The moving pieces of a successful customer success stack.

Puneet Kataria




Puneet Kataria
Puneet Kataria

Episode Summary

Today on the show we have Puneet Kataria, founder of CustomerSuccessBox.

In this episode, we talked about what made Puneet make the switch from engineering to sales, the importance of selling to the right customers to avoid churn, and we debated whether “customer success” is the right job title for the job.

We also discussed the building blocks a customer success team needs, the five different animals of SaaS and the type of customer success model to use for each animal, and finally Puneet dove deep into the moving pieces of a successful customer success stack.

Mentioned Resources



What made Puneet make the switch from engineering to sales. 00:02:28
A debate on the job title “Customer Success” 00:04:05
The building blocks a customer success team needs. 00:09:30
The five different animals of SaaS. 00:14:30
Deep dive into the customer success stack. 00:18:54


Andrew Michael: Hi, Puneet welcome to the. 

[00:01:32] Puneet Kataria: Thank you so much, Andrew pleasure to be here. 

[00:01:34] Andrew Michael: It's great to have you for the listeners. Puneet is the founder of CustomerSuccessBox, a customer success platform for B2B SaaS businesses. Puneet started his career engineer before moving into sales at IBM and ThoughtWorks.

He later served as VP of global sales at Kayako before founding CustomerSuccessBox. So my first question for you, and it is what made you make the switch from engineering over to.

[00:01:56] Puneet Kataria: Oh boy. That was it. That was the question I wasn't prepared for MSA. I do but [00:02:00] the way I put it to my engineering friends is once an engineer or as an engineer.

And so yeah I do tell them this. I moved to the dark side, but the way it happened was a lot more natural. I, I was used to using a technology. And the owner or the manufacturer, the the technology player themselves reached out and saying, Hey, how would you feel about helping others utilize the same technology started pre-sales for about six months and very quickly to sales.

Yeah. And then I enjoyed. Frankly travel initially and that they came along at a single back then, obviously. But then the that's something that kept me going to date was the joy of meeting people, jive with meeting new people, making new friends, and then get out that becomes a place, a way of living.

And and you also make some money on the way. So that's. 

[00:02:45] Andrew Michael: Very cool. Very cool. And obviously it's always nice to hear as well when these stories where you have existing uses of a certain technology or platform, we've had this a couple of times on the show where people started customer success and customer success roles from this [00:03:00] perspective where they were using a tool or service and they thought, okay, I can help others with this tool or service.

And that's how they got into customer success to begin with interesting that you got into shelters. 

[00:03:12] Puneet Kataria: So actually very interesting, so very something very similar happened to me. So while I moved from engineering to sales and I've been selling SaaS since 2006 and what interesting happened in my last employment, which where I was wearing the hat of VP of worldwide sales was something I never saw coming.

I'd signed up an incentive plan, which was actually based on MRR. Monthly recurring revenue instead of the usual, the customers you acquire. So as VP, worldwide sales, I inherit a team, a teams kicking ass. We are adding new customers. Everybody's making incentive except me. And then two months later, I'm wondering, what's going on?

Why am I not making incentives? And that is. Oh shit. It looks like there is a leak in the bucket. So that is when I learned about something called churn. You're are adding a hundred accounts. We're losing a hundred accounts, like running on a treadmill. You don't go anywhere, no matter how hard you run.

So in [00:04:00] so many ways, I'm just helping myself back in the day, but I was instrumental in then, I was obviously forced to learn about customer success set up a deem. This was about seven years ago, set up a team ultra deployed technology. And do everything to retain customers and basically take my incentive home 

[00:04:15] Andrew Michael: Very nice, and I think it's very forward thinking it's all of the company back then to have sales targets tied to MRR.

It's definitely some of the things we hear from some of the more successful Companies, when it comes to retention is like aligning sales targets with actually with retention. Because I think that's somewhere definitely near where things can go wrong, where you have people overselling and then the product under-delivering and the results and churn, or just like selling to unqualified customers, just to meet a quota.

