6 Things to Keep in Mind to Scale a Customer Success Team

6 Things to Keep in Mind to Scale a Customer Success Team

Looking to grow your customer success team? Check out these six factors you need to keep in mind to scale your team effectively.

6 Things to Keep in Mind to Scale a Customer Success Team
6 Things to Keep in Mind to Scale a Customer Success Team

 “When the customer comes first, the customer will last.”- Robert Half

Scaling a customer success team is essential for Saas and technology companies to be able to successfully derive value to customers through their product and service offerings. However, identifying the proper steps to expand your team can be challenging. As your customer base grows, business leaders must know the latest and best practices to ensure low customer churn rates and high product renewals.

In a day and age where the number of businesses on the market is constantly expanding, it’s crucial to ensure that a customer success team truly strives to understand their customer’s goals and expectations in order to stay ahead of the competition. In this blog post, we will explore the top six concepts to consider to scale your customer success team.

But before we jump into these six areas, let’s talk about why all businesses should implement a customer success team in the first place.

Why Businesses Should Have a Customer Success Team

A customer success team can help improve your company’s brand image and boost customer satisfaction and retention rates. Their input can be instrumental in product improvements or new product development. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, increasing customer retention rates by 5%can increase business profits by 25% to 95%. A customer success team can further improve a companies’ sales through engaging in processes that includes upselling and cross-selling to customers.

1. Design a Success Model

The first step in scaling a customer success team is to design a success model that aligns with your company’s goals and values. How will having a customer success team improve your company’s short or long-term goals? This success model should define the team’s responsibilities, objectives, and KPIs. It should also describe the customer journey and the touchpoints where the customer success team will engage with the customers.

The success model should be designed based on your company’s target customer segments and the products and services you offer. It’s best that this model should be agile and adaptable to your company’s overall business strategy and as customer needs change.

So you may be asking, how do you measure whether your customers are satisfied with your product or service? And how do you determine areas for improvement? This is where having your success team know their KPIs or Key Performance Indicators can be handy. Below, let’s dive into the top five most valuable KPIs to keep the team on track:

Net Promoter Score (NPS): This score measures customer loyalty and willingness to recommend the company’s products or services to others.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): This measures customers’ satisfaction with the company’s products or services.

Customer Churn Rate: This metric measures the percentage of customers who discontinued business with the company over time.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): CLTV measures the total revenue a customer is expected to generate throughout their relationship with the company.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): This metric measures the amount of money it takes to acquire a new customer.

2. Hire the Right People

The success of your customer success team depends on hiring the right people. Customer success managers should have a customer-centric mindset, excellent communication skills, and a problem-solving attitude. They should be able to empathize with customers and understand their pain points.

When hiring customer success managers, look for candidates with experience in your industry or a related field. Some customer success managers can be seen handling 20-30 different customer accounts as once, so great time management and organizational skills is a must-have for managers in this field. HubSpot offers a scientific formula to use when looking for your next customer success manager. They call this the 30/30/30/10 model, and it can be seen below:

  • 30% Predictive assessment results.
  • 30% Interview results.
  • 30% Performance on skills tests and simulations.
  • 10% Perceived company cultural fit.

3. Develop a Great Training Program

Developing a customer success training plan can help a business scale their customer success team by providing a framework for training new hires and ensuring that all team members are on the same page when it comes to best practices and company policies. According to Forbes, some tips for scaling customer success include:

  • Creating repeatable systems and processes
  • Operationalizing processes by creating playbooks
  • Using technology to automate processes
  • Creating a culture of continuous improvement

When developing a training plan for your customer success team, it’s important to include both hard and soft skills that are necessary for helping customers achieve their desired goals while using your business’s product or service. Soft skills such as active listening, clear communication, positive language, persuasion, and empathy are important for building strong relationships with customers. In addition to these soft skills, you should also include training on the specific products and services that your company offers, as well as any relevant industry knowledge.

4. Consider Touchpoints Of Customer Engagement

According to HubSpot, touchpoints are interactions between businesses and customers that occur during the customer’s journey. These moments significantly influence customer experience as well as brand perception. By outlining key touch points on a map, businesses can capitalize on timely opportunities to optimize and maintain customer retention rates no matter where a customer is their journey, with your product or service.

Some common touch points of customer engagement that are used by a customer success team include:

  • Onboarding: You must help your customers express their expectations of your product right from the beginning.
  • Training: Once you have identified your customers’ expectations, you can develop a training plan that will help them achieve their goals.
  • Ongoing Support: Your customers will have questions and issues that arise over time, so it’s important to provide them with ongoing support to help them resolve these issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Renewals: When it’s time for your customers to renew their subscription or contract, you’ll need to make sure that they understand the value that your product or service provides so that they’ll want to continue using it.
  • Upsells and Cross-sells: Finally, you’ll want to look for opportunities to upsell or cross-sell your customers on additional products or services that can help them achieve their goals.

