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Best Practices Guide for Setting up Alerts

What are Alerts?

If there’s one word that defines the Customer Success function entirely, it is ‘Proactiveness’. The entire job of a Customer Success Manager often revolves around understanding and studying customer behaviour to prevent churn, improve renewal/retention rates, identify up-sell opportunities etc. Alerts act as key indicators of behaviour change in customers that require CSM intervention. There are two types of indicators that are commonly observed in customers:

  1. Leading Indicators: Leading indicators look at future outcomes and events that help you understand the likelihood of a customer being successful with your product. Leading indicators act as early warning systems to enable you to take proactive actions. Some of these indicators include:

    • Low Usage of Key Features

    • Low Login Frequency

    • Declining Number of Active Users

    • Unmet Business Outcomes by Customers

  2. Lagging Indicators: Lagging indicators look back at whether an intended goal was achieved. While these indicators are reactive in nature, they are still important to capture and track on a regular basis. Examples of lagging indicators include:

    • Low NPS/C-SAT Scores

    • Overdue/Pending Invoices

    • Cancellation Request

What are the Key SaaS Metrics that Alerts influence?

Here are some of the Key SaaS metrics that are greatly influenced by the presence/absence of Alerts in a customer success team:

  1. Churn Rate: Needless to say, one of the major SaaS metrics that Alerts have a direct influence over is churn rate. Empowering your Customer Success Managers with the right Risk Alerts can help reduce customer churn with proactive intervention.

  2. Product Adoption Rates: Proactively identifying change in product usage behaviours of customers, you can improve the adoption rates and increase the number of successful customers.

  3. Expansion MRR: One of the most efficient ways of up-selling/increasing MRR is to know the exact moment when a customer is ready for up-sell. You can use Alerts to leverage these key moments of interventions.

  4. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV/LTV): Customer lifetime value (CLV or LTV) represents the total revenue generated by a customer over the lifetime of their account. The longer customers keep using your service, the higher their lifetime value will be. Alerts help you predict and prevent churn which in turn helps you increase your LTV. 

Recommendations for Setting up Alerts in CustomerSuccessBox

  1. Setup segment specific Alerts to maximise efficiency: There’s a reason why Segments define the basis of all customer success strategies. Similar to how you would approach customers with different success criteria differently, your Alerts need to be tailored to each segment. For example, more sensitive alerts can be set for high-touch customers as compared to low/medium touch customers.

  2. Clearly define action to be taken as a result of an Alert being generated: The only way to truly leverage your alerts is to make them actionable. While setting them up for your team, clearly define the actions that need to be taken once an alert has been highlighted. Create automated tasks or enrol an account in a playbook to define the process for your team.

  3. Define processes to regularly monitor the action taken for Alerts: Once you have defined the tasks/set of tasks that need to completed when an alert has been generated, regularly track and monitor the action taken to ensure successful outcomes. This should be an integral part of your internal meetings and reviews.

  4. Use Lists to arrive at the correct threshold for alerts: We often struggle with trying to identify the exact threshold for specific alerts to be generated. In such cases, use create Lists using a combination of thresholds to find out the potential volume of customers where the alerts would be generated. For example, if you want to set an Alert for decline in the usage of feature A and you’re unsure of the threshold you should set for the alert to go off, create lists such as:

    • Feature A used less than 5 times in the last 7 days

    • Feature A used less than 10 times in last 7 days 

The number of customers in each list should give you an idea of how many alerts would be generated. Use appropriate thresholds keeping in mind the CSM effort needed for the subsequent actions.

What are the different types of Alerts in CustomerSuccessBox?

Alerts work as early warning signals that notify you instantly about favourable/unfavourable customer behaviours and actions. There are 4 types of Alerts, that you can configure in CustomerSuccessBox:

  1. Onboarding Alerts

  2. Renewal Alerts

  3. Up-sell Alerts

  4. Risk Alerts.

In order to help you get started, here are a few alerts that are applicable in the B2B SaaS world in general. You may use them as a reference and create Alerts specific for your customers.

