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The Secret to Building an Effective Customer Success Dashboard

The secret to customer success is making your customers happy and supporting them to succeed. A simple concept – until you try to implement it. You’ll need a great product and a great customer service team, for starters. You’ll also need an in-depth understanding of the customer experience, including their pain points and how you can help solve them.

This is where things get trickier, but the answer could already be tucked away in your data. All you need is an effective customer success dashboard to automate the identification of issues and then support you to solve them – as the dashboard example below demonstrates.

Customer Success KPI Dashboard Example

”A couple of years ago, when we encountered errors from sub-optimal client API practices, we might share a permalink with a team member so they could look at logs. That worked reasonably well, but you’re still sifting through logs. Now, events that belong together can be grouped and easily shared in a dashboard. Issues can then be proactively addressed, resulting in better customer experiences.” Conrad Caplin, Co-Founder, Pronto CX.

What is a Customer Success Dashboard?

When it comes to understanding and enabling customer success, implementing an effective customer success dashboard that enables swift key performance indicator (KPI) analysis should be at the heart of your approach.

A customer success dashboard is a visual tool that helps you to track everything from how your product is being used to your retention rate, churn rate, monthly revenue and more.

Why are Customer Success Dashboards Important?

A good customer success KPI dashboard is a testament to the difference that such a dashboard can make to customer satisfaction. It enables an organization to implement both reactive and proactive measures to drive up its customer success levels.

Retaining users starts with understanding the steps at which they get stuck when using your product and why. Generally, organizations have historically employed a reactive strategy to API problems, giving their customers an opportunity to grow impatient and become at risk for canceling their contracts. Through a customer success driven strategy, automate the monitoring and display of API usage and gain customer insights. Identify situations where your company can proactively intervene and help your customers be successful.

How Do You Measure Customer Success KPI?

Customer success dashboards can support the journey from new customer to loyal, retained customer. To monitor that journey, you need to measure various customer success KPIs. Some of the most important include:

  • Customer churn rate
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Monthly recurring revenue
  • Customer support tickets
  • Net promoter score
  • Customer satisfaction

You can also add in any KPI that will support understanding your own customers’ success and monitoring it, such as API calls as in the customer success API dashboard example above.

Customer Success Overview Dashboard Template

Your customer success overview dashboard template will be shaped around your specific product. That said, it’s possible to outline some broad examples of what such a dashboard should include.

What Should Be on a Customer Success Dashboard?

Start by understanding what success means to your customers and what your goals are. After all, customer success stories vary hugely from business to business.

What you monitor is up to you. Say you have a sales rep who has implemented behavioral emails to try and accelerate API integration. You can monitor the impact on your dashboard.

Your dashboard will be a mix of customer health indicators and KPIs, monitoring both positive and negative customer success metrics. Positive metric examples include number of new customers and monthly recurring revenue. Churn rate, meanwhile, is an example of a negative metric.

How Do You Measure the Effectiveness of a Dashboard?

You can measure the effectiveness of your customer success dashboard by monitoring your overall customer satisfaction and success levels. Another measure of effectiveness is the return on investment that your dashboard delivers.

What are 3 Benefits of a Dashboard?

When it comes to customer success, a dashboard delivers multiple benefits. Three of the most useful are:

  • Reducing customer churn
  • Creating more stable revenue
  • Increasing customer satisfaction

By supporting your customers’ success, you’re supporting your own.

View Customer Success Metrics and Gain Insights

We touched on customer success metrics when talking about KPIs above. Monitoring rates such as customer churn provides an overview of customer success that can drive unique insights into your customer experience and your own business.

Key to identifying the customer success metrics that will provide the most useful and comprehensive oversight is understanding what your customer needs. You can then track your success in meeting those needs through relevant metrics.

How Do You Track Customer Success?

Being able to view customer success metrics and gain insights is hugely valuable. But how do you do it?

To track customer success, you need to implement a range of metrics that can provide an overview of your progress. Let’s take a look at a few of these.

What are the Important API Customer Success Metrics?

The most important API customer success metrics for your business will be those that dive into the detail of what you’re achieving. Examples of such metrics include:

Customer retention rate

It’s all very well winning new business, but if your customers don’t stick with your product, you have a problem. Tracking what proportion of your customers you retain over time is key not just to understanding your customer success performance but to supporting the long-term viability of your enterprise.

_Customer health score
You can use a customer health score to determine what proportion of your customers are ‘healthy’ and what proportion are ‘at risk’. On an individual customer basis, this helps you identify which customers are likely to grow and which you are at risk of losing. At an organizational level, it can serve as an early warning system if you identify a growing proportion of customers at risk.

Net promoter score

A long-established tool in market research, as well as in monitoring customer success and business growth, your net promoter score relates to the proportion of people who would recommend your business (or product) to a friend or colleague. Tracking your net promoter score can reveal a great deal about how positively (or otherwise!) your customers view your business.

Customer lifetime value

Monitoring customer lifetime value tells you what a customer is worth over the entire period of their relationship with your business. Calculating your customer lifetime value and then monitoring it to ensure that it increases is an effective way to track your growing customer success.

_Customer churn rate
The lower your customer churn rate, the better. After all, it costs your business more to go out and find new customers than it does to retain existing ones. As such, working to reduce your churn rate can deliver long-term rewards.

_Monthly recurring revenue
Your monthly recurring revenue is the amount of income that you get from your customers each month. Tracking it is essential to understanding your customer success performance and to monitoring the financial viability of your business.

_Customer retention costs
We mentioned above that it’s cheaper to retain customers than go out and find new ones, but retaining customers is far from cost-free. By measuring the cost of your customer success work and comparing it to your number of customers, you can monitor how much it costs to retain each customer.

_Customer satisfaction score
A customer satisfaction score measures, quite simply, how satisfied your customers are with your business. It is an excellent indicator of customer success, particularly when combined with the metrics detailed above. Together, they provide a comprehensive overview of your customer success performance.

Making a Success of Customer Success Dashboards for API Products

Customer success dashboards for API products are a hugely important tool for understanding the impact that those products can deliver and the implications of that impact for the overall success of your business.

Top comments (1)

nitinparmar profile image
Nitin Parmar

Dashboards are very important to supporting a strong developer relations operation in your organisation. There are two ways of looking at it. One maybe from engineering eyes and demonstrating the impact of your work in terms of usage and revenue which I believe is the case in this article. Another is actually to support a developer relations operation in which case you you will be demonstrating the impact of your developer advocates and the work they do. In case of a dashboard that supports an ongoing developer relations operation, the dashboard will include the types of quantitative information information mentioned in this article. However it will also in need include outcomes of of work from advocates, which includes impact of their work on writing and promoting their articles, events (online and in-person), developer community engagement and support, and bringing back the voice of the customer back into the business and how they moved the needle there i.e. qualitative information. When economic circumstances are tough, one should never underestimate the importance of producing a compelling dashboard targeted at the senior leaders in your firm who are investing in the work (and existence) of your team.