Resolutions for Success

New Year’s resolutions are as well-intentioned and grandiose as they are ephemeral. Resolutions about a healthy lifestyle follow weeks of gorging on delicacies, but go out the window by the second appointment at the gym, or when someone brings a gigantic box of jelly donuts to the office. Self-improvement is hard (and not very enforceable, since we’re our own worst enemy), but becoming better at our jobs is a necessity since we’re accountable to our teams. The key to success then, is to take on resolutions that are simple and produce tangible results that encourage you to stay the course.

In that spirit, here are seven 2016 resolutions for every rock star Customer Success professional.

1.) Make Like a PI and Profile

When your company starts to pick up speed and gain many accounts, it’s important that you’re able to swiftly assess each customers’ business and know how to proceed with their personalized onboarding process. Customization is easier to do if you pre-segment your customer base into the related cohorts. For example, if a new customer comes from a particular industry, you can customize the onboarding process to emphasize the features they are more likely to appreciate. Customer profiles help you take the guesswork out of your account maintenance and is guaranteed to allow you perform better in less time.

2.) Be Proactive (Or at Least Not Lazy!)

What separates Sales and Support teams from Customer Success is that CSMs are expected to know what their customers need before even they do. To keep customers happy, and invested in renewing or upping their contracts, you should be actively trying to demonstrate direct profit increases from using your product. The best way to do this is to proactively reach out to your contact and educate them about new features, and show them how to use your product more effectively.

3.) Go to the Mental Gym

Many of us have a physical goal when we make our New Year’s resolutions, but other focus on strengthening our mental muscles. Whether it’s to read a book instead of watching television, or doing a crossword puzzle with breakfast, the goal is to keep our minds sharp.

In the same manner, Customer Success managers should also exercise their brain to make sure they aren’t getting complacent with their customers. The optimal way to go to the mental gym is to learn something new about your customer or their business every time you speak with them. All you have to do is this: either spend a little time researching the company online, or ask lots of questions! People always like to talk about themselves.

4.) Name Drop Like It’s Going Out of Style

This resolution goes hand in hand with #3. After you endeavor to learn about their business, you have to show off your knowledge. If you make the effort to learn about them, but they don’t know that you have, your pain will be in vain. The first step to achieving this objective is to note down your research and what they tell you in their customer profile. That way, you’ll never be in danger of forgetting it, and it will be easily accessible to review and subsequently “name-drop” it in your next meeting. That way, your customers will know you listen to them.

5.) Teach Them How to Fish

As the saying goes, if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. In the same vein, if you always hand-hold your customer through every difficulty with your product, they’ll never learn how to problem-solve by themselves. In order to increase your mutual productivities, promote self-service by creating a comprehensive knowledgebase so clients can fix their own issues. Help videos, documentation, and how-tos go a long way towards empowering your customers and freeing you up to work on more critical achievements.

6.) Cut the Complaints

The most efficient way to reduce the number of complaints you receive is to not do something that warrants one! Seems simple enough, but in the Service, Sales, and Customer Success sectors, complaining is part of daily operations. The best way to reduce any griping is to actively survey your customers. Ask for feedback at every opportunity, in person, over the phone, even via email and note the issues down. By fixing every complaint, or at least making an ongoing effort to improve and streamline services, the number of problems will decrease. You will find that you spend less time putting out fires, and customers spend more time feeling satisfied knowing that things are looking up.

7.) Put Those Pennies in Your Piggybank

Investing in technology that takes your business out of the stone ages is always a good idea. The only issue is, how do you afford the extra expense? The key is convince the keeper of the purse strings that it is worth their while. Show them the bottom line gets affected by speeding up the effectiveness of your CSMs. Since 80% of your revenue will come from your existing customers, it’s in their best interest to arm you with all the tools for success. By saving up for the big purchases, you’ll be sure not to waste the money on a frivolous expense, and you’ll appreciate product and the difference it makes.

Sayonara to 2015

We at Strikedeck are all about making positive choices, but everyone know that calories don’t count during the holidays! During this holiday season, relax and indulge yourself so that you’re ready to gear up and enter the new year with extra vigor.

Are our CS goals are on point? Did we miss any critical resolutions that you’re shooting for? In the meantime, the Strikedeck team wishes you and your customers a happy holiday and looks forward to seeing you in the new year. Bring it on, 2016!