis. It’s important for us to explain the reasoning behind the decisions we make and share the insights we have — not only to drive alignment, but also to continue fostering a culture that makes decisions based on data. Leveraging dashboards that can be viewed by anyone in the organization allows us to know where we stand in relation to our goals and to focus on the areas where we have opportunities. 

 

Drew Suppes
Director of Client Services

Adtaxi provides customized digital marketing solutions for businesses, and a strong understanding of campaign performance data is essential to making the most out of their clients’ media buys. Those purchases can be mechanized based on data through programmatic advertising, but CSMs are still necessary for analyzing the data to make the strongest, customized recommendations to clients. In order to perform this role, Suppes said CSMs need access to all-in-one data analytics tools and training to know how to use them.

 

How do you ensure your CSMs have access to the data they need, and what tools are you using to collect or analyze this data?

Our CSMs have 24/7 access to our client reporting dashboard, and can monitor performance data at various levels of a campaign  All the data they need is at their fingertips, without having to bounce from platform to platform. Google Analytics is often cross-referenced in order to monitor overall website performance trends.  

 

How do you train your CSMs to improve their data literacy and ensure they feel empowered to leverage the data that they can access? 

As partners with both Google and Facebook, we leverage the training they provide to continually advance our CSMs’ knowledge of their ad-serving platforms. When our CSMs review campaign performance via the dashboard, they can identify certain secondary metrics that may be influencing the overall performance. For example, a CSM may notice a deviation in the overall cost per action. Digging further, they can isolate it to a particular campaign. Using their knowledge of the platform, they can delve into the various metrics to pinpoint the source of the anomaly and make a recommendation to the client.

 

What specific steps have you taken to bake data into your culture and the conversations you have with members of your team? 

Data and transparency are the keys to successful campaigns. At Adtaxi, we are committed to leveraging data to inform recommendations for our partners. If campaign performance is trending downward, our team leverages data to pivot optimizations in order to shift performance. On the flip side, if campaign performance is trending upward, we leverage data to isolate successful elements of the campaign and apply those to other areas of our marketing, in an omnichannel fashion.  

 

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