And then on the other end, like you said, if you have that as a target where MRR becomes part of your comp, then it definitely aligns you more towards getting the right customers, making sure you're right. Selling to the right fits and thinking a little bit more about the success of the business.

[00:04:54] Puneet Kataria: Very aptly said. In fact, a lot of people think that customer success or customer retention [00:05:00] is the problem of customer success team or function, whereas that it can't be get a more further away from the truth because customer success is the responsibility of the entire organization.

If you are, if you're bringing in a customer for which the technology or the product that you're selling is not even meant for. Then there's going to be a very natural choice because you're bringing in the wrong customer to start with. In fact, HubSpot has spoken about it in the early days when they would actually try to figure it out and control the journey because the journey initially was really high and they sat down and started basically filtering out.

Which are the are the bad customer success managers who are if where they have a huge churn problem. And then they looked at all the correlation between the churn metric and the customer success manager. There were hardly any variations. Pretty much every customer success managers was faced facing similar, churn.

So there was not a single bad apple. They could spot and that they did another correlation. They started correlating the chart with the sales. And that's [00:06:00] where all the secrets God revealed. It's like there were certain sales guys who were basically going about it, selling to any customer, or maybe I really don't know.

I don't remember all the details, but that's where they realized that it was not the customer success manager that required training, but actually the sales guys, and then they eventually put them on the quota of retention as well. I think initially they started with a three month. If a customer leaves in the first three months, which is most very often that happens because the customer is are not able to successfully get onboarded.

If you brought in the wrong customer to start with, and then the, and then their incentives get to. 

[00:06:36] Andrew Michael: Is there an interesting story I've not heard of that. I have to look that up for sure. Yeah, no, definitely. I think when it comes to it as well, and you mentioned as well, customer success is the role of the company and thinking about all the conversations I've had over the course of this podcast is that.

The name of customer success, like as a role is just really bad. And if you think about within the company, you have like sales, you have [00:07:00] marketing, you have products and then you have this title called customer success, which is essentially what your company is trying to do is make your customer successful.

So then it puts a whole lot of whites, maybe on the role. That's just not necessary. Perhaps like this is where all the frustration and the pain comes from in the role is just really, we give a title of customer success when it's the whole company's job to make your customer successful.

And it should be everybody that's responsible for this. It's just something that's hit me after all these conversations. Perhaps, maybe it's not about explaining our customer successes, maybe just about rebranding it to something more specific to what you're actually doing. It's interesting. Before the show, we started chatting a little bit about.

The tech stack behind customer success and what it needs to set up a good stack for your customer success program. And obviously I know you have a lot to share on this topic as well. So I'm interested from your perspective, like what are some of the core building blocks, a good customer success team needs and what are the foundations that they should have in place?

[00:07:55] Puneet Kataria: Lovely. And before we talk about customer success stack, I just want to quickly comment on your comment [00:08:00] on the title, because I love the date like today, so we might have a disagreement but I'm, but I it's good, but I have a feeling I will be able to bring you on my side of the story.

See customer success. It's a title, which is most apt most accurate. When you look at it from the customer's perspective, who's that individual who within the organization is responsible for making sure that they, as a customer is successful. It is going to be descended. So it in so many ways, points them to this one individual, hopefully a named customer success manager for them, which is going to make sure that this customer, that they themselves are successful the the way I put it, how you need to look at it as a title internally, I tell them that you don't, you have to make sure that the customer is successful, but you necessarily don't have to deliver the success.

So you have the entire organization and you go grab whichever individual team member [00:09:00] resource player that you need to make sure that your customer or customers are successful. Go grab them. So you are in so many ways are responsible for delivering success. But you don't have to deliver it necessarily yourself.

So make it happen versus doing it yourself. That's how I always advise you that the customer success managers to look at their own. 

[00:09:18] Andrew Michael: Yep. And I agree with you on that sort of description. I just think more often than not, this is not the perception or understanding when people hear the talks, will they read it?

Especially because I think it's still a very much an emerging practice today. And it's Team members not to surely understand what this isn't typically like. It's not one of the first things that's bought into a company is bought in maybe at a later stage where there's a maturity in the company.

