Using Pendo

How used Pendo to build CS from scratch

Published Nov 22, 2019

When we think of customer success teams, we usually think just that: an entire team of people ready to help and enable customers to get the most out of your product. For Evan Balbona, client success manager at Prism, which provides productivity software for the live music industry, that team didn’t exist until he joined the company and was tasked with building it. 

In the past, onboarding at Prism was delivered via a 16-point email, and there was no effective way to measure customer health. Evan joined us at Pendomonium this year to share how he established the customer success function and team, and utilized Pendo to improve Prism’s approach to onboarding and customer health. Evan outlined the steps he took, mistakes made, and how he plans to grow customer success at Prism.

Step 1: Tag everything

Evan noted that early on he was easily distracted by all of the different things he could do in Pendo — and if he could go back, his first step would be to tag everything in the product. He acknowledged that it will take some time in the beginning, but you’ll save time later on, and only benefit from having a solid analytics foundation in place.

Step 2: Create segments for each account

By creating different user segments for each account, Evan was able to identify usage trends for healthy (and not-so-healthy) accounts, and use those insights to steer customers towards the behaviors that drive success in the product. He also emphasized the importance of identifying which metrics matter for your business and product — and advised that how people are using your product is often more valuable than how much they’re using it.

Step 3: Construct a health score rubric

In order to solve the problem of having no way to measure customer health, Evan built out a customer health score rubric, comprised of different categories that are scored from zero to three and combined for a total score. These include product usage data points for breadth, depth, and consistency, with different features receiving different weights based on their importance.

With a customer health scoring system in place, one is better able to assess the likelihood that a given customer will renew, grow, or churn, which helps determine where customer success should spend its time. And when you monitor scores consistently, you can identify any issues before they escalate.

Step 4: Create a “new clients” segment

A customer’s first 90 days with your product are crucial to their success — making the onboarding experience an important one. Knowing this, Evan created a user segment for new clients so that he was able to get a clear view of how new accounts were doing. He suggested using stickiness to understand usage during that key period of time.

Looking ahead: The future of CS at Prism

Faced with the daunting task of creating CS from scratch, Evan’s efforts have paid off. Since he joined Prism and began using Pendo, the company has more than doubled its customer base, and is hiring a second client success manager to support the growth. 

Going forward, Evan plans to build a self-service onboarding experience using guides, feed qualitative metadata (e.g. role and persona) into Pendo to segment and better understand different users within accounts, and collect feedback on new or upcoming features to help unify what the product team is working on with what customer success managers are hearing from the field.