When I founded Bluenose, I was really excited about helping companies to measure how their customers used their online products and services.
First and foremost, usage equals retention. We believe that if you regularly use an online service (such as your friendly, everyday SaaS app), then you’re likely going to renew your subscription, and perhaps even expand it. And vice versa— non-use of the service will likely result in churn. So usage as a measure is a significant, if not the best, predictor of customer health and future intent.
Second, usage data can be monitored all the time, like a signal. Usage – unlike any other data about a customer – is a signal that can be continuously generated. And with a continuous signal, you have the ability to continuously listen. Changes in the signal, like declining usage, can be immediately sensed and responded to. Think of it as an early warning system.
Last but not least, usage data is about every user, not just the ones you talk to. In B2B businesses, we often talk to key stakeholders and take their feedback as indicative of their whole customer’s satisfaction with us. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been surprised when a happy executive sponsor leaves, only to reveal that the user population wasn’t using the product. Churn ensues.
In contrast, every other indicator apart from usage appears to be inferior because the data is stale, or it’s not collected consistently for each customer. For example:
- Having your employees reach out personally by email or phone to get customer feedback is expensive. Especially if you have a high number of customers and want to regularly monitor them.
- Satisfaction surveys are interesting, but with typical response rates at around 5%, they don’t tell you about the other 95% of your customers. Big blind spot.
- Support tickets are also interesting, but many customers seldom contact support, if at all.
Enter in-app Net Promoter Score℠ surveys. Because in-app survey response rates can be up to 50%, you now have two powerful signals to work from: what customers do (day-to-day usage) and what they say (NPS® responses). And this signal is from your entire user population, not for just a few “stakeholders”.
If Customer Success is all about timely engagement, then these two signals trump all others for their accuracy and consistency— their ability to measure your whole user base, and their ability as signals to monitor customer health on a continuous basis.
Naming our new NPS survey tool “Pulse” was no accident. Continuous surveys and usage measurement are your best means to gauge the health of customer relationships. Our job is to help you do that easily, in one place.