The whole point of a customer success manager is to hand-hold customers and to ensure they realise the value they bought the product for, in the first place. But at the same time there are several things that do not require the CSM (Customer Success Manager) to do manually. With the use of high-tech, there can be a high-touch approach that brings the best of both worlds and enables customer success at scale.
If the CSM must do all the activities manually, he or she will be able to manage only limited customers. With customer success automations, they can get the same results but manage more customers.
Here are four ways how automation can help achieve this:
1. Automating your processes
Customer success processes vary based on customer, industry and domain they operate. Ensuring consistent process being followed by customer success managers is a challenge that several organisations face.
Your onboarding process might have several steps. In addition, there might be activities like checking usage every 6 weeks, quarterly business reviews that must be scheduled and conducted, sending surveys, requesting for testimonials etc. This is for one customer. Multiply this by 50-100 customers and that’s a humongous task for CSMs with filled calendars. It becomes easy to miss a task. Also how do we ensure all the customer success managers do all the items defined in your processes for every customer? Enter automation.
Using a feature called “Plays” in products like Churn360, you can translate your customer success processes into tasks that are assigned to your CSM. In this way, scheduled tasks are created and assigned to the CSM automatically based on your customer success definition. For example, you can define usage, review tasks to be created every 6 weeks for a customer. From a CSM’s perspective, they just need to review the task list with items due for closure today without having to worry whether they missed any customer or tasks.
This also makes onboarding new CSMs much simpler and consistent as all the tasks are automatically created based on your customer success process.
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To get a real picture of how a customer is using your product and deriving value, requires analysing various types of data such as product-feature usage, license utilisation, financial health, open support tickets, survey information and so on. The challenge is that these data exist in multiple systems as businesses typically use various products for billing, support, CRM. The first challenge for the CSM is to collate all this data into one place and then analyse the data to see whether the customer is progressing or is at the risk of churning in real time.
This is where automatic calculation of health scores becomes immensely helpful. Products like Churn360 integrate with all your third-party tools and analyse all these data points about your customers and if there are anomalies detected, CSM’s are alerted so action can be taken before it’s too late.
3.Personalised Communications at scale
There are various communications that a CSM would want to make with a customer, from onboarding emails to in-app notifications about new features. These messages must be customised and sent at a time best suited for the customer. This activity is very time consuming if done manually.
Using smart automation, emails can be personalised and sent to the people who need it. For example, you may want to promote a feature that is underutilised by several customers. There is no point in sending that email to customers who use that feature already. Leveraging usage data, the email can be sent to just the customers who are rarely using that specific feature.
Likewise, informational emails can be scheduled to be sent at regular intervals. Approval workflows can be configured so all emails that are due to be sent appear in an outbox where the CSM can quickly review the emails, edit if needed and approve to send it.
Feedback from customers is a critical part in understanding how your business, product and support is perceived. The important aspect is to time the survey right. If you want to know how your customer support team performed or how your CSM did an onboarding call, a survey sent right after the call will be more valuable and better received than sending the survey later. Using automations, you can configure surveys to be sent at right times (after the user has performed certain actions on your product).
Customer success is certainly a very personal aspect of business operations and will continue to be so. That does not mean though that all aspects must be done manually. By leveraging customer success products like Churn 360 and in-built automations, customer success managers can enjoy a high touch with a high-tech environment and delight your customers.