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Article Frontline Intelligence For Customer Success

Lauren Sickel Jan 26, 2022

The most successful businesses put their customers at the center of their businesses. And to do that, they must be able to listen to customers at scale and quickly take the right actions. The challenge is that there are so many customer touchpoints and it’s easy for the signal to get lost in the noise.

Think of all the customer emails, calls, CRM notes, customer interviews, and more spread all across your business. It’s really hard to make sense of all that qualitative data at scale and put it in the context of priority customer needs.

So teams spend weeks trying to comb through the data, collecting anecdotes, and interviewing frontline teams to get a sense of what they are hearing. It takes a heroic effort from customer and product team leaders. As a software company, we’ve been there too: It’s time-consuming, there is a constant risk of recency bias, and it often leads to heated debates on what to do without a whole lot of hard data. It makes us slower than we want to be as a business.

So we’re solving that here at Quala. We call it frontline intelligence.

What Is Frontline Intelligence?

Frontline teams know what they are hearing from customers. They pick up on unmet customer needs; gaps in the customer experience; and new capabilities from competitors.

The trouble is in quantifying the details to drive decision-making across the business. How many customers said that? Which customers? How valuable are those customers? How are those customers using the product already? What should we do about it?

Frontline intelligence is the ability to find the signal in the noise of day-to-day customer interactions to inform the right business decisions and take the right actions for each customer.

Quala gets all of the key customer signals together in one place such as emails, calls, chats, CRM notes, and product use. We make that data easily minable by customer and product leaders to quantify what customers are actually saying and what frontline teams are hearing.

Equipped with that data, these leaders can inform product roadmaps, customer experience strategies, and responses to competitor activity.

Customer Success teams can also further use those insights to operationalize customer workflows to serve, retain, and upsell.

What Makes Frontline Intelligence Different?

Quala breaks down the data silos across different business systems and communication channels. With critical data in one place, Quala mines all of the messy qualitative input to quantify feature and issue prevalence. There’s no other easy way to do that. Even better, Customer Success teams can use this new data set to trigger automated workflows.

Customer Signals With Context

Quala keeps track of customer conversations, how customers use your product or service, and what your team observes. Importantly, all of this data is in the context of the revenue value of a given customer and the health of a customer in a single data feed. We do this through a rich set of integrations with top systems and our powerful API.

Insight Quantified

Quala lets you mine customer interactions for topics of interest. How many customers mentioned a given feature? Which customers, and how valuable are they to the business? Which customers are asking about features they aren’t yet using and might need help getting started? We’re creating hard data from qualitative signals that help the business take the right actions.

Action Triggers

There is a lot you can do with all of that data. For Customer Success teams using Quala, our automation engine triggers workflows off of just about any data point in Quala so you engage customers in a timely, situation-specific way. That could be customer education; an upsell opportunity; or an at-risk/ retention situation. We’ve templated top workflows to make it easy to get started. Action triggers are an optional feature in Quala that may not be needed by all teams.

Benefits of Frontline Intelligence

With frontline intelligence’s automation abilities, companies now have access to real-time insights that allow them to make decisions and see business results almost immediately.

Here’s a brief look at some of the end benefits that Quala offers.

Customer-Centricity

It’s estimated that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by around 125% and decrease costs by around 25%. Happy customers make for a solid business, and frontline intelligence’s customer-centric focus can help you get there.

Quala’s platform organizes messy customer signals in one place, giving you the visibility and insight that drives product roadmaps, customer strategies, and more to better serve your whole book of business.

At a micro level, data signals from individual customers can trigger customer workflows to help you offer an upsell at the right time; get ahead of product education needs; or retain a customer that’s been talking about a competitor’s features.

Data-Backed Decision Making

Highly data-driven organizations are three times more likely to report significant improvements in decision-making compared to those who rely less on data. While you might have a “gut” feeling on what to do, Quala provides the hard data to drive data-backed decision making.

Quala allows you to mine qualitative data streams such as emails, CRM notes, frontline assessments, and more to trend topics of interest over time, by customer, and by customer value. Trying to decide which feature to prioritize in your roadmap? Get the hard data on how often those features come up in conversations, all tied back to specific customer mentions, customer value, customer health, and product usage.

Faster Decision Making

Management studies have shown that decision-making effectiveness is 95% correlated with financial performance. Quala’s frontline intelligence enables you to make better decisions faster based on sound information.

Quala mines through qualitative data streams in real time. Our platform also keeps you and key stakeholders updated on important changes, with notifications alerting you to customer behavior trends, workflow progress, renewal dates, and more. The milestones feature allows you to track how your choices and key events affect your business. All of these insights enable faster decision making, rooted in hard data.

Employee Empowerment

Roughly 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they felt better appreciated by their employers, with around 71% of executives admitting that employee engagement is critical to a company’s success.

A solid frontline intelligence platform that fosters engagement with employees is essential. Quala gives frontline teams a voice by mining their notes in CRM systems such as Salesforce, and giving them a channel for direct input into the business through Quala’s qualitative assessments. What hidden gems are hidden in CRM notes? Who is reading all of those notes and making sense of them today? Employees that feel heard will feel empowered, and ultimately will work harder for the business. That’s a win for everyone.

3 Steps To Take

While we may be biased about how every company should take advantage of our frontline intelligence, you need to consider some steps to ensure that you can be proactive from the get-go.

1. Is keeping a pulse on customers a priority?

Are you in an industry with rapidly evolving customer needs? Are you imagining something new for customers that hasn’t been done before? Would an upstart competitor die to chip away at your market? There are so many reasons to listen to customers, particularly in rapidly growing SaaS businesses. If being close to your customers is important, keep reading.

2. How are frontline insights used today (if at all)?

How are day-to-day customer interactions used to inform business decisions today? How easy is it for you to create business cases rooted in hard customer data for initiatives that you know are critical for the business? Does it take weeks to get all of the data in one place? Does it drain resources from other work? Are there lots of conflicting opinions but not a whole lot of clear data? Applying Quala’s frontline intelligence to create a fact base for these decisions could help.

3. Request Our Demo

If keeping a pulse on customers is important to your business, and it’s hard to quantify the signal through all the noise, it’s time to think seriously about Quala’s frontline intelligence.

You can request a free demo and see firsthand how Quala’s frontline intelligence informs business decisions. For Customer Success teams, we can even go a step further and help you operationalize customer workflows.