Account transitions will be inevitable throughout your tenure as a customer success leader. Whether through promotions, turnover, or new hires, new CSMs are bound to leave or join your customer account teams regularly. Unfortunately, these account transitions can be highly disruptive to your customer’s day-to-day engagement with your team.
To minimize the impact of account transitions and ensure things run smoothly for both your customer and your internal team, here is a framework outline to implement in your customer success department:
Step 1: Assign your new CSM
First, you and your internal team must identify the best person to take over the account. This decision may be based on experience, geography, industry, technical aptitude, or even familiarity with the customer. Let the new CSM know about the change once you’ve determined this on a leadership level.
Step 2: Knowledge transfer
While we all know that sometimes things happen, and decisions may need to be made quickly if you can try for enough time for a knowledge transfer between the old and new CSM. This is when both parties discuss the customer in great detail – including their entire customer journey map, tribal knowledge, etc. – so when the new CSM steps into the role, they are equipped to pick up exactly where the previous CSM left off with little to no impact on the customer.
Step 3: Do the research
Now it’s time for the new CSM to step up and become familiar with the customer account. Advise the new resource to go through your internal project management systems, review all documents and contracts, and even Google the customer to learn more about their business value prop and customers.
Step 4: Communicate the change
The next step is to let the customer know about the change. If the case permits, you can let them know why the change is occurring and what they can expect in terms of support and next steps. The customer will expect this change to be seamless and smooth on their end, so it’s essential to lead with empathy and ease any concerns.
Step 5: Establish your cadence
If possible, try to have a handful of customer calls with the current CSM and the new CSM to ‘pass the baton’ in a live environment. If this isn’t possible, make sure the new CSM reaches out immediately to the customer to get a scheduled call on the calendar. Then, lock down a recurring cadence with the customer and new CSM without missing a beat.
Step 6: Update all systems
Once the transition is ‘finalized’ with the customer, make sure all of your team’s internal systems reflect this change. To make sure everyone is on the same page, ensure that all internal stakeholders, members of the account team, and any additional internal team members are made aware of the change.
Want to learn more?
You can learn more about implementing processes, procedures, and technology to minimize customer account disruption with these additional resources from ClientSuccess: