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The CX Broadcast

The Role of Customer Success in Driving Product Adoption

In this episode, we will explore the strategies customer success teams use to help customers understand and use products effectively. Join us as we speak with Ahaan Pandit, Associate Director of Customer Success at Capillary Tech and delve into the importance of providing a seamless onboarding experience to ensure customers remain satisfied with the product and increase user adoption.

Ahaan Pandit
Ahaan Pandit Associate Director of Customer Success at Capillary Tech


TranscriptThe Role of Customer Success in Driving Product Adoption

The Importance of Customer Education in Driving Product Adoption

Niharika Sharma

Hello everyone. Today we are speaking with Mr. Ahaan Pandit, who is the Director of Customer Success at Capillary Tech. Ahaan comes with an impressive customer success background in the B2B space with more than a decade of wonderful experience and numerous contributions to various organizations that he's worked with. 

Welcome aboard, Ahaan. It's such a pleasure to have you as a speaker on one of our most important episodes of this podcast series.

Ahaan Pandit

Well, thanks a lot for having me! It's an absolute pleasure to be a part of this podcast.

Niharika Sharma

With your expertise and experience, I thought there would be no one better than you to discuss this topic of driving product adoption in the B2B space with the help of customer success teams and straightly jumping into the topic, of the importance of customer education in driving product adoption.

We know that customer education is really, really important in driving product adoption and doing so not only helps the customer understand how the product can solve their problems and also tells them how to use it effectively. While the customer success teams do play a crucial role in educating the customers, whether through different kinds of product demos, documentation, webinar or any other kind of knowledge transfer activity.

What would you say would be the few best practices that a company or a Customer Success team can adopt in order to maximize the outcome of the Intent?

Ahaan Pandit

Great question. So to start with, I would say it's super important to understand your customer's business! We need to understand why did they buy your product?

What are the product they were using before your product or is this the first time they're using a product? Because when you start onboarding them, we need to understand, it's really essential to understand the customers' needs and pain points, right? Right. This will help you create content that is relevant for them, which is valuable for them, right? So this is part one and before this, you need to have good synergy or a good process set up with your sales teams.

Because your sales teams are the one who would have spoken to your customers before.

They must have done their own discovery. So they might have a lot of data that they can provide you with so that you don't ask your customers again, And you, both the teams can work together to create an implementation plan or create an onboarding plan that is really vast. 

It's really Self-explanatory and it can help customers get onboarded quickly and understand how to get value out of your product.

Niharika Sharma

Absolutely! And I think while education can help instil customer loyalty by building trust and allowing them to find better ways of, you know, using your product, are such customers more likely to renew and less likely to churn? If yes, then what would be the key driving factors for such customers?

Ahaan Pandit

Yeah, of course, right. See one of the main reasons for churn is your customer's not getting enough value from your software to keep using it, right? Absolutely. So generally this is because the onboarding was messed up or the onboarding was not done properly. So your customer onboarding actually helps you start on the right foot and set the tone of engagement for your customers, right. You can understand what value means for your customers on that call and set of expectations for them.

Niharika Sharma

Absolutely. And have you encountered any issues in the past where the customer doesn't come across as satisfied in the onboarding process itself where the interaction has been relatively new , but then you feel that the customer is either going through some problems in order to understand how the product should be deployed, or maybe the customer expectations are not being met. So any instances that you'd like to throw light on?

Ahaan Pandit

In fact, there have been a lot of these instances, right, where a customer's not satisfied with the way the onboarding was done. I would say, as a general rule of thumb, always take as many feedback as possible in each step of your onboarding process. It will really help you understand where the issues lie and then you can go ahead and solve those things and let's see if there are problems in the onboarding itself. I would stop the onboarding at that point of time. Talk to your customers, understand where the problem is, what issues they're facing in terms of onboarding, try to solve that and then go ahead with it. Don't be tone deaf to whatever they're saying,  

because clarity in understanding what they want is really important before you move forward with your onboarding. If the onboarding is, they're not happy with the onboarding, stop the onboarding there and there, understand the issue and then go forward with It.

Leveraging Onboarding Programs to Improve Product Adoption

Niharika Sharma

Absolutely and talking about onboarding cycles, do you feel the duration of the onboarding cycle also plays an important role in curating customer experience in overall, in totality? I mean, do you think a shorter customer onboarding cycle would be more preferred by customers rather than a longer period of time? And what, how long do you usually a customer onboarding program lasts, if at all?

