Adam Troman

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Data-driven Customer Success
By Adam Troman, Senior Director for Northern Europe Customer Success, SAS

It really fascinates me just how few companies drink their own champagne – by that I mean companies using their own products and services in the day-to-day working environment.

Through innovative AI and analytics, SAS provides knowledge in the moments that matter. For over 40 years we have been the leaders in driving insight through data and analytics, so it makes sense that we use our own tools to drive strategy and actions based off the data we have.

In the Northern Europe Customer Success team we are using our Visual Analytics solution to drive insight on customer health and satisfaction. We review each customer based on certain criteria such as overall health and satisfaction, relationship strength, adoption and usage, current projects in flight, technical support tickets and the overall commercial environment. This analysis highlights trends at a macro level we can react to and also enables us to be more proactive in the future and pinpoint specific customer needs.

By using Visual Analytics we are able to better serve our customer base and ensure we maximise our efforts to increase and maintain customer satisfaction. Insight is critical to making the right decisions at the right time while also preparing for potential future events. Agility is increased, giving us an edge in the market.

Customer Success Managers are the voice of the customer within SAS, which is why we share our insights with other teams such as marketing, customer advisory, business value and sales. This enables us to present a ‘one SAS’ approach to the customer, ensuring their success with our products and solutions. Collaboration across departments means we get a unified strategy to work towards, which in turn better serves our customers.

I’m often asked about the future of Customer Success and where it is heading. I truly believe utilising data and analytics to drive insights is how customer success functions and renewals teams will be able to hit stretch targets in the future – higher retention rates, more adoption and usage and more expansion and advocacy. It just so happens that we are operating in a company that is the world leader in data and analytics so it always gives me great pleasure when I speak to customers to let them know that we too are using SAS products and solutions to ensure we make the right decisions at the right time.

There is currently a lot of noise around AI, and discussions in Customer Success circles are no different. How will we be able to harness the power of AI in the future? Many thoughts on this are centred on using AI to help automate certain activities, particularly in the 1 to many model of customer success. Highlighting next best actions, potential risks and servicing customers automatically may well be the way AI is used in Customer Success, but the pitfalls must also be considered and ethical AI is a hot topic at SAS in particular, especially as the pace of AI is pretty breath-taking. As always, bad data in, bad data out is a mantra for a reason and through experience and it is no different with AI.

I’ve always liked the adage ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ and it is easy to base decisions on little data because you have no choice. What I am striving for in Customer Success at SAS is a data driven culture that uses information to gain insights that are valuable and can be executed upon to the benefit of the customer and the benefit of SAS. Anticipating future risks and trends will lead to a better customer experience and help build trust with the customer. At SAS we have been driving a data approach for over 40 years, so I’m looking forward to using our products and solutions more and more to help my team better serve our customers.

Adam Troman

Senior Director for Northern Europe Customer Success, SAS

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