Your Customer Success Workflow: A Guide to Understanding and Optimizing It
The ideal customer experience provides seamless, consistently high-quality support every step of the way. Customers often work with many different teams at your organization throughout the customer lifecycle. Keeping track of all of these engagements can be daunting, but effective communication and making customer information transparent and accessible throughout the company ensures an excellent experience. As such, you need to develop an intelligent customer success workflow that will streamline, standardize, and support CS efforts.
How to Develop a Customer Success Workflow
As a best practice, a standardized workflow ensures that the customer success team is able to deliver a scalable, repeatable customer experience. Optimizing the steps your team takes will enhance collaboration and empower your success managers to make decisions on how best to work with customers. It also reduces the risk of errors and increases efficiency. From the customer’s viewpoint, an optimized CS workflow creates a seamless, high-quality experience throughout the customer journey.
Your customer success team will (and likely has) develop workflows to address specific customer situations and desired outcomes. For example, the workflow for a winback campaign will be different than for an upsell or expansion opportunity. The best customer success teams have the agility to adjust their processes in order to respond to each customer’s changing situational needs. Success managers have a deep understanding of customer needs, and by applying this knowledge they can choose the right approach for each customer.
The goal is to develop customer success workflows that enable both your business and your customers to grow together. To do this, you must think carefully about the milestones and experiences that happen throughout the customer journey. Doing this allows you to outline the steps CS teams should take to deliver a good customer experience.
Here are some best practices for optimizing customer success workflows:
- Standardize Your Processes: This is the key feature of a good CS workflow and ensures a scalable, repeatable customer experience. Using technology to create a shared playbook of best practices enables the team and provides a point of reference as needed. Some examples of items to include in the playbook are plans for the onboarding kick-off, a low adoption strategy, winback guidelines, and escalation management.
- Employ the Right Technology: Once you have established standardized processes, you need an effective way to deploy them. Use proven technology to help you do just that, including leading customer success software that will make it easy for team members to determine the right path to take based on a variety of situations.
- Use Real-Time Data: Accessible, accurate data is critical for a success team to make timely and relevant decisions. Bringing all the data you have together gives the team a full picture of the customer’s health. The data set should include financial, business/CRM, engagement and touchpoints, product usage, Voice of Customer, and more.
- Gather Customer Feedback: Regularly gather customer feedback and adjust workflows as needed. Voice of Customer data lets you know if your workflows are having their intended effect. Remember that the customer experience changes over time, so you may have to review and improve your current processes.
- Continuously Improve: The best customer success teams in the world are those that are running multiple programs and initiatives, measuring their effectiveness, and iterating to improve. Be open to the feedback you receive from customers and team members so that the standardized practices your team follows are the best they can be.
How to Build and Scale Your Optimized Workflow
In order to implement quality workflows, your CS teams must be able to:
- Connect the Dots: Bring all customer data from disparate sources into one centralized location, and make it easily accessible throughout the organization.
- Use Data to Segment Customers: “Slicing and dicing” the data to develop customer cohorts enables your team to promote the right message at the right time and have valuable, relevant interactions.
- Automate Campaigns: Customer communication is key. CS teams can use campaigns for many messaging for efforts such as feature releases, customer enablement, renewal outreach, and more.
- Use an Early Warning System: Certain events within the customer journey require a response from a CS team member. For example, a dip in a customer’s health score or a drop in license usage should not go ignored. If you’re trying to identify and respond to these events manually, though, it will be quite challenging. Instead, use an early warning system that will alert the appropriate team member about certain events and provide suggestions of how to proceed.
How to Improve Your Operations with Software
Make the most of your unique workflows by giving your team a customer success platform that includes all the capabilities they need. CS software makes customer data accessible from one location and ensures that all members of your enterprise can easily access it. It should work as an early warning system and provide a decision framework for best practices with customers.. It should also give your team the ability to set goals and track progress, demonstrating the direct outcomes of their efforts. Bringing all of these things together will ensure customers have a high-quality experience throughout their journey.
Totango’s award-winning customer success platform has all the capabilities you need to scale your CS workflow. Request a demo to see how it drives outcomes for leading enterprise organizations. To learn how to give customers the best experience possible, explore Spark.