Ahaan Pandit

Right. So it totally depends on the complexity of your product Right? 

If a product is small, it's a self-serve, then the entire onboarding should be on the product itself, right? You don't need a specific onboarding program for that. But let's say your product is a little complex, you know, maybe there are certain gears that need to move before you get onboarded completely. In that case, you know one to three weeks, one to four weeks should be good.

And in terms of enterprise onboarding, you're talking about three to six months because over there there are a lot of users that need to be onboarded. There are a lot of moving parts everywhere, so you need to ensure that the implementation happens in that way. Plus, enterprise software is more complex in nature, so the onboarding needs to be a little longer to understand the product better.

Niharika Sharma

Absolutely, absolutely. And I feel again, Getting In Sync with customer needs and trying to give them ample amounts of time in order to make them feel satisfied with, you know, the amount of information that we had given them and the amount of information that they have received also play a crucial role in curating better customer experience in totality. So absolutely.

Well, talking about product adoption, there are processes like onboarding programs as well. Now again, it's something that customer success teams have a direct say in. How do you think CX teams can create effective onboarding programs and strategies that encourage product adoption?

Aahan Pandit

I'm gonna start with the very obvious thing over here, which is not your product, right, I've seen a lot of customer success teams not knowing the product but they totally rely on communication and you know their way with how to build a relationship and everything. But knowing your product changes the game entirely. So it's important to know where are your value drivers in your product. Every product has like two or three features that customers see and are like OK, this is gonna save a lot of time or a lot of money for me, Right?  So as a customer success professional, I think the focus should be on three things during your onboarding. One is for your customer and this is from a customer standpoint, right, which is how to save time for my customers, how to increase the revenue for my customers and how to reduce cost for my customers. So personalize your onboarding as much as possible keeping these three things in mind and make sure that the expectations are well documented and agreed upon. 

So what happens is You don't document your expectations with the customer and then when you do a QBR, when you do a EBR, they're like we never wanted this, right? So if you document it, well, get a sign off from them with regards to their expectation, they cannot change after three months or six months because what happens is, you know the business keeps changing, right? And with that the expectation will also change. 

So it should not be a case where generally they are like OK, this is really good. I like these expectations, but by March, come March, you know expectations totally change. So quarter to quarter expectation changes are good, it's fine. That means the business is growing right. Hence the expectations are also changing. But in between the quarters it's never good. That means there's something wrong with the registration that you're kind of building with your customer and they don't trust you enough or they have messed it up at their end Somewhere with the expectations, right. 

Next thing I would probably say measure adoption. Very important to see where exactly is your customer in terms of product adoption, right? It'll help you understand what problems people are facing with your product and how do you solve for them, right? And obviously provide good support at all touch points, wherever there is a touch point where you think the customer success or support team comes in and they can help the customer with it. You should provide good support at those touch points. And the last is obviously take feedback, right? So surveys, CSAT, NPS, all this should be taken wherever possible. and especially where where all these touch points are, you should probably have a survey over there. 

Niharika Sharma

Okay, so What speaking about feedback? How early do you think is it right for the customer success or the onboarding team to reach out to the customer or you know, somebody who's just converted into a customer?

And what would be the very first touch point in order to take feedback? And how often should this process of taking feedback should fall into the cast of onboarding lifecycle journey? 

Ahaan Pandit

Yeah, I would say take feedback as much as possible, right? So for example, let's say you have a product with a one month Onboarding process, right. So at the end of each week you need to take a feedback because you can track in each week how happy they were with the onboarding process, right? Wherever the seaside dips, that means there's a problem that you need to solve over there, right? 

And then once the onboarding is done, then for the first quarter at least take feedback every month. And once that is done then you can. Once you have that relationship where you know that the customer is comfortable in talking with you about anything, then it becomes easier to take feedback regularly. After that you take a quarterly one and what most people don't understand is the feedback should be taken in only one question, right? 

So generally what the question that I use is on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with the product and our services if you're not giving us a 10, how can we make it, how can we make it as close to 10 as possible, right? So what happens is you get the feedback as well as you get the points to improve your product or feedback based on the points that are missing, right? And then they can take it back, understand the pain points and solve for them.

