Using data to digitize customer success at your organization

Daria, Senior Customer Journey Manager at Amplitude, on how they leveraged data to improve their customer journeys across segments
Usha Kalva
September 27, 2022
Implementation Stories
Main Illustration:
Sivaprakash

Using data to digitize customer success at your organization

Daria, Senior Customer Journey Manager at Amplitude, on how they leveraged data to improve their customer journeys across segments
Usha Kalva
September 27, 2022
Implementation Stories
Main Illustration:
Sivaprakash

In This Post

In Episode 25 of Implementation Stories, we spoke to Daria E., Senior Customer Journey Manager at Amplitude, on digitizing the customer journey using a data-driven approach.

Daria has spent the last nine years in customer-facing and CS roles at Wrike, HypeAuditor, and Amplitude. At Amplitude, she currently leads multiple Customer Success initiatives while also helping scale their CS programs. 

In this session, Daria focused on the following: 

  1. How data can power your digital transformation
  2. The approach to digital CS at Amplitude
  3. Key questions to answer while building a digital CS practice

Here are our key takeaways from the session.

1. Amplitude’s North Star approach to CS

The North Star framework is a model for managing products by identifying the core value that directly shows you if your customer gets value from your product. 

Amplitude’s North Star = The number of weekly learning users

Here’s how they arrived at this: Amplitude’s core mission is to help customers get to value by asking the right questions and sharing their learnings. This means that they need to ensure that customers: 

  1. Use the product’s functionality to find answers
  2. Ask the right questions 

On close observation, they found that the more the number of individual users who read charts, consumed the content, and interpreted what they saw, the higher the chances of the customer’s chances of staying with the product. 

And since it’s the CS function’s job to deliver real value, the North Star is what the CS team closely monitors and drives.

2. How Amplitude uses data to drive decisions and progress toward their North Star 

At Amplitude, the three aspects of data usage are as below.

Ensuring breadth and depth of insights 

They collect enough data to capture the health of the account by ensuring end-to-end digital journeys using a combination of platforms like Salesforce, Zendesk, Amplitude, and Planhat.

Here are a few broad questions the team uses data to find answers to:

  1. What is the average time for a user to adopt the product?
  2. Which areas do customers find most challenging? 
  3. How many hours does a user need to receive the first value from the product?
  4. What is the business cost for the services provided?
  5. How can customer onboarding be scaled?
  6. What does a healthy customer look like?
  7. What are the key metrics that correlate with retention?
  8. What are the most effective ways to deliver value to the customer?

Ensuring cross-functional data access

They align with other teams to drive the North Star–each team having a metric they own and a constant review of data.

Ensuring proactive monitoring and action

The Amplitude team uses:

  1. Customer health metrics to ensure targeted engagement for behavioral cohorts 
  2. Proactive interventions for at-risk accounts 
  3. Data-based CS playbooks based on the customer’s health status 

3. CS at Amplitude 

Amplitude’s journey of designing its CS approach is detailed below.

Phase 1: The customer-centric approach

The team started with a high-touch model that predictably was expensive and not scalable. 

This led to the evolution of Professional Services as a team, encouraged by the realization that customers, especially enterprise ones, are willing to pay for their onboarding. 

Tech stack for high-touch customer onboarding: Tami Titheridge, Kapiche

Phase 2: Leveraging Professional Services

The team introduced paid services with different packages. This helped customers jumpstart their journeys at an earlier stage and is focused on a specific part of the customer lifecycle. 

Today, the team has a hybrid offering: 

  1. A full-scope customer onboarding implementation–mainly targeted at enterprises
  2. An ‘Accelerator’ program that helps smaller customers get one-on-one support to get through the basics

In the Accelerator program, the CS team works directly with one customer champion to share templates and best practices for the early tasks of sending high-quality data into the Amplitude platform. 

Phase 3: A hybrid model for scale

The Amplitude team is moving towards a tech-touch model where the high-touch model will continue to exist as a paid service but with some human-led interventions.

Samantha Wong on Scaling Customer Onboarding at Front

4. Digital check-ins: A key aspect of Amplitude’s approach to digitizing enterprise customer journeys

Daria shared an approach that has helped translate their one-to-one approach with individual customer champions to individual users.

The team has an automated digital check-in with individual users every ninth day.

Every Amplitude user receives a pop-up asking them their top challenges and sentiments towards using Amplitude. 

The CS team actively monitors these responses and shares insights with the customer champions for further interventions.

Additionally, each user instantly receives a best practice related to that priority. 

This means that: 

  1. Enterprise champions get insights into their users’ priorities and challenges
  2. Enterprise users get tailored best practices

5. Key aspects to consider when digitizing your customer journey

The digitization of a Customer Success journey typically goes through the following stages: 

Evaluation

This technical evaluation phase focuses on getting to the following outcomes:

  1. Resource allocation
  2. Defined areas of high operational costs
  3. Customer health metrics directly impacted by CS

Implementation

This phase focuses on automating repetitive interventions and clearly defining goals and tasks to get:

  1. Well-defined high and low-touch models
  2. Clear success metrics for each phase of the customer journey
  3. Alignment with the North Star

Ongoing Success Planning

This phase drives customer adoption based on working models for high- and low-touch journeys, with outcomes such as:

  1. Customers getting help when needed
  2. Teams making data-driven decisions 
  3. CS empowered with playbooks based on customers’ use cases

Questions to ask yourself about digitizing your customer journey:

  1. What is the lifecycle of your user?
  2. How long does it take for them to adopt the product?
  3. When do most users start to actively use the product?
  4. When do they drop off?
  5. When/where should you intervene?
  6. Can you identify/predict risk and proactively intervene?
  7. How can you intervene? 
  8. Do you have automated ways to inform a customer when they are deviating from the suggested path?
  9. Can CS and PS teams monitor customers at risk?
Like what you read? Join Preflight, our private, invite-only Slack community and attend the next Implementation Stories session. You will also gain access to peers and share knowledge on customer onboarding, implementation, and customer success.

More resources

  1. Implementation Stories from Preflight
  2. Customer onboarding resources from Rocketlane
  3. The Launch Station - a podcast for all things customer onboarding

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Usha Kalva
Community & Partnerships @ Rocketlane

Usha is a Community Manager at Preflight. She's been an EIR, runs a successful restaurant, and is inclined toward the social sciences. In a parallel universe, she'd have been a wildlife photographer.

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