Defining the Activated Customer Segment to improve customer retention

Gorgias Talent
October 21, 2020
Noemie joined the Growth Operations Team in May 2020 as an Intern. She has now transitioned to a full-time team member and is responsible for automating Customer relationship management (CRM).

Much of the conversation about automation in the modern workplace centers around job replacement or job creation. While it is currently impossible to accurately predict if technology will create more jobs than it replaces in the future - we can say that many companies today are incorporating automation to streamline manual tasks and support goals. 

Take Gorgias for example. Gorgias is an automated helpdesk for eCommerce merchants. Gorgias has also been incorporating automation to support its own growth since its inception. CEO Romain Lapeyre discussed at SAASTR, how Gorgias used data and automation to close its first 1000 customers as an early-stage startup. In those days, the team focused heavily on collecting data and automating it into the CRM.

Gorgias team members are able to review all client information to make better decisions about which sales channels to invest in and how to provide individualized attention to each client.

The team built a system that would automatically track changes and updates in data, from channels such as Stripe (customer payments), Gong (sales conversations), and Vitally (account information). Every bit of information about a client, ranging from where they first heard about Gorgias to their history of interactions with account executives, was automatically tracked with Segment and enriched in Hubspot. Gorgias team members are able to review all client information to make better decisions about which sales channels to invest in and how to provide individualized attention to each client. Automation also freed up team members to focus on developing relationships with clients, instead of spending valuable time manually updating data. 

Integrating Data for Smarter Decision Making

Gorgias CEO Romain Lapeyre, stresses the importance of making decisions based on real-time data. He also emphasizes how data integration from different channels while a company is still in its early stages is vital for long-term success. In the case of Gorgias, the founders have made an effort to preserve the culture that generated the company’s first 1000 customers. Even though Gorgias currently boasts over 4000 customers and 80 team members, team members can still rely on an automated, integrated system of data for direction. We sat down with Noémie Happi Nono from the Growth Operations Team to discuss the ways she is currently using data, automation, and integration to define Gorgias’ customer segments. 

Noémie works on the Growth Operations Team which is responsible for automating the CRM. Her team empowers almost every other team at Gorgias - including, sales, business development, growth, and marketing. Their projects focus on making sure data is accurate, clean, centralized, and readily available for teams to access. This data provides direction for pursuing new leads, facilitating the onboarding process, allowing account managers to provide individualized attention to clients - among supporting other important goals. But now that Gorgias is growing at an unprecedented pace and boasting thousands of accounts - there is a need to take the data one step further. 

“We use data to support growth and onboard new customers - but we also want to make sure we are making the right decisions for every kind of customer based on their segment,”

Noémie’s current project centers around structuring the data to provide insight into customers - specifically to classify customers into the correct segments. “We use data to support growth and onboard new customers - but we also want to make sure we are making the right decisions for every kind of customer based on their segment,” Noémie explains. While Gorgias had built customer segments 2 years ago, they need to be updated and refined as the company continues to grow. Noémie is especially focused on the activated segment. “What does it mean to be a healthy, activated customer? What are the key features that define the activated customer segment?” 

Defining the Activated Customer Segment to improve customer retention

Noémie’s team agrees on what the activated segment should look like and its overall goal - to improve customer retention. “The activation segment can be thought of as following the onboarding process - activation is one of the main goals for the Success team. The customer has been through the trial period and is now using Gorgias. They have discovered the top features of the Gorgias product and the value we can provide. Our Success team wants to make sure these customers are happy and healthy. They may even be ready to upgrade.” 

Defining the activated segment through data is another story - and one that not everyone agrees on. For instance, what % of billable tickets used per account each month should be used to categorize an activated account? How many inactive days should be allowed before a client is no longer part of the activated customer segment? Noémie and her team are turning to the data for answers. 

In order to gain insight, Noémie and her team tracked data and developed machine learning models for analysis. As we’ve seen, Gorgias emphasizes the importance of accurate, real-time data integration. Noémie is able to access any information she needs through Segment and creates dashboards through Periscope. She’ll also utilize SQL to combine data and finally run it through Python for analysis. 

After rounds of analysis, Noémie and her team decided to maintain the original threshold of 2% billable tickets for defining the activated customer segment. However, the team decided to reduce the number of inactive days qualifying activated customers. Turns out, activated accounts don’t have more than 2-3 days of inactivity on the helpdesk. 

What's next? Reconstructing the stages of the customer journey before activation

Defining the activated customer segment is only the first step. Understanding the nuances of this customer segment is important not only for growth but for the retention rate as well.

Defining the activated customer segment is only the first step. Understanding the nuances of this customer segment is important not only for growth but for the retention rate as well. The more ways the Gorgias team can analyze the customer activated segment, the better positioned they will be to reach important goals.

The next step for Noémie and her team is reconstructing the stages of the customer journey before activation. This will make it easier to measure the impact of the Success team’s strategy and provide greater insight into how to bring customers into the activated segment. Considering how Gorgias has been successful through data automation and integration in the past, there is no doubt that Noémie and her team’s project will produce something groundbreaking. 

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