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Why Data-Driven Customer Success is Essential in Today’s COVID World

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Why Data-Driven Customer Success is Essential in Today’s COVID World

How CSM can keep customers happy and reduce churn. Closely track your key API metrics (number of API calls, error events and more), to maintain your retention goals.

· Integration Zone ·
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In today’s unprecedented economic downturn, it’s more difficult than ever to find and close new customers. The onus is now on maintaining existing customers as productive users of your product. By closely monitoring API metrics, Customer Success Management (CSM) teams can get an early warning on those that are at risk of churning, and rectify things before it’s too late.

Customer Acquisition Versus Customer Retention: At Least 5X Difference in Cost

According to different surveys, the average cost of acquiring a new customer is between 5X and 25X the cost of retaining an existing one. That was in the pre-COVID era. In today’s world, it’s probably more.

CSM’s mission is to help customers realize value through your product. Customer value realization is the flywheel that keeps customers coming back. CSM is the power that accelerates the flywheel.

Through user-centric analytics, it’s possible to keep a close watch on what your customers are doing, and reach out when they’re struggling to integrate or use your products and APIs. Let’s examine what are the important metrics that you need to track, so that you can hit your retention goals

Metrics to Track to Reach Retention Goals

By monitoring the activities of your customers, you’ll be able to:

  • Figure out their usage behavior
  • Provide better help when needed
  • Identify churn early
  • Understand whether they’re going to renew

Number of API Calls & Retention

Know when your customers are engaged by tracking when they start and when they stop sending traffic (figure below). Bound your parameters to bands, so that if the value moves into a predefined band you get notified. Use real-time alerts to proactively identify and contact customers who are at risk. In monitoring platforms, alerts can be delivered over Slack, SMS, Email, and PagerDuty. Have a first-level post to Slack and then the second level fire to PagerDuty. If needed, escalate to engineering or whoever is on call for that system.

Creating cohorts for similar activities can enable efficient monitoring of a large number of customers, whether they’re individual users or companies. Group by Most Active Companies, New Users with More Than 5 API Errors and many other types of fields (figure above).

Error Events & Churn

Spot erroneous payloads quickly and triage with the customer to determine the problem. Spot failing systems and avoid churn. If your customers integrated your API, but keep getting a 400 or 500 error, get notified as soon as it happens, contact the customer and stay on top of it. Group by Top APIs For Each User With Errors, New Users With 4xx/5xx Errors, Max Latency (figure below) and many more.

Cohort Retention

Accurately measure product retention and stickiness over time. Product retention measures the percent of users within a cohort that interact with your API in some way, and then come back to interact with your API again. Group by New Users, SDK Used and more (figure below).

Hitting Retention Metrics

CSM teams are now under lots more pressure to hit retention metrics. With commerce taking a nose-dive due to coronavirus and sheltering-in-place, it’s now more important than ever to be data-driven. Monitor important metrics to avoid those hard discussions, keep your customers successful and ensure that they really renew.

Topics:
analytics, analytics platforms, api, api platform, apis for product managers, churn, covid, csm, data, observability

Published at DZone with permission of Larry Ebringer . See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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