Niharika Sharma

Absolutely, and speaking about this onboarding programs, how long do you think a customer onboarding program should be? I mean that also happens to be one, one key factor in curating customer experience up to a certain level. So do you think the shorter customer onboarding program would have more impact or a longer period of time would have more impact in terms of creating those impeccable customer experience for the customers?

Ahaan Pandit

It totally depends on how complex your product is, right? So if your product is let's say a sales product, then the onboarding should be within the platform itself, right? Let's say your product is a little more complex than that, then probably a month or two to onboard, let's say there are some moving parts that you need to ensure that the customer knows, then one or two months at Max, right? 

If you have an enterprise solution, then the onboarding can stretch from three to six months because constant feedback is needed, a constant loop of putting those implementation cycles in. So it takes time. Yeah. So it totally depends on how complex your product is.

The Role of Ongoing Support in Sustaining Product Adoption

Niharika Sharma

Absolutely, Absolutely. OK. I think that's good, good enough.

Great. So apart from the whole onboarding experience, there are plenty of other opportunities that arise day-to-day in the day-to-day functioning of customer success teams, one of them being the ongoing customer support. How would you say the teams can provide ongoing support to the customers while ensuring the continued product adoption without losing their interest and keeping the satisfaction high at the same time?

Ahaan Pandit

Right. So you know, ongoing support is always really important. I would say we need to keep creating additional content wherever possible, right. And this is actually step 2. The first step is to keep a track of your analytics and practically reach out to them wherever they get stuck. So there are a lot of times where you see that the particular person is logging in on a daily day-to-day basis and then suddenly kind of drops out.

Right. The moment the drop happens we need to reach out to them to understand if there is any issue in the product or they have faced any sort of bugs. So if they have create those videos where they can, you can push them towards getting over that particular hurdle and then we can continue adopting the product, take feedback, obviously take product feedback how much ever possible like I said before and you work with the product team to improve the product.

There are chances that the UI, UX might not be that great, right? You're probably doing something that takes 30 clicks to do something, but we can get that done. We can, you know, kind of reduce that into 10 clicks, right? So those very little things actually help in keeping the customers satisfied throughout the product adoption journey, right? And then message satisfaction, obviously that's the last part. Keep taking service feedback whenever possible.

So that you can see how happy they are and then you can keep on build a good job.

Niharika Sharma

Absolutely, And while in this process of taking product feedback, have there been any instances where you know the customer is not really that happy with how the processes are falling into place and sometimes has it ever happened to you that the customer has refused from giving feedback?

Ahaan Pandit

Yeah, a lot of times, man. So sometimes what happens is they're not happy with the product. They would say until unless you know I'm happy, I will not give you a product feedback, right. So it happens more often than you think it does. And at that point of time, we need to make sure that whatever issues that are coming up for them is either communicated, let's see if you know, it's not necessary that all the issues can be solved in a in, in a day or two, right.

Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes it takes months, sometimes it takes years also depending upon again the complexity of the product. So probably keeping them informed about such issues and telling them you know, again setting expectations based on like if you have, if you have a certain problem, this much time it will take to solve it and here's a workaround till that time that kind of keeps them informed. They're happy that OK. 

You know it's a legit bug and they're working on solving it and keep them updated about where, what's the progress on such bugs, right. And then you ask them, like you know, it'll take some time for us to get your issue solved. Till that point of time, can I take a feedback so that can, you know, push it or escalate that particular bug or issue to my IR management as well. You can always take that.

Niharika Sharma

Absolutely and I think yes, If you have to put it into simpler words, keeping the communication up and being on our toes with respect to addressing customers' pain point is the only solution here which can make them give feedback to us. Absolutely.

Ahaan Pandit

Absolutely. They should always feel that. You know, as a customer success person, I always say that you know you're not working for your company, you're working for your customers, right? You're the point of contact for your customers with the company. So whatever they say, you need to work with them and not work for them sort of situation, right? To solve whatever problems that they have. So yeah, communication should always be up.

Niharika Sharma

I agree. And now we live in a customer first world. So first that's a very important factor, great. So again, what would you say are some of the challenges faced by support teams while providing ongoing support? I mean, we just spoke about how the customers are not ready and not really really keen every time to give us feedback. But and we do know that the need of support arises when the customer is not fully satisfied and a bit unsure about the usage of product. But apart from what we spoke about, what are the other common challenges that occur at a stage and how can we address them?

