Customer Success | 6 MIN READ

How to Implement and Succeed with CS Playbooks?

Customer Success (CS) playbooks optimize customer experience and improve how service is delivered to customers. Great for CSMs and CS teams to increase customer success.

Niyathi Rao
Jan 29, 2021

CS-Playbooks

CS Playbooks

After a sale, CS teams aim to help the new customer achieve success. Customer success playbooks enable Customer Success Managers (CSMs) and their teams to automate their customer success processes allowing them to do so much more in less time.

What are CS Playbooks?

Playbooks are tools that allow customer success teams to handle recurring or repeated processes in a more defined and guided manner. Playbooks allow you to scale processes, align teams, and stay one step ahead of the customer’s needs. CS playbooks make sure your customer success best practices are standardized and operationalized.

SmartKarrot Success Plays

SmartKarrot CS playbooks, or Success Plays, allow teams to boost their efficiency across accounts no matter where they are within their journey. Success Plays allow you to create tasks and set triggers to complete processes, all within the tool. CSMs can use templates to create CS playbooks and save existing processes as templates for future use. Success Plays also make it easy to associate activities and assign them to team members. Example processes that clients have turned into success plays include onboarding, escalation, implementation, advocacy, and more. Processes such as these have been helpful in reducing churn rates, increasing renewals, and optimizing customer satisfaction.

SmartKarrot Customer Success Board
A snapshot of the SmartKarrot Customer Success Board

A Success Play Template

To create a success play template, you can choose from pre-defined categories on the SmartKarrot platform, create a new template that is a modified version of the existing template, or create them from scratch. CSMs can add and edit templates directly in the tool without needing to upload from external resources. Some of the Success Play templates already available within SmartKarrot include:

Renewal: For accounts that are up for renewal and need to be nudged.

Save: For accounts where the risk of churning is imminent. They know the product, its value, and features, but CSMs will need to pull out all stops.

Churn risk: For accounts that may be at risk of churning because they have shown low engagement or haven’t shown signs of product adoption.

Upsell: For accounts that are used often and already understand and benefit from the value of it.

Get well: Accounts with issues that are visible and identified. There is a need to identify parameters that will make sure these accounts are rectified.

SmartKarrot’s Success Play templates are reusable and can be redesigned for any future activity.

SmartKarrot Success Plays Template
A snapshot of SmartKarrot Success Plays Template

Account assignments or associations can happen as you create new Success Play templates.

Any admin, CSM, or Customer Success Leader (CSL) who has access to the platform can create a Success Play. Several Success Plays can be created on a single template and can be modified depending on the particular requirements.

Highlighted Features of the SmartKarrot’s Success Plays

SmartKarrot has developed CS playbooks that exceed those of other playbooks with features that help you manage everything from creation to execution right within the tool. Specific features to help CSMs and their teams include:

  • Dashboard with the overall performance of all accounts
  • Level of engagement among CSMs to allocate tasks effectively
  • Status of each Success Play, including delays or progress
  • Cross-collaboration on tasks across CSMs and Success Plays
  • Easy to assign or unassign a playbook, making it dynamic
  • Financial snapshots of accounts
  • Automation of customer renewals for durations of 30, 60 or 90 days 
  • Automated survey campaigns to simplify customer engagement

How to Create and/or Edit a Success Play Template?

Step 1: Overview

The first step in creating or editing a Success Play template is to choose a category, such as escalations, risk, induction, onboarding, etc. or add a new category as you see fit. Then, name the template and choose whether it will be triggered manually or event-based. At this point, you can enable it to allow it to start being used or keep it “disabled” to keep modifying it before it is ready to use.

Creation of a Success Play Template
Creation of a Success Play Template

Step 2: Activities

The next step is to identify the activities for this particular Success Play template and what type of activity it is such as “task” or “touchpoint.”  Example activities are training, customer education, or configuration of platform to name a few. If you have an expected date of completion, you can also choose how many days it should be completed from its inception. . You can also add the collaborator for the task or activity, if applicable.

Step 3: Summary

Step 3 is to view the summary of the entire Success Play to ensure it is correct.

How to Create Success Play Instances

Step 1: Overview

In this step, you need to define the basics of the instance. The instance is usually inherited from a template. Then, the description about the instance needs to be added. A user can also decide if the instance or playbook needs to be repeated or one-time.

Step 2: Activities: Tasks & touchpoints

Here, you need to figure the activities that will complete the success play.

Step 3: Assign or review accounts

In this step, CSMs can assign or re-assign accounts. They can even unassign accounts. They can see the account health score including ARR to help ascertain the health of the account health. You can also manage assignments.

Step 4: Summary

Here you can review the assignments and activities. You can also get the due dates, tasks, CSMs and progress of the assignment. If a task is redundant, you can mark it as not applicable. That makes sure it does not affect the progress of a task.

Success Play Instances in the Customer Success Tool
Success Play Instances in the Customer Success Tool

How the SmartKarrot CS Playbook Feature Helps CS Teams and Companies

SmartKarrot CS playbook feature allows customer success teams to define and automate their most effective processes. It allows CS teams to:

  • Have a greater understanding of customer churn risk, possibility for escalation, scope for upsell
  • Be better prepared to understand opportunities and predict churn or lifecycle events
  • Create templates easily with prescriptive workflows
  • Understand specific account health with a high-level of transparency
  • Come to logical conclusions about accounts backed by data and analysis
  • Create weekly, bi-weekly, or other regular touchpoints with customers to improve engagement levels
  • Save time, reduce effort, and improve chances of renewals and upselling through the automation
  • Understand reliable projections for growth (ARR) from the existing customer base
  • Optimize customer experience as teams are aware of account status via customer alerts

Bottom Line

SmartKarrot Success Plays allow customers to have a consistent experience with your company and allow CSMs to manage accounts much more easily. CS teams get regular feedback about products and manage multiple accounts easily, while reducing the chances of churn. SuccessPlays simplify CS teams’ work so resources can be allocated where they are more needed. With CS Success plays, customer success and customer-facing teams will achieve greater customer satisfaction and increased customer success.

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Originally Published January 29th, 2021, Updated April 28th, 2021

Niyathi Rao

Niyathi is an experienced content marketer with a love for SaaS tech products. She reads a lot (mostly fiction) and is a huge news junkie. Niyathi loves exploring different forms of inbound marketing and taking on challenges.

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