Helping customers manage risk in the age of COVID-19
Nearly everyone has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a cloud technology company with customers in a multitude of industries, we’ve seen a lot of scenarios: limited (or entirely halted) operations, weakened cash flow, projects put on hold. We have also seen the flip side with some of our customers growing or expanding the use of our solutions thanks to cloud delivery.
What is certain is that it’s more important than ever to connect with customers, understand each unique situation, and provide support however we can.
I recently participated in a webinar on this subject, “Managing Risk in the Age of COVID-19” with our business partner, Gainsight, the customer success platform we use at FinancialForce, and a FinancialForce customer. We discussed how best to identify customers at risk, actions we can take now to support them, and what that will mean for the customer-vendor relationship in the long run. I encourage you to view the full webinar, but in this blog, I’ll dive into some key takeaways as well as what FinancialForce is doing to help navigate these uncertain times.
Planning for something we’d never seen: COVID-19
In early March, as the severity of pandemic became clear, the FinancialForce leadership team went into laser-focused planning mode on how we were going to protect employees, manage the business, and support the well-being and success of our customers. On the customer-front, we established a complete set of COVID-19-related initiatives heavily focused on how best to spot risks, preempt business disruption, and respond proactively.
Our product and R&D teams quickly delivered our first internal COVID-19 risk management dashboard, turning unstructured data across Salesforce and other business applications into meaningful risk analysis and threat tracking signals. These signals were applied to each customer account and came in the form of “Urgent,” “Moderate,” or “Mild” based on predefined elements. This quickly empowered us to assess the impact of COVID-19 across all areas of our business, including customer health, cash flow, pipeline, and more. The data not only provided us with powerful insight into the health of our business with context, but it also empowered our CSMs and account teams to reach out accordingly to help support customers in these uncertain times.
Introducing FinancialForce Risk Tracker – Intelligence for all
The internal dashboard proved so valuable that we decided to expand it into the powerful application we launched last week at FinancialForceX Virtual Summit. The FinancialForce Risk Tracker, a business signal processing application powered by Salesforce Einstein, is free to all FinancialForce Analytics and Salesforce Einstein users. Now everyone can access the same powerful risk analysis and threat tracking signals to help protect customer and business health related to the pandemic as well as other risk factors related to their unique situation.
It’s been just a few days since Risk Tracker has been made available, and customers are already getting immediate value from it. The application is easy to configure to your unique business so that you can establish your most important business signals, get alerts with context, and act swiftly.
Here’s what Bryan Miller, VP of HCM Practice Leadership at Blue Water Learning, said about it last week:
“FinancialForce Risk Tracker is an absolute marvel of ingenuity and a brilliant solution to a challenging problem. Tracking the impact of changes to Accounts and Opportunities with a simple hashtag that pipes into a beautiful Einstein dashboard allows sales and CS teams to focus on their customers and managers/executives to focus on the most affected areas of the business. The information is relevant and actionable immediately out of the box. It takes less than an hour to set up, and the data structure allows for the addition of additional objects. While purpose-built to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on revenue, the application for this tracker goes FAR beyond that.”
How Risk Tracker works
Opportunities, Accounts, or Contacts can be tagged with risk levels using Chatter posts (requiring no changes to existing or additional infrastructure). The application aggregates the results to provide the business with a view of the risks associated with an Account. Below is a summary of what is ultimately delivered:
Signals for tracking threats: The application dynamically aggregates unstructured comments across your business to create pre-defined risk levels.
Better, faster decisions: An Executive Summary Dashboard delivers timely, meaningful risk analysis in an easy-to-read format.
Risk analysis for all departments: Success teams, finance, services, and sales all benefit from risk analysis specific to their roles.
Predictive insights: Empowers you to assess the impact of COVID-19 across all areas of your business, including pipeline, cash flow, customer churn, and more.
Easy to configure: Incorporate the risk levels and predictive signals most important and unique to your business.
Native to the Salesforce platform: Manage FinancialForce Risk Tracker in conjunction with your existing Salesforce Einstein or FinancialForce Analytics solutions, for free.
How our customer success teams are using Risk Tracker
In the case of FinancialForce’s own customer success teams, the power of Risk Tracker was used in conjunction with the Gainsight platform to help customer success managers better support customers during the pandemic. I am proud to say, as a result, Gainsight honored FinancialForce with the COVID-19 Readiness 2020 award as part of Gainsight’s 2020 GameChanger Awards program.
Here are a few examples of what our Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are doing using the Risk Tracker within the Gainsight platform.
Proactive outreach based on threat category
In this context, for each account we built out a COVID-19 dashboard that generates a category of risk: High churn potential, low or gray space, overall health score, and a COVID-19 risk score. Using that dashboard, our CSMs are able to prioritize outreach and take appropriate action based on those scores. We have also seen really a positive collaboration between our CSMs and sales teams as they work together to coordinate the support and reach outs to customers in need.
Tracking call data
Using the same COVID-19 dashboard, CSMs can cross-reference threat signals against the system during support calls, ask appropriate questions, document responses, and adjust scores as needed. They can even add a sentiment score which feeds into the dashboard and overall health of the customer. This data is important to fine-tune as it will be reflected in updated health scores.
Elevated best practices
The brilliant thing about all of this work is that we have established elevated customer success-oriented processes that are now ingrained in our operations and will be well beyond COVID-19 – with customer success being the #1 priority.