I’m really excited to announce that I’m joining Complete CSM as a member of their advisory board. I’ve known Bryan Plaster from my early days at Gainsight as he and Informatica were amongst our first ten customers. I highly respect his knowledge of Customer Success and I believe he and Bhupendra are onto something unique and valuable at Complete CSM.
I’ve been in the Customer Success world almost since its inception. I’ve had a front row seat to watch the evolution of the industry both as the first VP of Customer Success at Marketo and now for almost nine years at Gainsight. It’s been a wild and fascinating ride. I’ve seen companies succeed, companies survive, and companies come and go. I think Complete CSM is destined for success.
From the earliest days of Gainsight, we approached the Customer Success market with an operational solution. What I mean by that is that we designed our software to help enable Customer Success teams to improve how they operated Customer Success. There were no magic formulas or sophisticated AI. We were simply trying to help CSMs and CSM teams to use technology to improve their daily efficiency and effectiveness. It’s akin to Salesforce helping Sales orgs operationalize their pipeline, which is basically what they did in their early days.
Getting the operational fundamentals working is critical for Customer Success teams. It’s the foundation from which much more can be done. And that’s where Complete CSM comes in. For those companies who have an operational solution like Gainsight, there’s a new frontier to explore as an extension to that solution. That frontier involves using Artificial Intelligence against the rich set of data available about our customers, to understand them even better.
Gainsight pioneered the concept of Customer Health Score. Today, it’s the core of almost every Customer Success solution. The idea is simply to use available data such as product usage telemetry, Support tickets, and customer sat scores to create an objective health score for every customer. It turns out, this idea was a winner. It’s very doable and it works today for thousands of companies. In our design of this capability, we made room for two categories of a health score – objective, as I described previously, and subjective. The subjective component was typically a manual input from the CSM which was their opinion about the health of their customer(s). Makes sense, right? Humans can detect things that a purely objective view would miss. The challenge is that humans are also prone to seeing things through a particular lens that skews their opinion. This is why many companies either didn’t add a subjective component to their health score at all or, if they did, they gave it a relatively low weight.
Enter Complete CSM. They have developed a sophisticated way to determine the subjective piece of customer health. Simply put, it’s an artificial intelligence-driven analysis of all of the “conversational” data from a customer. And there’s a LOT of that data. Every email exchange with a customer contains some of that information. Every call with a customer contains even more as does every Support case and every text comment on a survey. And all of that conversational data can be accurately mined for sentiment and loyalty. And that’s exactly what Complete CSM does. The result is that a customer using both Gainsight (or any Customer Success solution) along with Complete CSM will be able to create a holistic health score which includes all of the objective data they are using today alongside an accurate, data-based, subjective score. Nirvana! It’s the extra edge most companies are looking for to detect and avoid that unexpected churn, improve their CSM onboarding, and drive better efficiency.
I think the time is perfect for a solution like this in the Customer Success world. As more and more companies get their operational act together, Complete CSM provides them with the perfect complement. That fact that it sits on the Gainsight App Exchange (Sightline Vault, available Feb 20) makes it easy to download and install and, with the Gainsight integration out-of-the-box, customers will quickly see how it simply extends the value of Gainsight for them.
And all of what I described is just scratching the surface of the ways Complete CSM can be used. I’m excited about the future of the product and of the company and I’m thrilled and honored that they’ve asked me to come along for the ride. I hope many of you will also take that ride with us – as customers.