We’ve all experienced customers going dark. Maybe it’s right after implementation when they’re finally using your product but have yet to schedule an ongoing check-in meeting. Maybe it’s a year into using your technology when it’s time to discuss renewals. Or, maybe, something as simple as scheduling issues resulted in weeks of missed meetings.
However customers go dark, it is often the CSMs responsibility to rein them back in and get them back on the path to success. Often, CSMs have to go about re-engaging customers with creativity and patience, as your tried-and-true methods of engagement probably aren’t going to work.
How to engage customers that have gone dark
Whether it’s been days, weeks, or even a month or more since you’ve heard from a customer, there will always be a way to re-engage and get your customer relationship back on track. Here are a few tips for getting your customers back on the right path:
1. Lead with value.
When you’re checking in with a customer that has gone dark, don’t just lead with a ‘How’s it going?’ or ‘Just wanted to check in…’ message. Leading with value and sharing a clear ask is critical. This means letting them know about a new feature or product, sharing a demo of a new workflow, or giving them access to a new report on their population. By sharing a message that requires them to take action, your team can jump-start the conversation and get things moving.
2. Find a new contact.
Sometimes, customers go dark because the primary contact on their side has fallen silent. This is when a CSM must put on their sleuth hat and do some digging. Find additional contacts at the company to reach out to. Was there an executive that attended a kick-off or launch meeting that could help? What about a new contact on LinkedIn? Do your research and reach out to these new contacts to see if that makes a difference.
3. Change up your method.
If it’s not your contact that needs updating, maybe it’s the way you’re reaching out to the customer. While email is the tried-and-true engagement channel for a reason, it’s okay to switch it up if you think you could boost engagement that way. Try calling or even texting a customer contact if you have their information. If your product leverages in-app messaging, try sending a note that way. Connect on LinkedIn or other networking sites. You could even try an in-person visit or send a note or package.
4. Proactive engagement.
If you still can’t get through to a contact after switching things up and trying out new channels, try going back to basics and putting some meetings on calendars. Even if they decline or can’t attend, you can use this as a catalyst for follow-up. Just make sure to provide a detailed agenda, notes, and any other supporting documentation that will be helpful.
5. Perseverance pays dividends.
Whatever you do, giving up after one or two tries isn’t the mark of a high-performance CSM. Perseverance is vital, especially if your customer has been dark for quite a while. Try a mixture of channels and contacts to find the sweet spot for engagement. Then, once you break through to a contact, don’t forget to lead with value to keep the conversation going.
Want to learn more?
Re-engaging customers that have gone dark doesn’t have to be tricky or complex. Instead, it’s pulling out all of the best practices, strategic initiatives, and foundational engagement methods that make CSMs so successful in the first place. You can learn more about engaging dark customers with these additional resources: