Reliable and consolidated customer data is one of the most important assets any organization can attain. But you can only make the most of your customer profiles when your organization is able to uncover hidden relationships between people, organizations, products, services, marketing efforts, and more.
With the explosion applications and data, aggregating your customer data to gain an accurate 360-degree view has become more difficult than ever. This article describes the process we at Celigo followed to integrate our own internal applications to create a 360 view of our customers. This visibility is enabling us to improve onboarding success, enhance overall customer experience, and reduce churn.
At the Starting Gate
When we first developed the customer success function at Celigo, we were using NetSuite as the hub for all our customer data. Although we customized NetSuite to adhere to customer success best practices, such as tracking customer activities and risk levels, our solution wasn’t scalable. Because updates were manual, we could not update data frequently, which meant data got stale very quickly.
Step 1—Integrate Gainsight with NetSuite
As we embarked on the road to Customer 360, we set out to help our customer success managers (CSMs) become more efficient and improve scalability while enhancing the customer journey. In keeping with our best-of-breed approach, we implemented Gainsight CS. Gainsight’s customer success functionality is outstanding. It can provide quick snapshots of customer health, automate customer outreach , prioritize tasks for CSMs, and simplify engagement tracking—all in a highly customizable manner.
But Gainsight didn’t integrate with NetSuite, which stored our customer records. So, we decided to use the Celigo Integrator.io iPaaS platform to create the integration between Gainsight CS and NetSuite. The process was so easy that business users could complete it themselves. The result allowed us to create reports and dashboards as well as automate CSM tasks.
Step 2—Build a Customer Health Scorecard
Next, we focused on building a Customer Health Score to track customer sentiment. Doing that required our CSMs to have visibility into subscription data. They needed to know what customers had purchased so they could have appropriate conversations with them.
NetSuite serves as our hub for customer, subscription, and financial information. Since we had already established data flows between NetSuite and Gainsight, we were able to easily create a custom object in Gainsight and add another flow to our existing customer integration in Integrator.io. This integration enabled us to create reports, dashboards, and tasks to inform us which products customers were using and when they were coming up for renewal.
Step 3—Bring NPS Data into the Health Scorecard
Now we wanted to integrate our Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey into our Health Scorecard. Although we created the Health Scorecard when we adopted Gainsight, we were creating our metrics manually through an email survey. We wanted Gainsight PX (which we had recently acquired) to automatically ask customers to fill out the NPS survey twice a year.
When Gainsight acquired what is now Gainsight PX, it initially offered no native integration with Gainsight CS. As one of the first customers, we built our own integration to pull the NPS data into Gainsight PX and marry it with existing customers. This not only dramatically improved our survey response rate, it also allowed our CSMs to reply quickly to customers as well as incorporate real customer feedback into our Health Score.
Step 4—Pull in Zendesk Data
Support data from the Zendesk customer service solution was the next data set we pulled into our Customer 360 records so we could incorporate all our tickets and support surveys into our Health Score. This integration also meant that CSM teams could be notified automatically when an open ticket exceeded the SLA threshold so they could respond proactively.
Step 5—Incorporate Product Usage
Product usage data was then pulled in to give us visibility into whether customers were using our products. We brought data from Splunk into NetSuite so we could see usage health and then moved that into Gainsight. During this process, we transformed the data into a form that was more meaningful to the CSMs. For example, we related usage data to the customer subscription and incorporated that into our product Health Score. We also used that data to create calls to action for the CSMs.
Step 6—Streamline Customer Onboarding and Implementation Processes
Following that we turned to customer onboarding and implementation. Our previous process had been good but manual. Because many people from different departments were involved, we wanted these processes to be as seamless and coordinated as possible to enhance the customer experience.
We decided to integrate all our project data from NetSuite into Gainsight CS. Bringing the data into Gainsight allows us to automate these processes and have the CSM team drive them forward. We can track things like whether the prerequisites have been completed and specify actions for the CSMs. Previously, it took CSMs hours to initiate the onboarding process and make sure customers were on track. Now it takes just minutes—and it saves time for customers.
Step 7—Integrate Gainsight and Financial Force
We are now bidirectionally integrating Gainsight and Financial Force, our professional services automation solution, to enhance our automation and scalability.
Step 8—Build a Data Warehouse to Improve Reporting
As a company, we have always used the reporting capabilities of our SaaS tools. But we were unable to report, query, and visualize data from multiple sources. To view data more efficiently across systems, we decided to implement a data warehouse.
We have product data stored in many places and in many formats, including a non-relational NoSQL database, logging systems like Splunk, as well as marketing data from our ERP. Combining all that data could give us significant insight into why things happen to a particular customer and predict where they’re headed.
As we explored data warehousing, we realized we needed to get all of this data into a relational data store. We’re just beginning our journey, but we’re already getting more insights. Our AI/ML team in our product engineering group is leveraging this data for insights. And we’re looking to bring in data from prospects to analyze both the prospect journey and customer activity to predict churn and upsell. Now that the data is flowing in, it’s updated multiple times a day and we can run up-to-date queries to gain considerable visibility. None of this would be possible without integration.
With what we’ve integrated so far, we now have a 360-degree view of our customers and can monitor usage and at-risk customers. CSMs can react to alerts and NPS scores. As a result, we’ve increased onboarding success and reduced churn.
This capability was invaluable when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. The day the country shut down, we were able to run usage reports in Gainsight to analyze risk and quickly create a campaign to help our customers. These efforts undoubtedly prevented us from losing customers.
Our journey is far from over. We’re continuously revising and refining our existing integrations and roadmap. We’re considering integrating Financial Force with NetSuite on the project billing side. We’re also looking at integrating our learning management system (SAP Litmos) into the data warehouse and Gainsight with Salesforce to provide visibility into which customers are going through our university, which aren’t, and obtain feedback.
In addition, we use many apps in the Salesforce ecosystem to improve functionality to our sales teams. Because we’re outgrowing the built-in integrations, we’re planning to migrate some of those to Integrator.io to fine tune data flows between those systems and optimize the experience for our account executives.
In our experience, once you start to see the efficiency gains, you want to keep adding integrations. And using an IPaaS solution to perform these integrations has made the whole process much more manageable. The fact that we don’t need developers not only reduces costs, it builds integration muscle across the company so we can be agile, focus on optimization, and build competitive advantage.
To listen to the entire webinar on which this article is based, go to Celigo on Celigo: How Celigo automated the customer journey to improve customer experience and net retention.
For more information on how you can gain a 360 view of your customers with Celigo, check out our dedicated resource page by clicking the link below.Learn more