5 Questions Customer Success Wants You To Have The Answers To

5 Questions Customer Success Wants You To Have The Answers To


Jan 21, 2021


What does Customer Success (CS) mean at StellarAlgo? Our CS team is involved in so many aspects of our business, from customer support to integration recommendations to influencing our product roadmap because they are our key relationship builders with our partners.


To get more specific, our CS team is here to help with onboarding and implementation, training on the platform including sharing how other teams with similar goals are using their platforms, and ultimately bringing it all together to support your organization’s growth and data-driven journey. The last item can have many different meanings, but for us, it’s about providing the tools (our platform, insights, and research) to help teams further explore their data and incrementally use that data in their decision-making process until it becomes second nature in everything they do. We like to use the adage “teach a man (or woman) to fish” because we believe in teaching and supporting, but not doing the work for our teams (there’s no growth or development in that).


We asked our Customer Success team to help us compile five of the most important things they want you to know about their role, how to get the most out of the CS services, and what they’re hearing as the most important priorities heading into the new year. Here’s what they had to say:


1. What use cases are you seeing gain the most traction in the current environment?

Lee: 2020 was a year of upheaval but our partners have really taken a step back to reevaluate what they’ve been doing and why. I’ve actually seen a number of use cases gain traction this year that I think will be so valuable in the future as well. My top 4, in no particular order are:

  1. We’re seeing many teams re-evaluate their package offerings to account for capacity limitations and potential fan behaviour changes. We’re going to be in an unpredictable supply & demand scenario in 2021 as fan sentiment and regional policies fluctuate. We’re encouraging our teams to really use their platform to smartly prioritize package buyers with the retention scoring. After package buyers are accounted for, individual ticket pricing needs to maximize the revenue across limited remaining capacity; the more flexible the better, which is why teams should be using their data platform to interpret the demand fluctuations and focus on those last-minute buyers!
  2. Some sharp teams have taken the time to look back at previous seasons to see what campaigns worked and what fell flat. Align on a couple key findings and land on a benchmark or two to work from in 2021. For example, our COPA campaigns were really successful but our fans didn’t really click with our comedy nights. Challenge established understandings and build smart goals to prove it out.
  3. Learning more about their market! This curiosity should never stop and teams have really been prioritizing sharing this knowledge. For one, we’ve brought in new data sources like census data and launched new metrics and insights like avidity, engagement and RFM scoring but teams have proactively taken those new data points to help them identify signs of change in their fans through surveys and other means. These efforts have been helping inform nurture and merch campaigns. As an example, if top-tier RFM fans are dropping in avidity / engagement it may be time to spring up some nurturing efforts.
  4. Lastly, innovative approaches to merchandise are helping to drive additional revenue. I really like the idea of mystery boxes which helped teams move some of their unused merchandise they’d already ordered for the 2020 season as well as using creative themes to drive sales. Some of my favourite campaigns this season include the Udder Tuggers campaign and the Columbia Fireflies’ COPA merch flash sales. Creative merchandise and merch in general is something that I hope teams pay more attention to in the future.


James: Lee stole our thunder with a lot of those great points but I want to add some additional colour to his last one and mention sponsorships as well. We’re seeing teams focus pretty heavily on their non-ticket sales revenue streams which includes a lot of focus on merchandise. Merchandise campaigns that are timely and relevant seem to be performing better than generic merch offers. I like to use the example of the Durham Bulls “2020 – This is some BullShirt” campaign as a really great example of a relevant and timely campaign. On the sponsorship front, we’re seeing teams look into their data more and take what they’ve learned about their fans to better support sponsor questions and help them reach the right customers at the right time too. With sponsorship activations moving digitally, there’s a lot of opportunity here and something that we’re actively exploring as a company too.


Kevin: For major league teams and annual event-based partners the major focus has been on nurturing campaigns so that fans will be engaged when sales campaigns ramp back up in the coming months. The goal of the nurturing campaigns is to identify those fans or customers who are engaging with the team/brand outside of pure ticketing sales in order to learn more about them as a demographic. This will then help inform them of ways to start tailoring their messaging when it does come time for sales outreaches. One of the ways teams are tracking effectiveness of these campaigns is by using engagement metrics. 

2. What are the top two priorities you’re hearing teams have now and how can the Customer Success team help?

Kevin: We’re here to talk through priorities with our customers and suggest approaches to use and how our platform can help answer questions with the insights we provide. From there, our customers know that they need to dig in and do the work to achieve those goals. Here are the top two things that I’m hearing teams focus on right now:


  1. How can I learn more about customers that converted in past campaigns (i.e. before COVID) and what are the similar characteristics and demographics of those customers? By the way, this is a great example of something that our platform can help you do.
  2. Be flexible and build scenarios. With so much uncertainty still on when fans will be able to return to stadiums in large numbers and when they do start to return, what the seating and capacity configuration might look like, teams are looking at how best to target customers in ways that support those uncertainties.

