Customer Success for your Internal Customers

Customer Success for your Internal Customers: How Autodesk built a virtuous cycle where Guru, Slack, and Gainsight all drove adoption for each other

Context

  • We have a proliferation of software.
  • There are critical systems that we are launching or updating that our end users have to comprehend and adopt.
  • Technical implementation and delivery are only the first part of the release. Driving end user adoption requires a great deal of training, education and change management.
  • This is a well known approach in terms of customer success for our external customers.
  • We have to use a similar approach for our internal customers, our colleagues for whom we are designing, building and updating systems. How do we bring a customer success mindset to support our internal users, and help drive their adoption of new technology through self-service and community-driven knowledge?

Every customer success leader has run into situations where they have implemented systems and have run into difficulties early on, less with the technical implementation, but more with gaining adoption. In a study by MIT Sloan, 63% of respondents said the pace of technological change in their workplaces is too slow, primarily due to a “lack of urgency” and poor communication about the strategic benefits of new tools.

As customer success practitioners, we drive the adoption of our product by showing the customer where the product easily integrates into their existing workflow. Here, we apply the same customer success principles to our internal users, our colleagues who use the systems we design and release.

This is a case study that highlights how we promoted the adoption of three systems by interconnecting their usage and success, creating virtuous cycles between them.

Problem Statement:

In our organization, we have implemented Gainsight for our customer success teams with the objective of delivering productivity gains; our Customer Success Managers, Customer Support and Consulting teams have access to Gainsight. Concurrently, our CSMs and Support staff also have access to Slack, which is one of the primary places they tend to collaborate. As with most other large organizations, we have a proliferation of communication and collaboration tools and channels, all of which contribute to the user experience. Equally, our internal knowledge and processes also live in many locations, without well-defined integrations or links to help connect and govern content.

Solution:

To overcome some of these fragmentation challenges with collaboration and content, we signed up with Guru to support our Gainsight launch. We started off by creating a collection of new training and enablement knowledge in Guru, and followed up by either migrating or linking through to other relevant content from our other distributed systems. Guru’s intelligent content editor and easy migration features allowed us to connect knowledge from several different sources, making the entire body of knowledge easy to search and deliver.

After building a critical knowledge mass in Guru in a few weeks, we created what we consider a virtuous adoption cycle. The cycle looks like this: Gainsight is a required system for our customer success practitioners, whether they are in customer success management, support or consulting. For Gainsight support, we direct end users to a dedicated Slack channel that we monitor and update consistently. This helps create a community in Slack dedicated to Gainsight, and Slack thereby directly supports Gainsight adoption. As end users are posing questions or raising issues in Slack, we use Guru cards to answer frequently asked questions, proliferating re-usable content, training, and instructions. Guru cards thereby support Slack adoption in distributing information about Gainsight. Another way to think about this is that the content lives in Guru, and we use Slack to propagate it at the right times to the right people, to support our Gainsight usage. Our end users can also easily search Guru directly for content once they become familiar with it.

As users have become accustomed to these connected systems, this level of self service has allowed us to scale system rollout to hundreds of end users supported by a small team, and has enabled our power users and champions to step forward and help further in driving adoption and enablement.

We are seeing higher adoption rates, week on week, for Gainsight, Guru, and Slack. The three interconnected systems are in tandem propagating adoption across the others, creating content and value in a technology stack that we prefer and are invested in.

Key takeaway:

Develop virtuous adoption cycles by integrating key systems, centered around best practices for each. Through these shared best practices, an internal culture of success will develop where innovation and collaboration can grow and thrive, reflected ultimately in success for our real customers at large.