Customer Success Leadership Community

How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

  • 1.  How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Moderator
    Posted 11-06-2020 07:54
    We just held our first CS Leadership Office Hours for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Great discussion and looking forward to a monthly recurrence. 

    @MARGARET FOLEY brought up a great question...

    How to identify and measure *time to first value* metric for customers?

    @Gary Rubinstein
    @Bodin Pollard
    ​​​​​
    #Outcomes

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    Jeff Breunsbach
    Founder, Gain Grow Retain
    Director of CX at Higher Logic
    Top 25 Influencer 2020
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  • 2.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Moderator
    Posted 11-06-2020 09:48
    For us it was asking our customers what they though the first big "a ha" moment is.  Whether through a phone conversation or some form of a survey - we were trying to gain consensus on what our customers thought.  From there we used product/customer success platform to track when customers achieved that value and, in theory, could celebrate the occasion through automation or something to that degree.

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    Brian Hartley
    Senior Director, Customer Success
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  • 3.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Posted 11-06-2020 13:33
    @Brian Hartley Does your answer require that you have usage data about what customers are doing?​​

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    Alissa Wilczynski
    Zemax
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  • 4.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Moderator
    Posted 11-06-2020 13:37
    Yes, in theory we would have the data on hand to know what they are doing.

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    Brian Hartley
    Senior Director, Customer Success
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  • 5.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Posted 11-09-2020 15:38

    One of my clients is trying to figure out the same thing. They're self-serve on their lower plans and don't know that exact a-ha moment for those customers. I'm looking forward to conducting customer interviews to find out. 

    Thanks for sharing your experience. 👍👍



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    Anita Toth
    Customer Retention/Churn Consultant
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  • 6.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Posted 11-10-2020 07:34

    Forgive my long response which may or may not address part of this question. It hits on something near and dear to my heart.

    Measuring value is the million dollar question. This tends to be one of the bigger challenges Customer Success teams face. It really begins in the sales cycle. In an ideal world sales works with the client to get very clear on what their business outcomes are and how they plan to measure that. The Customer Success team would then carry that work forward in helping the client measure their success and determine the value they are receiving from the solution. Unfortunately what we often find is this value step is either missed completely by sales or has not been defined clearly enough in the sales cycle which is why when the Customer Success teams engage with the clients, the clients aren't clear on how to measure their success.  

    Ideally any markers for determining true value should be defined by the customer. If we are the ones defining it we may or may not be measuring the right thing. Adoption does not always translate into value though it is an indicator. In the absence of input from the client all we really have is whatever data we have access to. 

    if you are trying to have discussions with your clients around what value looks like to them here are some questions you may want to ask:

    - what metrics do you currently track that will help you determine your success with the solution?
    - what changes in these metrics are you expecting to see?
    - how quickly are you expecting to see the changes? When will you first know that you are on the right track?
    - how will you know if this has not been successful?
    - how can I support you moving forward in measuring these outcomes?

    if the customer cannot answer these questions it's going to be a challenge and could be a red flag. You may want to offer up other metrics that clients are using to help get them thinking about it.  There is a reason they bought the solution and I would suggest going back to what prompted them to look for a solution. What was wrong, not getting done, too painful, taking too much time, etc. that caused them to want to buy this new solution?  What metrics are these pain points attached to and how can you quantify the impact of your solution on these metrics?



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    Kelly Moertle
    KCM Coaching, LLC
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  • 7.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Posted 11-10-2020 09:55
    Great reply @Kelly Moertle.  I love the questions you posed and have made a note of them. ​👍👍

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    Anita Toth
    Customer Retention/Churn Consultant
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  • 8.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Posted 11-10-2020 16:17

    Great posts all around.  At Quorum we've developed 4 value propositions for each product that effectively define why the client is buying that product.  Those value props are identified in the sales cycle and then during the kickoff call with the CSM we stack-rank those with the client.  That aligns objectives explicitly.  The stack rank then defines the onboarding experience in terms of how/when we train and the level of involvement from the CSM.  We've established product usage thresholds (by product feature and use case) to determine when a client is 'exploring' a product (value prop) and when it has been fully 'adopted.'   Those first, second, third, etc adoption milestones are built into our customer journey and give CSMs a roadmap for how and when to engage.  It also helps us during business reviews as we can go back to the stack rank of the kickoff call and review how and when that value was achieved.  

    Admittedly this has taken us the better part of a year to put together, and it's still very much in its' infancy.  But it's completely changed how we view client health.  



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    Andrew Shoaff
    Vice President, Customer Success
    Quorum
    Washington
    7037865672
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  • 9.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Posted 11-10-2020 16:55

    Congrats @Andrew Shoaff to you and your team for figuring this all out. Sounds​​ like it was a lot of work but it's starting to bear fruit. 👍👍



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    Anita Toth
    Customer Retention/Churn Consultant
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  • 10.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Posted 11-10-2020 20:25
    @Andrew Shoaff  I love this!  I can appreciate that this hard work has taken the better part of a year and my guess is it wasn't easy work which is why many companies have difficulty getting to where you are.  My guess is this will pay dividends 10x over for your company.    I especially like the intentionality of how what you've put together follows the customer journey from the sales cycle to onboarding to adoption where value is assessed along the way.  Very impressive and I hope it serves you well.   ​

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    Kelly Moertle
    KCM Coaching, LLC
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  • 11.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Posted 11-24-2020 17:50
    @Kelly Moertle, I love your point that, "Ideally any markers for determining true value should be defined by the customer. If we are the ones defining it we may or may not be measuring the right thing."

    First value is not what you think, it's what your customers think. You reveal first value by listening to customers. I like to interview at least five to ten customers in a particular segment or users of a unique product, and then see what trends appear. Explore what's important to customers by asking them the following:
    • How do you know you achieve value in your product?

    • Do you have an 'aha!' moment? If so, what is it and how do you arrive at 'aha?'

    • How long does it take to achieve value or 'aha?'

    • What are the obstacles that prevent you from reaching first value?

    • What tools do you need to reach first value quickly?

    I wrote this article on how to determine first value and then decrease the time to reach it. 
    Seven ways to decrease time to first value

    Cheers,
    Donna

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    Donna Weber
    President, Springboard Solutions
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  • 12.  RE: How to identify and measure *time to first value metric* for customers?

    Posted 11-12-2020 03:35
    For me, it has to be the time to first aha moment or time to first milestone. Time to first value can be instantaneous in most cases. Take for example my company ringcentral. If a customer didnt have a phone service and now they have a phone service, that's instant value. But that is too easy and sometimes too easy provides little value

    But how do we provide that first value where it makes them say, I am glad we went with ringcentral. For me, it is getting their IVR up and running and they hear that first, Thank you for calling Cusromer Name, for sales press 1. They instantly feel official. Like their company turned a milestone by having a professional auto attendant

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    Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Customer Success Manager
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