How Fitbit is *rocking* Customer Success

This is the last in our series about Fitbit and Customer Success. In the last three videos, we talked about how Fitbit can teach us (almost) everything we need to know about Customer Success and made analogies between personal fitness trackers and Customer Success.

This time, we’re going to look at how Fitbit is actually doing Customer Success. Because in addition to providing fertile ground for making analogies, as a business, Fitbit is actually doing a phenomenal job at Customer Success. So in this last video, we’re going to look at Fitbit as a case study in Customer Success.

To frame the mechanics of their business, here’s how it works:

  • They sell a personal fitness tracker, which is a physical device that connects to an app on your phone or website on your PC
  • They’ve got about 10 different models priced from $49 to $250, in addition to a variety of accessories, like watch bands
  • They’ve also got a premium subscription service for $50/yr

In sum, they’re selling a hardware device with a number of optional accessories and a subscription service all supported by a mobile app and website.

As a B2C company, they’re selling their product to millions of people and at a relatively low price point – so we know off the bat that their Customer Success strategy is going to be automated, scalable, and low cost. Whether you’ve got millions of customers or hundreds, the objectives of Customer Success are going to be the same:

  • More logins (daily activity)
  • More revenue

Of course, we know that customers who login more and spend more are those that are getting more value from your product. That’s a given. So, what is Fitbit doing to achieve these two Customer Success objectives. Let’s see:

First, let’s look at how they’re driving logins (daily activity):

  • They’re sending lifecycle emails, related to the product puchased. Some examples:
    – “Today is the day! Your order has been shipped.” – Getting me excited about my purchase
    – “Say hello to your Blaze” – Welcoming me to the product
    – “Blaze 101” – a weekly email teaching me how to use the product
    These are there most impactful tactics – driving directly to value and ongoing usage.
  • These are interspersed with more general emails that apply to all customers:
    – “Check out the 2 newest features from Fitbit”
    – “Find your perfect step goal”
    – “Be good to your heart with these 12 heart-healthy foods”
    These are a little less focused, but still driving to more frequent usage and value.
  • And then there are automated emails related directly to usage of the product, such as this one:
    – “Your battery is low: here’s what you can do.” – Here, they’re preventing a negative – battery death, which can be a big problem with battery powered hardware devices – as we know from my other video on the Arlo security cam.
  • Finally, outside of communications to the customer, they’re making ongoing improvements to the product itself: – They’ve gone from a very simple pedometer in 2011 to a product that gives you all kinds of reasons to check in every day…and even hourly
    – With these new features, come many opportunities for Fitbit to bring cusotmers back to the device or app, such as:
    – Weekly progress report emails
    – Badge notifications
    – And messages or challenges from friends
    Product improvements are obviously more of a long term activity and involve many aspects of the business. That said, you can see that their teams are working hard to drive daily usage, which is perhaps the prime factor in cultivating successful customers (for most businesses). As a Customer Success leader, you’ll want to be involved in helping the product team build features that drive daily activity and value.

Now let’s look at driving revenue:

  • They’re doing it through cross-sell and up-sell emails:
    – “The new Fitbit Blaze is finally here” – This one worked on me – I bought the Blaze
    – “Fitbit Alta is now available”
    – “Fitbit Blaze and Alta now available” – As you can see here, they’ve made a bit of a mistake, since I’d already purchased the Blaze… which is a problem with their drip email campaign rules not totally being in sync

And finally, let’s look at their customer service, which straddles both primary objectives. To ensure that customers are using the product every day and are in a position to purchase more of it, customer service has got to ensure that customers are not having any problems that would prevent them from doing so. So, let’s look at Fitbit’s customer service as it relates to an issue I had with my Fitbit Zip.

  • Back in 2013, I purchased a Fitbit Zip – and earlier this year, I lost the piece that keeps the battery in, so I contacted customer support to see if I could get a new one
  • The response I received was that my Fitbit was out of warranty, so they couldn’t replace the piece, but they could give me a 25% discount on a future purchase
  • I took the 25% and bought the much more expense and feature-rich Fitbit Blaze

This is a great example for how they took a customer problem – a potentially fatal problem in terms of Customer Success, in that the product was no longer working at all – and turned it around into a revenue opportunity. To boot, since their product had improved so much since the last time I purchased a Fitbit, it also resulted in dramatically boosting daily activity.

All around, Fitbit is doing an excellent job at driving daily activity and revenue, while fighting fires with their customer service. I give them an “A” for B2C Customer Success at scale. And that concludes our series on How Fitbit teaches you (almost) everything you need to know about Customer Success. Hope you enjoyed and we’ll see you next time.