There's different roles already in practices established. Now all of a sudden this a team gets formed. It can definitely be misleading internally. Is there, but having a really good way to describe the, what the team's role is and purpose, I think is a very good place to start the I see, from your perspective, how you explain something.

I think we actually [00:10:00] discussed previously with David Sakamoto from GitLab and the sense that having one individual just really responsible, not necessarily you need to do the job, but you need to be like pushing product. You need to be pushing sales. You need to be pushing marketing, just to make sure that everybody's working together for the success.

But spot on, let's jump to the stack. 

[00:10:18] Puneet Kataria: Let's jump to the stack. What does it look like? So let me give the bad news for instance, then we get to the good news. If there was a perfect stack then we can just write on a piece of paper, get a, publish it and then, and be done with it, right?

The ultimate stack, the perfect stack. And we don't, nobody needs to discuss any further. And and that's about it, but obviously beyond have a perfect stack, but you need to look for your perfect stack for the stage that you are in for the kind of customers that you have. And I think before we start diving into the stack, there are a few things that, that I always, that I'll always want to make sure that you understand your own position of where you are.

So for example, one of the, one of the, one of the ways I would like to define. [00:11:00] Or segment customers or SAS customers specifically are the ways the way it was defined by by Christopher Jan's in, in five different animals of SAS. I'm sure everybody, or most of your listeners actually heard about that.

Oh, beautiful. Okay. I missed that one. I should go and catch that when I met him and have discussed this for them. And I love that more than a super you've got, flies, rabbits, deers, and elephants being, customers paying you more than a hundred thousand dollars. Dear as being between 10 and a hundred thousand dollars our power, average revenue per account basically, and then you've got rabbits which are paying you 1000 to $10,000, and then you've got flies which are paying you less than less than a thousand dollars per year.

Probably. So we obviously let's not talk about customer service. For the flies is obviously going to be completely product led. If the customer is successful with the product they succeed, there's nothing else, no other interventions at all possible. If it's not coming from the product, but the moment you would want me to think about rabbits, what you want to do with the [00:12:00] rabid is the unit economics of all of these segments actually define two pieces, right?

What you can do at a maximum to make this customer successful. If you're talking about elephants or even veils whales, our customers who pay you more than a million dollars for whales you obviously can go to any lands to make sure that they're successful. Exactly. And hence the unit economics.

Allows you the maximum freedom on one end of elephants and whales. On the other hand, you absolutely have zero room to even think of any other form of intervention or any other form of support when it comes to fly outside of the product itself, being so intuitive. Now the fun happens everything in between, that's where that's, where everybody's scratching their head.

No. If you were elephants or whales, then we will have an entire team of professional service engineers. Fly in and we laugh strategy consultants, get a sit down and walk the walk, the lobbies, and basically camp there for six months till the customer successful. Fantastic.

That's easier said that. 

[00:12:55] Andrew Michael: That was one of the things I was actually surprised on the show hearing is that. One of, I [00:13:00] can't remember who the guest was at this point in time, but he actually spent like a year at a customer's offices and they were given a space at the office and their job was to make their customer successful.

So people could literally just come into, if it was the Salesforce. I couldn't remember what product was he was with, but like they would have the Salesforce rep actually work at their offices to make them successful. I was like, that is high touch. 

[00:13:20] Puneet Kataria: Yeah, no, absolutely. That's hard touch. And if somebody is paying you hundreds of thousand dollars for millions of dollars in our park then absolutely that is a strategy, not just that you should adopt, that is what your customers expect.

And obviously somebody is paying you millions of dollars because the underlying problem that they're trying to solve must be so complicated. And hence, there are other elements which are reflecting in the. Or the RPOD that you're the elephants ability to actually paying you, then let's go down and, come up from flies and let's go to deers.

