As virtual teams and remote engagement become the norm for Customer Success teams, staying on top of customer needs and expectations is becoming more challenging. In particular, correctly identifying, engaging, and managing your key stakeholders is critical to driving adoption, minimizing risk, and ensuring long term relationship success.
Yesterday, Totango hosted our third CXO series event for Customer Success executives. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, I highly recommend watching the replay above.
Kevin O’Came, SVP of Customer Success at Totango, kicked off the conversation with key considerations for virtual organizations, including the challenge in building meaningful strategic relationships – virtually. Stakeholder engagement, the process of aligning, informing and collaborating with parties who have a vested interest in an organization, is an extremely important strategic relationship that should be a high priority but is often neglected. In fact, 60% of the audience stated they’ve lost accounts because they were unaware that their key stakeholders and influencers were not aligned or left the organization. And over 50% of the audience stated that although they had not started on their journey of implementing stakeholder engagement plan, they were looking for a way to get started.
Stephanie Comardelle, VP of Customer Experience, Success & Solutions, at Lucid, then shared their story of the organizational changes they underwent in response to COVID including moving from a growth to retention focused business model and implementing a proactive stakeholder engagement strategy that aligned internal teams to ensure a consistent customer experience. Lucid unites buyers and sellers of survey samples in over 90 countries – bridging the divide between global questions and human answers. Although stakeholder engagement was already a priority for 2020, making the process simple (to ensure consistency and action) and scalable required technology and an engagement framework, grounded in best practices for stakeholder management, to guide planning and execution.
Some of my top takeaways from yesterday’s event:
- It’s not enough to have satisfied stakeholders, focus on creating maniacal advocates who will champion your software in their companies and amplify your reach to additional markets
- A consistent employee experience = a consistent customer experience. Proper alignment and collaboration internally among employees and teams avoids mixed messaging, confusion or duplicative efforts in creating a consistent and connected stakeholder experience
- Identify all stakeholders, not just key stakeholders, and map engagement plans that balance influence and expectations with the proper level of direct/indirect/digital outreach and communication.
- Continually measure success with a scorecard that surfaces customer health, the success of customer engagement, and internal engagement.
- Consider implementing a “group hug” for the customer. Lucid breaks down the traditional sales and post-sales friction by implementing account planning in Totango and enabling sales teams (via Zoe in Salesforce) to have immediate visibility and line-of-sight into what’s happening with the customer.
- A technology solution will get you scale and ensure collaboration is seamless across functions. Lucid chose Totango to be its technology partner to drive customer success.
The next event is scheduled for August 13th. Another leader who puts customers at the forefront of what they do is SAP. SAP will discuss how they have operationalized their Customer First vision and launched Totango as it’s One Customer Success platform across the majority of its lines and businesses.
Looking to hear from other CXO leaders? You are in luck! Check out past CXO events on our Youtube Channel, Everything Customer Success. If you are ready to try out customer success technology that works for you, get started with Totango for free.