Collecting Customer Data

In the world of SaaS, there certainly isn’t a lack of data – big data, small data – all of that data! As a matter of fact, there is probably too much of it – way too much of it. The real problem with all this data, aside from the fact that it exists in disparate silos, is that it isn’t always contextual to who your customers are, how they behave, which moments make up their journey and what they require to achieve successful outcomes (and thus value with your product or service).

How can you fix it?

Your solution could start with a spreadsheet – which it likely does already. However, that could become unwieldy quickly and then, as a result, create your next biggest problem – an unwieldy spreadsheet. Even though you’ll have the data (after spending a considerable amount of time collecting it), it still won’t provide the complete picture.

And if executives are using this data to report on progress, status of the business portfolio, assess risk and adequately project revenues, then that is yet another big problem for your Customer Success team.

At a minimum, ensure that you are collecting the right data.

The Obvious:

  1. Account and contact information
  2. Support tickets
  3. Billing and contract information
  4. Email, phone, meeting correspondence

The Behavioral:

  1. Usage – depth (% of product) and breadth (# of licenses)
  2. Adoption rate
  3. Business outcomes

The Value-Based:

  1. Time to value
  2. Engagement – when, with whom, how often, topic
  3. Interactions – touchpoints, key activities, timing
  4. Participation – forums, community

The Opportunity-Based:

  1. Age of customer
  2. Advocacy of customer
  3. Account growth (expanding team, feature usage etc.)
  4. Product feedback
  5. Executive relationship

That’s just the beginning! Investing in customer operations surfaced as a priority for the majority of SaaS companies we’ve spoken to, and investing should include the resources to help teams succeed. Perhaps collecting data in unwieldy spreadsheets isn’t necessarily the best plan – especially when you depend on accurate data upon which to manage your business.