Since the month of November is now upon us, we wanted to use this latest edition of the Drinking Our Own Champagne blog series to highlight an aspect of UserIQ that we’re most thankful for—event notifications. What are event notifications, you ask? Event notifications are automated alerts that you can create within UserIQ to let your team know about key happenings in your customers’ lifecycle. Event notifications were designed to complement a busy CSM’s day-to-day. Nowadays, everyone gets pop-ups about calendar invites and breaking news, so we thought, why not get immediate notifications about the most important part of your business—your customers?!
Keeping Tabs on New Users
The UserIQ team uses event notifications to make sure that no customer milestone goes unnoticed, no matter where the user or account is in their customer journey. Speaking of the customer journey, as you may recall, we dedicated last month’s Drinking Our Own Champagne post to talking about The UserIQ Onboarding Journey. We did this because, as many customer-facing teams can attest, onboarding is the most critical phase in the customer lifecycle and we wanted to share how we’ve honed our own users’ early experiences with the help of the UserIQ platform.
For our team—like many customer success teams—onboarding new users tends to be more ‘hands-on’ than, say, managing an account that’s on its third renewal cycle with UserIQ. Since customer success managers (CSMs) frequently check in with newly onboarded users, there isn’t as big a need for event notifications during this phase. That said, one of the first event notifications that our team can receive about one of their customers is an onboarding delay alert. If a given account hasn’t graduated from onboarding by their 61st day, an event notification fires off to the account owner. UserIQ’s VP of Customer Success, Lawton Ursrey, elaborates: “In our experience with new user onboarding, it’s unlikely that customers will go past the 60-day mark without becoming an onboarding graduate. But that’s the exact use case for something like an event notification. It takes away a manual component from the CSM’s to-do list and just automatically tracks things for them.”
Lawton also talked about how experimenting with event notifications has given the UserIQ team a way to refine our understanding of the customer journey: “Originally, we set up the onboarding delay alert so that the CSM got a message if users hadn’t graduated from onboarding by day 31. CSMs were getting pinged with tons of alerts in their inboxes, so we adjusted the timeframe until it made sense for us. Plus, it was a good lesson for us to learn how long the onboarding phase truly lasts, since understanding that timeline enables us to plan better internally and set users’ expectations.” In addition to the onboarding delay notification, UserIQ CSMs rely on other alerts to ensure that new users are engaging with our platform and on the road to adoption—such as an alert when a new user has not logged in for 30 consecutive days, or an alert that highlights when an onboarding user has not logged in for a full week. Having access to all of the data in UserIQ gives our team the ability to experiment and fine tune event notifications, so that the alerts can help CSMs do their jobs well and enable them to remain focused on their customers.
Giving the People What They Want
Another way that event notifications come in handy for the UserIQ team is to help measure customers’ progress toward their intended adoption goals—a.k.a. the reason they purchased. We’ve touched on intended adoption goals briefly in other posts, but these milestones refer to each customer’s unique reasons for investing in the UserIQ platform. By leveraging the product usage data in UserIQ, our customer success team is able to track how users are progressing toward these intended adoption goals. For some users, they buy UserIQ because they want to launch an in-app NPS campaign, while other customers buy UserIQ specifically for our mobile analytics and engagement capabilities. Each prospect’s intended adoption goals are flagged in our instance of Salesforce, and a series of event notifications are set up in UserIQ to see if customers are using these top-desired features.
That all sounds great. But what does a UserIQ CSM do if they receive one of these alerts about intended adoption? Lawton explains, “That’s where the ‘manager’ piece of the customer success manager role comes into play. CSMs knows what their users’ top priorities and goals are, but an event notification may tip them off to an unforeseen issue. It’s up to the CSM to take action on the alert and make the best ‘play call’ for their accounts.” CSMs will sometimes add an intended adoption goal as an agenda item in their next cadence call, or they will send the customer an email directly if they feel it’s more urgent. “It’s like having a little insurance policy built into each one of your customer relationships,” added Sarah Boynton, a CSM on the UserIQ team. “Even if things don’t always go exactly as planned, as a CSM, you know you’re covered with event notifications, since they will simply pop up wherever there is a red flag.”
The Event Notifications MVP
While event notifications are typically set up to inform CSMs about outlier customer scenarios, one alert type that is used quite often relates to NPS responses. The UserIQ team has a series of event notifications to alert CSMs to NPS survey completions. While CSMs are interested to hear about their customers who give 9’s or 10’s on NPS surveys, they are actually more interested in learning about the negative scores and feedback, so that they can begin to address NPS detractors and strategize on how to improve scores the next time around.
“Getting alerts about NPS detractors is particularly key for our team,” Lawton emphasized. “If a customer isn’t satisfied, we want to know about it and personally act on it as soon as possible.” UserIQ CSMs typically will get in touch with any detractors right away, in order to get to the heart of their issue and see how the team can best support them. Like any SaaS company, UserIQ takes NPS very seriously, as it’s a key metric for our entire company. It doesn’t even matter how much customer ‘face time’ someone gets in their particular job role—everyone at UserIQ cares about the feedback we receive on NPS surveys and goes the extra mile to make our customers’ experience a great one.
UserIQ CSMs have long to-do lists. One time-consuming item on these to-do lists is monitoring usage overages and customer contract terms. Not only is this a time-consuming task, but it’s an activity that’s more focused on our needs here at UserIQ—as opposed to our customers’ needs. Luckily for us, we can use event notifications to automatically do this monitoring for us! The team relies on the product usage data in UserIQ, along with event notifications in order to track when customers are reaching limits or expirations within their contract.
Since the UserIQ platform is priced by the number of monthly active users (MAUs) that a given customer’s software application has, usage numbers are important for us to keep tabs on. For CSMs to track that manually would be unrealistic and would take away from the relationship-building activities that are so critical and foundational to their role. With event notifications, monitoring usage limits is one task that the CSM can automatically check off of their list. Alerts are set up for when customers are getting close to the maximum number of MAUs allotted for their pricing tier, when accounts have exceeded their current usage tier, or—one of the more commonly used alerts—when accounts are 120 days out from their renewal date. While renewal dates tend to be more top of mind for CSMs, it’s still a relief to know that event notifications are there to track and remind the team about renewing accounts. Lawton says, “It’s helpful to get that heads up around the 4-month mark so that you can start those conversations with your customers early. CSMs work with renewing customers to make sure they continue to realize value in UserIQ. Plus, starting renewal conversations early helps pinpoint any account expansions and upsells.”
So, we’ve gone through a bunch of examples of how UserIQ uses event notifications to help keep our CSMs on track. Notice any similarities among the alerts we’ve set up?
If you noticed any pattern with these event notification examples we highlighted, you’re probably thinking “Why do most of these alerts pertain to customer issues as opposed to customer wins?” Sarah explains this trend further, “To balance high-tech and high-touch outreach, we need event notifications to quickly alert us whenever an issue arises with the customer’s UserIQ experience. If something is not going well, it’s highly likely that the CSM will need to reach out to that user directly. Whereas, if the customer is happy, engaged, and adopting, then UserIQ has plenty of in-app engagements that can celebrate fun milestones with the customer, like high fives or other congratulatory campaigns.” Often times, the notification itself is just step one. After the CSM sees that message pop up, a chain of events is set into motion—a series of actions that the CSM takes to ensure the best outcomes for their customers.
So, to reiterate, we’re not a bunch of negative nancies ;). We, the UserIQ team, just want to be there to help our customers as soon as they need us. And event notifications are a critical way to facilitate that effort.
10-4. Over and out, DOOC blog readers