So deers are customers. We're paying you between a thousand and a $10,000. You've got a little bit of a room to provide some intervention. You primarily your strategy for managing [00:14:00] customer success here is still not one-on-one. You still try to do one to many approach. That means you try to look at analytics of all your customers or at least segmenting a group of customers, and then seeing, which customers are adopting, what so that you can find the on your product, find the strategies find the own, even the help guides and self onboarding tools and all of that stuff, then.

You started to monitor renewals, but you still can't intervene at every renewal level. But what you've probably started to do at this stage is you started to offer them a very small, maybe half an hour or a one hour small onboarding. Both the cell phone boarding that is maximum the potential that you can do.

So that's on a strategy of dealing with rabbits and we will come to the tech stack in a minute. And then you've got deers, our customers, which is where the maximum fun happens. Customers paying your $10,000 all the way to hundreds of thousands of dollars, right? Or typically above, below a hundred thousand dollars.

There is the customer is paying you largely. That or [00:15:00] big enough that they, the underlying problem must be pretty complicated. That means the onboarding is going to be, it's going to take a few weeks. It's going to have as few moving parts will require some sort of guidance, but you still do not have enough money coming in from one customer to fly in and then treat them like a elephant or a whale.

So this is where you want to do one-on-one but you cannot. On the field on the ground. So the best approach to do one-on-one endears is by basically going remote. So doing remote customer success, but by doing one-on-one. So giving them a ready, very personalized experience of onboarding having a one-on-one customer success manager, this is where our CSMs come in most effective at this stage.

And in fact, depending on the product that you know, or the complexities of the product and the technologies that you're selling, you might want to even bring in a specialist onboarding team. The pros and cons, but more than that some of the times, so this is, these are some of the way I segment accounts now, but that said, if those are some of your strategies then what [00:16:00] underlying technology stacks you will need.

Which will enable you to effectively deliver on these customer retention customer success strategies that is rare. Let's just go through some of the very, very well-known probably many of the listeners already have a lot of these pieces in their stack, but they're always wondering, does the new one replaces the older one?

How do they co-exist and all of those pieces. So with that, Let's dive into each of the categories. Cool. 

[00:16:27] Andrew Michael: Now I, and I think it's great way as well that you've broken it down. Christiane has this great model. And I think it all how to build a hundred million dollar business, I think is the blog post where it was titled.

And I will share that in there, but yeah, I think that's a great way as well, to look at. When it comes towards what can you do for customer success? Just really understanding what is the ROI going to be at the end of the day? How much money can you invest into this practice, knowing what your customers are paying you.

And then as you say, you've highlighted, I think just the different touches. So to go from like super low touch, fully automated to super high touch. And in between, like you said, there's [00:17:00] different tech stacks. Where are we going to start with the stack then? I think 

[00:17:02] Puneet Kataria: I think there are the first one let's go for is is support maybe.

So support the traditional help desk, the Zen desk, the fresh desks of the world, I think are a must have the part of the basic infra that not even success, they are required for the success, but they necessarily, they're not, they're not they're necessary, but not sufficient. That's going to be true for many of them.

Many of these platforms and many of these categories. So I think support is absolutely needed. As long as there is a customer, who's paying you a few dollars even, and they have a problem that needs to be a place where they can reach out in case they face challenges. So there has to be a support.

Someone needs to help and then you respond back within the SLS. No matter whether it's a freemium customer order or a multimillion dollar paying customer, you need to have that infra in place. For sure. I think that one goes without saying. Keep in mind, support is fundamentally [00:18:00] reactive in nature.

That means a customer. When they face a problem, you will not have any way of knowing that the customer is facing any challenge, unless the customer chooses to reach out and write to you at the support channel that you provided to them. And then the support. Technology, the help desk technology, the way it is built actually to react to it.

And the SLA is which sort of gets trapped or or the KPIs that get tracked are essentially the SLES of response times and so on and so forth because you try to respond back at the quickest, because usually the support queries are expected around how can I do.

Not around what can I do or why should I do, or can you advise me something? Those are very success related queries in support. You will typically find how do I import this data? For example, then nobody will get into, what data they want the important way. So I think that is a must have part for any success stack.

That should be number one, any company breeder.[00:19:00] 

[00:19:01] Andrew Michael: And then next step. So from that perspective, like you, you mentioned as well, like the support, having the ability to ask questions, but there were aspects and certain questions you might receive that are more on the customer success end. So specifically, like I think how to be successful using the specific product where that support comes into carry with something's broken, or it's not working.

And I need support to help me fix this, or I just need to learn how to use this product or service better. So I. Make sure that's successful. How do you see these two, like blending between the two teams , supporting customer success? 

[00:19:34] Puneet Kataria: Oh, I think that's an excellent question.

We did a little snippet of video, I think, years ago on this. So the way I always tell them is that they will be always. Success related questions, occasionally not very regularly, hopefully which come in the form of a support ticket at that point in time, your support team should be trained to spot those and bubble them up to the customer success counterpart [00:20:00] saying, Hey, these guys are struggling with what they should do or why they should do.

And or maybe there is an upsell opportunity to sit in there or something. And that, that needs to be bumped up. Similarly customer success. Guys also get a lot of support queries, which come to them and they need to be, sent over to the right team, but to the customer support team there. So I always tell them that customer support team needs to be very good at the technology.

How is your technology working? Because they are answering the how questions customer success team needs to be very good at what the technology can do and why you should be using the technology. Then they understand the use cases very well, even if they don't know the technology, the the wants of the house of the technology, because then there are other, teammates which can support that.

[00:20:45] Andrew Michael: Yep. Very nice. Mixing the stack. What is it? 

[00:20:49] Puneet Kataria: It's at the start. I like to pick up CRM and you might be wondering why CRM is not customer success. I, of course you and I will agree, but interestingly, majority [00:21:00] of the teams the customer success teams are either by choice. Or by force are actually asked to start their customer success journey by in a way, tweaking a CRM and try to, make it fit for the customer success job.

And we got so many customer success teams who are actually running their playbooks on CRM and whatnot. And then only to obviously realize that. CRM is not built for it. So I think something that I want to absolutely call out, I think CRM is a fantastic must have tool for acquiring customers.

Obviously you want it, and it's going to be the backbone of any business without CRMs. You've probably not have any customers. So you want to, you want them there, but stretching it beyond CRM is going to be a challenge for simple reasons, because. Basically meant to start capturing information.

When you have no knowledge, no understanding of your customers, you don't know their name, you don't know who they are. You don't know, you start them from an [00:22:00] anonymous lead. Then at some point you capture their email and then, so on and so forth and you show them all the love and care, and then you punch in the data.

So it's fundamentally a system of records. On the other hand, if you look at a customer success, stack and the core of customer success stack is let's say customer success technology like CustomerSuccessBox is a system of intelligence because it feeds off of all the data that you already have about your customer.

One day shuttle when they become your customer, you of course know them, who they are, why they purchased the platform, how are they using it? Who's going to be onboarding what stakeholders you're working with. How much of the bang, what platform are they shifting, drama? What technology are they shifting from?

Why have the purchase and what are their goals? What are your KPIs? What are your outcomes to be delivered and so on and so forth, right? So you are. You don't want to be stuck in a system of records when you should actually be operating out of a system of intelligence, which is what they need for customer success, which is what your customer customer success stack should enable you to do.

That's an 

[00:22:58] Andrew Michael: interesting way to put it [00:23:00] interesting way to frame it is all because I think I've always thought about this is what is the difference between a Salesforce or a gain sites and like using the two services, why would you have both in tandem or something as well? A CustomerSuccessBox as another layer on top of.

[00:23:13] Puneet Kataria: And since you were a little bit more curious, I'll give you a little bit more detail and I'll let you decide whether you really want to keep this part of the notes. I think because a lot of people probably are scratching their head on this, see CRM technology is added.

Score is basically a lot of data, a lot of different kinds of data. Coming together in basically a relational database for many of you your listeners might be coming from an engineering background. So these are basically very simple tables where the data exists and you need to correlate it among themselves.

