Data plays a crucial role in driving Customer Success. Companies that implement effective customer data management systems are positioned to provide enhanced customer experiences. Optimized customer journeys result in increased buyer loyalty and higher profits for SaaS companies. Reaching these outcomes requires more than just collecting customer data; companies also need the proper tools to make that data actionable. This article discusses the value of customer data management and the technology required to get the most from the information you collect from customers.
What is Customer Data Management?
Customer data management refers to systems used by a business to sort, analyze, interpret and collect customer data. Savvy companies use this valuable information to gain deep insight into their customers' behaviors, goals, and experiences. They may also leverage this data to make decisions around their product roadmap and GTM strategy.
Capturing customer data presents SaaS companies with a significant opportunity to better understand buyers' needs; it also contributes to strategies geared toward preventing customer churn. The following data types are typically considered to be the most critical to Customer Success operations:
- Demographic Data: Any personally identifiable information (PII) like; name, address, phone number, location, etc.
- Firmographic Data: Similar to demographic data, but at the account level. Think company name, location, industry, number of employees, number of users, company revenue, etc.
- Engagement Data: Engagement data encompasses any information that conveys how an individual engages with a brand. Engagement data encompasses product usage, brand and marketing engagement, support engagement, and success engagement.
- Behavioral Data: This information refers to how a customer interacts with a company's products (in-app behavior), services, and customer support team.
- Attitudinal Data: Attitudinal data reflects a buyer's opinion of a company, its products, and the overall customer experience.
How Does Customer Data Management Impact Customer Success?
Proper customer data management has the potential to make a profound impact on Customer Success. Companies use what they learn about buyers to create highly personalized content, offers, products, and services. This high-value data supports 360-degree views of the customer journey and gives companies the information they need to deepen their relationship with buyers.
86% of customers claim they will pay a higher price for a product if provided with a positive customer experience. Data allows companies to interact with customers at just the right moment to extend assistance, drive engagement, and boost conversions. This all contributes to increased customer lifetime value and more revenue.
Proactive Customer Success teams also use data to build and monitor customer health scores. This metric enables CS professionals to swoop in and provide support when needed most; this can mean nudging a customer further along their journey or giving aid to prevent a churn event. Customer health scores also assist SaaS companies with segmenting buyers so that high-touch support can be targeted to the most valuable accounts.
Your Customer Data Tech Stack
With all the positives that customer data can provide to a SaaS company, it can also present challenges. Customer data can only be beneficial when codified, automated, and handled securely. With growing concern over data privacy, businesses are obligated to practice customer data protection while also using this data to improve how they serve customers. The best way to achieve this dual initiative in the fast-paced digital marketplace is by implementing the proper technology.
SaaS companies primarily use three types of tools to securely collect, collate, and manage customer data: Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs), and Customer Success Platforms (CSPs).
- Customer Data Platforms unify unstructured customer data that has been collected from several different sources to establish a data hub. With this data, businesses can build profiles for individual customers and compile them into a single record, providing a holistic high-level view of accounts. Additionally, CDPs can sort these profiles into groups based on different criteria to allow more tailored targeting to specific customer segments.
- Customer Relationship Managers collect and store customer information for the principal purpose of supporting sales and marketing activity. Unlike a CDP, CRMs are designed to allow sales and marketing teams to maintain relationships with individual people. Popular CRMs like Salesforce support sales teams' efforts, while CRMs such as Hubspot are designed to help marketing teams.
- Customer Success platforms like Vitally have grown in popularity over the past several years as more companies have moved away from just selling and marketing to prioritize deepening customer relationships. Because CRMs are usually created with a Sales or Marketing focus, they often lack the flexibility necessary to support the entire customer journey. A well-designed Customer Success platform will automate many aspects of customer relationship-building while seamlessly integrating with the most popular CRMs on the market.
Customer data can play an enormous role in driving Customer Success. Customer data management empowers companies to personalize each customer's experience and to proactively maintain its relationship with buyers. This leads to extended customer lifetime value and increased profits.