A customer success manager’s relationship with a customer account doesn’t just begin and end at random. A CSM manages and owns a customer account throughout their entire partnership with a vendor organization, from the minute a sale closes throughout many rounds of renewals.
Many times, situations in which a customer becomes upset or frustrated can be attributed to a CSM not having a clear plan in place for transitioning between these different stages. As your team looks ahead to 2021, now is the perfect time to reconsider your customer journey and build more customer-centric stages.
Here are four critical steps to include in your customer journey planning:
Onboarding is the only opportunity a customer success team has to make a great first impression with a new account. The first few weeks (or months, depending on your implementation process) will set the stage for the rest of your relationship, so you want to pay special attention to how you manage the onboarding process. Aim for a smooth transition from the sales to implementation process, establish the customer’s goals right out of the gate, and set up expectations for the other stages to make things easier down the road.
After you get your decision makers and key stakeholders up and running, it’s time to drive full-scale adoption of your product across an entire customer organization. Start tracking and monitoring product usage to see when and how people are using your platform. Additionally, now is the time to pay close attention to any issues or problems and address these concerns before they become more widespread.
Over the past few months, CSMs have experienced firsthand just how critical customer renewals are to the health and success of an organization. The Renew stage of the customer journey is about ensuring that your customers see the results and the value they expected coming in. Part of your scalable renewal process should be clear insight into account health and sentiment to better predict and replicate streamlined renewal conversations.
And, finally, growth. Depending on your organization structure, CSMs may or may not have direct responsibility over the growth of an account but your team can still help gather the insights and data to help drive these conversations forward. During this stage of the customer journey, CSMs can use different metrics like NPS and SuccessScore to monitor account health and then work with account managers to forecast and prepare for these critical checkpoints.
All customer accounts are different, but they all follow these same four basic customer journey stages. Whether your team is just starting to plan out how you want to manage these stages or if you’re looking for new ways to make the customer journey more customer-centric for your accounts, breaking things out into a streamlined, actionable plan can help move your team forward.
Want to learn more about building and managing the different stages of the customer journey? Check out these additional resources from ClientSuccess: