If you work closely with your customers, you’ve likely heard or seen the phrase “Customer Health” in the past year. Maybe it was at a conference, or through some marketing materials, but the concept of “officially” tracking how a customer is feeling may initially come off as strange. Health is often associated with living people and animals, so how does it translate to an inanimate object such as a business?

The answer to the question is complex. Let’s look at why many customer-facing teams are starting to give a damn about customer health…

Customer health is focused on gradual change and monitoring – Unlike customer success where your team actively engages with a customer to make them more prosperous, customer health is mostly passive. Every customer relationship has a “heartbeat” the same way every person does; and keeping those vital signs up is often your responsibility. But, just like how your doctor doesn’t treat every patient the same way, it’s up to you to diagnose and create a plan for every single customer to ensure their relationship with your business remains healthy. Customizable customer health software can help automate this process and will alert you when those vitals, such as ticket volume and issue severity, start heading in the wrong direction.

Customer health is a universal goal and can improve in different ways – Simply put, many people don’t visit a doctor when they’re in perfect health. Most customers, especially new ones, are ailing from some sort of unique pain point that causes them grief and discomfort. Once you’re able to identify the source of the problem – be it from observing the symptoms in a strategy session or looking at their past records – it becomes much easier to create a plan of attack. Improving a customer relationship by identifying their issues and resolving them in a timely fashion creates a healthy working environment for everyone involved. And, just like how you’re not eager to leave a great doctor, most customers won’t be eyeing competitors anytime soon.

You can’t be afraid to end a relationship that’s in poor health – Although customer health often puts the onus of the relationship back in the hands of your customer-facing teams, there are still two parties that need to contribute. A doctor can prescribe the best medication for the ailment, but if the patient doesn’t take it, then their health won’t improve. When this happens in the business world and your customers stop listening to you, a vicious cycle can occur. Your employees become unhappy and, even though these customers are still contributing to the bottom line, they are often doing more harm than good. In this type of relationship where the customer health is plummeting with no sign of recovery, sometimes it’s just best to pull the plug.

In short, businesses are starting to give a damn about customer health because the monitoring tools are now in place to make better decisions about how to proceed with customers. It’s cost-effective to diagnose problems and use software to monitor these concerns to make sure they are alleviated. These tools can also be leveraged to identify customers who have little to no interest in improving how they work with your business so you can cut ties. Customer health is a new way to evaluate customer relationships and keep them in a position for your business to remain successful.