Ahaan Pandit

So I think one of the biggest challenges customer support teams face is the high volume of support requests that keep coming in, right. I always say the best customer support is no customer support, right? And to that it means that we need to make sure that whatever information That the customer needs is at their fingertips, right? So it can be really overwhelming for customer support teams with a lot of support requests coming in and it can lead up to a longer response times for them, right? 

So to address this sort of challenge, it is the necessary that support teams automate some of their things. So use chat boards, use cell service portals, you know, use knowledge base as much as possible.

So that it kind of frees up your time for more complex issues rather than handing in a simple request that can be a search within the system and then you can get an answer to that. So that can handle a bit of your high volume situations. A second one is probably the language barrier. See, especially for us we work across time zones across various countries and continents, so language barrier is always an issue no matter where you're situated.


So some people might feel some sort of struggle to communicate their issues effectively, which can lead to frustration and lack of engagement. 

So what you need to do is you need to provide support in multiple languages if possible, or use translation tools. You have Google Translate, which does a very good job in translation, right? And it will help you communicate better with your customers as well between different languages.

Then there are technical issues. Obviously, support. 

I think customer support should be technical in nature or at least have some sort of technical knowledge.

Because at least the debugging part is something that the customer support people can do.

I've seen a lot of companies these days use customer support as a triaging in a triaging manner, Right?

customer support is not for triaging. That's the first line of defense for yoy in terms of issues that are coming through.

So handling and handling issues that are small in nature that can be debugged. These things should be done.

By customer support. And then if it's a complex issue, only then it should be going to your

product or dev team. right? So I think a specialized technical support

is needed. And you can take the product development team to resolve any sort of bigger issues. Right? Then obviously lack of product knowledge.

I've seen a lot of people don't understand the product that well. I think the customer support team should know the product in and out. I think they should know it better than the product team itself. Right?

Niharika Sharma


Ahaan Pandit

So ongoing training, ongoing education to the internal team is really important. we use to have a monthly call with the product team to demo new tools or new features that are coming up and get trained on those particular tools end to end. I think the last part is obviously customer frustration.

Niharika Sharma


Ahaan Pandit

so they become frustrated and they become disengaged. right? so product customer support team should be super empathetic towards them. They should actively listen to their customers and work towards resolving this.

The Impact of Data Analytics on Driving Product Adoption

Niharika Sharma

Great. So Ahaan, how would you say the use of data plays out in all of this? How does data analytics help the customer success teams in writing more product adoption and a better understanding of customer behavior and preferences? We know that there are specific metrics that can be monitored over a period of time and which can give the teams much needed insights into customers landscape, but let's try to go into a bit of specifics as well.

So would you mind telling us a bit about what kind of data analytics strategies a company should adopt in the current climate?

Ahaan Pandit

Yeah. See, more than anything, it has to be productive analytics, right? We need to know the customer's next move before they make it right. Especially with the teams that I have worked with, our data analytics has been the core of our customer success programs, right.

We have been able to save a lot of tune just cause we knew what were our major touch points and what were the base benchmarks for those matrices. and then we were able to measure and also understand where exactly what exactly is the customer doing. So I'll give you examples, one of the biggest matrix in the previous job where logins, right, we had a tool, we had a tool where you need to log in daily to ensure that you're working effectively.

So out of the possible 24 days from excluding settling Sundays, you have to login at least 18 on 18 days, right? The moment your login count goes below 18, it's a red flag for us. So once a power user's login started falling dramatically from 18 it went down, to 12, it went down to six. 

We immediately reached out to him to understand, you know, what the problem is.

Turns out that he had a bug in the system and they didn't report it immediately right? And they were unable to use the platform. They're planning to move out of the platform and hence the logins kind of started dropping. 

Once we got to know we escalated the issue with our dev team, got a hot fix deployed that very day and we told the customer you know your issue was kind of solved. You can start using the platform once again, impressed with our speed and proactiveness, he stayed back for a very long time and then that account grew significantly for us. So overall, I would say proactiveness benchmarking systems with the help of data analytics help us save this particular journal, right. 

There are other use cases as well for this, but you know, I'm giving you an example. It makes sense for you of course.

