Customer Success Glossary

A

Account Contraction

Account Contraction is a loss of revenue in existing customer accounts. Account contraction happens when there is a decrease in number of seats, when you provide discounts in a particular period or due to increase in churn.

Account Expansion

Account Expansion is increase in generated revenue from existing customers/accounts. Generally, Account Expansion is a preferred choice of growth as it costs less than new customer acquisition.

Account Growth

Account Growth is a process of developing existing accounts to generate from revenue from them. Up-sell, cross-sell, plan upgrade, expansion are forms of Account Growth.

Actionable Data

Actionable Data allows you to invoke workflows based on the feedback. Actionable Data is normally collected from analytics systems, user surveys and other forms of user feedback.

Adoption

Adoption refers to the process whereby a customer hears about a new product and decides to start using it. Some products are adopted fairly quickly while others may take weeks or months.

Advocacy

Advocacy, often called brand advocacy, is the process of cultivating positive relationships with your customers so that they start promoting your product or organization. Such customers are called brand advocates. They promote your product through word of mouth, or in our modern, connected world, via online forums, chat rooms and other digital venues.

Annual Recurring Revenue

Annual Recurring Revenue or ARR, is a key metric used by SaaS and other subscription businesses that have term subscription agreements with their customers. While ARR and MRR are related, ARR is used almost exclusively in B2B subscription businesses, because to use ARR effectively, term agreements with customers must be one year or more.

ARR

Acronym for Annual Recurring Revenue.

API

API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. Modern applications, will it be web, desktop or mobile apps are used by us, humans, via a Graphical User Interface. API is pretty much like that but instead of humans, it is used by other computer programs. Therefore, API is an interface exposed by programs to/for other programs. API plays key role in modern software architecture, because it allows creating decoupled applications and modules that communicate with one another through well formed interfaces.

B

Best Practices

Things can be done in various ways. A Best Practice refers to a way of doing things that is superior to any alternatives. Within the customer success context best practices refer to standartized steps for customer onboarding, follow ups, handling support issues, upgrades/downgrades, collecting customer satisfaction surveys, etc.

C

Call-to-Action

Call-to-action is a term rooted deeply in marketing and sales. Main purpose of call-to-action is to produce an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale. Some popular examples of call-to-actions are: "Call Now", "Get Started Now", "Download Now", "Learn More", etc. A vital component of a call-to-action is some sort of urgency.

Churn

Churn or churn rate, is a very important concept for SaaS and other subscription based businesses. Churn rate is the amount of customers or subscribers who abandon a business or stop using the product during a given time period. Churn decelerates growth. Reducing churn rate is a great strategy to improve growth.

Cohort Analysis

Cohort Analysis is a type of behaviour analytics. Cohort is a fancy term for a group of people with some common or shared characteristics. How you group users depends on your business but it is very important to define certain cohorts. For example, for your business a cohort can be users who are females within 20-30 age group and use iPhone. Then cohort analysis is simply analyzing behavior of such cohorts over periods of time. For example, for the above defined cohort, cohort analysis may reveal that the cohort signs-up for a trial but 50% stop using your product after 2 weeks. Cohort Analysis is an extremely powerful yet quite simple analytic method.

CEM

Acronym for Customer Experience Management

CRM

Acrynom for Customer Relationships Management

Cross-sell

Cross-sell is a practice in sales. Cross-sell happens when you sell additional product or service to an existing customer. For example, a company selling domain names may cross-sell by offering existing customers SSL certificates, hosting services, etc. Cross-sell not only helps you increase income derived from existing customers but also protect those relationships.

CTA

Acronym for Call-to-action

Customer Experience

Customer Experience is the experience through which a person goes when interacting with a company. For different types of industries, Customer Experience may start and end at different points. For businesses with one-off type of interactions, Customer Experience ends once the customer purchases the product. For subscription businesses like SaaS, Customer Experience begins right at a point when a customer discovers and starts interacting with the SaaS website.

Customer Experience Management

Customer Experience Management is comprised of processes that help you meet or exceed expectations of your customers. Good Customer Experience Management helps you boost customer satisfaction, increase customer loyalty and advocacy and reduce churn. While Customer Experience Management requires changes to certain processes within your organization and investments, the benefits that you get far outweigh these efforts.

Customer Growth

Growth happens in different ways. You can grow your business by growing your customer base. You can even further accelerate your growth by helping your customers grow. This is so obvious. Your customers are businesses also and like your company their goal is to grow as well. When your customers grow, they are more likely to maintain business relationship with your organization and even buy more.

Customer Health Score

Customer health score is a certain score assigned to each customer. It could be numeric (say from 1 to 100) or categorical (for example colors Red, Yellow, Green or letteras A to F, etc). Customers health score is normally derived from several factors. What actually the score means will heavily depend on your business. For example, for a SaaS company it could indicate a probability of a customer churning or renewing.

