5 min read
In 2023, most CS teams are navigating economic challenges by adjusting their approaches. They are prioritizing metrics such as Net Revenue Retention and putting a stronger focus on expansion sales. Many organizations are also recognizing the need to improve their customer-centric efforts and are embracing the importance of RevOps. Alongside these changes, there is another emerging trend: the adoption of automation to enhance customer success efficiency and the capabilities of CS teams.
What is clear is that doubling down on ensuring customers get value from a product is essential. According to Planhat’s Customer Success Community Survey, 64% of CS leaders are adapting somewhat to the economic climate, while another 16% are making big changes. Only 14% admit to being fully prepared, and a slim 6% are yet to decide what they should do.
Against this backdrop, some CS teams are being restructured to become more efficient, less reactive, and more proactive – and to do this effectively, data is seen as the great enabler. But in order for this to happen, CS teams need tech that is able to assist them when promoting the value of a product or service.
For many businesses, building and growing a high-performing CS team will be easier thanks to the adoption of technology that automates a number of time-consuming CS functions. In fact, according to our community survey, 94% of CS leaders believe there should be a focus on using technology to assist teams when scaling.
Ultimately, CS leaders are being forced to review growth plans for CS teams in 2023 – given that in today’s climate, simply scaling teams by increasing headcount is unreasonable. Whether this is individuals getting larger portfolios to manage or using tools that indicate account health, combining real-time customer data with the automation of repetitive tasks will be high on the agenda for CS teams.
Consolidate data and act decisively when alerted. Make all customer data available in real-time for all customer stakeholders - enable proactive decision-making.
Use data to enable the use of Health Scores as lead indicators. Which then automatically triggers tasks and customer interactions based on custom events.
Automatically engage with your customers where possible. Use lifecycle and behavioral signals to guide customers when needed - without sacrificing a personal touch.
In Planhats Customer Success Community Survey 2023, we asked some of the leading thinkers in our industry about how they will take on this years CS challenges. * * This is what they had to say about increasing efficiency and maximizing value for customers with the help of data and automations:
“There are various opportunities for automation within CS. One answer is: you need to do less manual work. Everything that can be automated should be automated. Account engagement, booking meetings – many things can be done in a tech-touch mode. In short, they can be automated.
The second aspect is related to signals via data. Specifically, the hidden signals that people don’t always see but the ones a system can easily detect. For example, if your customer is growing or changing its behavior, there’s a technology that exists to detect these trends and automatically alert CSMs so that you can decrease the risk of churn.
And it is the same with growth. Yet, in my experience, automating growth management is harder than automating churn management – signals for growth are far less explicit and require more manual analysis.”
Alexey Smolyanyy, Director, Enterprise Customer Success Americas, Redis
“CS should look at all data in order to really understand a customer. Accountability is going to be a big focus in 2023. Just going through the motions is not enough, and our customers deserve our expertise and support, even when they may not have asked for it. Using our customer data will help us get ahead of potential challenges which otherwise would have gone unnoticed until it was too late.”
Jennifer Schaen, Senior Vice President Customer Experience, Basis Technologies
“CS teams need to nail down a product usage-driven health score that is rooted in delivering clear and meaningful value to customers, ensuring that our internal measurements always center around their success. Focus conversations around product adoption on the customer’s objectives and required outcomes while make it quick and easy for customers to show their executive stakeholders how the solution provided has impacted their key business metrics.”
Matthew Sweeney, Director of Customer Success, Vercel
“To maximize your customers value, you need to understand how they are using your software fully and then creatively look for new ways that enable them to use the software more to gain value. Customers love to use what they already have and it creates stickiness to a product.“
Laurie Schrager, Chief Operating Officer, Element Analytics
The realization that it’s no longer efficient nor cost-effective to use people alone to manage your customer base is swiftly becoming a focus, thanks to new technology. However, this coincides with reducing, unifying, and streamlining software used across businesses. Tools must go wider than efficiency gains in single departments but help entire organizations.
Communication and cross-depart mental alignment in businesses get tougher as a business grows. Centralizing data and using that data to drive cross-functional actions is key to enabling every team to have unified customer knowledge while working independently.
One outcome of automating this data flow between different tools is that you can use data to populate customer-facing presentations or plans automatically. Meaning a massive time saving when finding data from multiple sources for customer interactions. This solution works for all customer segments, from enterprise to tech touch, and can be used by different departments, from CS to project managers and sales.
Oscar Webb, Senior Customer Success Strategy Consultant, Planhat
Discover how industry experts in the Customer Success community reduce churn and grow their existing customer base in Planhat’s Customer Success Community Survey 2023.
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