That's a typical structure of a relational database. The, when I talk about CustomerSuccessBox or customer success technology for that matter, right? So CustomerSuccessBox, for example, is a system of intelligence because it is not only taking a look at the typical relational database, but we also [00:24:00] take the feed of telemetry, the product.

Behavior or the study, the user behavior or the product adoption database, which is actually a streaming database which is a streaming data stream or product . So just to tell you, in a CRM, a customer is likely to make, maybe a few dozens to a few hundred. Changes. Every day we receive like billions of events every day in terms of crunching the data.

So we draw out intelligence from a big data Hadoops and those big data crunching machines To get that intelligence, which is not what a CRM can do and they're not built for it either. So that's your core difference in why, you need a different system or intelligence. They can do a little bit of an intelligence based on, their own data, but they cannot handle streaming data in front 


[00:24:47] Andrew Michael: the.

That's clear. And so when you say this in our CustomerSuccessBox, you're really focused on what the user is doing posts a sale, understanding like crunching big data when it comes to the patterns and the usage [00:25:00] and adoption and really giving signals in terms of like how healthy their account is and how you can make them more successful.

Got it. We have support CRM. What's next. 

[00:25:08] Puneet Kataria: Since I mentioned about telemetry, let's talk about analytics because your listeners probably thinking, hold on, you're talking about part, climatory already have analytics in place, right? I've got the who's who of Mixpanel, amplitude, heap analytics, and whole bunch of, great analytics platforms out there.

So a lot of people think that, okay, you talk about laboratory data. I already have analytics. In fact, Venn customer success teams. You not start to get a little bit more smarter and they realize, oh, you don't have any intelligence. Enhance CRM is not working out for us. So they got back to the management.

We need intelligence and hence we need to invest in the customer success platform, right? Like CustomerSuccessBox. Why don't we go ahead and because we need to see, which which account is adopting the platform, but use it as adopting the platform. How can we get that data? So the first thing that they're given is, oh, don't worry about it.

They've got these analytics. [00:26:00] Go ahead and log in. And the customer success managers are usually, oh wow. They're trend. Amazing. I've got all this data. Fantastic. They come in, they log into these platforms. Now these platforms mind you, our analytics platform. That means their job is they call it. And throw all the data back to you in a graphical visual ways or in ways in which you can query them and play with the data.

If I can use that word, so play with the data in a very interactive way. And I think they, these guys, all of these analytics platforms are brilliant platforms. They all allow you to do that, but after four hours of swimming in that playful date, Customer success manager comes out and say, and still scratching their head.

Okay. I learned a lot about data, but who do I call today? So which customer needs my help and their. I know so much, but I still don't know anything that I've got these rich customers coming up for renewal in the next 30 days, which is not adopting the [00:27:00] product, which is at the risk of churning. And they need help in that specific feature adoption or that modular adoption.

And they don't know that answer there a few if you at this stage, for example, if you want to compare it with a CustomerSuccessBox for instance, What the way I look at CustomerSuccessBoxes. Our job is to, first of all, we realize that 99.9% of that data, that telemetry data is built noise.

Only that 0.1% is actually interested, interesting for the customer success managers to bubble up and act on and go from there. And hence so our job is actually to suppress all that. Not sure you all that data and just show you just the right data so that we can point you to the right account for the right reason at the right time, so that you knew exactly what to do and who to help.

[00:27:47] Andrew Michael: Yeah. It makes a lot of sense, I think as well, when you look at the different tools, I think you mentioned mix panel amplitude or whatever, although they do have. They use a component and you can go in and see a profile and see what the individual user's done. It's [00:28:00] not geared towards giving you insights on specific individuals.

It's about showing your trends and being able to see are there generic, like a user basis is interacting with your product or service. So I definitely see as well you've given some clarity in my mind in terms of the distinguished, like why would you use a CRM versus an analytics versus something like CustomerSuccessBox?

It really helps. Bring the best of both worlds. If I had to say combining them into product for customer success specifically. So you have the relational components available to be able to see what their users doing, where they came from and so forth. Then you have the analytics component coming in to tell you how that specific user is performing and so forth.

What's next on the stack? Is there anything else that you need. 

