Why customer tracking is important in customer success and how to do it right
If you’re trying to be customer-centric, then understanding your customers is key for you. There are various metrics you could look at to figure out your customers’ actual experience with you and what they expect from you.
But taking a look at these metrics occasionally does not reveal much. You need to keep track of them over long periods, note any fluctuations in them, and look for whatever causes these fluctuations. That’s why customer tracking is an important strategy in customer success.
Customer tracking marks any changes in your customer behavior and reveals the underlying causes as well so you could take the right measures. Let’s take a closer look.
Customer tracking is the process of monitoring and processing a customer’s interactions with you throughout their entire customer journey.
It involves tracking and analyzing customer data to gain insights into their interests, preferences, and behavior. Customer tracking allows you to craft remarkable experiences and build lasting relationships with customers.
As a more consistent form of customer intelligence, customer tracking can help you gain a serious competitive edge. It’s the key to thriving in our lightning fast paced digital world, where no business is irreplaceable. Businesses—especially SaaS—can advance on all fronts with a strategy shift towards customer-centricity. How?
According to Bain & Company’s study, today’s customer success leaders are more likely to have a customer-first attitude. Top performers in customer success are also more likely to have a 360-degree view of their customers.
Similar study from Deloitte found that B2B customers are growingly relying on solution providers to help them maximize business outcomes. Interestingly enough, customers can’t choose between solution providers based merely on product features anymore. As a result, more B2B businesses are shifting from a product-centric culture to a customer and service centric structure.
The idea is to have a clear understanding of your customer’s problems and needs and offer your products as solutions to these problems and issues. Customer obsession is the first of the 16 leadership principles of Amazon for a reason. Industry leaders are the ones with a great understanding of their customers.
Hear this—it’s possible to initiate that change in your organization to match the high caliber experience those industry leaders offer. All you need is your own customer tracking system in place.
Customer tracking will allow you to monitor and analyze customer behavior across channels and touchpoints. It’ll give you a holistic view of all interactions customers have with your brand.
Regardless of who in your team works on an account, you’ll have one clear, central view of the customer. You’ll be able to monitor core success metrics like product usage, product adoption, health scores, and so on.
Tracking and analyzing these metrics will help you take the guesswork out of customer success processes.
Proactive customer service involves building and nourishing mutually beneficial relationships with customers. It’s a strategy that relies on customer data to anticipate customers’ pain points, needs and interests. The idea is to identify areas of growth and avoid risks like low-engagement levels or churn.
The capacity to build such beneficial relationships is inherently dependent on customer tracking. You need it for observing:
- How customers feel and behave at different stages of their journey
- Which elements of the experience carry great importance and how you can optimize them
- What kind of issues/obstacles have the worst impact on customer experience and pose a greater risk of churn
- What kind of product/service improvements are likely to drive further engagement and ultimately loyalty
In the past, it was not easy for software companies to prioritize one improvement area over the other. Businesses had little to no tracking capabilities because of technology limitations. But we’re in the age of data.
Customer success is not a matter of chance or guesswork anymore. Tracking customer data will tell you what to focus on when crafting customer-centric strategies.
Like we mentioned, product development on its own won’t suffice to make your business stand out in the fiercely competitive B2B market. Customers expect you to help them make the most out of your technologies and advise them on strategy.
And this calls for a system in place for monitoring every aspect of customer engagement. You need to track numerous metrics like visits, active time, satisfaction for the different stages of the journey, retention rate, ROI, and so on.
The data will put light on how users can benefit your product to its full extent. You’ll be able to assist them in maximizing the value they create by using your solutions.
The bottom line is, customer tracking is an essential part of the transition to a customer and service centric business model. So how do you do it right?
Real-time data is the type of data that businesses collect for—almost—immediate use. When a customer starts a chat, for instance, a real-time dashboard allows you to see all the related information about them. It brings up past interaction data, health score, preferences, business objectives, and behavioral insights.
There are great benefits to incorporating real-time tracking into customer success operations. First, it’ll help your customer success agents get to the bottom of issues in a timely manner. They won’t lose time on tried-and-failed methods. Or request the same information for the thousandth time.
More importantly, they’ll be able to assist customers with custom-tailored solutions to even the most intricate problems. They will have an all-round view of an issue, where it stems from, and how it affects the customer.
Custify has powerful and intuitive real-time data monitoring features. And it connects with all your tech stack including CRM marketing software, email provider, customer service desk, and revenue apps. It automatically tracks siloed customer customer data in various systems and merges them in one place.
Equipped with all the crucial insights, automated workflows, and knowledge-sharing features, your customer success team can craft personalized experiences at scale. Not to mention that automation saves a huge amount of time.
