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‘Getting Back to Normal’: Why Your Customer Success Approach Should Never Be the Same

After months of trying to stay on top economic changes and, quite simply, treading water in a churning sea, many SaaS organizations are figuring out how to make it through on the other side. With many industries starting to open back up after social quarantine measures and some sense of ‘normalcy’ returning to the world, businesses of all shapes and sizes are stepping out of this hibernation with a renewed sense of focus and dedication to get back to normal.

For customer success teams, however, there really is no getting back to ‘before’ the COVID-19 crisis. One ongoing impact of a social and economic crisis like the one we are in now is that there is always the thought of ‘what if this happens again’ in the back of people’s minds. For many customers relying on SaaS vendors for products or solutions, now is the time when they’re looking for how these systems will be able to provide value in the long term.

For this reason, along with many others, customer success teams shouldn’t be looking for the most straightforward way to go back to the way it was before. Instead, customer success teams should start taking stock of all of the changes that have occurred over the past few weeks to help inform a long-term strategy moving forward.

Here are a few things to consider while building this new approach to normalcy:

  • How your customers themselves have adapted to these new changes: While your team might be ready to get back to normal, your customers themselves might not be quite there yet. Understanding how your customers are adapting and pivoting their internal processes can help your team deliver better service.
  • Internal processes and workflows: How have your internal processes and workflows changed during this crisis? Is your team still working remote or are you back in an office environment? How are you tracking customer needs and internal responsibilities? How we work as teams has definitely changed during the COVID-19 crisis, and just because we’re ready to go back to ‘normal’ doesn’t mean the processes we’ve put in place to increase efficiency need to leave as well.
  • High-touch vs. low-touch customer accounts: Many customer success teams pride themselves on their ability to prioritize customers based on high or low-touch status. The last few months, however, have most likely up-ended this system by turning every customer into a high-touch account or sending some customers into a ‘paused’ mode until they figure things out on their end. For most CSMs, the real new normal will be understanding that there isn’t a sense of normalcy anymore.
  • The new priorities of your industry: In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, many SaaS organizations pivoted their solutions to directly address some of the needs and concerns of their consumer audiences. In some cases, these new solutions are now the full focus for customers. And in others, these were simply placeholder solutions until things could get back on track. It’s up to CSMs to work with customers to ensure that, however they’re using your product and solutions, they’re seeing value and are happy with their investment.

 As your team and your organization continues to adjust to the new normal, just remember that now is the time to double down on customer success. Your current customers are keeping your business going through these changing times and recognizing this impact can truly make a difference down the road.

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