James: Teams are looking to get more efficient with their time and a lot of that can translate to the systems that they use. They’re evaluating the systems they use to determine if they’re getting enough value from it and looking to better leverage technology in general. We’re excited to hear more teams talk about the need for more automation and get concise about what type of automation would really help them. Is it understanding campaign performance or the ability to push lead lists directly into CRM? We can help make those things happen and we’ve been helping teams evaluate different systems.


Lee: Furloughs and reductions in staff levels across every league & team are driving a strong need for automation and efficiency wins. The old “do more with less” adage is extremely relevant as we shift to 2021. This uncertain market is also demanding that teams adapt faster than they ever have before. Automated integrations and data platform functionality can be key tools in responding to these needs.


Where does CS come in? Well, as a team gathers new market learnings, our customer data platform can facilitate rapid customer segmentation to allow teams to quickly test and learn on the new information. The CS team specifically can augment innovative segmentation approaches with a broad perspective that spans all North American leagues; something that works well for the NFL may translate well to a west coast MiLB team (and vice versa!). The CS team can also help assess team-collected marketing performance metrics and load marketing lists into the Cohort Analyzer to help organizations learn more about who they’re marketing to and who’s engaging with them.


The other priority is managing package buyers ahead of 2021 when there will undoubtedly be limited-capacity realities. Season schedules and product spreads are still influx, but teams are already identifying a need to prioritize full and partial package buyers to maximize revenue and long-term customer lifetime value. Tenure versus avidity, groups versus couples, and corporate versus personal accounts are all being evaluated as teams move closer towards driving renewals for a very different kind of season. CS can help by guiding teams to segment package buyers on traditional (tenure) and new (RFM, avidity) attributes. We can also help teams interpret new product-oriented capabilities in their lead universe to better understand who has made up package buyers in previous seasons. The specific learnings from this exercise can help adjust the activities that teams prioritize and give more insight into eventual sales rep or marketing messaging.

3.  What is one thing that teams can do to be more effective with data and getting the most value out of their StellarAlgo Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

James: Take the time to prioritize building a data-driven organization that is prepared to dive into the data, test and learn what’s working in your market, and be motivated to keep learning. Teams don’t need to have it all figured out from the start, but leaders need to set the foundation and be committed to leveraging data to make business decisions and better understand fans.


Lee: The platform is meant to be cross-functional so we highly encourage all teams to get more people using the platform and having leaders tie performance initiatives to data-driven metrics. We’ve provided census-level appends to help drive broad market understandings for every single one of our teams. One of the intentions with the appends is to use it to build on what teams already know about their fans and identify market segments teams potentially under-index in; then embark on a growth strategy. The platform and our single customer view is very well suited to helping teams measure customer acquisition efforts so teams need to come to the table with even just some basic growth targets and resources to execute. We can help from there!


4. What areas are you seeing efforts paying the biggest dividends for teams?

All: We might sound like a broken record but segmentation! Teams that commit to testing and learning and not being afraid to try new things are more often than not rewarded handsomely. For teams who have our dynamic list functionality, being able to automatically remove fans from a list after they’ve converted has been really helpful too. We had one team who used this functionality to invite single game buyers to their select-a-seat event and then subsequently got removed from the ad campaign when they signed-up for the event. Our Cohort Analyzer showed that their dynamic list resulted in over $30k from their targeted list.


Lastly, renewals and credit rollovers. 2020 was such a crazy year and it required teams to be even more active with their season ticket members even though they were dealing with significantly less resources. The retention and credit/refund dashboards really helped teams understand where to put more of their efforts and have helped track and forecast what 2021 might look like depending on capacity allowances.

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5. What do you wish more teams would do OR what do you wish teams spent more time on with their CS reps?

James: First and foremost I would love to see teams do more testing and learning, especially with the segments they create. Don’t be afraid to try something! There’s no exact marketing formula that will work for every team, in every market so the more teams are willing to try using really targeted criteria with a really targeted message, the more they’ll learn. It also goes without saying that saving all your segments in your platform and actively going back to look at the results to help you create your next campaign list is so important.


Lee: Data has to be at the core of all organizational activities, which means that it’s not just one person or a small group of people who should be using it. Sometimes our main contacts are from marketing, sometimes it’s ticketing, and other times it’s leadership; I would love to see teams move beyond relying on those one or two resources to leverage data and move towards multiple departments using data to set goals and measure their own performance. We can help with that and it’s something I’d especially love to help more teams do.

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