Definitions, in essence, are parameters. They are the boundaries of understanding, often as it relates to a single word. As discussed in a recent blog on customer success teams, how we use language matters. How we define service vs. success is a significant part of the relationships we build with our customers. So, when considering what customer success means, we need a way to gauge, define, and track that definition. Customer success aligns the success of our clients with the success of our organization. However, it’s not enough to establish a vague goal of finding the ways in which our goals sync up with those of our customers. As we all know, customers want something concrete. They want evidence and data that supports and often financially justifies their relationship with an organization. One great way to do that is to utilize customer success dashboards to track the success of those objectives. Quick Links What is customer success? Why do businesses need to track customer success? KPIs to track customer success How BrightGauge can help you meet your own customer success goals What is customer success? Customer success offers an alternative view to customer service. In the past, many businesses focused on the functions, products, and services they provided for their customers and saw meeting their customers' needs as a role separated from their own business goals. Customer success reframes those concepts in a way that allows businesses to align their success with the success of their customers. In other words, customer success looks at how an organization helps their customers achieve their goals and recognizes that a satisfied and successful customer is their goal as well and the two are intricately tied. Why do businesses need to track customer success? The short simple answer is that customer success is essential to your own organization’s success. If your customer isn’t achieving their goals, they’re more likely to seek services elsewhere. Tracking customer success can: Ensure a consistent revenue stream. If your customers are successful, they’ll stay. This means you can count on their MRR, month after month. Reduce churn. Again, with their success you earn their loyalty; you build relationships. Customers who are realizing their goals with your partnership will stay with you. Improve customer satisfaction. A customer who is achieving their goals is likely to be happier than one who is not. In turn, they’ll spread the word, be open to upsell opportunities, and provide positive reviews or testimonials. Improve your product or service. If you’re focused on ensuring your customers are having the best experience and continued success utilizing what you offer, you’re bound to improve what it is you offer. Build your reputation. When your customers are successful, obviously this reflects upon you and your organization. As such, other businesses and potential customers are more inclined to do business with you. Further, the positive word of mouth and increased reputation will lower your new customer acquisition cost. Increase employee satisfaction and engagement. When a team wins consistently via customer success and when customers are happy, morale increases. Similarly, your employees will be willing to look for ways to improve your customer’s experience thereby increasing their engagement and investment. This is the kind of corporate culture most businesses seek. It’s clear to see that there are a multitude of reasons that customer success is important and a variety of ways in which it enables the kinds of tangible and intangible benefits many organizations struggle to achieve. KPIs to track customer success Customer success KPIs will enable your business to track and gauge exactly how well you’re meeting the goal of improving customer success (and in turn meeting several of the larger goals noted above). Therefore, knowing what to track is an essential part of developing a winning customer success strategy. Here are some of the most important metrics to track: Churn Rate - As mentioned above, the rate at which your customers are leaving may be a good indicator of how successful they’re feeling. Happy customers stay customers, so tracking your churn rate is a great metric to use in gauging whether customer success initiatives are working. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) - As noted above, successful customers will sign on for additional services, purchase more products, and spend more money with your organization. Therefore, rises in CLV likely indicate customer success and satisfaction. MRR - Much like CLV, consistent and steady MRR means satisfied customers. Similarly, a steadily increasing MRR means customer acquisitions or existing customers signing on for more services. Both can be indicative of customer success and satisfaction. Customer support tickets - There are a variety of reasons you should be tracking this data, but if customers are regularly encountering issues, and severe enough issues that they need to contact support, it’s likely they’re not satisfied or missing out on success. Tracking this metric means your team can not only gauge a customer’s success with your product, but also determine where the issues are and make the needed adjustments. Net Promoter Score - If you’re gauging customer satisfaction, that likely means you’re amassing data from customer surveys. While you should be asking whether a customer is likely to recommend you, you should also be asking what customers like about your product or services and what they would change. This enables you to be constantly evolving to meet their needs and improve your offerings. Customer satisfaction - Speaking of customer surveys, this is an obvious metric you should be gauging and one that can provide a good “temperature check.” However, it’s vital that customer surveys go beyond the satisfaction rating and ask what earned that score. Again, that’s where you get the opportunity to build on the services or products your customers love and address any