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AppDynamics' (Customer) Success With Net Promoter®

Blog by Ian Luck
February 14, 2018

AppDynamics, an application performance monitoring company that helps customers find bottlenecks, has been ticking all the right boxes lately. Alongside a continual stream of positive news features, the company for the last couple of years has been putting out staggering Net Promoter® scores.

[caption id="attachment_14522" align="alignright" width="402"]appdynamics-fm-arch-71-740x482 The San Francisco based AppDynamics offers a relaxed environment for both employee and customer. Source: Officelovin[/caption]

With their most recent score of 87, we sat down with Raul Reyes (Customer Relations Manager Team Lead and Certified Net Promoter Accociate within AppDynamics Customer Success division) to find out more about what NPS and Customer Success mean for them.

How is NPS positioned in your organization?

It’s right across the organization. Our HR department uses it internally to survey employees and we use it to survey our customers.

While, in relation to Customer Success we survey our entire customer base every 6 months. We then analyze the data collected and publish it.

How was NPS introduced to AppDynamics?

This directive came from the top, our CEO and our Chief of Customer Success supported it. It was introduced before I started here. They first ran it in 2012 and the score back then was a 72.

They did do a lot of research and reading around NPS, the methodology and how it helps to improve a business. Our Chief Customer Success Officer, Hatim Shafique, brought it in and he has executive buy in from everyone at C-level.

What is the value of NPS to AppDynamics, what is its primary function?

We have been able to gather some very useful feedback and apply it to our product roadmap. As customers provide feedback on say functionality or on methods that deliver training, we take that information, we give it to the groups that own that piece of the business and they implement it into the roadmap.

For example, customers have been asking for more self-service type tutorials. In response we have developed a whole library to help our customers solve problems quicker and more independently, this is all thanks to customer feedback.

The creation of a self-service tutorial library has been very successful not only in launching and onboarding new customers but also for existing customers. Refresher courses and other courses that teach about new functionality and features within AppDynamics have been widely used by our long-term members as well.

Why do you believe your NPS score to be so high?

We are very customer-centric here, like I said it comes from the top down. We have a team of technical resources that reach out to customers that are a certain level. So those bigger spending customers get a technical resource that will reach out to them, help them and guide them through their customer journey.

For the customers that didn’t spend as much, the mid-level customers get a customer relations manager like myself.

We monitor our assigned customer base’s usage and if we see areas where they may benefit from a particular tech session, we will definitely reach out to them and give them that kind of high-touch.

Two results of engaging with your customers throughout the entire customer journey are the high NPS score and an industry high response rate of (around 30%) to our NPS survey.

How is Customer Success positioned within your organization?

Customer Success is our post sales organization. Within that organization we have our Technical Support group, Education department, Technical Account Managers, Architects, Enablement Engineers, a PMO department and Customer Relations Managers.

What are some of the challenges you face in Customer Success?

As you grow a business, as you begin to scale, there are always going to be challenges. You can only add so many bodies before it starts becoming a cost factor. So as we grow, we have to find new ways to maintain Customer Success as a priority initiative.

Right now we are automating a lot of our customer touch points for the lowest segment of customers. Customers that aren’t going to spend as much but we still want to ensure they are using us and as such we still monitor them.

We are introducing automated systems that will catch some meaningful data and let us know which customers need that “just in time customer success outreach”. This is opposed to the current method of reaching out to the entire customer base just to understand how a select group is doing.

Lastly, can you tell me if and how you use product tracking to enrich your Customer Success program?

There are many companies out there that will help you monitor your customer’s usage based on metrics that you choose to be interesting.

We decided to build our own in-house product tracker. For each customer we have a dashboard, which tells us what parts of the product customers are more interested or less interested in using.

It provides us with meaningful data about where they are spending most of their time. This data we can then incorporate into the roadmap and in turn use this data to send customers meaningful useful information. For example, if we notice they are having trouble with a particular feature we can reach out and provide links to our documentation on that feature and links to our free video tutorials.

Final remarks?

Great customer success for us starts before the sale is made and continues through renewal after renewal. We continue to use all the resources and tools at our disposal and enlist the energy of every AppDynamics employee. To ensure we always provide the kind of support that doesn’t just earn stratospheric NPS scores, but guarantees that every customer achieves maximum performance and business value from all of their applications.

To read more about AppDynamics and NPS check out our biweekly NPS News.

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