Today we’re joined by Maheen Memon, the Director of Customer Success at Nulogy. She’s sharing the first of a 2-part series on how to prepare for a customer success platform. Enjoy!
By Maheen Memon
You are probably here because you are thinking about investing in a customer success tool. Over the past 5 years, there has been an explosion of Customer Success tool options in the market and selecting the right one is harder than ever before. Before you take the plunge and invest into a CS tool, take the time to ask these 5 key questions to find out if your Customer Success team is ready to take the plunge.
Do you have the time?
First off, do you have the time to implement a tool right now? Setting up a CS tool will take a lot of your time, as well as the time of your IT team and any other integrated departments. Even an exceptional implementation will range from a few weeks to a couple of months, but they often drag on longer; this is especially the case without clear requirements. Does it seem like this is a good time in your organization to proceed with an implementation? Do you have a couple of hours of every week to dedicate to rolling out a tool? At a minimum, be sure to pick a time of the year that is less busy for your customers if you are planning on rolling out a CS tool.
Are your processes well defined?
Next you should check and make sure that your processes and playbooks are in good shape to be automated. Have you taken the time to explicitly document these operational flows in your CS team? Are there no significant gaps that need to be ironed out? If not, this will not only significantly impact your implementation timeline, but may jeopardize your ability to finish altogether. Investing in the time upfront to set these processes and playbooks is critical as formalizing these processes as you implement will be costly and likely causes headaches for your team during rollout.
Who will manage the project?
Got time and processes set, but what about a project manager? Do you have someone on your team to champion the CS tool implementation? Will it be you? Does this person have experience in change and project management? Are they ready to take on on-going maintenance activities? It is important to have a qualified champion on your team to lead the way with the implementation. This person will greatly improve the chance of adoption within your team and ensure that its value is communicated with all stakeholders. Look for someone on your team that also has a passion for continuous improvement. Implementing a useful CS tool is a journey, not a destination and you need this person to be engaged for the long haul.
Is your team ready?
Now what about your team members - are they ready to take on a new digital way of operating their day-to-day activities? With a new tool, there is a level of accountability, transparency, and customer experience that will be standardized across your team. This will result in a much higher expectation of real-time data hygiene that many people aren’t comfortable with. Is your team ready for the mindset shift of using a tool? Tools have the potential to make their day-to-day activities much easier but only if the team invests into it wholly and equally. If you have the time, getting your team to share their requirements for a CS tool will help in the overall buy-in process.
Are you prepared to demonstrate value?
Last question; are you ready to start reporting on Customer Success activities on a regular basis? Now that you have your team entering in all of this valuable data daily you have a responsibility to demonstrate the use of this data by bringing insights back to the users. Providing meaningful reports and feedback are some of the best ways to encourage professional use of the system and drive accurate and meaningful entry of information into the system. You should be prepared to transition from an ad-hoc form of management to one that leverages data to articulate a story to shape the direction of your team's growth.
If you have already thought of most of these items, don’t get too comfortable; you have only completed the internal preparedness part of starting to invest in a CS tool. Stay tuned for my next blog in which we will focus on the other areas you need to consider: (1) External Preparedness and (2) Technology Foundations as a part of your journey to finding a tool that fits your organization. We will be focusing on how to get proper buy-in externally and which key tech stacks you need before you even consider investing a CS tool.
Are you a CS Leader or CSM who wants to augment your professional tool kit? The Success League is a customer success consulting firm that offers online training and workshops. Both our CS Leadership Training and CSM Training series start this week! For more information on these classes and our workshops, please visit TheSuccessLeague.io
Maheen Memon - Maheen joined Nulogy in July 2013 as a Technical Account Manager and has helped the team evolve into a true Customer Success focused organization over the past 4 years. She has been integral to the evolution of Customer Success at Nulogy and instrumental in working with various Nulogy teams to improve our customers' overall journey and experience. Maheen has over 7 years in supply chain, operations, and project management experience from her previous roles at UPS, Hudson's Bay Company, and Walmart Canada. She has a Bachelor of Engineering in Systems Engineering from the University of Guelph and an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University. Outside of work, Maheen is an active member of Toronto’s Tech community, enjoys running and walking her dog, Bernie.