It’s normal for some business owners and leaders to wonder how to establish clear goals and objectives when considering these points of customer engagement. How can a success team tell if they have implemented these touchpoints effectively? This is where calculating your success team’s NRR or Net Revenue Retention can come in handy. NRR is a measure of how much revenue a company is able to retain from existing customers, taking into account churn, upgrades, and downgrades.

A high NRR indicates that the company is doing a good job of retaining customers and generating additional revenue from them. If your NRR is low, consider which touch point of customer engagement your team can improve on in order to reach your goals. NRR can be calculated using the following equation:

NRR = (Revenue from Existing Customers in Current Period – Revenue Lost from Existing Customers in Current Period) / Revenue from Existing Customers in Previous Period x 100

5. Leverage Technology

Technology can help scale a customer success team by automating repetitive tasks and providing insights into customer behavior. Let’s look at some of the top tools:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software: CRM software is designed to help businesses manage their interactions with customers and prospects. By centralizing customer data, such as contact information and purchase history, CRM software enables customer success teams to track customer interactions and better understand their needs. It also helps teams manage their workflows and prioritize tasks.

Customer Success Platforms: Customer success platforms are designed to help businesses manage the entire customer journey, from onboarding to retention. They typically include features such as customer health scoring, automated outreach, and analytics dashboards, which can help success teams identify at-risk customers and take proactive steps to prevent churn. Today’s most popular customer success models include SalesForce, Aminity, and Gainsight.

Live Chat and Chatbots: Live chat and chatbots can help customer success teams provide immediate communication for customer, particularly for simple inquiries or updates about a product.

Knowledge Management Systems: Knowledge management systems, such as wikis, can help customer success teams create and share information that customers and team members can access. By documenting best practices and joint issues, these systems can help improve efficiency and reduce the workload on individual team members.

Additionally, they can empower customers to find answers to their questions on their own. This allows more time that customers can spend customizing their Saas to fit their business’s specific needs rather than trying to figure out how the product works in the first place.

Customer Feedback Software: Customer feedback software, such as surveys or net promoter score (NPS) tools, can help businesses collect customer feedback and track their satisfaction levels over time. By analyzing this data, customer success teams can identify areas for improvement and take action to address issues before they become significant problems. Today’s most popular feedback software includes Zendesk, Survey Monkey, and Qualtrics.

6. Consider Business Phases

There are many factors that a customer success team should consider when building relationships with their customers. Ultimately, it’s essential to consider the bigger picture, exactly where a company is in the business phases, to scale up its efforts appropriately. Let’s look at how a customer success team may look and operate during each stage of a business model.

Startup Phase: During the startup phase, your customer success team may consist of just one person or a small team. You must prioritize building solid customer relationships and providing personalized support at this stage. To scale your customer success team at this stage, consider the following strategies:

  • Hire people passionate about customer success and willing to go above and beyond to help customers.
  • Use customer feedback to identify areas where your product or service could be improved and prioritize these improvements.
  • Leverage technology to automate processes and improve efficiency.

Growth Phase: In the growth phase, your customer base is expanding rapidly, and you need to scale your customer success team to keep up with demand. To do this, consider the following strategies:

  • Hire more customer success managers to provide support to your growing customer base.
  • Implement a customer success platform to help you manage customer interactions and track customer success metrics.
  • Establish a straightforward customer success process and ensure everyone on the team follows it.
  • Provide ongoing training and development opportunities for your customer success team. Ensure they are supplied with expert knowledge on their company’s products and services.

Scale Phase: In the scale phase, your customer success team needs to handle a high volume of customer interactions while maintaining high customer satisfaction. To scale your customer success team at this stage, consider the following strategies:

  • Hire more customer success managers, and hire associates or coordinators to handle less complex interactions.
  • Implement a customer success analytics program to track key metrics and identify areas for improvement.
  • Develop a self-service knowledge base to empower customers to find answers to their questions independently.

Enterprise Phase: In the enterprise phase, your customer success team needs to be able to handle complex customer interactions and provide personalized support to high-value customers. To scale your customer success team at this stage, consider the following strategies:37

  • Develop a customer success playbook that outlines best practices for managing complex customer interactions.
  • Provide ongoing training and development opportunities for your customer success team to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to support enterprise-level customers.
  • Establish a clear escalation path for high-value customers to ensure their issues are addressed quickly and effectively.

Conclusion

Scaling a customer success team requires careful planning and execution. By designing a success model, hiring the right people, providing comprehensive training, and leveraging technology, any business can effectively scale its customer success teams and ensure that customers achieve their desired outcomes and are successful in using the company’s products or services.

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