Customer LifeTime Value

Customer Lifetime Value is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. While the concept sounds simple, calculating CLV is tricky. First, you cannot possibly know how long a customer will stay with you. Second, you don't know if customer will be paying you same amount from month to month or year to year. Finally, as CLV models future, you need to take into account the present value of the future cash flows. Nevertheless, CLV is an extremely valuable metric in marketing and every marketers goal must be to maximize CLV.

Customer Loyalty

Loyalty is a tricky concept. The word is derived from Old French word loyal and means legal. In modern meaning loyalty means being loyal, which in turn means being faithful and devoted to someone or something. So customer loyalty means that your customers are attached to your brand, they are devoted to your business. Achieving customer loyalty is not an easy task and it requires creating consistently positive emotational experience.

Customer Relationships Management

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a practice of managing a company's interaction with current and potential customers. Very often when people speak of CRM, they mean a technology or a system. However, the truth is CRM is an approach not a system. However, modern CRM is usually implemented with some sort of computerized system, very often with dedicated CRM software. The goal of using CRM is to improve business relationships and drive growth.

Customer Onboarding

See User Onboarding.

Customer Retention

Customer retention is the process through which a company retains existing customers. Customer retention is important because acquiring new customers is much more expensive then retaining existing customers. Customer Retention normally consists of various initiatives and processes and can range from very simple steps to very complex.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction is a measure of how products and services provided to customers meet or surpass their expectations. Customer Satisfaction is a very important metric and it often considered as a KPI. Measuring Customer Satisfaction sometimes can be tricky. Normally survey responses, NPS or product usage analytics can be used to measure Customer Satisfaction.

Customer Segmentation

Customer Segmentation, which is often called market segmentation, is the process of subdiving your existing or future customers into discrete groups that share similar characteristics. You can divide your customers by different methods, however, frequently this division happens based on their needs or buying characteristics. Customer Segmentation enables a company tailor offerings to segments that are the most profitable and serve them with distinct competitive advantages.

Customer Status

Customer Stickiness

Customer Success

Customer Success Automation

Customer Training

F

Freemium

H

Happiness Index

Health Score

Higher Utilization

J

Journey

K

KPI

L

License Expansion

LifeTime Value

See Customer LifeTime Value

Loyalty

See Customer Loyalty

M

Metadata

Metrics

Monthly Recurring Revenue

MRR

Acronym for Monthly Recurring Revenue

N

Negative Churn

Net Promoter Score

NPS

Acronym for Net Promoter Score.

New Customer Acquisition

O

Onboarding

See User Onboarding.

Operational Data

P

Pain Points

Playbooks

Predictive Analytics

Predictive Lead Scoring

Product Data

Product Usage

Product Utilization

Propensity Analysis

Q

Quarterly Business Review

QBR

R

Recurring Revenue

Recurring Revenue Forecast

Referral

Reminders

Renewal

Retention

See Customer Retention.

S

SaaS

Acronym for Software as a Service.

Segment Analysis

Segment Analysis is one of the fundamental tools for a sales and marketing professional. Segment Analysis starts with Customer Segmentation. Once you have broken down your customers into segments, you analyze each segments based on the variables used for segmentation.

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis refers to how your customers feel about your product or service. It helps you understand what customers like and dislike about your brand. Sentiment analysis can be gathered from social media or by direct customer surveys.

Software as a Service

Software as a Service or SaaS for short, is a software licensing model and delivery method. Usually, the delivery medium is web and customers access the software from so called thin-clients like web browsers. Unlike traditional software, with SaaS, customers normally do not have to download, install or maintain the software. Rather, the software is hosted centrally on the vendor's infrastructure (web servers, databases, etc). SaaS software is also known as Web-based software, on-demand software and hosted software.

Subscription Economy

There are several ways how businesses can deliver value. Subscription economy is based on a subscription model. It differs significantly from traditional form of perpetual ownership. In subscription economy profits are not earned through one time payments. Rather, customers pay recurring subscription fees to access products and services. In subscription ecnomy, customer is the real king. From a business perspective, subscription economy is both challenging and rewarding as it allows achieving high customer lifetime value.

Subscription Model

Businesses provide value to customers in various ways. One of such ways is a subscription model. With a subscription model customers pay recurring fees at regular intervals in order to access a product or service. Subscription model was pionereed by a publishing industry. With the advent of computer software, especially with the SaaS model, subscription model has become the primary choice for delivering value. Nowadays, practically all SaaS business deliver their products and services based on a subscription model.

T

Time to First Value

Triggers

TTFV

Acronym for Time to First Value.

U

Upsell

Upsell or up-selling is a sales technique. Upsell happens when a salesperson tries to sell more expensive items or options to a customer. Upsell, like cross-sell, increases revenues. However, cross-sell and up-sell are not identical. Cross-sell is simply offering additional services or products, while up-sell is focused on selling more expensive items.

User Onboarding

The term onboarding originates from human resources and it is the process through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors in order to become effective organizational members. In the context of software, the same applies to new users. User Onboarding is the experience through which a new user goes through after purchasing the software. The goal of user onboarding is improving a user's success with a product or service.

W

Workflows