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Voiceflow helps teams design, prototype, collaborate and ship conversational apps across any voice or chat channel. As a player in the PLG space, their product is used by individuals, small teams and enterprises alike.

I chatted with Daniel D'Souza who leads Voiceflow's Customer Success team. His team is responsible for all enterprise accounts, from agencies to huge retailers like Home Depot and banks such as US Bank.

The Success Foundation

Given that there was nothing in place when he joined, Daniel's first challenge was to set up Voiceflow's post-sales processes and tooling.

It was critical that everything he setup allowed the team to deliver a proactive experience for their top accounts. Some things they would need to closely monitor included which accounts are healthy, how users within those accounts are engaging, and who are the promoters or advocates.

Ultimately this helps his team drive net revenue retention,

From the business perspective, the number one goal the team is measured against is the ability to retain and increase revenue.

When Daniel unpacked his methodology for achieving this goal, he broke things up into 4 main categories:

  • Onboarding Success - Achieving speedy adoption and flattening the learning curve are top priorities.
  • Equipping power users - Identify and equip users who are going to be spending lots of time in the product and evangelizing it to their peers.
  • Workflow optimization - Optimize the customer day-to-day by partnering with anyone at the company trying to build conversational AI products.
  • Tying product to business goals - Make sure that everything the team is doing is helping customers achieve their goals of shipping products faster and more effectively than before.

From Product Analytics to Customer Analytics

Before Calixa, the primary tool that Daniel used for tracking customer engagement was Mixpanel.

As with many PLG companies, Voiceflow is a mix of enterprise and B2C. We're selling to new customers, but we also have a ton of individual users who are all using the product for their unique everyday needs. An account may have, upwards of 60 individual users and we need to have a pulse on all of those users.

Mixpanel was doing a great job of surfacing product data and finding trends. But it was clear that it wasn't designed to help the CSM team keep track of all the different users within Voiceflow's accounts. Daniel routinely wanted to go from a high level account health view to zoom in on individual user behavior. This was tricky in Mixpanel.

We are a very product-driven CS team, so we spend a lot of time looking at product analytics and inferring from the data. Having a tool that's able to aggregate a lot of that data and make it really easy to read and understand in an organized way that allows us to zoom in and out was exactly what we were looking to for.

Daniel also wanted to make sure the team was engaging with customers in a proactive manner whenever possible. For this to scale, it was important for automation to become a core part of their workflow.

The Customer Data Layer

Calixa gave Voiceflow a customer-centric interface that helped them sift through all of their user and account data and automate key parts of their workflow to save tons of time.

I think of Calixa as the middle customer data layer that ingests all the raw data from Segment and other sources, organizes it, then using automations, sends it to whatever tool I need to in a lightweight fashion.

Getting started was completely painless as Voiceflow was able to connect their Segment, Intercom, Sentry and Stripe accounts in a matter of minutes, all without having to involve a developer.

The Power of Automation

As soon as Voiceflow connected their tools, Daniel hit the ground running by creating automations that would allow his team to reduce the time they were spending manually checking account statuses dramatically.

I just want to be able to notify customers of what's happening proactively, without having to dig through each single account every week.

Here are a couple examples of the ways Voiceflow has configured Calixa automations today:

  • They receive a Slack alert if account's weekly usage is lower than expected.
  • Product usage thresholds trigger a webhook alert which updates a shared Airtable account health dashboard.

Daniel and team are big fans of Calixa's webhook automations and are regularly thinking about how this data can be leveraged in other parts of their workflow.

With Calixa, going from insight to automation with the webhook was super easy because I was able to build the segments I was looking for, see the results, then create the automation. I was confident it was going to be pumping out exactly what I needed. Also, the webhook format actually worked for my team's workflow whereas I could not figure out the structure of Mixpanel's API.

Saving Hours a Week

Manually keeping track of individual usage on top accounts was previously a laborious process. Multiple times a week, Daniel would have to calculate and report on the "product scores" (an internal metric based on how active an account was) from each customer. This process would take him anywhere from two to four hours and always opened up unnecessary rabbit holes.

Searching for and tracking inactive accounts was another 1-2 hours a week. Now, with Calixa, he gets Slack notifications whenever usage drops below important thresholds and he can reach out to help. Not only is he saving time, but he is able to be more proactive with top accounts.

Each Calixa automation saved me at least two hours of work, each week. I no longer have to manually jump from customer to customer to analyze the same data. Instead, I just see everything in one condensed view that allows me to prioritize really quickly.

Advice for other CS leaders

Daniel expressed that Customer Success tooling generally feels like an after thought. Given that the role is becoming so much more data-centric, it's no longer nice to have, but now a requirement for anyone in Customer Success to be able to marry your customer and product data in one place.

The reality is that if you're on a CS Team at a product led company, you don't have many tools that are designed for you, and this is one of the biggest challenges that Calixa is solving for. Everyone should check out Calixa. It will make your life a lot easier.