friction or pain points with your service. How BrightGauge can help you meet your own customer success goals Now that we’ve established the customer success KPIs you’ll want to be tracking, let’s move into the tools you’ll want to use for monitoring those metrics and turning them into movement. Using dashboards to track customer success To start, one of the most valuable aspects of a dashboard is that it enables you to gather your data in one place. Further, dashboards, like the ones offered by BrightGauge, provide a quick visual representation of that data enabling users to see, at a glance, where your team is meeting success and where they’re falling short of goals. While design elements certainly enable quick visual recognition of vital metrics, so does BrightGauge’s out-of-the-box dashboard design, which doesn’t require complicated coding. This means that anyone who needs to can set up a dashboard and team leads as well as individual members of a customer success team can track what they need to for whom they need to. Customer success reporting Customer success metrics, much like the dashboards, are amazing tools, but a hammer that sits on a shelf doesn’t build; someone has to wield it; someone has to put the hammerhead to a nail. Customer success metrics are similar. Without reporting to the folks who need it, customer success metrics won’t change much, not in your service teams and certainly not in your sales departments. For that reason, ensuring that you’ve got a tool, like BrightGauge, that enables easy automated reporting is essential. Data is great, but if you’re not leveraging that data to make improvements or convert leads to customers, then it’s just data. If you’re looking for ways to turn customer success KPIs and customer success data into data-driven customer success strategies, then you need to invest in a tool that enables that. Focusing on a customer success initiative can save you acquisition costs and increase both lifetime value and MRR. The tool that enables you to track and report on those vital KPIs is an investment in your team, your customers, and your future. Get in touch with the BrightGauge team today to talk about how our dashboard and reporting solution can help you leverage your data for big gains.
Perhaps one of the largest things we take for granted, as humans, is the ability for our body to work in coordination with itself, even when each distinctive part is doing its own thing. For example, when we walk, our arms swing. Their job? To help keep our torsos and hips steady from the impact of our feet hitting the ground. In fact, research suggests that even that small swing saves the muscles in our legs from expending energy. If that swing suddenly stopped, we’d likely notice. There might be some pain and walking might be a bit more difficult. Truth is, businesses aren’t that much different. When functioning well, as a finely-tuned machine, each of your teams is going to be contributing, in its own way, to your forward progress. More specifically, your Sales Team is going to contribute to success in different ways than your Project Team, Service Team, or Finance Team, but each will be vital. Let’s not forget about your NOC/Operations Team, arguably the lifeblood of your organization. Much like our bodies, we want to check in on our teams, check their performance, and ensure that everything continues to move smoothly. For that reason, setting goals, and tracking and monitoring KPIs, is an essential piece to ensuring success. For your NOC/Operations team, whose mission is critical, we recommend including 3 specific KPIs to track on NOC dashboards. Quick Links What are Network Operations Center (NOC) services? How to choose NOC dashboards to monitor Top 3 KPIs for Operations and NOC teams How BrightGauge helps you track NOC performance metrics What are network operations center (NOC) services? Network Operations Center refers to the primary location used by network services to monitor and manage IT infrastructure and services, including databases, applications, security, and hardware components. For that reason, it’s a vital part of any business that relies upon any kind of IT services for its core business. The network operations staff is typically the first team to recognize system bottlenecks, potential service disruptions or slow downs, or to identify threats, risks, or active attacks on a network. Because a good portion of what they do is securing your IT resources to ensure their reliability, they’re a vital part of your team. In fact, it’s this team that helps nearly every other team in your business. They ensure your staff can access the information, systems, files, and databases they need. And, further, they ensure your customers can access the information or services they need. As such your operations team must have a working relationship with them and open communication to ensure that the services that generate revenue are not interrupted or impacted by IT issues. If you’re in the IT, SaaS, MSP, or any business that provides critical IT services, your operations team and your NOC are one and the same. How to choose NOC dashboards to monitor Prior to building BrightGauge, our founders Brian and Eric Dosal owned an MSP, so they have been ingrained in the industry for quite some time. They have first-hand experience of what it takes to run an operations center successfully. This paired with insight from industry benchmarks has helped us prioritize goals. Obviously, in choosing KPIs to monitor, you’ll want to select the metrics that really isolate and help determine how effective a specific team is. For that reason, you’ll want to first identify the team’s primary purpose and goals. For an operations team, a good part of that will be related to security, but you’ll also want to keep an eye on metrics that matter to you. The recommendations we’re making are based on our experience, but we recognize you may have different metrics that matter to you, which is okay! Every business leader has to run their business