Niharika Sharma

Absolutely, And how do we identify areas of improvement and developing target outreach program and measuring customer success with the help of data analytics?

 I mean we just, we just spoke about what could be noted in terms of process when falling into place, but when, when we are specifically talking about target outreach programs and measuring customer success. So how does data come into all of this and you know can help us leverage what Data we are able to segregate or come up with in terms of whatever dashboards that we have?

Ahaan Pandit

Right. So even before we dwell into data analytics, I think the first and foremost thing is to define your goals, right? It is really essential to understand what are your goals, what are your objectives so that it helps. The data will basically help you get to those outcomes if you have clear goals and objective, right.

Use the right matrix. I've seen a lot of people not using the right matrix. They use rarity matrix to make them feel better. But making you feel better doesn't drive business for you. So I would say ensure that your data is actionable and can be used to drive improvements in your product right. Once you have your element matrix, you have a clear goal. Second is use segmentation. Segment your customers based on certain Common characteristics like it could be behavior, demographics, preferences. This will help to identify specific customer segments.

And this will be helpful in targeted outreach programs later on. Right next is analyze your data regularly, identify trends, identify patterns that you're getting within the data. This will help you identify areas of improvements obviously, and also help you drive effective engagement. 

Give an example for this, right? Let's say you have in your product, you have 10 different pages within the product, right? 

You analyze which page is most frequented within the product, which is the least frequented and try to understand why people don't go to that particular page at all, right? It could be that it is way deep into the product. It is like you know when you navigate to that particular page, it is it is inside a page, inside a page and it takes time to reach to that particular page. Maybe giving that some prominence will help it help that particular part, or help that particular feature grow more, right? So you need to understand this, these trends and patterns within the product, within the data to understand how to improve your engagement, right? And then Once you have, you know, all this segmentation, you have your data, you have matrix goals. Develop a targeted outreach program, right? 

You specifically reach out to those people based on the customer behavior that we have already have. Identify the most effective outreach method for them. Maybe some some prefer e-mail, some prefer messages, some prefer talking to you via chat. 

I've seen a lot of people you know, they don't respond to emails, but they respond to chats immediately. It's like they have a chat window open at all times, right? So you need to understand what is the most effective outreach channels for, for such customer segments and for certain customers, right. 

And then you measure your customer success efforts, right, Track customer retention, track customer lifetime value, track customer satisfaction. This again, will help you improve the areas that you're kind of lacking.

Right. And also understand if your customer's efforts are effective or not. And I think the last part, very simple, continuously improved, right. You cannot be at point A after three months, we need to move to point B, but keep improving on a daily basis.

Niharika Sharma

Right, absolutely. And I think the world around this is also evolving at a very fast pace. So it is very natural that the problems of the customer would also be undergoing some kind of evoultion. And then we also have to keep up with the customer's pain points and try to give them solutions at their very best needs. And how can we make it more efficient in terms of the

time that we are making use of in order to respond to them also. So absolutely, and this is very insightful, I think the whole conversation

has been really great. this would prove extremely, extremely insightful for us, for our audience, our listeners, and whosoever is just trying to dip their feet into the ocean of CX.

Ahaan Pandit


Niharika Sharma

Particularly for people who are looking forward to getting to customer success, So any heads up for aspiring customer success

managers or any kind of advice that you want to give to them.

Ahaan Pandit

Yeah, I would say this is not an easy growth channel for you. if you are rally passionate about helping others, if you are really passionate about,

you know, you care about other people's growth, only then get into customer service because otherwise it's

going to be really difficult. without the empathy, you cannot grow in customer service. I think that's the main thing.

Niharika Sharma

Right, absolutely. And a few years back, even I was trying to get into customer success, but somehow life had other plans.

Maybe they realized I was not at empathetic. But yeah, again, but who knows, I might get into a customer success and then we cross paths someday in the near future.

So yeah, and overall, I would like to thank you for kindly agreeing to be a speaker on this podcast. I'm sure with your expertise and your knowledge and then whatever

Ahaan Pandit

Thank you, More than happy.

Niharika Sharma

Around the topic of driving product adoption and why customer success teams in the B2b world would prove extremely, extremely useful for us and the audience. So thank you so much, Ahaan. It was lovely speaking with you.

Ahaan Pandit

Thank you for having me, Niharika, Thanks.