Sample Alerts commonly used in the SaaS world

  1. Onboarding Alerts

    While onboarding new customers, training new users or onboarding existing customers for different use cases, you define an ideal customer journey that should be followed in order to make them successful. You can set up specific alerts for when your customers deviate from this path.

    Or conversely, after you have trained users on certain features, you would want to be alerted when they start using them consistently. We call these alerts Onboarding Alerts.

    Here are few examples of onboarding alerts:

    • Customer is stuck in one of the onboarding stages for more than X number of days 

    • when an unengaged customer logs in

    • when the customer starts using a brand new feature A.

    • when a customer enters a certain segment - “ Entered 6+ month segment, have not used A feature”.

    • when a new user has been added

    • when a new customer subscribes to the product

    • when a customer authorises a new integration

  2. Renewal Alerts

    You should always be on top of the customer renewal cycle. Once you know the customer is up for renewal, you can proactively reach out and understand if the customer is facing any challenges, how you can help them further with their next year's plan while re-emphasizing the value delivered by the product.

    To plan those proactive actions, you can set up a few alerts which will notify you when renewals are due. Few examples of renewal alerts are:

    • Alert me if a customer is up for renewal in the next 90/30/7 days.
    • Alert me if the customer is up for renewal and the health is Poor.
    • Alert me if the customer is up for renewal and the QBR has not been done in the last 60 days.
    • Alert me when the customer has renewed the contract.

  3. Up-sell Alerts

    There are certain triggers that can act as a leading indicator for your up-selling activities like up-gradation of the plan, addition of new licenses, etc. You would also want to get notified if a customer is using the system extensively so that you can ask for referrals or reviews.
    You can configure those triggers in CustomerSuccessBox and set up the Up-sell Alerts. Few examples of up-sell alerts can be:

    • Alert me when license utilisation has reached more than 70%.
    • Alert me if the customer is spending more than 10 hours in the last 7 days. You can ask for a review if the user is using the system so extensively.
    • Alert me if the customer is visiting the Pricing Page/clicks the Upgrade button.
    • Alert me if the NPS is 8+.
    • Alert me when a customer is using a feature A extensively so that you can educate them to use feature B.

  4. Risk Alerts

    There are certain triggers that are leading indicators of churn. Risk alerts help you to proactively spot if something is going wrong with the customer which needs your immediate attention.
    Few examples of risk alerts are as follows:

    • Alert me if your Point of contact/Power user has not logged in the last X days or their usage has significantly dropped. This can act as a leading indicator, that he/she might be leaving the organization.

    • Alert me if the Power User has been deleted.

    • Alert me when Health of a customer drops from Average to Poor or Good to Poor.

    • Alert me if the last touchpoint was X days back.

    • Alert me if the customer has not logged in since the last X days.

    • Alert me if NPS is below 5.

    • Alert me if the customer has downgraded/canceled the subscription.

    • Alert me if a critical support ticket has not been resolved in the last 5 days.

    • Alert me when a user lands on an “Error page”.

    • Alert me if the customer is in Poor health for more than 30 days.

    • Alert me if the customer has not paid the invoice due in the last 10 days.

    • Alert me if the due amount of invoice is above a certain amount.

    • Alert me when a usage of a critical feature is less than X times in Y days. 

    • Alert me when a customer has spent less than 15 minutes on the platform in the last 7 days.

    • Alert me when usage drops by X% in 30 days.

    • Alert me when a certain feature is used less than X times in the last 15 days.

    • Alert me when a customer has entered a “Dis-engaged customer” segment.

These were a few examples of alerts :)

Get in touch with your Customer Success Manager at CustomerSuccessBox to configure such Alerts for your business and get notified for the most important customer behaviour.

Contact Us

In most cases, you would have a dedicated Customer Success Manager who will be your point of contact for any queries or assistance. You can always:

  1.  Initiate a chat directly from within your CustomerSuccessBox. Use the Chat option from the Chat icon on the top right side of the navigation bar.

  2. Create a conversation from here.

  3. Send an email to the Support team.

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  1. Deepshikha Chakraborty

  2. Posted