By Ashley Hall
Executive business reviews, renewals, issues, touchbases. These are the building blocks of your outreach cadence with your clients. Those mile markers happen throughout the years with your client, but what happens in between?
Your clientele most likely has a dozen other vendors reaching out to “check in” or “catch up,” which you would never do, right? (Extraordinary CSMs don’t “check in,” they provide value with every touch.) It’s vital that you differentiate yourself from the pack so you can grab your client’s attention when needed. I’ve assembled a list for you to choose from when you need some inspiration of fun, new, interesting, and impactful ways to reach out to your clients.
Owler is an incredible tool for any customer-facing or sales roles. You can input the companies you’d like to follow (I put in my top clients and competitors). They deliver you a daily snapshot email of who you’d like to keep tabs on. This way as your clients make news or major announcements you can be one of the first to know and proactively reach out!
With a little bit of care, budget, and creativity you can come up with some excellent client gifts! Gifts are great to bring along to on-sites but also a nice reason to reach out “just because.” Gifts are typically unexpected and can be used to break the ice with quiet or tougher customers. Partner with your manager and team to work on budget for some branded gifts to share with your client base.
Imagine getting to reach out to a client to say “great work” on an important milestone before they even realize it! By using a platform like Totango I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to clients based upon hours in the system, user thresholds met, and consistent healthy behavior. This type of outreach can even help in a tough situation, say if their team is struggling with team adoption. Having complimentary technology that arms you with usage data can allow you to coach them through tough times and highlight great behavior during good times.
Advisory Boards or Testing Panels
Advisory boards and testing panels are great levers when it comes to client relationship management. You will have some customers that love to provide feedback and feel a part of your brand. Granting them access to more of your teams (product and/or marketing) can help you strengthen the relationship while expanding it. Inviting your clients to extracurriculars like a beta testing panel is great way to capitalize on a healthy client relationship and gain even further insight and feedback.
Celebrate them! We are all human after all. It only takes a minute to reach out when a major life event has occurred. I even worked for one company that made baby onesies for this very purpose. If you have access to any additional budget, regardless of how nominal, it’s always appreciated when you go above and beyond to make your contact feel special.
When working on client outreach, take a look at their careers page. This can aid you in understanding team or company growth. Furthermore, this opens up the door for you to reach out to discuss their growth and training plans. Extra points if you can help them with candidate referrals or networking opportunities! This additional investment of time and attention will illustrate to your client your care and investment in them.
Use this list and share it with your team! Always remember to keep your communications impactful so that you can always garner your clients attention when you need it. Rather than “checking in” use one of these concepts to strengthen your relationship and make the day for your client. A few extra minutes of research or thought could make a major positive impact for your relationship.
Are you a CSM looking for new ways to interact with your customers? The Success League is a customer success consulting firm that offers online training and workshops on core CS topics like Kicking off the Relationship and Asking Great Questions. For more information on these and our other classes and workshops, please visit TheSuccessLeague.io
Ashley Hall - Ashley loves to lead account management and success teams; from training newbies to building processes out of chaos to working directly with customers. She is passionate about helping customers achieve goals. With an eye on the future she is a powerhouse in building scaleable frameworks that support and drive growth. Ashley is one of the founding advisors to The Success League, and serves as a regular instructor for the company's CSM Training Program. She also serves as a customer success manager for ProsperWorks, and brings her work experiences to her articles and classes. Ashley holds a BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and enjoys living in San Francisco while traveling all over the world.