5 Questions with Vipin Thomas of Freshworks
Freshworks is a SaaS company with a suite of business software products that includes Freshdesk, Freshservice, Freshsales, Freshchat, Freshcaller, Freshteam, and Freshmarketer. Leading their Customer Success team is Vipin Thomas, whose job is to increase retention, advocacy, and growth with existing customers.
We asked Vipin 5 questions about his role at Freshworks and this is what he had to say...
What stages have you identified in the Customer Journey at Freshworks as it pertains to Customer Success? Which criteria determine who belongs in each stage?
Onboarding is owned by a dedicated team who helps customers during the initial stages post which Customer Success comes into play for maturing, renewing, ongoing and advocacy.
Onboarding is typically a couple of days to 3 months – it really depends on the complexity of the implementation. After the customer is live, CSMs (based on their engagement with the customer) define which stage – "maturing", "ongoing" or "advocacy" – they fall into. We have developed playbooks to identify each of these stages. Renewal engagements are initiated a couple of months before the renewal date.
What criteria do you use to create your most useful customer segments?
At Freshworks, we segment our customers by product, MRR, use-case, industry, and employee size.
What factors do you use to calculate the health of your customers?
Health scores differ from each product and in many cases even with the same product, health scores may differ by each segment. Broadly, we consider the following categories when defining the health:
- Product usage. E.g. session times, Daily Active Users (DAU)
- Financial information. E.g. age of an open invoice, contractions, expansions
- Support tickets. E.g. age of open tickets, Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Customer Success Manager (CSM) Score
Depending on the scores and customer segments, we have playbooks for each.
What factors indicate to you that a customer is at risk of churn?
We consider a lot of factors to identify customers at risk. Here are a few examples:
- Product Usage compared to the previous quarter
- Long pending tickets
- Outstanding payments (over a certain period)
- Continuous negative CSAT ratings
- Detractors on NPS
- Change in stakeholders, etc.
Does Customer Success "own" a revenue target at Freshworks?
Yes, we have a net negative revenue churn target.
If you work in Customer Success and would like to participate in our "5 Questions" series, we'd love to hear from you! Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.