How-to: Use custom properties in People CRM

Custom properties enable you to pass back any user level data back to a person in People CRM. This data is then searchable, sortable and filterable along with everything else in the People dashboard.


Default (special) properties in People CRM

GoSquared will automatically track some special properties for each profile, such as a user’s country or their number of pageviews. We also have properties that we recommend you track or update, such as their email address and name – read a full list of recommend properties.


Why track custom properties?

Custom properties are crucial for bringing together data tracked on different platforms into a single, centralised location. For example, account information might be located in a MySQL database and sales metrics in an online CRM such as Salesforce. By integrating those into People Analytics through custom properties, you can vastly improve your workflow by having all information available to you in a single interface in real-time.

People CRM is a significant step up from having to not only swap between multiple platforms but also reduces the ‘learning curve’ for sales and marketing teams who no longer have to learn a database language in order to manipulate the same set of data.
 

Custom properties for SaaS

SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses tend to keep track of certain metrics and types of information about their customers, such as monthly recurring revenue, subscription plan, activation rate, billing details, who the account manager is and a ton of other user account information.

SaaS businesses can take advantage of custom properties to track metrics and information that would normally be scattered across a variety of platforms. Here are several types of metrics you should consider implementing into People Analytics as custom properties:

Numerical data (eg, recurring revenue per customer)

As SaaS business models tend to focus on a recurring subscription, MRR (monthly recurring revenue) per customer or the subscription value is an ideal metric to pass back as a custom property to GoSquared.

Tracking MRR as a custom property will look like this:

_gs('identify', {
  email: 'email@email.com'
  custom: {
    MRR: 50  
  }
});

You can put any numerical value for MRR as it’s only required to define the “type” of the data. In this case, GoSquared will identify MRR as a “number” value.

PA Custom 1

Once this custom property is set up, you can view, sort and filter users by their MRR in the People dashboard with any other special properties.

PA Custom 2

Tracking users’ MRR in People CRM allows you to build more comprehensive queries to understand each individual paying user. Because information and data is pulled directly from the user account, revenue from each paying user will be displayed.

For an example of using users’ MRR in a query, have a look at our how-to guide for identifying customer churn risk. Alternatives to MRR include custom properties such as transaction value and lifetime value.

Text based data such as Heard About on a signup form

A “Heard About” field on a signup form is a common question that a site might ask. Tracking this information in People CRM is incredibly valuable.

Tracking Heard About as a custom property will look like this:

_gs('identify', {
  email: 'email@email.com'
  custom: {
    heard_about: 'Facebook'  
  }
});

PA Custom 3

Heard About allows you to know where users first heard of your service, allowing you identify where marketing efforts might be most successful in driving signups, whether on social platforms, blogs, mentions by others or more. Text values are highly flexible as users are not restricted to a certain number of options to choose from, making it effective for other properties such as Company Name.

Timestamp data such as activation metrics

You can also pass back timestamped data to People Analytics and this is incredibly useful for activation metrics, billing and plan cycle information. Activated is a custom property that can be defined in a variety of ways, depending on what set of events your company considered are needed for a user to be considered ‘active’. For example, simply signing up for an account may not be considered activation, while actually using the service for the first time may be.

The Activated property will look like this:

_gs('identify', {
  email: 'email@email.com'
  custom: {
    activated: 2015-03-03T15:00:00+00:00
  }
});

The Activated property can be tracked as a “Date / Time” value, and you can quickly build a sequence of behaviours by a user based on how many ‘steps’ the user goes through in the activation process.

Note that tracking Activation can also be implemented as an event, rather than a property, Events are useful in People CRM as they show up on user activity feeds to form a timeline of actions, allowing you to see the specific process of actions a user takes as long as enough events are bound to possible actions on your website.

Linking to other user accounts in other services

You can also pass back hyperlinks as a custom property to GoSquared. This means that you can create a one click link to a customer's profile in your billing service, sales CRM or internal HQ. For example, Recurly is a billing platform that we use at GoSquared, and accounts can be linked to your user accounts through a custom property like so:

_gs('identify', {
  email: 'email@email.com'
  custom: {
    recurly_link: 'https://yoursite.recurly.com/accounts/1337'
  }
});

PA Custom 4

This gives you quick access to a user’s Recurly profile so that you can make subscription edits in a matter of a couple of clicks. Setting up one click hyperlinks to other services dramatically increases the productivity of your team.

Conclusion

Custom properties are an important function of People CRM, the process of combining user data from other services with their real-time behaviour is what makes GoSquared People such a powerful tool for your business.

With custom properties, you can:

  • Track data and information in a single interface without swapping between a variety of apps and services.
  • Build more targeted and useful Smart Groups to gain insight into particular groups of users.
  • Understand user actions and behaviours on an individual level through their activity feeds.

The more custom properties and events you have, the more comprehensive the user profile will be, making it easier to understand and segment your customers. If you have any questions or issues with setting up custom properties, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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