The Customer Success Playbook: How to Survive and Thrive During an Economic Downturn

The Customer Success Playbook

In uncertain economic times, attracting new customers becomes exponentially harder as budgets get tighter and priorities shift. As a customer success leader, it’s important to ensure resources are focused on delivering value and creating exceptional customer experiences, while also keenly identifying any potential opportunities for revenue and expansion. You need to be able to retain and scale your current customer base efficiently, with the current resources you have rather than adding more.  

So, how do you do this? Let’s take a look at four key actions to take right now that will not only help you prove your worth to your customers but will allow you to see instant results. 

The Customer Success Playbook: 4 Actions to Take Right Now     


1. Dive into Customer Health

If you are not already monitoring your customers’ health, now is the time to take a deep dive into it. Customer health is a consolidation of all the information you have about your customers from all probes, people and systems. Your customer success team, as well as other customer-facing departments, should have access to a live 360-degree view of your customer base and your customers’ health at all times. Monitoring this important information allows you to make informed, data-driven decisions, and to evaluate how customer behaviors and interactions align with your business priorities and make adjustments as needed. 

Customer health scores can help you assess whether your customers are seeing value in your product, determine churn risk and spot opportunities. Customer health score is a key performance indicator (KPI) designed to determine whether your customer relationship is “healthy” or “at-risk.” A good result indicates that the relationship is going well and the client is likely to renew, while a poor result can indicate something may not be quite right in the relationship and requires immediate attention to prevent churn.

Customer success software can help you stay apprised of customer health, highlighting opportunities to increase revenue from existing customers, flagging customers who are at risk of churn so you can intervene, and allowing you to automate workflows to help you track and optimize customer health scores.

2. Identify At-Risk Customers 

Dissatisfaction can creep up in even the best customer relationships, especially if you aren’t regularly communicating the value of your product. When this happens, you need to be able to salvage the relationship as quickly as possible, so you can prevent churn before it strikes. Signs to look for when learning how to identify at-risk customers include: 

  • Low Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Low usage rates
  • Increase in support tickets
  • Lack of awareness/usage of learning materials and resources
  • Changes to key stakeholders at the organization

Keeping an eye on all your customers and acting when one shows risky behaviors may sound challenging, but using a customer success platform can help simplify the process. The right CS software provides proactive monitoring and intervention capabilities that are impossible to achieve manually. Your software should give everyone in your organization access to comprehensive data and harness the power of automation to ensure all at-risk customers are identified and your team can take the appropriate steps to correct any problems. 

3. Engage Your Customers

In order to stay top-of-mind with your customers and remind them of the value you provide, you have to keep them engaged. Effective, personalized, digital communications help build and maintain connections with your customers that can weather any storm. A simple email or in-app message every now and then won’t cut it. You need to have a digital engagement model in place that ensures every touch provides value to your customer. 

A proper customer success platform can give you key insights into your customer base as well as segmentation capabilities that enable you to create hyper-personalized campaigns that speak directly to specific audiences. It also gives you the ability to build out and scale automated communications, allowing you to send the right message at the right time to thousands of customers without the need to add more resources or headcount to your team.   

4. Make the Most of Upsell Opportunities

Upsells are the result of the growth a customer has enjoyed because of your commitment to delivering lifetime value. They are a function of the overall customer experience. To ensure happy customers, shift your focus from sales and marketing to the ongoing nurturing of existing customers by shaping your actions to meet your customers’ needs and driving recurring value for both sides.

By utilizing a customer success software, you will be able to have deeper insight into your customers’ businesses and recognize when upsell opportunities present themselves. You can then offer relevant recommendations and solutions to your customers, and frame upsell efforts around personalized exchanges or email campaigns that meet their precise needs and business goals.

Implement the Right Platform to See Results Right Now

To make these four actions as easy as possible, Totango has assembled a bundle of four key SuccessBLOCs to address each of these areas and help you start seeing results instantly. Each of our modular SuccessBLOCs features ready-to-use templates, goals and KPIs, segmentation functionalities, workflow automations and campaigns that are based on data-driven best practices. This SuccessBLOC bundle includes:

  • Analyze Customer Health: this SuccessBLOC helps businesses understand the health of their customers and engage accounts when their health changes. It comes out-of-the-box with the foundational content, assets and health models that you need to score, analyze and engage with accounts based on their health in an intelligent and automated way.
  • Detect Risk: this SuccessBLOC gives you instant visibility into customer signals and critical events, alerting you to proactively engage when needed. You can identify, categorize and monitor the customer events, activities and behaviors that indicate which customers need attention and why.
  • Engage Customers: this SuccessBLOC is designed to drive customer engagement with automated retention and expansion activities to scale your growth. It allows you to scale your engagement model across thousands of customers and stay top-of-mind with your customers.
  • Maximize Upsells: this SuccessBLOC helps you to easily identify customer expansion opportunities and efficiently manage the upsell process.

During an economic downturn, you don’t have time to waste implementing a new, expensive software or trying to force-fit a CRM or monolithic CS platform. You need a composable tool that allows you to design, build, run, measure and iterate each stage of the customer journey when and where you need to. Totango is the first and only composable customer success platform that allows you to do all of that and much more. Sign up for Totango for free to see how we can help you recession-proof your business and start seeing results today!

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