4 ways your customer teams can leverage product usage analytics

Written by Lea Sheridan  | 

5 min

 

More and more, customer success teams have found innovative ways to let their product facilitate important customer milestones. Onboarding a new customer, providing opportunities for renewal, or pointing out new functionality can now occur without customers leaving the application. While in-app engagement is a great way to educate and assist customers, the rise of product analytics tools have created a whole new set of strategies for customer success teams to drive even better customer outcomes.

Thomas Mella is the director of customer success at FourKites, a predictive analytics platform that connects to IoT devices and integrates with logistics systems to track shipments for Fortune 500 and third-party logistics companies. According to him, product usage analytics are the customer success playbook. Mella joined us in September at Pendomonium to discuss four ways his customer teams are leveraging usage analytics to drive increased product adoption and customer loyalty. 

  1. Let customers see their own usage analytics
  2. Gamify product usage with benchmarks
  3. Incorporate usage metrics into customer health scoring
  4. Leverage your full technology stack to promote behavior outside your app

Here’s how Thomas applies these lessons with his own team and customers at FourKites. 

Let customers see their own usage analytics

Many customer teams spend hours combing through customer data to better understand how many users are in their product on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, to learn where they’re getting stuck in the product, and to assess risk of churn. FourKites had the insight, though, that customers could learn a lot from their own product usage data.  

As such, Thomas’ team began exporting usage data into a data warehouse to compile weekly usage reports they could share with customers. The reports highlight which users are logging in, how often they are using the product, and what features each user is leveraging. From there, the customer can better understand if someone is not using the product who should be and work with FourKites to problem solve when opportunities or challenges are identified. 

Through sharing usage data, customers become more invested and a more equal partner in helping to ensure teams are realizing the full value of FourKites. 

Gamify product usage with benchmarks

In addition to regularly sharing usage data with their customers, FourKites also established benchmarks for product usage. They look at each feature to understand how often it’s being used, which roles use it most, and the amount of usage that’s optimal for achieving desired outcomes. These benchmarks help customers define what types of users should be using which features at what frequency. They create more prescriptive guidance on what the product journey should look like and how users can be more successful.

These benchmarks also help customers understand how their usage compares with similar accounts and best practices. By gamifying product usage in this way, customers have additional incentive to take advantage of the features most valuable to them and to discover new parts of the FourKites platform. 

The best part? This social proof helps get customers excited about improving their own usage. Customers regularly reach out to Thomas exclaiming: “I’m going to be one of your top users of this feature this year!”

Incorporate usage metrics into your customer health scoring

FourKites integrates usage analytics into every part of their customer success strategy. A critical piece of this strategy is using the data to inform customer health scoring. FourKites measures breadth, depth, and frequency of usage to make up their customer health score.  

Thomas Mella Pendo Fourkites

 

They use historical data and customer outcomes to set goals around each of these metrics and define a customer as healthy or at-risk. These goals will be unique to every organization based on how they’ve seen certain product or feature usage lead to positive customer outcomes, but the breadth, depth, and frequency framework can provide a holistic way to structure these goals. 

Leverage your full technology stack to promote behavior outside your app

Finally, FourKites takes advantage of their entire technology stack to help activate product promoters and encourage action outside the app. FourKites connects Pendo with their workflow automation platform (Zapier) to automate additional customer interactions and encourage behavior. 

For example, if a user leaves an NPS review in the app, an email is sent through Zapier asking the user to also leave a review on G2. Using this strategy, FourKites has amassed more positive reviews than any of their competitors, and emerged in G2 as a leader in their space. The campaign has led to 49 reviews with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.

FourKites also uses this integration to activate disengaged users. If a user has gone a certain amount of time without logging into the app, an automated email will be sent highlighting the most popular features for that user’s particular role.

These integrations not only lead to positive results, but also help the customer success team scale more effectively. 

The ultimate customer success playbook

For the customer success team at FourKites, usage analytics are an invaluable data set. Thomas pushes his team to understand what each customer cares about and how this relates to their data. 

This helps the team build out prescriptive feature and usage recommendations for each customer. By factoring product usage in the customer health score, they can then measure the impact of these efforts and accelerate scale by automating additional outreach triggered by usage.