When you do not automate customer success, you leave things to chance.
You have hundreds of thousands of product users spread across the globe, operating in different time zones, and belonging to different stages of the customer lifecycle. It can be daunting for you to keep track of every milestone, every customer relationship, and every escalation.
As a SaaS business, managing your customers and their success journey is a scrupulous task. Even if you can handle it all very beautifully today, how will you automate for Scaling customer success management with 2X or 3X growth tomorrow?
That’s where customer success automation comes into the picture.
It puts on auto-pilot all the things that are repeatable and robotifiable – such as customer-related coordination, executing standard operating procedures, and monitoring day to day metrics.
That way, it helps you and your team save time and energy for things that matter – such as solving a problem, improving a customer relationship, and expanding coverage in an account. When you have such a bandwidth to do more, you are in a better position to welcome a new bunch of customers quarter after quarter without stressing out your delivery and operations teams and risking your business reputation.
So, what are the top activities to automate for scaling customer success capacity like never before? We have put together a list of eight such things.
1. Customer onboarding
After you sign a new sales contract, is your customer left wondering about the next steps? Scaling customer success is essential to ensure you can treat every customer well – not just the large ones.
Using customer success automation tools, you can schedule a standard dialog with all new customers, auto-assign a customer success manager (or account manager) based on specific rules, and send how-to videos and resources.
It will help your customers know what to expect next, and they will be better aligned to walk the path with you.
2. User Adoption Management
How users interact with your product in the first thirty to ninety (30 to 90) days after a SaaS product’s implementation is crucial to set the tone for your relationship with customers. User adoption is vital to overall ROI.
Through customer success technology, you can set in motion a series of adoption and user training modules such as product feature deep-dives, troubleshooting guides, and user-specific courses (reporting guides for the power user, configuration guides for the admin, quick-start guides for the business user).
3. Obligation and Milestone Tracking
A customer is as happy as the percentage of promises you fulfill. In the B2B SaaS industry, your customer contract and whatever you commit in it are sacrosanct. Costs of missing the milestones are incredibly high and have a cascading effect. Scaling customer success is thus very important for your vendor reputation in the market.
Automate customer success to identify and track Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and project deliverables by specific milestones across all your customers. This way, you can monitor every customer-specific obligation and meet the same on time.
4. Product Usage Monitoring
After the initial high-touch phase with your new customers, the relationship begins to stabilize. But that’s when many vital signs start to go unnoticed.
Through a holistic customer success software integrated with your SaaS product interface, you can track when the users logged in last, the degree of usage per user, and the time spent on different features. You can also set up alerts for a prolonged absence of use, or overutilization of the product, and share these with the account management teams responsible for customer retention and development.
5. Customer Service Management
In a world without customer success automation, how do you track the day to day account health? Every hour, dozens of support tickets are raised and resolved or escalated! Asking your customer service reps about the status quo with a particular account is not the best way to scaling customer success capacity.
When you automate customer success, you will get a real-time, and summarized view of customer service health across the lifecycle – insights which you can use for effective customer relationship management.
6. Customer Satisfaction Index Surveys
Nobody likes to seek responses to survey questions from their customers over the phone. Contacting hundreds of SPOCs (single points of contact) across your customer base, and getting answers to your survey can be tedious and time-consuming if managed manually.
Your quarterly Customer Satisfaction Index surveys can be automated easily via customer success solutions. You can program the system to send first-level requests and second-level reminders, thereby receiving the bulk of your responses while you sleep!
7. Customer Marketing Campaigns
Your customer marketing may be operating unaware of the situation on the ground. If so, there is a high risk of accidentally sending an email to a “Do not touch” customer or missing a very probable cross-sell opportunity. You can prevent all of these if you automate customer success.
Go ahead, and design marketing flows based on customer health status and product usage signals. This way, you will scale up your ability to send targeted marketing campaigns to decision-makers, influencers, and general users about product enhancements, new launches, UI revamp, and more. You can then also leverage the holistic customer view to generate impactful case studies and win industry references.
8. Account Invoicing, Renewals, and Upsells
It is dangerous to send an invoice when the implementation timeline has gone awry. Similarly, it is foolish to miss a renewal opportunity to your competitor just because you couldn’t track contract expiry. Every business has to tighten its grip on such customer management processes -after all, they fetch the balance to your bank!
Automating customer success ensures you don’t miss out on customer invoicing dates, opportunities to upsell or cross-sell and generally follow the clock on your accounts receivables, no matter how large is your customer base. It not only improves your cash flow but also enables organic business growth.
Customer success is as much about people and relationships as it is about numbers and bottom-line impact. Automation of your customer success processes provides your team valuable insights about customers, which they can zoom into at any given time, and get a better perspective before a customer meeting, or an upcoming contract review. At the same time, it helps in optimizing your team’s bandwidth and enables them to do more with their time.
The idea is to empower your teams as you grow, rather than overwhelm them.
The more equipped your customer success teams are, the better are your chances of experiencing the exponential growth that happy customers always bring.