Pendo + CS: From Cat Herder to Consultant

Written by James Williams  | 

5 min

 

Pendo catsOne of the coolest things about working at Pendo is that everyone in the company gets access to the product. What does this mean? It means that besides the product team, nearly every department utilizes the tool in their day-to-day.

As a guest contributor to Pendo at Pendo, I wanted to share how the customer success team uses Pendo to better support our customers.

Pendo Customer Success Team

Pendo Customer Success Team (I’m the awkward guy on the far right)

Usage Data

I’ve been in customer success / account management roles for….a while. And, in each role, we have described ourselves as “consultants” providing “best practices.” However, in reality, we typically end up playing a role somewhere between project manager and cat herder.

But the awesome thing about having Pendo is we actually get to do what we say — I really am a consultant here!

So how do we use the software to be the trusted advisors we say we are?

  • We get to provide an analysis of the areas of our product that are sticky, driving value, and being heavily utilized by our healthy accounts. We can bring this to our customers with relevant data points and hard facts.
  • Knowing this information, we can visually see what, where, when and how customers are using our product. This means I can confidently walk in to any meeting or business review with data reflecting what parts of our product have been used so far, what features that customer could utilize more, and why those are so important for their business moving forward.
  • Additionally, I can see every user that is logging in, their titles, and whether their usage of Pendo is trending up or down. This is my first stop in understanding account health and forecasting renewal expansions. Easy access to time on site, days active, and whether or not the tool is adopted cross-departmentally is incredibly valuable.

At-Risk Accounts

With access to all this usage data comes the fun part: you get to take action on it. The success team uses the information to create health scores, trigger nurture campaigns, and integrate into a tool called Gainsight where we can best manage hundreds of accounts.

Pendo Poll for Customers

One of my favorite ways we use the data occurs directly in the app with a Pendo poll. As the number of active subscriptions in Pendo went from hundreds to thousands, we realized the CS team was never going to be able to have a pulse on every customer and how their usage is performing. So, we built an automated first touch.

How does it work? We created a segment in Pendo for customers who start to display signs of an at-risk account. We then display a poll with four options:

  1. Need inspiration? Let’s chat best practices.
  2. I need a refresher! Send a Pendo 101 webinar.
  3. Things have been busy, we’re ramping back up.
  4. Thanks for reaching out, but we’re doing just fine.

This is an easy touchpoint that allows us to connect with customers, and provide assistance without anyone on the CS team even having to think about the workflow. Scalability FTW!

Moments that Matter

Finally, the coolest (and most fun way) we use Pendo is for easy touchpoints to let our customers know we’re thinking about them or are here to help whenever they need us.

Honestly, I won’t say this is the most “strategic” component of our day-to-day but it’s a tactic that makes a user smile and creates a positive sentiment. Below are just a few examples of some of my favorites.

Pendo Customer Success Intro Guide

Look: It’s ME!

We did an experiment of introducing all of the Pendo CSMs to customers directly in the application. Who even uses email anymore? We’ve also used this method when CSMs are transitioning territories or moving into new roles.

Pendo Customer Success Birthday Guide

Make a Wish

Happen to see it’s one of your customer’s birthdays on LinkedIn? Quickly add them to a segment in Pendo to surprise them with a nice message next time they log into the product.

Pendo Customer Success Anniversary Guide

Committed Relationship

Another awesome thing about Pendo is we natively capture a user’s first visit to the product. This means we can use that as a data point to create fun messages that celebrate each anniversary of being an awesome customer and advocate. This is our newest (and current favorite) “Moments that Matter” guide.

Until Next Time…

Now that I’ve been at Pendo for nearly two years, it’s honestly hard for me to imagine being in customer success without a tool that allows me to truly understand my clients, know what they’re doing, and consult with them on how to get the most value out of the product.

We now hold monthly CSM synergies meetings where we discuss what cool, innovative ways we can best use our own product. I’m looking forward to getting even more creative and sharing more next time. Cheers!

Thanks to Fanny Laufters and Courtney Larisey.