Creating High-Quality CTAs

  • 28 November 2023
  • 14 replies
  • 254 views

Userlevel 7
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I posted this elsewhere, and it got some traction, so re-firing the conversation here in the Community.

 

We nearly all work in Calls to Action (CTAs), as they the currency within Gainsight that folks spend time creating, updating monitoring, closing, etc. So they are important...so important that it’s reasonable to ask: “What makes for a high-quality CTA?” I wrote the following to help my stakeholders design their CTAs, and to guide them gently into best practices for a CTA:

 

A high-quality Call to Action (CTA) has the following characteristics.

  • Benefits the customer.
    • CTAs should have a clear benefit to the customer.
    • CTAs tend to be built with an internal lens, benefiting the CS team. While this is a great bonus, the purpose of the CTA itself should ultimately have customer-benefiting properties.
  • Has a desired outcome.
    • CTAs are rarely work unto themselves. Rather, we complete the CTA to attain an outcome.
    • What is that outcome?
    • Why is that outcome important?
  • Lives within a process.
    • The CTA aligns to a business process, outcome and strategy.
    • The CTA should likely have a Playbook.
  • Is actionable.
    • It’s in the name. It’s a Call to Action.
    • Gainsight is a system of action.
    • Informative, reminder or “anniversary” CTAs have little value. They clutter the Cockpit views and lessen priority on actionable CTAs.
    • If we need to notify someone for awareness, we’ll use a non-CTA mechanism.
  • Has a clear origin.
    • If automated, it should be clear to any Gainsight user what trigger or what data caused the CTA to fire.
    • Understanding why a Gainsight User has received a CTA will make it more actionable.
  • Has a clear conclusion, manifesting as a Due Date.
    • CTAs should not live in perpetuity. If CTAs live on forever, they lose their impact.
    • There might be some corner cases why a CTA should live on, but this is the exception and not the rule.
  • Is measured for impact.
    • ​​​​​​​This one is tricky, and takes some advanced analytics. However, hopefully we’re analyzing which CTAs work and which CTAs don’t, so we can do more of the former and less of the latter.

 

What else would you add?


14 replies

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for sharing this gold-mine of information @matthew_lind ! 🔥

Userlevel 7
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@matthew_lind out here dropping awesome wisdom nuggets per the usual!

Userlevel 5
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I would add make CTAs as automated as is reasonable.  Some examples:

  • If there is an existing field, status, or stage that indicates the CTA should be closed, have it auto-close when that requirement is met
  • If the entire process could take 6 months and includes a lot of if/then logic, break it into smaller CTAs that only fire for the circumstances when they happen vs expecting the end user to continue monitoring
  • Have as many CTAs as possible “pushed” to the cockpit via Journey Orchestrator or Rules vs expecting the end user to “pull” the CTA and know the correct type, reason, playbook, etc.
  • Use tokens / linked objects so end user do not need to navigate to as many systems to resolve the CTA
Userlevel 5
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I’d only add to the point about “Clear Origin” that it should also be a reliable/high-fidelity data source.  The quickest way to ruin adoption of a tool or process is to product false-positives to the users.  Thanks for the knowledge drop, going to use this to help support our new CTA initiatives!

Userlevel 7
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I’m back with the other side of the story...some low-quality CTAs you should try to avoid.

 

Userlevel 4
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Love all of this knowledge @matthew_lind, thank you for sharing! I can see this being shared with admins new to Gainsight to help them learn about CTAs!

Userlevel 7
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I can see this being shared with admins new to Gainsight to help them learn about CTAs!

 

There’s probably an spin on “The Bachelor” or some other pop culture reference: This CTA gets a rose; and that CTA should just go home.

 

Userlevel 4
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I can see this being shared with admins new to Gainsight to help them learn about CTAs!

 

There’s probably an spin on “The Bachelor” or some other pop culture reference: This CTA gets a rose; and that CTA should just go home.

 

Love this! 🤣

  • If we need to notify someone for awareness, we’ll use a non-CTA mechanism.

Are you raising this for folks within Gainsight or using other channels like Slack for these non-actionable notifications? 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9
  • If we need to notify someone for awareness, we’ll use a non-CTA mechanism.

Are you raising this for folks within Gainsight or using other channels like Slack for these non-actionable notifications? 

 

At risk of shirking the question, you could do something inside Gainsight or outside. For example, for things like “90 days to renewal”, I tend to favor Dashboards, so individuals can see how many customers and how much ARR is in that state. (Unless, of course, there’s an actual specific process-centric Playbook you want to use at 90 days to renewal, in which case a CTA is excellent.)

I’ve also seen some successful Slack notifications, for example for a Closed-Won renewal or survey responses that don’t otherwise require a Playbook/CTA combination.

Userlevel 5
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This is awesome 😍
I’m saving both posts to have as guidance for our internal CTA audit, thanks for sharing your wisdom @matthew_lind !

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@matthew_lind What CTAs are active in your Gainsight instance these days? We are revising our CTA list and I’d love some examples of high-quality CTAs that have worked for other companies! 

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When working with a Scale CS team, I’d also add that a high-quality CTA often consists of 2+ points of criteria. To keep customer outreach and intervention scalable and balanced throughout the lifecycle, it’s helpful to marry up several points of criteria in a single CTA (Ex. point in lifecycle, overall customer health, granular usage, date since last contact, etc). 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

a high-quality CTA often consists of 2+ points of criteria

Now that is some awesome input. Adding criteria can really add value to your CTAs by ensuring they are only firing for the ideal, impactful moments, rather than flooding your CSMs with busy work and noise.

Right now I’m focused on Handover CTAs, to ease reassignment transitions, and some very focused Usage CTAs. Our data science team put some outstanding churn data + usage patterns down before us; we in turn operationalized that data. We can credibly tell our CSMs that our analysis shows customers exhibiting this usage pattern are more likely to churn, and thus warrant an intervention.

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