Preflight Pointers: Top Leading and Lagging Customer Success Metrics

Varun Goel of Zendesk and Aditya Maheshwari of AppsFlyer on the leading and lagging CS metrics to track
Srikrishnan Ganesan
April 21, 2021
Preflight Conversations
Main Illustration:
Krishna Kumar

Preflight Pointers: Top Leading and Lagging Customer Success Metrics

Varun Goel of Zendesk and Aditya Maheshwari of AppsFlyer on the leading and lagging CS metrics to track
Srikrishnan Ganesan
April 21, 2021
Preflight Conversations
Main Illustration:
Krishna Kumar

In This Post


Tracking customer success metrics is the key to understanding how your customers use and derive value from your product. 

But...

When there are countless metrics to track and measure, choosing the ones that best capture your business can get overwhelming. 

So we asked Preflight community members what some of the crucial metrics are that they monitor and how they track them in their organization. Here’s a quick list of leading and lagging Customer Success metrics from our experts, Varun Goel from Zendesk and Aditya Maheshwari from AppsFlyer.

Top Customer Success Metrics to track and measure

Varun Goel, Head of Customer Success, Zendesk

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to metrics. Each business and industry is unique. However, tracking the adoption rate and utilization of your offerings tells you where it all stands. Some of the metrics to follow are:

  • The number of licenses and features adopted
  • CSAT (to an extent)
  • Escalations
  • Level of stakeholder engagement and overall engagement (R/Y/G)
  • New opportunities
  • Upsell and cross-sell opportunities that improve overall stickiness

How you track these metrics and what metrics you use to evaluate your CS team are important questions to answer, too.

Aditya Maheshwari, Head of Customer Success, AppsFlyer

AppsFlyer built a framework of leading and lagging metrics that helps them stay on track, ensure progress, and helps customers succeed.

Leading Metrics

Feature Adoption: CSMs keep a feature adoptions report handy when they pitch a feature to the customers. Over a period of time, they measure the number of times the features are opened and used. 

Upsells: CSMs monitor and let the sales team know when an opportunity to upsell a core package or an additional feature has come up. Upsell indication is the CSMs’ way of letting the sales team know that they’ve created value and would now like them to start a commercial discussion with the customer. They measure the number of indications opened as well as the ones that converted into opportunities.

Significant Relationships: The AppsFlyer team built a framework to map and measure the relationship strength with their “Contacts.” Contacts are a small list of high-frequency users, champions, advocates, supporters, decision-makers, and saboteurs.

Number of Executive Business Reviews: Executive Business Reviews, also known as QBRs, is a quarterly meeting with the customers. These meetings strengthen the relationship between you and your customers. This will help you highlight the ROI and value created and have honest discussions on wins and shortcomings. 

Red Flags / No. of days open / No. of days since the last update: These are some indicators of a possible churn in the future. Red flags aren’t necessarily bad because they help the team get the attention of larger internal teams.

Lagging Metrics 

Some of the lagging metrics measured at AppsFlyer:

  • MRR/ARR
  • NPS
  • Number of support tickets every 30 days
  • Churned accounts with Red Flag(s)
  • Voluntary Churn
  • Downgrades
  • Net Retention Rate
  • Gross Retention Rate 

What customer success metrics are you tracking?

There are dozens of metrics to track and it varies depending on your product and industry. What metrics do you have on your radar? Mention in the comments below!

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Srikrishnan Ganesan
Co-founder, Rocketlane

Love technology and start-ups. Your friendly neighbourhood CX and onboarding enthusiast. Follow me on Twitter @srikrishnang

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