Nov 5, 2021

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7-Point Audit Checklist for Customer Success Software

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7-Point Audit Checklist for Customer Success Software

You purchased your Customer Success software with expectations of how it would perform and how your team would use it. But as we all know, our expectations don’t always match reality. And work doesn’t always go according to plan. New problems surface. Strategies shift. Solutions evolve. Processes change.

With busy Customer Success teams, it can be difficult to pause and reflect on the systems that we use to manage our bustling days, when most of the time, we’re just trying to get through them. But if you want to ensure your Customer Success software keeps working for you, and not against you, it’s a worthwhile exercise to evaluate its performance.

Auditing your Customer Success software helps you identify inefficiencies and quality improvements in your requirements, data, and processes. In this article, I outline seven steps to conduct a Customer Success software audit so you can maximize the power of your data and tools.

Your 7-Point Audit Checklist for Customer Success Software

1.) Revisit your Customer Success plan

You purchased Customer Success software for a specific set of reasons. Review the original goals you intended to achieve with the platform, as well as the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you established to measure those goals. How does your actual performance track against those goals? Were there changes to your strategy, either at the departmental or organizational level, that introduced new goals or made any original goals obsolete? Assess whether you’re using Customer Success software in support of your objectives or if you need to adjust its purpose, usage, or related targets.

2.) Measure the quality of your Customer Success software data

Your Customer Success software is only as effective as the data you put into it. Low-quality data not only threatens the success of your operations, but also your integrity as a trusted partner and a team leader. You need high-quality customer data to build your influence both inside and outside of your organization.

When measuring the quality of your Customer Success software data, consider these factors:

  • Accessibility: Do individuals who’d find data stored in your Customer Success software useful have access to it, including other departments and your customer? Do existing users have the right permissions?
  • Accuracy: How exact or approximate is your data?
  • Breadth: Does the range of data sources and datapoints available to you provide comprehensive coverage of customers and internal operations?
  • Completeness: Where is data missing or incomplete?
  • Consistency: Are datapoints the same across different sources? What’s the cause of any discrepancies? For example, date formats.
  • Depth: Do datapoints go into the level of detail needed to be useful?
  • Distinctiveness: Are datapoints duplicative or redundant?
  • Timeliness: How close to in real time are datapoints shown? How does the recency of a specific datapoints affect its validity?
  • Understanding: Is the data rendered in a way that users can easily understand and apply?

Customer Success software comes equipped with a broad dataset. To make your software audit more manageable, prioritize what data/features to audit first. Since customer segments power most functionality and automation within the system, we often suggest starting there.

We also recommend creating an Account segment and a Contact segment to QA the fields that are most critical to the software’s performance. At ChurnZero, this is a standard exercise our Customer Success team performs for every customer during their implementation to ensure their data is in tip-top shape. We recommend creating the below QA segments which include key fields that are commonly missed on the Account and Contact level.

  • QA Account Segment display Accounts with missing:
    • Account External Id
    • Owner
    • Start Date
    • Next Renewal Date
    • Total Contract Amount
    • License Count
  • QA Contact Segment display Contacts with missing:
    • Contact External Id
    • Role
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Email

Your customers’ unique identifiers, known as the Account External ID and Contact External ID in ChurnZero, are your most vital fields. Closely monitor these fields as they ensure usage data is correctly attributed to each Account and Contact. The incorrect input of these unique identifiers is the leading source of duplicate customer records which fragments data across accounts.

If your Customer Success software is integrated with your CRM, remember that it’s connected as the source of truth for your data. Keep in mind that if updates are made to your CRM, those changes can affect your Customer Success software setup.

Lastly, you’ll want to regularly monitor your QA segments to ensure the quality of your data doesn’t fall below an acceptable threshold as your customer base grows. Nominate a team member to review the segments at a cadence that works best for your team, either monthly or quarterly.

3.) Take inventory of your data sources

As your business, product, and team grow, so will your data and tracking needs. After you assess the quality of your data, identify any new datapoints, events, or integrations that have been deployed since your initial Customer Success software implementation or last audit.

For expanding customer bases, you may need to add additional Account or Contact fields for more targeted segmentation, automations, customer health scores, and more.

For updates to your product, features, and customer journey, you may need to send additional Events to your Customer Success software.

For growing tech stacks, whether it’s a product your Customer Success team or another department owns, you may need to add new software integrations to your Customer Success software.

4.) Verify your regulatory compliance

Throughout the year, your processes and customers will likely change, as will the data you collect from them. It’s important to ensure that your Customer Success software, being your central operating system and data processor, remains compliant with any applicable data protection standards, such as GDPR and CCPA. Make sure your Customer Success software gives you means to comply should your users request their data be removed. To learn how ChurnZero helps customers comply with privacy laws, check out our documentation on ChurnZero’s API for privacy laws compliance.

5.) Collect user feedback on your Customer Success software

For your Customer Success software to deliver results, your team needs to use it – and preferably enjoy using it if you want long-term success. Survey your team to find out what they like and dislike about the software, as well as their confidence level in its data and functionality. Users will be more likely to adopt if they feel like their opinion is heard. Make sure you submit your team’s product feedback to your vendor as well. If it’s a popular or well-suited request, the vendor should prioritize its review and/or release.

6.) Assess the usage data of your Customer Success software

Identify if and how your team uses the software, either through analyzing their usage data or asking them directly. How frequently do they log in? Where are they spending their time in the system? Conversely, what areas of the system are they neglecting?

With ChurnZero, you can monitor your team’s productivity directly from within the system. Using the Command Center’s “Team” View and the “My Dashboard Team” View, you can see how many tasks your team logs and what messages they send. You can also track their upcoming tasks and messages that are unsent to keep an eye on their workload. Additionally, with Account Insights, you can create custom user-facing dashboards to share with your team and keep them accountable to their usage goals.

Based on your research, determine if your team is using the software as intended and configured. If not, that’s a sign that you may need to schedule additional software training with your vendor, adjust your configurations to align to how your team is actually using the product, or reinforce the benefits of using the tool.

7.) Measure the ROI of your Customer Success software

Along with assessing the data that lives within your Customer Success software, you also want to assess the system’s return on investment. How has your Customer Success software influenced company-wide metrics such as Net Revenue Retention (NRR), Net Promoter Score® (NPS), and Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)? What efficiency or productivity improvements has the team gained by using the system? For example, increased scalability by doubling the ratio of clients to CSMs. Benchmarking your performance will be especially important if you plan to expand your investment in your Customer Success tech stack or operating budget.

Keep your Customer Success software working for you

To realize the full potential of your Customer Success software, get into the habit of auditing the system and its data on a routine basis. As your goals evolve, so should the software that supports you. Auditing your software allows you to highlight your successes and what’s working, as well as identify gaps in your data and performance. Upholding an ongoing commitment to reviewing and optimizing your technology is the most effective way to improve in these areas.

Is your Customer Success game lagging behind or leading the way?

Technology is only one factor that makes up your Customer Success maturity. To find out where you stand relative to your industry peers, take our interactive Customer Success Maturity Assessment. This evaluation measures your Customer Success maturity against five assessment areas: Strategy, Leadership, Budget and Staff, Process and Metrics, and Technology. This maturity assessment will show you common areas of improvement, as well as how you can invest resources to make better decisions.


 

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