In today’s newsletter, I’m going to share 3 very simple tips that you can execute to improve the efficiency of your high-touch CSM teams.
As pressure to “do more with less” is at an all-time high, right now is the best time to invest in processes and systems that will help CSMs spend more time customer-facing, and less time doing administrative tasks.
You don’t want to be the company that spends all of its effort rolling out playbooks and processes, only to find out that nobody has enough time and capacity to actually leverage your plays. Or worse, the company that burns everyone out due to high expectations and low support.
Instead, focus on these 3 plays this year and build the foundations for a scalable high-touch Customer Success Team in 2023.
Track Customer Trends
You can’t improve the things you don’t measure. A few years ago, my team was seeing a spike in churn and downgrade requests. We had a bunch of anecdotal feedback about what was fueling the requests. Some were product-related, others pricing and so on and so forth.
But without data to size up these problems, it was hard to know where to start in order to have the biggest impact. And how do you actually measure impact, if you don’t have the benchmark data?
Instead of jumping into solution mode, I worked with our operations team to launch a customer trends tracker in the CRM. Where after each engagement a CSM had the option to log:
Success Health Prediction: this was a dropdown that indicated whether a customer was at risk, at the adoption phase, or ready for expansion.
Prediction Reasons: depending on the drop-down they selected, they could use a pre-defined reason for their choice ( eg. at risk -> not seeing ROI with the product) with an option to leave further comments.
This enabled us to stay ahead of risk and opportunities, forecast better, collaborate with cross-functional teams and roll out solutions at scale.
So whatever you do, make sure you can capture and analyse customer trends.
Automate Your Workflows
Many companies have a Customer Journey Map in a beautiful slide deck, but when you look at how their processes and systems are designed, it’s up to the CSM to make sure they are following the “steps”.
This is especially true for companies that are not using Customer Success Platforms, instead relying solely on their CRM as the system to manage the CS Team’s work.
CSMs that manage their book of business manually, spend a lot of time just trying to prioritise between the important and urgent needs of customers and always end up more reactive. They end up in static and siloed spreadsheets where they are deciding what actions need to be taken and executing them manually.
Trust me, I’ve had quite a few teams in that situation and the time suck is real!
A better system takes the customer journey and combines it with adoption data, and sets triggers based on where the customer is at. For example, if a usage drop occurs, a nurturing workflow can automatically send customer content that will help them improve adoption or even have a CTA to have a call with the CSM.
If you don’t have the budget for a Customer Success Platform, you can still improve this by automating workflows using your CRM or simple automation tools.
Auto Generate Presentations
Last year I researched how many hours on average CSMs spend putting presentations together. The answer was 5-8 hours per week or 4 days per month. That’s 20% of a CSM’s time.
Sessions like Enterprise Business Reviews have the potential to bring a lot of value to customers and your business, but they require CSMs to come armed with valuable data about their usage, ROI, benchmarking across other customers etc.
It’s a heavy lift.
Even when we provide templates, there is still a lot of Copy+Paste going on.
Last year my team started using Matik. We plugged our Snowflake database to Matik and boom, now we can create an entire EBR in one click.
We have quadrupled the number of EBRs we are able to deliver by doing it.
Well, that’s it for today!
- Track Customer Trends
- Automate Your Workflows
- Auto Generate Presentations
3 short lessons, but very impactful when you get them right.
See you next Friday.