Ep. 99 | David Jackson How Can You Not Have a Health Score that Tracks Value Delivered?

Helping Sells Radio reaches across the pond to speak to David Jackson, CEO of TheCustomer.co following his recent talk at Pulse Europe 2018 titled, How to Construct a Predictive Health Score With or Without Usage Data, that he gave with Charli Rogers, Vice President, Client Success at Yext. The subject of that talk alone is more than enough reason to have David on the show. But digging further, David has a unique perspective on product-led customer success, which is timely with Gainsight's acquisition of Aptrinsic, and his views on simplifying customer are music to our ears. 

 David Jackson of TheCustomer.co on Helping Sells Radio by ServiceRocket Media


You might say we are approaching the next era of customer success. As David calls it. Customer Success 2.0. Well, he used to call it that. Now he calls it product-led customer success, which is much more specific. It makes sense that customer success is evolving into a broader discipline designed to help customers achieve outcomes, and if we are selling them a product, we might want to help them use that product in service of the pursuit of their outcomes.

"Why do people buy software in the first place?" asked David. 

They have an outcome in mind. 

And yet...

We don't always measure success in the right way. 

Look at it this way, if our product promises benefits (outcomes) and our sales team is selling benefits (outcomes), our customer success teams should help a customer achieve those benefits (outcomes). Right?

Not necessarily. We use health scores as a means for measuring success, which might be the right thing to do. But David asks, "How can you not have a health score that tracks value that's delivered?" If we don't deliver those benefits, we're never going to get that net expansion we are all looking for. 

So why aren't we measuring customer success based on whether they are achieving all of those benefits we promised? 

"I struggle to understand how we can talk about customer success and not make that the focus of what we measure."

Do customers expect us to be domain experts?

You might say that if customers were attracted to the promised our product makes and persuaded by the benefits our sales team is selling that when they buy, we're going to help them realize those benefits. That is a tall order when you think about about varied our customer base it. Don't they all have unique outcomes? Isn't that why too many customer success experts say we cannot define the word "value" because every customer is different? 

"Our customers expect us to be experts in our domain," says David. "Maybe our role is to say to customers, 'hey listen. This is what you should be measuring. We need to be politely prescriptive."

We need to lead. 

Other things we talked about

Learn more about David

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Bill Cushard

Written by Bill Cushard

Bill Cushard covers the intersection of learning, software adoption, and customer success. His career has focused on helping companies adopt disruptive software through learning, change management, communications, and implementations that help people get the most out the software.

Bill Cushard is also the author of the 2018 book, The Art of Agile Marketing: A Practical Roadmap for Implementing Kanban and Scrum in Jira and Confluence.