Times are changing. Greater customer-centricity, coupled with  digital transformation is causing businesses to pivot and re-calibrate their approach to engaging with their customers.  To help guide customers through these changes, Customer Success Managers are tasked with a broad spectrum of responsibilities that vary greatly between organizations, verticals and sometimes even different business units of the same company!

Customer Success goals typically fall into three broad categories: improving customer satisfaction, reducing churn, and increasing adoption or expansion. CSMs hustle to achieve these goals and let’s be honest, end up fire-fighting a lot of times as well.  If you ask any CSM, they will often say that most of their day-to-day is highly unpredictable. Some days, even with the best laid out plans are derailed to become entirely reactive. Other days go exactly as chartered. As a CSM, you need to be flexible enough to take care of your customers, and no matter how crazy the day gets, there are things that simply need to get done.  On time.  Successfully.  Period.

CSMs have a lot on their shoulders, as they are responsible for:

  • Customer onboarding
  • Managing churn 
  • Tracking renewals
  • Ticket tracking and updating on status/resolution
  • Coordinating internal and external meetings
  • Scheduling and preparing for QBRs or EBRs
  • NPS or transactional survey activities
  • Reactive and proactive activities
  • Cultivating customer references
  • Acting as the voice of the customer, to name a few

With so many roles to juggle at any one point in time, it is understandable how easily they become overwhelmed. Strikedeck can help make sense of the madness by organizing tasks, automating certain activities and keeping your CSMs focused on the most critical things, while still planning out the rest of their day, week and month! You must’ve heard the mantra ’work smarter, not harder’ and we live by that each day ourselves.

Here’s how you can simplify a day in the life of a CSM.

Onboarding: Onboarding playbooks consist of well-defined onboarding steps including all tasks and actions to be accomplished and their respective due dates. Using onboarding playbooks not only helps CSMs avoid reinventing the wheel, they also help standardize the onboarding experience for customers. Using workflow recipes, you can trigger the onboarding playbook with specific criteria when you want to kick things off. The great thing about using workflow recipes and playbook automations in your onboarding process is:

    • Standardized playbooks, so each CSM knows what to do and when, and steps aren’t forgotten
    • Each customer has a similar experience, so it isn’t dependent on which CSM is assigned to them
    • Items such as welcome emails can be automated, taking away activity required by a CSM
    • All the automated actions and assigned tasks are visible in the customer tasks, as well as, the CSM task lists and activity reports
    • These automations help to organize what needs to be done with the assigned due dates

Playbooks provide a sophisticated way to automate your best practices and ensure that everyone is following the same process. This all saves time for the CSMs and helps them organize and optimize their to-do list.

Churn Management: Strikedeck’s Customer 360 dashboard displays accounts based on RYG (Red, Yellow, Green) based on the health scoring set up in the system. The health scoring is based on various KPIs, like usage, days used, NPS response, days to renewal, unpaid invoices, and so on. The filtering capabilities allow the CSMs to get a high level overview of their accounts by Geography, ARR, Industry, Tier, etc. They can further drilldown to identify the red accounts or those accounts that have a lot of high priority issues. The customer details dashboard provides deeper insights into the KPIs used for health scoring and to evaluate the possibility of churn.

You can define your churn prevention strategies in a playbook when the activities are across a segment or all customers. However, if your customer needs a unique set of plays based on their specific use case, a Gameplans may be more appropriate. Playbooks are a set of actions or tasks that apply to a broad group and can be triggered when specific criteria are met.  Gameplans are playbooks with a specific focus. In this case, a Gameplan is a targeted, tactical plan that is designed for this specific customer situation.

  • Issue Management: Instead of wasting time pulling data from multiple sources, Strikedeck’s CS platform aggregates disparate data in various dashboards, POD visualisations and reports. With support and engineering tickets pulled into the platform, CSMs can go to their one stop shop for the latest ticket status.
  • Weekly Meetings: CSMs spend a great deal of time in meetings and meeting preparation. The Notes functionality provides a centralized place to save the meeting agenda, add the goals of the meeting and a note on discussions. At the same time, tasks can be added and assigned and emails generated, all from within the notes module.  With CSM’s time being so valuable, the ability to handle everything at one entry point is such a time saver!
  • Surveys: As surveys provide insight into customer sentiment or satisfaction, it is critical they be utilized at the appropriate time. The data and output from the surveys will certainly help a CSM as they continue to engage with your customers, but the process of sending out a survey need not be left to the CSM to trigger.  Workflow recipes can not only automate when and to whom surveys go, but it can also create the tasks and follow up activities for the CSMs.

With so many priorities demanding a CSM’s time, it’s critical you find ways to help them stay focused, organized and efficient. Strikedeck can help your CSMs do the work to give your customers the greatest return on their investment, while also providing them with the optimal experience with your organization.

Join us in Part 2 next week, where we will go into the ‘Day in the life of a CSM – In the Weeds’ and discuss in detail how Strikedeck helps automate mundane tasks and frees up the CSM’s time to focus on more pressing customer issues.