Lagging & Leading Indicators: Part 1 Silent Behaviours

2 minute read

March 1, 2022

Lagging & Leading Indicators: Part 1 Silent Behaviours

A few weeks ago, Planhat hosted a webinar on how to be a leader on lagging indicators where Christian Jakenfelds chatted with Higher Logic’s Chief Customer Officer, Jay Nathan, Smartly’s CCO, Ryane Laredo, and Kerry Cunnigham of 6Sense and co-author of the Demand Unit Waterfall.  

Today, we look at how Silent Behaviours (leading indicators) can shape NPS and other lagging indicators.  

“Customers you don’t hear from are 3 to 14 times more likely to churn than the customers that give you a detractor rating.” Understanding how leading indicators can impact your overall customer success outcomes is so important. 

With three different perspectives on customer success and the use of leading indicators, the Planhat webinar was incredibly insightful and well-rounded on how leading indicators are not only useful in building customer health scores, but also in contributing to customer conversations and expansion efforts.   

We hope you enjoy part 1 of the series!! 

Takeaway #1: Silent Behaviours are Paramount 

Ryane at Smartly discussed the importance of understanding the leading indicators that contribute to a lagging indicator such as Net Promoter Score (NPS).  

NPS has always been treated as an overall indication of customer experience and a predictor on future business growth but there are many indicators that contribute to an NPS, and these steps in the customer journey need to be assessed and reviewed.  

If you can acutely review these steps, or leading indicators, you can most likely predict (with much more accuracy and efficiency) your lagging indicators. The key to reviewing these? Addressing your customers’ silent actions. 

Consumption and usage are important leading indicators, but what happens in the quiet spaces of your customer journey can tell you a lot more about your product and your customers’ experience. 

Observing the silent behaviours is paramount: “Where are they [customers] getting stuck in their value journey?” Ryane made a point to question. It’s crucial customer success leaders answer this to understand the leading indicators of customer satisfaction, and to indeed, improve customer health scores and understanding.  

Where are we not hearing, and what are we not understanding that is leading to the lagging indicators: Understanding all the touch points we have that could predict outcomes because it is not always straight forward. We need to “Engage where we are not hearing from people,” Ryane said, and CS leaders should be engaging in all types of cadences – “balancing it with intimacy is a real focus for us,” she stated.  

Jay made an excellent point to back this up: “There’s a statistic that the customers you don’t hear from are 3 to 14 times more likely to churn than the customers that give you a detractor rating,” so in terms of improving customer retention, understanding the silent customers or the customers with silent behaviours is so important and one of the more influential aspects of leading indicators.  

If you’re interested in part 2, make sure to tune in tomorrow to find out How to Track Customer Success Metrics That Lead to Better Outcomes. 

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Nuala Cronin

Written by Nuala Cronin

Nuala is the Content Marketing Manager at Vanilla by Higher Logic. She has adored writing since a young age and graduated with a Master's Degree in Publishing and Literature from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

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