When you are building a Customer Success practise at your company, there are quite a few things to consider.
Few businesses have completely figured it out and are running CSM teams efficiently and super effectively.
In fact, only 30% of CS professionals think that their company has provided them with enough resources to do their jobs properly. The most requested resources are better tools at 39% and more training at 31%.
I've seen and experienced this myself having worked in Customer Success for the last six or so years. I've also needed better tools, I've been part of building them and I've also built a ton of trainings for new hires including building, launching and managing a global new hire program.
And that's how it is often when you start out or are in the first few years - it's actually the people who do the job who act as entrepreneurs in this start-up initiative and help out.
But what are some key things you need to consider? Here are five key Customer Success best practices to get you started.
5 Customer Success Best Practices
#1. Segment your customers
When companies embark on the customer success journey and build their CS orgs, many of them treat all customers the same. It's just easiest and fastest. You hire a CSM and assign them to either a lot of customers or 5-6 customers and how they take care of those customers is one-size-fits-all.
It's understandable when you begin with Customer Success to do this, however, you really need to think about segmenting your customers into buckets based on products that they've bought and especially based on money that they're paying. The more they pay you, the more you want to keep them so the more you need to take care of them. These types of customers require a more 1:1 and specialised treatment and a CSM who has a very vested interested in their success. Customers who pay little can be handled by a much more of a low-touch approach and engagement model.
#2. Have an early warning system
As we've seen in the above stats, tools are really key for your Customer Success team. Tools and AI can help you identify issues quickly even before they have occurred. You can define ways to track the health of a customer account and based on certain trends to create actions your CSM team needs to take in order to prevent major customer dissatisfaction or cancellations and churn.
#3. Create processes
Processes are so important so that your CSMs can be effective. In alignment with the point above, when you get a warning or a low health index, you must define a process on how to act on it. Ideally, you need processes for every type of customer interaction such as onboarding, training, renewal etc. and all of these need to be documented and stored in a place where your team can easily find what they need. This is great for the onboarding of new hires as well especially if you have playbooks for each of these processes as they'll have a written guide on how to do certain activities and they can be self-sufficient.
#4. Drive business reviews
Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) have become quite popular in Customer Success. They are especially important for high-touch accounts. The idea is that once you have the major goals of your customer defined, every three months you will be reviewing those goals and KPIs and tracking how far you are or what you've hit and then define actions to ensure you stay on track and customer is progressing as they expected from the beginning.
#5. Get executive buy-in
I spoke about this one in my previous customer success post as the number one thing you to have a successful Customer Success practise. Without the buy-in of your executives, you can't drive any initiatives and you'll only be seen as a cost which is not a good position to be in. They need to see Customer Success as an investment that's worth it and that has a return.
Take a look at the infographic below for more details.
5 Customer Success Best Practices [Infographic]