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Here is your foolproof plan to ease into the new VP of Customer Success role in the first 90 days!
Congratulations on reaching the pinnacle of customer success in your organization. But you’re probably wondering: What’s next? How and where do I start?
To help you succeed in your new role, we’ve prepared a roadmap specifically for you to accomplish what you need to do in the first 90 days as a new VP of Customer Success.
And at the end, you’ll have a better understanding of what needs to get done so that you can lead your department!
So, let’s get into it.
The first month is when you get acquainted with the company culture. During this time, you try to get a clear understanding of the product your company is selling. This will help you understand the needs of your customers. A basic outline of your customer is enough to then dig in deep to understand their expectations when using your product.
One of the biggest areas where you can have a major impact on your organization as a new VP of customer success is retaining existing customers. Understand their needs, grievances, and even any suggestions they’ve supplied to your CSMs. This is also your chance to sit in on the customer calls as a guest.
Your team is the backbone of your company’s CS department, so within your first month on the job, getting to know and understand them is critical. Have one-on-one meeting with each of them and learn about their goals, strengths, weaknesses, and areas they feel they and the team can improve on. It’ll also help you learn more about the existing customer success processes.
If you can, go through customer exit interviews or churn calls from the previous 90 days. It can provide valuable insight into why customers are leaving your organization. Once you’ve found a few recurring reasons, work proactively with your team is prevent them from occurring in the future.
After the first month, you need to start working on finding the success gaps in CS processes, playbooks, and even the technology or tools your team uses. Once that has been covered, it is time for you to measure the customer expectations. This can include ascertaining product shortcomings or adjusting priorities based on urgency and value it can add to your business.
Every industry has its own set of high-priority CS tasks to deal with, so find out what those are for your organization. Overall, some of the high-priority tasks that a VP of customer success needs to manage regularly are:
Even though you now have a team to look after the calls, make it a point to join the CS calls or QBRs every now and then. This is crucial to monitor the performance of all the individuals on your team. And from that vantage point, you can share areas of the conversation that they excelled on and discuss areas that they can work on.
Your next task as a new VP of customer success is to schedule meetings with cross-functional stakeholders and the internal team. This will help you understand where exactly the CS team stands and what needs to be improved moving forward.
Within the second month on the job, we suggest you measure customer sentiments using tools like NPS, CSAT, etc., so that you get a real-time overview of what your existing customers think about your product. This will help you devise a strategy to counter any negative feedback received from the customer.
It will also help you optimize your customer lifecycle journey by maximizing the engagement level of your customers. You can do that by converting your company’s weaknesses as termed by customers into their inherent strengths.
As the first two months pass, you will finally ease into your role as the new VP of customer success. This is where the stakes will get higher. You’ll be required to finalize KPIs by considering all the new and modified ones. All this needs to be done by taking all internal and external stakeholders into consensus. This will ensure that the company is able to evaluate the customers’ progress. It will also help you measure your CS team’s performance and meet the desired expectations.
Once you’ve finished finalizing the KPIs, the next task for you as a new VP of customer success is setting the tracking mechanism to check progress on KPIs. This can be done with the help of an ingenious customer success software or automation tool. Once you are able to figure out the right customer success software or automation tool, it will make your job of tracking progress that much easier.
Next, you will be required to keep a tab of all the upsells and cross-sells in the company. This is where you need to put the thought-leader’s cap on and prepare a 365-day plan (we’ll cover this more in the next point) for your department. Devise an incentive plan for your CS team to give their best shot at helping your organization reach the desired target.
This is where your last two months of experience as a new VP of customer success will come in handy.
You need to try and add small milestones to deliver the desired results by creating a 365-day plan of operations for your CS department. Some of these can include:23
A big round of applause again for getting this new role as a VP of Customer Success. At this point, you probably have a good idea that it’s an exciting but overwhelming task. But in the end, it’s worth it.
Dattatraya Shetty is an IT Professional with 2 Decades of experience in areas of Product Development, Implementation & Service Delivery Management. As the Head of Implementations and SOC Compliance in Smartkarrot he is on a mission to provide relishing customer experience.
Published February 18, 2022, Updated February 28, 2023
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