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How the Segment support team uses real-time data to help customers create and use audiences


Customer journeys can be incredibly complex. A customer might see any number of your ads, emails, links, products, and more over the course of their lifecycle. And as people do more things on the internet, companies need a way to make sense of all of this digital data.

Gathering and creating insights from this customer data is no small task. That’s where Segment comes in. Segment helps businesses understand who their customers are and use that information across every team and channel.

Their second product line, Personas, helps developers and marketers build audiences or cohorts of their users based on the information they capture from their website, apps, or SaaS platforms. With real-time audiences, businesses can engage with their customers on a whole new level.

But audiences for global enterprises with huge reach can be incredibly complex. Alex Millet, a product manager on the Personas product, realized that supporting this scale of customers required giving internal teams a new level of visibility. Here’s how he made it happen.

See how companies like DoorDash, Brex, and Amazon build custom support tools in hours with Retool.

A need to better equip support teams

What Alex found was that offering customers the power to build complex audiences through Personas created a need for Segment's support teams to be better equipped to respond to nuanced issues and incredibly detailed questions.

So Alex and his team decided to give the support team the power to understand the audiences at every level—but they encountered a couple of barriers to doing so:

  • Data was difficult to access and consolidate: Customer support couldn’t access and consolidate data to debug customer issues because they hadn't yet built a single source of truth. As Alex and his team allowed Segment customers to build more complex audiences within the Personas product, the logic got harder and harder to untangle for the support team. When customers ran into issues, the support team had to dig through layers of data from different sources, eating up precious time and resources.

  • They lacked clarity on customer support needs: Alex needed to figure out the best way to empower the Personas support team, but he didn’t know what information they were missing. He was looking for more than just a tool to serve up information, he wanted one that would help him understand which information would be most valuable to his team.

Using a data-driven dashboard to support customers

Alex turned to Retool to develop internal tools that would allow the Personas support team to better utilize detailed data from different customers’ audiences, like how they get added to or removed from a customer segment based on their actions.

For example, within Personas, customers can define the conditions of users they want to target with campaigns (to improve odds of conversion or action).

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Customers often flag bugs, but the support team didn’t always have the tools to help them—until they started using their Retool dashboard.

When responding to a ticket, customer support agents are usually looking for a specific audience and user—and their Personas Support Dashboard helps them find exactly that.

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This Retool dashboard pulls together different data sources into one timeline so that support agents can see all the information about a user or audience in one place.

Using this dashboard, a customer support agent can look at different events—when a user viewed a product, opened an email, or which ad campaign they came from—and when the user was entered into a specific audience.

“When you have 10-20 different conditions, gathering the data and understanding where the issue is coming from can be really complicated,” explains Alex.

Using the Retool dashboard helps our support team pin down where issues are coming from faster and more accurately by stitching all of our data together into a single timeline.

Supporting customers, faster

Using their Retool dashboard, Alex and his team can respond faster to customer requests with more straightforward access to data. They’re no longer digging around, looking for the source of truth, or wondering if an issue is settled.

What’s more, “Using the dashboard’s analytics helps me know which information is most helpful for our support teams, too,” explains Alex.

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“With an understanding of how they’re using our Retool dashboard, we can build better tooling for our teams and stay ahead of customer issues instead of trying to fix them after they come up.”

Empowered with better access to nuanced data, the customer support team at Segment is better able to help customers building complex audiences and making the most of their Personas product—a critical success for everyone involved. To hear more from Angelina, as well as other SaaS experts from Botkeeper, Neo4j, LeadGenius, and Remitly, check out our SaaS Lightning Demo. And learn how teams build custom support tools and success dashboards in hours with Retool.

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