Customer experience metrics are a bit more complicated to monitor. For starters, since customer experience is qualitative and relative in nature, you need to do some extra work to turn them into numbers.
For some customer experience metrics such as customer satisfaction and net promoter score, you need to reach out to customers and ask them to assign a number (from 1 to 5 or 10) for each metric. Then you need to divide these numbers by the total number of responders in each category to come up with the score.
Here are some of the customer experience metrics you need to track:
Net promoter score demonstrates how likely your customers are to recommend your product to the people they know.
NPS is derived through direct contact with customers (through interviews, surveys or questionnaires). You need to reach out to customers and ask them how likely they are to recommend you to other people by choosing a number from 1 (not likely at all) to 10 (very likely).
You should then divide your responders into three categories:
- people who give you 9 and 10 are "promoters";
- people who give you 7 and 8 are "passives";
- people who give you 1-6 are "detractors".
Once you divide the number in each category by the total number of respondents and multiply it by 100, you have the percentage for each one. Your net promoter score is the total percentage of "promoters" and "passives".
Obviously customers that have had great experience with you are more likely to recommend you to other people so providing an overall pleasant customer experience is key here.
More importantly you need to understand why your customers are likely or unlikely to recommend you to others. So when you reach out to customers make sure you ask their feedback as well. What are the areas that they feel you’re lagging in? Why do they find your product powerful? Track the pattern in their responses and try to invest in improving your product.
Online communities have great potential for promoters. A heart-felt appreciation for your product by a customer could have a huge impact on the people they reach. On the contrary, a negative review could be detrimental. You need to monitor your online reputation closely, and make sure you respond to any negative complaints or promote positive discussions about your brand.
Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) demonstrates how satisfied your customers are with your product. After any interaction between you and your customers, you can send a survey asking them to rate their experience with that interaction, and choose a number between 1 (very poor) and 5 (very satisfied).
You then need to consider the percentage of customers that have selected 4 and 5 as your CSAT. Say you have 200 respondents, and out of them 30 have given you 5 (%15) and 20 have given you 4 (%10). Your CSAT is only %25. Ideally, you need to aim for a percentage above %75 so your current CSAT is very low.
Like NPS, CSAT without proper customer feedback is limited. You need to make sure you know why your customers are reporting a poor experience. When reaching out to customers, always ask their opinions about specific aspects of their interaction such as website design and usability, website loading speed, ordering process, product quality and features, customer service, etc. Once you have a clear understanding of why your CSAT is low, you can take action to improve them.
Customer churn rate is the percentage of total customers that are leaving your company. This is a rather straightforward metric and you can easily access it through your CRM or customer success software.
In some cases, addressing the underlying issues might require technical enhancements. Consider hiring a software development company to optimize your systems and services, ensuring a more seamless customer experience that can reduce churn rates.
It’s a good idea to track customer churn rate monthly. If you have 500 customers and 20 of them stopped doing business with you in the last month, then your customer churn rate is %4 for that month.
Obviously, the lower the number, the better, and you should do your best to find out why customers are leaving. The most feasible way is analyzing their latest interactions with you. Did they have an unresolved customer service issue? Did you have a change in your product price or features? Did any important incident happen on your social media or any other channel?
Sending a survey when a customer leaves is a great idea as well. Simply ask them to let you know why they left your company and if they have any suggestions for improvement.
Purchase ratio demonstrates what percentage of your customers do repeat purchases rather than a single purchase. It could be a great metric to measure customer loyalty because repeat customers are generally considered loyal customers.
This is another metric that could be followed in your CRM or customer success software. The ratio is derived by dividing the number of your repeat customers by the total number of your customers. So if in a six-month period you have 500 customers and 100 of them purchase more than once, your purchase ratio is %20.
Purchase ratio is important because it shows how loyal your customers are. A higher number shows a stronger customer base but a lower number could show there’s room for improvement.
To improve your purchase ratio you can use different tactics such as
- improving product quality or features
- optimizing your product’s user experience – for digital products, UX design tools are helpful,
- investing on retention channels such as email, SMS, and social media
- prioritizing customer support
- giving special offers to first time customers
Customer tracking could get complex if you try to monitor too many metrics. In many cases, these metrics could send mixed messages.
Say you’re tracking the total number of customers as your main metric. You do anything to increase your customer base without taking into account important metrics such as NPS, CSAT, churn rate, and purchase ratio.
It would not come as a surprise if you over-promise or exaggerate your product’s features just to turn people into customers – or to keep subscribers or customers at any cost even if it means giving them false hope, or unreasonable discounts.
Before deciding on tracking a particular metric, make sure you know what insights you’re going to achieve and whether they could be useful or not. Then use your customer success platform or your CRM to manage these metrics. Always look for underlying reasons behind a rise or fall of a metric and try to make the best out of the insights you achieve.
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