[00:28:42] Puneet Kataria: So I think next on the stack let's add a business intelligence tool a whole bunch of Looker Tableau, all of these guys. Yes. Thank you. And a lot of times, when they complain, oh, this is too much data for us to look at.

And then they, the second time they go back to the management throws them, oh, you know what? You beat? We have a BI platform and they can produce [00:29:00] whatever report that you can ever imagine. And and then they go back happy again. It's oh you're going to get out of visuals that the ones that you want.

And a lot of these BRP or platforms are also trying to get better. And it's okay, they can, they can send out alerts at different points in times and so on and so forth. So while I think BI promises that, but BI is only as good as. What sort of data they can feed off of. And a lot of those, a lot of those challenges, depending on how and where your data is kept, if these analytics tools are not having a direct relationship to those BI is it's going to fall flat.

If you are being promised a BI layer on top of in-house sometimes RDBMS or relational database layer, that we'll never have the analytics crunching power, any which way, and if you are so basically what you've seen with BI is it is thrown in as the mother of all solutions, but it falls short of, because at its core, the intelligence is going to come from the data you're going to feed in.

And that is going to also be then limited by how you are [00:30:00] keeping or maintaining the data source because the data source is going to be architected in ways in which it is intended to be used. So in a way I'm not blaming the BAS. I think he has a fantastic platforms, but if you've not structured the data, when you were capturing to begin with that, it is going to be one day fed into this BI for the purpose of customer success.

That experiment is very likely going to be failing. And so I'm just trying to hopefully help a lot of customer success teams. Go avoid going down their own wrong part again. Just because they can see a bunch of fancy graphs don't assume that you are going to get an account level alerts and intelligence.


[00:30:39] Andrew Michael: Yeah, for sure. And I think with business intelligence, like that is the key is really making sure you have started with a good solid foundation. When you're tracking data and your analytics, your understanding, what are the various properties you're sending by events and how they're being used and make sure you book good naming conventions and like 90% of your time should be sent to spend like putting together the good tracking plans and [00:31:00] understanding what's being fed into the system and 10% producing the graphs and the reports and everything, I think at the end of the day, because ultimately if you don't, you just end up feeling like shit, and then you get shit out.

That's basically 

[00:31:13] Puneet Kataria: spot on. And just to make sure they're making sure I'm completing my BI story here. So BI definitely has a play in customer success. The player BI is board use BI as the customer success platform use BI. If your management is feeding of your taking of information from the BI, then let your customer success technology or that output get fed into a BI so that they can get a high level overview if at all the one that from the BI platform, but BI is.

Customer success technology. So it's not a replacement. It will compliment or compliment your probably sit on top. So we have a built in BI that will that sort of feeds on onto the same carry and approach. I 

[00:31:52] Andrew Michael: see we have we've run up on time now as well. So I just want to make sure that we can complete the stack and we can get a covered.

So we went through like [00:32:00] support CRM like specific customer success, like CustomerSuccessBox. We talked about BI. Repping this all together, wrapping it up what's missing and how do they all work together? 

[00:32:11] Puneet Kataria: So I'm gonna, I'm gonna quickly go after NPS as well, net promoter score because another tech stack another key strategy and then people rely on an NPS a lot of times.

And I think it's a great metric. There's nothing wrong with it. Net promoter score is the only metric that allows you compare yourself with peers and across industries and within the same industry and whatnot, it comes with a lot of advantages, but the biggest problem with NPS is of course there are inherent drawbacks, NPS, not.

Yeah. Not everybody. You get only 2%, 3% people actually respond to a net promoter score, and then you ended up end up extrapolating that response over to the remaining 98% of the user or the account-based, which, has statistical problems to even do that. But having said that the biggest problem with the net promoter score is that it is a lagging indicator of risk.

You want a customer [00:33:00] intelligence or a customer success. Platform, which is an intelligence know, a system of intelligence to actually give you a signal where you catch a detractor before they become a detractor. Before he, she becomes a detractor, not after if they've already become a detractor, then you so many ways you are reacting to the fact that they.

