Strikedeck’s complete Customer Success glossary provides definitions for all the common terms that Customer Success professionals should know in order to be effective at their roles in the subscription economy. In order to retain, upsell, and cross-sell to accounts in the post-sale ecosystem, it’s important to understand the tools and techniques at your disposal, and how to explain them so that anyone can understand. This page should be a resource that you can refer to anytime you find yourself in need of a concise explanation.

A

Account Expansion

An increase in upsells, cross-sells, add-ons, & price such that the revenue gathered from an account is increased

Actionable Data

Data that enables you to carry out a particular workflow based on the feedback

Adoption

Product adoption refers to customers’ use of the product. If a customer adopts a product, they start using it.

Advocacy

Customer advocacy refers to cultivating positive relationships with clients such that they are happy to become advocates for your brand, providing you with testimonials, references, & positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)

The annual contract value for any given customer

B

Best Practices

Defined processes for common scenarios. Examples include standardized steps for new customer onboarding, periodic outreach to existing customers, follow up after support issues, Steps after an upgrade/expansion, Net Promoter Score (NPS) collection, and customer satisfaction surveys.

C

Call-To-Action (CTA)

An instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “Call Now”, “Find Out More” or “Download This Guide”.

Churn

The percentage rate at which customers cancel their recurring revenue subscriptions. It is a key metric of business performance, and an important parameter in revenue forecasting.

Cohort Analysis

The process of identifying common patterns in customer behavior to select groups of customers that are likely to act in similar manner

Contract Terms

The number of sessions/periods for which your customer has signed a deal to use your product

CRM

Customer relationship management; a platform or program to track and interact with your customers

Cross-sell

Adjacent modules that are optional, but add significant value to the core product offering. Sometimes, these are adjacent product suites, that are engineered to work well, if not seamlessly, with each other.

Customer Satisfaction

A Marketing term that measures how products or services supplied by a company meet or surpass a customer’s expectations. Satisfaction can be gaged through survey responses, NPS, or via sustained product usage.

Customer Success

The management of subscription accounts and customer relationships in the post-sale ecosystem to keep up with renewals, upsells, and advocate marketing. Customer Success enables you to proactively help your customers be successful with theirs.

Customer Success Automation (CSA)

A platform that enables every employee of the vendor to have a unified view of the customer, with robust controls built in to protect sensitive data. This enables companies to deliver a consistent and coherent experience across the customer lifecycle, throughout the entire organization, and across every single touchpoint with the customer. It automates actions based on a set trigger – perform action workflow.

Customer Success Manager (CSM)

A person who manages Customer Success operations for a subset of their company’s accounts in the post-sales environment. They need to be predictive, proactive, and productive.

Customer Support - Service

A provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. Customer Service is often a reactive function after a problem has already occurred, and doesn’t handle specific account in their domain.

D

Data-Science Engine

A tool that leverages data to solve business problems by utilizing machine learning to create insights based on past trends.

E

Engagement

Refers to your, or your company’s, interactions with customers. Any kind of interaction between you and your customer can be considered engagement. It can also refer to whether or not your customer responds or participates. Engagement can also be marked by the level of product usage by a customer.

Experience

The Customer Experience is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction includes a customer’s attraction, awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy, purchase, and use of a product or service.

F

Freemium

The word freemium is a combination of the words free and premium. It describes a business model in which you give a base product away for free to a large group of users, and sell premium products to a smaller fraction of this user base.

G

Growth

The percentage by which your customer base has increased over a set period of time. This can be measured using the formula {(# of Current Customer – # of Customers Previously) / # of Previous Customers} * 100%. You can also measure growth by comparing the revenue increases between two periods.

H

Happiness Index

An index computed based on a complex set of algorithms to measure how satisfied a customer is with a product or service in order to predict their sentiment towards an upsell, cross-sell, or advocacy outreach.

Health Score

A score computed based on a complex set of algorithms and business rules to measure the value delivered to the customer, in order to predict the likelihood they will renew their subscription.

Higher Utilization

An increased rate of consumption of what was purchased

J

Journey

The stages a customer traverses as they go from being a prospect, to a lead, to a closed deal. The customer journey encompasses all touchpoints from when a customer becomes aware of your company or product, all the way through the point when they become a paying customer.

L

Libraries

Tools, tips, tricks, and best practices of a company that help you standardize methods of doing business, and allow you to reference them when training a new hire.

License Expansion

An increase in the number of offerings a particular account subscribes to via upsells and cross-sells

License Utilization

How much a customer is utilizing of the product offering they have purchased

Lifecycle

The progression of steps a customer goes through when considering, purchasing, using, and staying consistent with a product or service. The Customer Lifecycle goes through a series of stages which describes the different points at which each customer is on the maturity curve.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

A metric that represents the total net profit a company makes from any given customer. LTV is a projection to estimate a customer’s monetary worth to a business after factoring in the value of the relationship with a customer over time.

