It has been exactly a year since I have been working as a Customer Success Manager at CleverTap. The year has seen loads of ups and downs, mostly ups in terms of the learning curve I’ve had. There’s something new to grasp everyday and fresh challenges to tackle. The user analytics and engagement ecosystem is vast and only growing.
Yes, the role does sound fancy and working in a dynamic young SaaS startup is awesome. However, my job is pretty hard to explain to someone. After years of watching Friends and it’s reruns, I finally know what Chandler feels like! 😛
‘What exactly do you do?’ I am constantly asked by friends, peers and parents. I usually have to sit them down and explain that it’s a 360 degree role where I need to combine my skills of development, product management, marketing and sales in order to solve business problems for my customers. A perplexed look is what I usually receive in response to my elaborate description. So, I decided to pen down, in detail, what it is that I exactly do in my role.
Well, for starters, I liken this role to that of a soldier. Okay, I may be exaggerating this a bit with the comparison. But, trust me, while on the job, it is as good as being in a battlefield. With mines and missions to traverse, it can be a quite an adventure out there. Allow me to explain –
The role of a Customer Success Manager begins when an account is assigned. Accounts come in all shapes and sizes, right from a little app looking to change the world to massive businesses seeking to make sense out of their data and improve retention. Whatever the size of the account, they all go through the same drill, in other words missions.
This mission is most important and vital to the missions that follow, since it provides a solid base for all future communications with regards to the account.
There are no two similar businesses. An e-commerce business that sells machine tools is completely different from an app that tracks how well your child is doing at school. The crux here is to thoroughly understand the goals of a specific business, what they’d like to achieve and their current position.
In the first stage, I do my own study of the business, by visiting their website or browsing through the app, creating an account for myself and if possible, even making a dummy transaction to understand the flow from the perspective of an end user.
I try and ensure to not miss anything. I do this by asking product managers questions about the flow of the app and their understanding of what actions are typically performed on the app, as well as their opinion of where they may be losing out on engaging with the end user. I also ask the marketing team on what campaigns they envisage doing, and possible use cases they want to completely automate.
The second mission is more or less equally important as the first in helping set up the account for success with CleverTap. Since CleverTap is an events based analytics and engagement platform, it is important to optimize the events and event properties, customers send into their account on CleverTap.
This step takes time, and usually involves the product, analytics and marketing teams. Since each has a different goal, it is important for me to take in pointers from all stakeholders and then incorporate it into the event design. For example, it is vital for a product manager to know if a recently released feature on the app is actually making any footfalls or is it just a novelty. Similarly, folks from analytics would want to know whether the same feature is helping drive any engagement and if yes, by what percentage. Finally, the marketing team is keen on promoting the new feature in order to drive conversions. How do you go about ensuring the needs of all the 3 teams are met?
With 10 months of experience I can now say the answer is simple – Raise events at consequential points from within the app or website, and enrich it with event properties that make the event more meaningful. It is important to optimise events, and tag them with simple nomenclature, in order to make it easier to track, analyse and react upon.
A typical event design sheet may contain anywhere between 5 to 70 events, each providing a significant touch point from the end user. Once the event design sheet is vetted by the 3 teams, it is time to move on to the next mission!
Now that the event design sheet is ready, the customer is nicely set up to start integrating CleverTap within the app/website. This is when I directly deal with the development team. While our documentation is self-sufficient to integrate CleverTap, this mission usually takes longer to complete with divergent technical nuances and coding styles coming into the picture.
For example, the customer may want to display push notifications on Android with CTA’s, which will require them to be custom handled and be rendered by the app on the device accordingly. Or, if the customer is a news sharing app, they may want to trigger notifications from their server or content management system.
As every developer has a different perspective to solving a problem, I end up learning a lot in the process. Sometimes the knowledge and feedback helps us to improve the roadmap of our own product. Once the integration is complete, the next mission is to test the integration to ensure it is ready to be shipped to the app store.
This mission is usually a breeze, if the integration is done well. In some cases, however, there may end up being junk keys and values being raised into CleverTap, which would require intervention and cleaning up. In my observation, development teams tend to create several interesting scenarios during their integration phase, thereby leading to more situations where I need to put on my logical hat.
Once this step is completed, the customer can ship the app to the play store/take the changes to the production website from a staging environment. Oh, and I give myself a solid pat on the back. 🙂
Now that there is data flowing into CleverTap, the next logical step is to make sense out of it. Since events have already been optimized, this mission becomes simpler. CleverTap enables you to deep dive into your data and give you a complete understanding of who your users are, where they’re coming from, what they’re performing on the app and where they’re dropping off and engaging with you.
Primary metrics you’d like to track are acquisition, retention and conversion. I assist analytics and product teams in understanding how CleverTap projects this data through funnels, cohorts and trends.
Now that users have been acquired on the app, product managers & marketers can use cohorts to understand how well they’ve managed to retain these users. They can easily answer questions like ‘what percentage of users are coming back to charge on the app after their first transaction’ and can compare these cohorts across days, weeks and months, as well as compare it across geographies, and technographics, giving an in-depth view of their retention.
Funnels help understand how users are moving down your conversion journeys, how many users are viewing products, but then dropping off before adding them to the cart; and how many are adding to the cart, but do not end up making a transaction.
So, what then is then the sweet spot to target a user? This question is easily answered by CleverTap, which brings us to our final mission. Load your guns!
We built CleverTap to help businesses fuse their analytics with engagement, and avoid working in silos. With all the analytics available, we help our customers to engage with their users and drive conversions.
Customers can create past behaviour and recurring campaigns, based on historical actions their users are performing and send them an offer, or just get them back to engage with the app. They can create birthday campaigns, reminder campaigns as well as target users on specific days and times of the month! CleverTap’s real-time nature allows marketers to craft campaigns which engage with users based on actions they’re currently performing on the app/website.
This mission primarily involves understanding of different use cases and marketing challenges and help solving them using CleverTap via multiple marketing channels such as push notifications, in-app messages, SMS’s, emails and web push notifications. Since marketers need to improve acquisition, retention and conversion, they throw a plethora of fascinating plots and novel ways of using the product in order to drive home victory.
I know I have truly accomplished my missions well, when the customer finds real value with CleverTap on a regular basis, with using the product as well as meeting their own business goals.