Yeah, detractor and hence I think net promoter score is also a lagging indicator and hence I think, great metric. You should do it, keep doing it, but do not use it as a leading indicator for identifying risks. So now wrapping it all up. So what's the so I think all of these platforms have a play for in your customer success stack now that you understand each one of them and where they sit But the core of customer success is going to be something as central to, customer success technology as which is such as CustomerSuccessBox, where what we are fundamentally doing is we're taking in, bringing in all the data points from your system of record, which is your CRM, which is how many tickets do they have?

[00:34:00] Is the invoice paid or not? When is the which plan are they on? When is their subscription renewal coming in? This is all system of records. Bring across with the actual product adoption to arrive at health, which is meaningful, which is based on what stage they are with plan. They are what product they are using.

How many tickets they have is the invoice paid or not all of that stuff. Checking if they're hitting limits of different, what they have purchased versus what their actual adoption limits are. Is there an upsell opportunity? Oh, or maybe there are the risks because they are not even consuming 10% of their limit.

And hence you should worry about driving adoption there. And then once you get these signals, now you can do a bunch of things. Eh, you can bring in interventions in two ways, you can bring in interventions in, up by nudging by making a tasks for customer success managers. Whenever there is a criteria for interventions, or you can also now automate that in dimension saying.[00:35:00] 

Dear customer B, we have released this new module. You have all these fantastic features, hidden. Here are five reasons why you should use it, and then you nudge them. And if they're not doesn't work, that's when you bring in a customer success managers, you can automate interventions, much more smartly. And and you can also bring in a guided intervention by by making customer success managers intervene.

And what else, what we are doing in customer success. Boxes that before. Identifying the criteria for these intervention can be quite a data dive in challenge. So what we've done is about two years ago, when we started, that's where we realized that becoming a challenge. So we brought in artificial intelligence and today we are proud to say that we are the only platform which can bring in the actual intervention opportunities for upsells, for.

All of that automatically by using artificial intelligence, without taking away any of that. And basically it becomes a plug and play for you, and that's. [00:36:00] Build customer successful. Cause that's my little marketing gig on a narrative on customer success, multiples, budding that. Thank you.

But I seriously hope, this was helpful for your listeners to understand the differences between so many pieces moving pieces of customer success. 

[00:36:17] Andrew Michael: Absolutely. Yep. And I was great. And the framing of the different tools and services and their relationships between one another.

I think you gave a bit more clarity on them as well. So hopefully that's helps the listeners as well. Think about their stack and how the different pieces and components work together. And it's been a pleasure hosting you today. I it's been great having you any final thoughts you want to leave the listeners with before we end?

[00:36:38] Puneet Kataria: I'll say even if you're still confused with the customer success stack, no matter where you start I think go speak to your customers. They'll be the best person to tell you, where you guys are dropping the ball, they'll be the best advisor for your product managers.

They'd be best advisers to help you streamline your onboarding journey. And and if you're lost, go check with your customers. Your management probably is not the best person that second best. 

[00:36:58] Andrew Michael: One [00:37:00] 100% speak to your customers who is the best place to start. It's been a pleasure.

I've seen you today and thanks so much for joining and wish you best of luck going forward. 

[00:37:08] Puneet Kataria: Also. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. 

[00:37:12] Andrew Michael: And that's a wrap for the show today with me, Andrew, Michael, I really hope you enjoyed it. And you're able to pull out something valuable for your business to keep up to date with and be notified about new episodes. Blog posts and more subscribe to our mailing list by visiting Also, don't forget to subscribe to our show on iTunes, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

If you have any feedback, good or bad, I would love to hear from you and you can provide your blend direct feedback by sending it to, lastly, but most importantly, if you enjoyed this episode, please share it [00:38:00] and leave a review. As it really helps get the word out and grow the community.

Thanks again for listening. See you again next week.


Puneet Kataria
Puneet Kataria

The show

My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.

In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros working in product, marketing, customer success, support, and operations roles across different stages of company growth, who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.


Listen To Next