For many CSM teams, it can feel as though there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done and still deliver high-quality results to customers. This is where playbooks come into the picture. A playbook is a series of actions, next steps, and tactical items that CSMs can execute to help customers achieve a goal or objective in a scalable manner. Playbooks set the stage for CSMs to build repeatable processes to get more done with their customers.
While some customer action plans are unique, specific processes must be executed for every customer, meaning the tasks and activities in each of these buckets will be repeated often. Creating playbooks for these repeated processes can help increase efficiency and consistency across your customer success team.
Here are five critical playbooks every CSM team should have:
- Partnership Kickoff: One of the critical goals of any partnership kickoff stage is to gather all of the key information and details about your new customer to ensure the project plans moving forward align with their goals and vision for your solution. Forget one piece of information, and your entire project may be in jeopardy. CSMs can eliminate any risk of manual error during this critical stage by building a playbook with the key questions that need to be answered and the information that needs to be gathered.
- Onboarding: Onboarding is one of the most important stages of any customer relationship because it sets the tone for your entire partnership moving forward. You can take a proactive (and preemptive) approach to kick every customer onboarding stage off on a high note by building out a step-by-step playbook for onboarding, from the first implementation call to data work to end-user training.
- Business Review: Business reviews are the ideal time to review what’s been working throughout a customer partnership and to identify where there are opportunities for improvement. These meetings typically involve executives and other key stakeholders, so having the right metrics gathered and ready for review is crucial. Since many business reviews follow the same template from customer to customer, this is one step that can be incredibly streamlined with a good playbook.
- Declining Health Score: While most playbooks are designed around a specific stage in a customer lifecycle, they can also be great resources for action when an issue arises. Suppose a declining customer health score is identified. In that case, a CSM can quickly reference the playbook in question to know exactly what steps to take, who to involve, and what information to gather to kick a resolution into action.
- Renewal: Renewals are tricky stages for any customer, and as such, need to be managed with finesse and agility by CSMs and other stakeholders. To this end, building a renewal-specific playbook can give your CSMs the tools and resources they need to effectively and confidently manage this stage with any customer. From answer templates to customer questions to tips on navigating contract revisions, this playbook may well become the most used in your CSM library.
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