Tracking Customer Interactions in Salesforce and Mapping to Gainsight?

  • 17 February 2017
  • 7 replies

I'd like guidance on how others have their CSMs track interactions with customers (emails, phone calls, meetings, etc.) in Salesforce and how they map these interactions in Gainsight using milestones or other reporting. Our team does not have a current standard on how to track customer interactions in Salesforce which is frustrating to our Sales team and as I roll out a clear standard of how we are going to use Salesforce to show visibility into our interaction with customers, I'd appreciate guidance on how other Gainsight customers do this. Thanks in advance for your help!

Best answer by dan_ahrens 18 February 2017, 00:58

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7 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +4
In our November release, Gainsight released Timeline in our 360 pages for exactly this reason - CSMs have a place to track their activities and notes.  We also allow you to push these into SFDC Activities - that is what we would recommend for tracking CSM interactions.  In the upcoming release, we are adding capabilities to allow you to define custom activity types (for tracking different types of interactions).  It is still marked as Beta as we plan to add reporting capabilities that are not yet available.

This would allow your CSMs to stay in Gainsight and give the Sales folks visibility by leveraging the push to SFDC Activities.  Let us know what you think.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7
We currently have our CSMs keeping a running record of their conversations with customers in the Gainsight Customer Summary field, the one that's visible on the C360. We have a Rule that pushes that content nightly into a field on the Account object, so that folks in the company without a Gainsight license can see it. There are several reasons that this isn't ideal, including that there's a character limit on that Summary field. But it's better than the haphazard approach we had before.

My plan is to convert our team to using the Timeline feature, and leveraging Gainsight's syncing feature to push those activities to Salesforce Tasks. I'm a little held back on doing that until Gainsight releases features that let me push several things into the Timeline:

  • The existing Summary comments
  • Zendesk comments (which are stored on a Custom Object in Salesforce, thanks to the Zendesk-to-Salesforce integration)
  • Salesforce Tasks created by Yesware from emails that the CSMs are sending from gmail
We do not currently use Milestones, since their primary value seems to be to view them in Gainsight reports, and we use few enough of those reports that it hasn't been worth the effort to set up & maintain Milestone creation. But I see their value to mark key moments in the customer lifetime, and I'd love to get around to using them at some point. I just think they'd be ill-used to mark [i]every interaction with a customer, since it'd obscure the milestones that are truly substantial, like a Detractor NPS response or a customer existing Launch.

If you want to learn more about Timeline, you can do so here, but I just got a notification email today that Gainsight is changing the system it uses to store its documentation, so this link will break at some point this weekend :-)
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Thanks for the details above, Seth. 

Just a quick note on the link - we are making a system update, but the old pages should still forward to the new page. At least that's the intent. :)

If you have any issues after the update to our support site you can either post in community or email
Userlevel 7
Badge +7
Oh excellent! Sorry for the misleading info there. I apparently read all the parts of this except for the last clause -- oops

We're moving all of our product documentation to a new platform, which also means the URLs for individual articles are changing. If you use bookmarks to access particular articles, you will be redirected to the new site.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
No worries at all Seth. You're such a helpful contributor on community - we are glad to have you!

I hope you're planning on attending Pulse - I'd like to meet the guy who has such great ideas and feedback on our community boards.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
@Jessica - there are some exciting new features in the February Gainsight release (coming next week):

  • very nice rich text capabilities - bulleted lists, bold, underline, etc.
  • date/time of the call is configurable
  • attendees that are contacts are able to be clicked directly to take you to the contact page
  • addition of custom fields (like status and trending in the example below
  • many more

I would wholeheartedly recommend using Timeline for your customer interaction documentation needs!
Userlevel 7
Badge +7
Thanks Dan! Just got approval to attend and booked my plane tix! Can't wait, had an incredible time last year. Would love to meet up.