7 min read
A customer platform can transform a customer success (CS) team. Yet, for many in the industry it’s seen as a technology for companies solely dealing with large SaaS businesses. But what happens when you apply the same tech when managing smaller clients?
And what is the key Success Factor?
One company benefiting from the use of a customer platform is US based PushPress. A SaaS business that caters for a range of fitness and health companies, providing billing and membership management solutions via a suite of apps.
I spoke to Director of Customer Success at PushPress, Gavin Danfelt-Martin, about the unique needs of his SaaS organization when focusing on the smaller business segmentation. And how playbooks and automations are his success factor when freeing his CSMs to do more with less.
Gavin Danfelt-Martin, Director of Customer Success at PushPress: Ultimately, it’s to make it easier for the small business owner to maximize their time. We’re trying to create products, and services that help them get back time and scale their businesses.
Our main goal as a team is, how can we, in this ever changing gym-industry, help our clients compete with the big chains.
Gavin: We don’t follow a traditional customer success model – assuming it’s a mid market enterprise model of annual revenue.
For us the life-cycle is monthly subscriptions, which for a SaaS company is unusual as they can dip at a moment's notice.
This means renewals are not in the forefront of our success model. That would drive you crazy, as there's just no possibility to run a SaaS model in the small business market and rely on monthly subscriptions.
Instead we focus on the users who regularly use our products. For example, users who use all four of our products (Core, Train, Sites, and Grow) are not a big churn risk because they are more embedded into our systems. Likewise the businesses who are single product users that are high billing and regularly use the product.
Gavin: The filters for playbooks and automation of triggers. This is at the forefront of what we do with our products. With playbooks and automation we can identify upsell opportunities. Maybe initiate a call to sell other products and touch base with them. It’s still a low touch, but it’s a key interaction with the client, and primary to what we do.
Also, as a customer success team we tend to focus on our higher NRR clients. And follow playbooks that build more touch points with them in order to maximize retention and minimize that churn.
The trick is to have the automations and triggers that make it possible to scale, with a far greater client list than it would be for say a mid-market enterprise business. Working with smaller businesses, and our monthly subscription model, make it more of a numbers game – the rules for churn are different.
Gavin: With four different products there tends to be a longer onboarding period. Before Planhat, we used Monday and before that we used Asana to process and dictate how we onboarded.
Today, I’ve worked intimately with the onboarding team to build playbooks and workflows that can be triggered by status updates by the product team, to show when changes are made or new updates are applied.
Planhat has really helped the onboarding team know when to trigger certain steps, and which emails to send. And that’s especially important when you are introducing a new product and don’t want to lose traction with your customer.
Gavin: Proactive triggers are key, and for us that's going to continue to be important to build out and move forward with because of the small team we have. Likewise it’s unlikely that we will have a huge Customer Success team in the future so getting more automated in our processes is key.
We can now easily display the work that customer success does and the value it provides to the entire organization. We’re also a lot more visual in our approach and can run reports on tracking retention, conversations, and upsell conversations, calls and chats, etc. And in the past that has been difficult to display.
My main goal is to get my team knowing what they're doing, and if they do have extra time, have the opportunity to do more outreach and drive upsell opportunities.
Gavin: Yes. Our use of third-party marketing elements is really quite helpful in triggering that particular playbook. Planhat gives a clear visual of that opportunity we didn't have before.
Our team is still not big enough to be able to deliver a full onslaught of selling, compared to larger companies which have entire departments to funnel those things.
But we certainly have the playbooks activated when we have time, and we block areas in our calendar throughout the week to push the sales element a little bit more.
Gavin: We focus on our customer satisfaction score (CSAT) and NPS. Calls are also an important metric to us.
Obviously we can’t record all our conversations. But we can at least note whether a call was retention based or whether a call was upsell based. Likewise we always track what products we talk about.
For example, did the call touch on any of our other products? If I see an upsell tag on a call, I can then go into those notes, and I can get more information about that conversation. If it looks like something we should review, push on with, or sometimes even pull back on we’ll take the appropriate action.
Product feature requests and reviews are also tracked. And those are cool because if the support person is logging a lot of feature requests that means the client is asking pretty good questions, and they're engaged with the product.
Gavin: I’m actually really excited about using the Customer Portal more as it enables us to have a client facing element which we lack in our own apps.
Planhat enables us to have greater use of metrics, which aid our overall business transparency. For example, if we can have triggers which can help us notice depreciating NRR and make decisions internally to act on those in a timely manner.
Making informed decisions based on calls we’ve had, and our success metrics, means we can make the right call, at the right time with our customers. It’s also something we know our competitors in the market will be doing.
Ultimately, we want our CSMs to have the best personal relationships with clients and playbooks that enable us to hit our targets.
Automations, playbooks, and triggers, and simply making data actionable is the success factor for PushPress. If you would like to see for yourself how a Customer Platform can benefit your brand sign up for a demo of Planhat now.
Or, if you would like to find out more about how PushPress uses Planhat, download our our recent case study. In it your will learn how PushPress successfully manages, retains and grows a large number of smaller businesses using Planhat’s different features.
Discover the success factor behind PushPress’ customer success, with Director of Customer Success, Gavin Danfelt-Martin.
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