What you can learn about Customer Success from Fitbit’s “drinking-water” goal

This is the third in our series about how the Fitbit teaches you (almost) everything you need to know about Customer Success.

Today, we’re going to talk about Fitbit’s secondary goals. Fitbit’s core mechanic is taking steps (which we talk about in another video), but there are a number of secondary goals you can track – all of which contribute to your overall health and fitness.

You can set goals around:

  • Sleep
  • Calories eaten
  • Active minutes per day
  • Various forms of exercise like biking and running
  • And even a goal for your daily water consumption

Some of these goals may be relevant to you and others not. You can see that I haven’t logged any water consumption – as it’s not a goal that is important to me.

For the purposes of your Customer Success efforts, you’ll want to set one or two core behavioral goals for your customers. These will be your primary success objectives, similar to the 10,000 steps a day goal in Fitbit. We recommend that you set your core Customer Success goals to: logging-in often and spending more.

Beyond your core goals, you’ll want to set a number of secondary goals all of which help you create a more fit customer base. Just as the water goal didn’t apply to me, some of these goals may be relevant only for a specific customer segment. For example:

  • A real estate service may have different feature-usage goals for its brokers and consumers
  • Or a b2b company with high value accounts, might have a specific content consumption goal just for decision makers or C-level users

Each of these secondary goals should aim to reinforce a known successful behavior for a particular customer segment.

Over the years, Sparked has looked at many datasets and interviewed numerous teams about their customer success efforts. Across the board, we’ve found that the teams that set up specific and measurable goals for their customers, are those that win.

How Fitbit’s step-mechanics apply to Customer Success

In a previous video, we talked about how Fitbit teaches you (almost) everything you need to know about Customer Success. In that video, we talked about the high-level concept of “Customer Fitness.” Beyond the conceptual-level, we can learn a lot about Customer Success from Fitbit’s core mechanic: taking steps.

While there are a lot of other activities you can track on your Fitbit, steps is the core. If you walk 10,000 steps per day, you’re generally going to be in good shape. As you can see from my screenshot, I kicked butt on my step goal on Saturday, but I’m going to need to do some serious stepping this afternoon to hit my goal.

The parallel for your business is: logins (a.k.a. daily activity). Logins is the core customer activity that drives your customer’s health. At Sparked, we’ve worked with many types of businessess over many years, and we can tell you conclusively that more frequent activity is a universally a good thing. There are a couple of edge-case exceptions, but boosting daily activity should be the primary objective for your Customer Success efforts. If you’re just getting your Customer Success efforts off the ground, start with boosting daily activity.

By framing customer fitness around daily activity, you’ll be able to discover many of the blockers that are preventing your customers from using your app more actively – just as the Fitbit frames personal fitness around stepping, which helps you figure out why you’re sitting on your butt all day long and how to buck that trend.

In fact, you can visualize daily activity just like you look at your steps in Fitbit. Here’s a graph from the Sparked CustomerFit™ product, which, as you can see, is very much inspired by personal fitness trackers. Using a graph like this, it’s easy to see (and to celebrate) your daily success. Don’t underestimate the motivational value to yourself and your team of celebrating your successes. Fitbit is built around daily motivation and your Customer Success efforts will benefit from it as well.

Now, there are a lot of ways that you might formulate your Customer Success strategy, but if you start with what we call the “Fitbit feature set,” or tracking and celebrating daily activity – you’ll be well on your way to a more fit customer base.

How Fitbit teaches you (almost) everything you need to know about Customer Success

Today’s topic is how personal fitness trackers, like Fitbit, teach you almost everything you need to know about Customer Success.

The key insight in comparing Fitbit to your Customer Success efforts is the very simple concept of “fitness.” When you buy a Fitbit, you’re interested in improving your health – in becoming more fit. And the Fitbit gives you all kinds of ways to track, measure, and evaluate your own personal fitness.

As a Customer Success leader, your task is figuring out how to attach a Fitbit to each of your customers. But of course you wouldn’t use a real FitBit (that would be creepy). Instead, you want to track, measure, and evaluate the behaviors within your product that add up to being a fit customer for your business.

At Sparked, we boil customer fitness down to two key behaviors:

  • logging in often
  • and spending more

These are the two behaviors that drive the success of most businesses (yours may be slightly different).

Of course, customers who login often and who spend more are also likely to be getting more value from your product. At the end of the day, bringing value to both the business and to your customer is what Customer Success is about.

In sum, just as getting fit is your end-goal when you buy a Fitbit, creating more fit customers should be the end-goal for your Customer Success efforts.