on their own terms, but we believe our advice can provide a bit of guidance. Top 3 KPIs for Operations and NOC teams NOC technicians are the ones getting their hands dirty, so to speak, when it comes to your technical tasks and issues, so their contributions are going to be pretty significant to company performance. They are monitoring networks and working hard to ensure that everything runs as it should. The results of an Operations Team’s actions, whether good or bad, will have an impact on your reputation, so it’s important to give this team careful attention. Monitoring their actions through NOC dashboards will help you stay on a path towards success. Critical Alerts/Issues Opened Handling incoming tickets and escalation in an organized and effective manner takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s absolutely necessary. Not only will monitoring critical alerts help you be proactive in resolving issues before they become disasters, but it also shows that you’re intent on meeting SLAs and providing your clients with great service. Additionally, tracking your issues opened will allow you to identify trends over time - are you noticing that the same clients are opening tickets time and time again? Do you need to charge them more? Are there recurring issues that can be prevented? Taking note of patterns by use of NOC dashboards will make you a stronger and more productive agency over time. Backups Missed All service technicians understand that regular backups help networks run optimally. Additionally, backups are vital to business continuity should disaster strike. For those two reasons, backups are a daily task in a NOC, so keeping track of them is a necessity and most likely a part of your SLA. When a backup is missed, internal teams need to understand why and clients must also be notified. NOC reports keep things transparent, keep you accountable, and allow for trustworthy partnerships. Documentation Engagement Why is documentation so critical? Here’s one example. You likely have more than one NOC technician employed and it’s possible your techs work on different client sites. What happens if a client has an urgent issue and their assigned tech is on vacation? Ideally, a documentation trail outlining a history of the work that’s been done for that client will guide any other tech in solving the issue. There are bound to be countless other important documents that are specific to a NOC and keeping them organized and accessible ensures that things run smoothly. Tracking how often your team members are documenting (per day or per week) holds them accountable and encourages a really productive, transparent department. It also helps you see how well (or not) you’re adhering to client SLAs, so that you can take corrective action if necessary. How BrightGauge helps you track these metrics BrightGauge pulls data in from different business solution tools you’re most likely using, like ConnectWise Manage, Datto, Backup Radar, Webroot, IT Glue, and more. Whether you are using an RMM, PSA, or a financial tool, BrightGauge compiles all of your important metrics into one operations dashboard, so you can keep an eye on the data that matters most to you. Since a lot of work in the IT industry is time-sensitive, we built BrightGauge with the intention of allowing you to get going on day one. For each of our integrations, we determine the top metrics to track and pre-build gauges, dashboards, and reports based on that information, which means that you’ll have access to your data as soon as you open an account. As a business leader, there’s so much you have to monitor and take into account on a daily basis, and our goal for BrightGauge is that it helps you manage your daily tasks more easily. Aside from displaying your data in one NOC dashboard, BrightGauge gives you the power to create custom, interactive reports you can automatically share with your clients (transparency for the win!), and helps you foster an accountable and motivated team through goal-setting and tracking. You’ve got a lot of KPIs to track and BrightGauge can help you get a handle on that. If you want to learn more about the importance of KPIs and how BrightGauge can help you create custom dashboards to monitor what you need, get in touch with our team today!
As a Service Desk Manager, how are you approaching your changes in support shifts from day-to-day? How does one shift manager loop the next shift manager in on all the important data they need to know in order to keep things running smoothly? We know this has been a topic of discussion amongst managed service providers (MSPs), so we worked with Chris St. Pierre, Managed Services Manager at Next Dimension Inc., to learn more. In talking with other MSPs, Chris discovered that most companies just sent a note or an email to the team that was taking over the support shift. Together, we felt that a dashboard could get the job done more efficiently. Chris sent me the metrics and tasks his team must be aware of when support shifts change, and we created the Support Shift Handoff dashboard. Support Shift Handoff dashboard - view here Chris's crucial metrics include: Number of currently open incidents Requests and changes Stale and escalated ticket details Daily average response time Kill rate to understand if the backlog increased or decreased during the day Ticket distribution by client The Support Shift Handoff dashboard keeps his team informed on where their focus should be, while monitoring alerts give them a heads up on anything that requires immediate attention. As a manager, this dashboard helps Chris relay any important messages to his team and keep track of where everything stands. If you want to recreate and customize this dashboard for your own service team, check out the links below: Support Shift Handoff dashboard (public view link) Support Shift Handoff Buildout Key We'd love to see how you are using this dashboard with your own teams. Please feel free to reach out to email@example.com with any questions you have!