Loyalty

The result of consistently positive customer experience because they have received value from your product or service.

M

Metadata

Firmographic and demographic information about your customers – firm size, revenue, employees, products, M&A, industry, geography and more – that you would not normally associate with your day-to-day interactions.

Metrics

A set of quantifiable measures used to track and assess the status of a specific business process.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

The monthly version of ARR, which is the income that can be expected by the company for that month.

N

Negative Churn

The revenue decrease due to lost customers that is more than offset by the revenue expansion in the remaining accounts

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A customer loyalty metric that asks the question – “How likely are you to recommend Product X to a friend? The answers are a number scale between 1 and 10, with 1 as least likely, and 10 as most likely to recommend the product or service to a friend. Many companies use NPS to measure customer satisfaction.

New Customer Acquisition

The process of acquiring new customers for business or converting existing prospects into new customers.

O

Onboarding

The process of introducing new customers to your company, service, and/or product in a systematic fashion. It generally commences at the time of subscription or order placement, and may continue for up to three months, depending on the complexity of the product or service. The CSM is responsible for looking after the account, and making sure the time to first value is as low as possible.

Operational Data

Operational data resides in a variety of systems – CRM, Support, Help Desk, Knowledge Base, Community, even emails, and relates to you and your company’s day-to-day interaction with your customers. Depending on your business, it may even reside outside – in social media and other online channels.

P

Pain Points

Problems experienced by the customer, that hinder their ability to do business or have a positive experience

Playbooks

Playbooks instruct your team on how to best handle common situations. Examples include playbooks for handling support issues, proactively dealing with product usage fluctuations, and managing renewals. (See Best Practices)

Predictive Analytics

The branch of data mining concerned with the prediction of future probabilities and trends.

Predictive Lead Scoring

A tool that uses an algorithm to predict who in your database is qualified or not qualified for a sale

Product Data

This is a record of your customer’s primary interface with you, and is a very reliable predictor of the state of your relationship – current and future. Usually, this data is buried deep in log files and web logs, understandable only to the engineers and geeks in your company (and possibly CSMs in terms of Customer Health Scores).

Product Usage

The amount of a product or service customers have utilized.

Product Utilization

A product-usage tracker records when and how much your customers use your product

Propensity Analysis

This data identifies the propensity of a customer to act in predetermined ways. The propensity to buy model tells you which customers are ready to make their purchase, and the propensity to churn model tells you which active customers are at risk.

Q

Quarterly Business Review (QBR)

A meeting that occurs every 3 months, between a client and vendor. These meetings are an opportunity to evaluate progress toward established goals and develop strategies for future success.

R

Referral

The spreading of positive word of mouth about a product or service through a business’ existing customers, rather than traditional advertising.

Reminders

A prompt made to alert or help a person remember something

Renewal

The act of getting a signature on a contract so that the customer’s subscription continues for another billing term

Retention

The maintenance of a contract so that they remain a paying customer. The opposite of retention is churn.

ROI

Return on Investment – ROI is expressed as a percentage and is typically used for personal financial decisions, to compare a company’s profitability or the efficiency of different investments. An example could be the amount of revenue generated from a particular advertising campaign.

S

SaaS

Software-as-a-Service – In the subscription economy, most products are offered on a contract basis that needs to be renewed in a recurring time period, like every month, year, or longer.

Segment Analysis

The creation of groups of customers using data-driven partitioning techniques designed to create segments based on relevant variables

Sentiment Analysis

A breakdown of how a customer feels about a product or service. This information can be gathered from direct customer feedback, surveys, and product data that allow you to identify potential issues with the customer experience.

Standards-Based Integration Engine

A system build upon common standards. An interface gets around that problem by providing the framework for the exchange, integration, sharing and retrieval of information.

Subscription Model

A business model in which a customer must pay a subscription price to have access to the product or service, which is then renewed on a recurring basis. This puts pressure on the provider to continue providing value, since the lifetime value of the customer is not realized unless they continue to renew.

Support Tickets

An issue tracking system that manages and maintains lists of customer issues that need to be resolved. Users describes the problem, and submit a form which creates a ticket with an unique ID.

Support Issue Resolution Rate

The percentage rate of resolved support ticket issues.

T

Time to First Value (TTFV)

The time taken from the initial sale to the time the customer receives actual value from the product

Triggers

Triggers set off automated tasks, workflows, and playbooks that get activated in Strikedeck’s Customer Success platform. They allow you to launch customized tasks, actions, and workflows automatically.

U

Upsell

The sale of additional products, licenses, or services to an existing customer.

W

Workflows

Identifies the sequence of processes/tasks through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion. These are carried out automatically by the Strikedeck platform and launch customizable tasks, reminders, and actions that are completed automatically without prompting.

Y

Year over Year (YoY)

When measuring the difference between performance, prices, quantities or indeed any other value of something, companies measure the most recent value against the value measured exactly a year earlier to know if they are growing or becoming more efficient.

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