New Alliance Wants to Make Customers Zealots PulseConf2014

Collecting big data without creating ways for employees to use it is like saving big money without having anyplace to spend it -- impressive, perhaps, but useless.

Gainsight appears to have drawn the same conclusion. It just announced an alliance with five data services that is designed to empower employees and transform customers into zealots.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based customer success company today unveiled Gainsight Connect at Pulse2014, a trade show in San Francisco that it cosponsors with Salesforce, Hoopla, Zuora, Infer, Service Rocket, Fliptop, the Customer Success Association and others.

Data + People = Success

Connect isn't fancy. It's a partnership with DataHug,, BoulderLogic, Hoopla and ToutApp "to more deeply integrate their data and capabilities into the Gainsight platform," said Joe Dang, a product marketing manager at Gainsight. "It's not just about data analytics. It's about taking action within a reference management system with BoulderLogic or managing your team and motivating them with Hoopla ... We're really investing in the people and how to get them to do their job better."

The potential for big data to improve customer relationships, of course, has generated nearly endless chatter over recent years. Now there's a rising tide of companies creating data-driven tools to help people -- particularly employees -- apply that data to build customer success and loyalty. 

This new emphasis on improving customer outcomes complements the long-running investments in customer relationship management (CRM) software. In a recent interview with CMSWire, Gartner Research Director Yvette Cameron noted companies are spending about four times as much on CRM tools as they do on human capital management (HCM) software. "With the workforce costing about 70 percent of what a company spends, that seems lopsided," Cameron said.

"That interview inspired us to chat with her," said Dang. "We're going to be collaborating [with Cameron] on some HCM and talent science work in the next couple of months, analyzing how a team does their work and giving them the capabilities to become more efficient, to reach more people, to turn more folks into advocates with things like BoulderLogic and Hoopla. That's where we think the future of customer success is going."

Gang of Five

Although the Gainsight Connect alliance could be expanded, the initial five participants already cover a broad landscape of engagement, mobile and motivational technologies:

  • DataHug analyzes emails, scores engagement health and maps connections both inside and outside organizations
  • offers real-time usage analysis through smartphones, tablets and other channels
  • BoulderLogic drives customer engagement and referrals by applifying customer advocacy and reference workflow
  • Hoopla brings gamification techniques to monitor employee performance and motivate teams
  • ToutApp monitors email engagement and automates delivery to drive team efficiency

"The integration of our two solutions means that the customer reference activity of our joint customers can be brought to bear on the data models used to reduce churn, increase up-sell and rive adoption," Jose Horwitz, CEO of BoulderLogic, said in a statement.

Practical Advantage

Existing customers of Gainsight or any of its five partners will have to be paying subscribers of the other services to derive value from Gainsight Connect. But Dang said the platform allows its customers to move forward more easily than they could if they tried to integrate the systems themselves. "Instead of people coming up with the idea themselves, we are bringing the solutions together," he said.

Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta said the new system will not only increase customer-centric data, but will enhable customer success teams to identify the exact human factors that make a customer ready to buy more. "People are the heart of customer success," he said.

Title image by David P. Lewis / Shutterstock.