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New year, new me, right? While this mantra may be on most of our minds this year (especially after the complete doozy of 2020), some customer success managers (CSMs) may be having other thoughts. While 2020 was a completely unprecedented time for most SaaS organizations, their customers, and their employees, it also forced customer success teams to rethink how they worked with accounts and the services they provide.
Instead of trying to take a completely new approach to working with customers, CSMs should try to build off of what they learned this past year. Plus, these resolutions are easily attainable, meaning you won’t ‘fall off the wagon’ while trying to reach for the stars.
This past year was all about flexibility, pivoting, and delivering value to customers above all else. CSMs truly went above and beyond for their customers to ensure value, as customer retention meant more than ever. 2021 is not the year to go back to ‘before’. Instead, your customer success team should look to continue and build upon the mentality and strategic focus you implemented in 2020. Take a step back to see what worked well and make these tenants part of your day-to-day operations in 2021.
For some customer success teams, 2021 will be about getting back to the basics of account management and reclaiming some of structure that was lost over the past few months. Whether you’re working with new or long-time customers, make sure there is a clearly planned customer journey map for each account your team is managing. This means understanding and delineating onboarding from adoption, adoption from renewal, and renewal from growth for every single customer. Mapping out these stages will allow your team to be more strategic and decisive down the road.
Across industries and organizations, customer success departments truly had a break-out year in 2020. With so much financial insecurity and uncertainty, sales teams just weren’t able to keep up, which meant that the revenue implications of happy customer accounts were suddenly at the forefront of corporate planning conversations. Customer success has always been a critical part of any business, and department leaders need to continue the momentum of 2020 into the next year by making customer success an industry-wide initiative, starting at the highest executive level and working down.
Some great strides were made across the board this past year dealing with changing customer needs and making the best out of dire situations. In 2021, customer success teams can’t lose sight of this hard work and should strive to go above and beyond for accounts.
ClientSuccess has plenty of resources on setting your team up for success in 2021, including: