How SpatialChat, a SaaS communications platform, catalyzes growth with Avenue
Product: Immersive video chat
HQ: Cyprus, with a globally distributed team
Challenge: Keeping teammates updated about key monetization metrics and streamlining customer onboarding as the company scales
Key result: 20% faster customer onboarding
“People don’t look at dashboards on a daily basis,” Danny Chepenko, Head of Growth and Data at SpatialChat, said with a sigh. “I needed a way to keep the team informed and up-to-date at all times.”
Danny has worked at SpatialChat since 2020, when he joined to lead product development and spearhead the company’s growth. His efforts proved massively successful: the immersive video chat platform grew to millions of dollars in annual recurring revenue within the first year, attracting customers ranging from Ivy League universities to Fortune 500 companies.
The speed and scale of this growth came with a number of challenges. When SpatialChat went from a founder-led growth model to a product-led model, Danny needed a way to alert sales-facing teams whenever a customer needed help onboarding or had an urgent issue with the product.
🛣️ The road to Avenue
Previously, Danny relied on a duct-taped collection of tools, including dashboards, Zapier, and Make, to communicate visibility and handle alerting.
The downsides of dashboards were numerous:
Lack of regular review: Danny couldn’t guarantee that the CEO and other team members were regularly checking them for critical metrics.
Reactive problem-solving: Because the dashboards only offered a point-in-time measurement, the team was reacting to changes in data instead of being made aware of proactive issues.
Disorganized and disparate management tools: Workflow automation tooling [like Zapier and Make], which Danny used, created a huge amount of spaghetti code that was hard to maintain.
Danny learned about Avenue by chance. “I wasn’t even looking for an operational analytics solution when I came across Avenue,” Danny said. “But when I read more about the tool, I was intrigued — Avenue addressed problems I actually had.”
👀 Tracking key growth metrics
The first signals SpatialChat wanted to track were around the current state of the company’s key monetization metrics, like MRR (monthly recurring revenue) and churn rate. In ten minutes, Danny connected Avenue directly to SpatialChat’s data warehouse, Slack, and Zendesk. He set up alerts that notified him of customer churn risk or declines in weekly revenue, and had those sync directly to Slack channels that SpatialChat’s customer success teams referenced every week. Even the CEO receives this information through notifications in a structured format, so he doesn’t have to remember to regularly visit a dashboard.
“I like how easy it is to edit these alerts based on what our employees find useful,” Danny noted. “For example, I initially had the MRR alerts set up on a daily basis, but my colleagues said the signal-to-noise ratio was off, so I adjusted these to send at the beginning or end of the week so the team had time to reflect and take action. I’m also frequently adding more notifications as necessary.”
"I like how easy it is to edit these alerts based on what our employees find useful."
Tracking these monetization metrics via Slack has reduced the analytics team’s reliance on Business Intelligence (BI) tools, which often served up stale data. “I love that I can get notified quickly when something is looking off, like if MRR has decreased all of a sudden,” Danny said. “Sure, it’s good to look at a dashboard and know that MRR was down last month, but it’s far more powerful to get an alert immediately when MRR drops so we explore the right actions to take.”
📈 Increasing the effectiveness of sales and customer success
Receiving timely alerts about changes in monetization metrics was just the beginning for SpatialChat. What really changed the game was the alerts that Danny set up in Avenue about new customer sign ups and customer churn. These alerts have helped SpatialChat streamline its onboarding process, reduce customer churn, and adapt its monetization strategy.
Since SpatialChat transitioned to a self-service signup model, the company needed a way to know exactly when new customers signed up and were ready to be walked through the product. Danny also wanted to make sure customers received a white glove onboarding experience, especially if they were high-value or strategic accounts.
SpatialChat’s customer success team now receives instant alerts in Slack when a new customer signs up.
Attached to these alerts is a playbook that Danny configured that stipulates exactly what steps the customer success team needs to follow.
Avenue enables the customer success team to track the completion of these tasks right within Slack, and some actions can be taken with a simple button click from within Slack. The result: 20% faster customer onboarding.
Danny uses Avenue in a similar way to minimize customer churn. If a customer is at risk of churning, as detected by certain signals (e.g., a lack of logins or drop in product engagement), the customer success team can automatically receive an alert. Just as with the onboarding process, the team receives a playbook with specific steps to follow; many of these steps can be done right within Slack.
🚀 Fueling growth
As SpatialChat continues to grow, the company is always willing and eager to adapt its monetization strategy. Avenue helps with this, too. The tool looks out for accounts on SpatialChat’s free plan and sends details about these accounts to Slack. While customer-facing teams take action to upsell customers, Danny and other leaders in the company monitor what features customers are utilizing to determine how best to price and package SpatialChat.
With Avenue, SpatialChat has increased sales productivity and decreased time spent digging through dashboards. And, using Avenue integrations, the team was able to keep Slack as their centralized collaboration tool. Finally, now that SpatialChat can connect its data warehouse directly to Avenue, the company has shifted away from its dependency on Zapier and Make.
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