As 2018 comes to a close, customer success teams are taking some time for reflection and planning. What better time than now to take a minute to review what worked from the past year, determine where changes could be implemented, and lay out some strategic goals for 2019?
Customer success is a rapidly growing industry and trends come and go quickly. In order to truly set your team up for success in 2019 and beyond, here is a quick list of the top 5 things to do as a leader in the month of December.
1. Conduct a Quick Client Health Audit with Team
Whether your customers have been around for days, months, or years, take advantage of the downtime during the holiday season to do a quick account health audit with your team. This doesn’t mean go back through every single piece of customer data to find holes. In reality, performing an account audit is a relatively painless process that should be done on a yearly basis (or, if you’re feeling ambitious, on a quarterly basis). You can use our solution, ClientSuccess, to do these types of client health audits in minutes by team and by CSM (Customer Success Manager).
Then work directly with your CSMs to understand where customers stand in relation to their goals, their company-wide KPIs, and their overall customer satisfaction. Identify gaps in process, product, and usage rates to help map out the next few months of the year. Use this audit as a jumping off point for project planning and as a way to inform upcoming customer conversations and strategies.
2. Review Progress of Goals and KPIs (Align with Executive Team)
Outside of individual account KPIs, take a minute to review your team’s KPIs and progress towards goals. What are your team churn and attrition goals and how have you done this year? What are your team expansion and growth goals and what have you accomplished with those goals this year? Understanding and recognizing where your team stands in regards to the larger company as a whole can help position customer success to the team and lay the groundwork for a customer-focused culture. Here is a great Customer Success eBook to guide you and help you build out your customer success KPIs.
3. Touch Base with Members of Your Executive Team
Before the end of 2018, make a point to meet with the executives and leadership from other teams within your organization. Try to meet one-on-one if possible, and then bring the entire executive team together for a larger meeting. In your one-on-one meetings, run through tactical projects and real-world applications of joint strategy. Then, in your larger meeting, discuss messaging as a whole and make sure all your peers understand how customer success (both the team and the concept) impact and influence their day-to-day dealings with customers. Additionally, these executive team meetings should include your CEO to ensure a top-down customer first mentality
4. Determine Your Yearly Budget and Start Thinking about Investments
As a customer success leader, you know first-hand where there gaps in your processes and what technology is required to fill these needs. Of course, your budget is the first step here (especially when it comes to your tech stack) but now is the best time to start researching new investments. Think about what you need to accomplish with your team and your customers. Is it growing customer upsells? Increasing customer satisfaction? What about streamlining internal processes?
5. Develop and Spread Your Message
One of the biggest customer success trends of the last few years has been developing an overarching culture of customer-focused service. In order to do successfully and easily, you need to spread your message. While your executive meetings are a great place to start, you shouldn’t end there. Work with your CSMs to help them develop their own internal messaging plans. Share ideas with other departments on how they can add customer success focused elements to their strategy.
Customer success starts with good planning and focus. Over the next few weeks, take a step back and devote your time and energy to your 2019 planning. Trust us – your team and your customers will thank you!
Learn more about how ClientSuccess can help your company develop a strong Customer Success methodology and strategy with easy-to-use customer success software by requesting a 30-minute demo.