Change is Good!

By Dawn Harger

Believe it or not, a new year is upon us.  This might be the perfect time to start looking at some changes within your Customer Success team, big or small.  Maybe your group is getting a little tired of the same day-in and day-out routine.  Maybe they are becoming a bit complacent.  Maybe a little change will help to reenergize the team!  Whatever the case, change is good.  It helps to keep everyone engaged and ensures a cycle of constant learning.  But, which changes should you consider making?  Here are a few ideas:

New Targets

Now might be the time to review the goals and metrics of your CSM team.  Is there something you can do to change them up a little?  There are always the key metrics, revenue and retention, but maybe there are some individual goals that you could shift.  These could be tied to personal goals that make sense given a team member's role.  For example, if you have someone who would like to build their sales skills, think about including a goal related to closed deals.  Additionally, consider implementing a contest to get the competitive juices flowing.  Your team will enjoy a bit of friendly competition and your revenue will benefit too!

New Offers

Another thing that might change things up is a new offering for your customers.  Can you provide a renewal deal for the New Year?  Do you have the ability to bundle products at a discounted price?  Not only is this a revenue driver, it gives your CSMs a reason to reach out to their accounts with something fresh and new.  Start with an email marketing campaign introducing the offer, and then have your CSMs reach out to extend the deal personally. 

New Tactics

Are you having trouble getting your customers on the phone?  Do they turn down your offer for free consulting?  What challenges are you faced with today when it comes to your clients?  Pull your team together and identify the top three things that frustrate them the most.  Then brainstorm some solutions with your team.  Can you change the verbiage you are using when you offer that free consultation?  Are you calling customers at the right time, with the right message?  Try some new tactics and see how it goes.  Doing the same thing day after day, expecting a different result, is just not going to get you anywhere.

New Accounts

One last thing you should think about is making some changes to account ownership.  Personalities definitely drive the success or failure of many relationships.  Sometimes they mesh and sometimes they just don’t work at all.  Some of the best CSMs can’t seem to break through to that one customer for no reason other than a personality clash.  In cases like this, consider making a switch.  Give that client to another CSM.  Not only does this provide the opportunity to improve things with the client, it also allows your CSMs to work with clients where there is a smoother communication flow. Win-win.

Not Sure?  Run a Customer Survey

If you know things aren't perfect, but you can’t think of any changes to make, send out a customer survey and get feedback directly from your clients.  Instead of just a 5 or 10-point scale questionnaire, ask for detailed feedback on what they would like to see from their CSM.  This can provide insights you never would have considered and great ideas for making the CSM experience that much better. 

At the end of the day, don’t forget…the only constant in life is change.  And change can be good!

Need help figuring out the right changes to make on your Customer Success team?  The Success League is a consulting firm that works with customer success leaders who want to unlock the retention and revenue potential in their team.  We partner with success teams to gather and present customer data in a way that allows them to advocate for customer needs and drive true change in their organization.  

Dawn Harger - With over 10 years of managing account management teams, Dawn has found her niche in defining and implementing measures that equate to customer success.  Her passion is creating teams of customer advocates and consultants, while mentoring those that cross her path.  Her prior background in operations also allows her a broader picture of the business, giving her additional insight into a company’s strategy in retaining and growing their customer base.  Dawn works for VerticalResponse, holds a BA in Marketing from San Jose State University and MBA from St. Mary’s College.