As companies try to overcome inefficiencies, many Customer Success (CS) organizations are looking to automate tasks that can help win back precious time. A “tech-touch” strategy in your Customer Success organization will allow you to scale your operations, improve the effectiveness of your team, and engage your customers in a consistent and timely manner.
I’ve worked with many customers to optimize their processes by implementing a tech-touch strategy. When going down this path, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Define Your Customer Journey
The first step is to take a look at each stage of your customer’s journey. Within each of these stages, document your customer touchpoints. Taking the time to do this will go a long way in helping you realize where and how your team is spending their time.
One of our customers, Popmenu, takes a very systematic approach to documenting daily work processes. Jess Kitt, Vice President of Client Experience with Popmenu discusses this process. “Once a quarter, we break our work down into the Eisenhower Matrix and discuss as a team how we are spending our time, and the activities that are the most important to customer satisfaction. The Eisenhower Matrix is a task and time management tool that helps you organize and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance into four quadrants. Then, we listed out all of the things we could automate, and started prioritizing those items that could have the most impact.”
Automate Repetitive Tasks, Starting with a Simple Process First
Now that you’ve identified all of the tasks and interactions you have with customers, you can start identifying repetitive tasks as opportunities for automation. From that list, identify your low-hanging fruit – or a task that will move the needle but will be simple enough to execute in a timely manner. This will give your team a quick win and show value for future process changes. The more complex the process, the more unknown challenges these will hold, which is why I recommend starting with a simple process first.
Examples of Tech-Touch Process Automations
A few areas where I have seen customers add in automation to gain significant wins quickly include:
Survey Lifecycle - The Survey Lifecycle is a great place to start when it comes to automation. One nCloud customer previously had a team of three people spending 100% of their time performing manual sentiment assessments with their customers. We were able to assist them in launching a Gainsight-driven NPS survey, as well as automated Call to Actions (CTAs) based on Detractator, Passive or Promoter responses. With the new automated NPS survey in place, this team has been repurposed to focus on more strategic relationship activities that generate revenue as opposed to being a cost center.
Overdue Billing - Another area that could be a significant tech-touch win is around billing automation and past due accounts. A recent nCloud customer was managing 10,000 small and medium sized businesses that all paid by credit card. Many of these customers would miss a payment because they changed their card or the card was stolen. Every CSM within their organization was spending about 10 hours per week contacting customers for new payment methods. We developed an automated process within Gainsight that generated an email to the customer if a payment didn't go through. Today, their CS team members only receive a notification if a new form of payment was not added and/or confirmed.
Drop in usage - It can be time consuming to monitor product adoption, but with automation you can proactively identify and flag accounts that need intervention. Depending on the segment of the customer, an intervention could be a digital nudge/touchpoint or a human-driven interaction. We often see our customers trigger automated CTAs when an important adoption metric turns red. This allows the CSM to know which accounts they need to connect with, as well as what steps they need to take to mitigate. We also can utilize health scorecard history to see if those interactions had a positive impact on improving adoption.
Think Through all the Nuances to Bring Your Automation to Life
Now that you know what you want to automate, you need to think through the process from beginning to end. This includes:
Ensuring that you have the data to make the automation come to life. For example, if you want to automate an email that goes to a customer 60 days after onboarding, you need to make sure that you have the initial onboarding date in your systems. Then, you need to confirm that this onboarding date is filled out. You can’t make the automation happen if you don’t have the back-end data to support the process.
Segmenting your customer base: Segmenting your customer base based on size, location, usage behavior, or other relevant criteria can help you tailor your tech-touch interactions to meet the specific needs of each customer.
Personalizing your interactions: Personalizing your tech-touch interactions can help increase customer engagement and build stronger relationships.
Monitoring and optimizing your tech-touch processes: Finally, regularly monitor and optimize your tech-touch processes to ensure that they are effective and delivering the desired results.
In summary, implementing tech-touch processes in your Customer Success organization can help save time and streamline operations. To get started, define your customer journey and identify repetitive tasks that can be automated. Consider some of the suggested automations detailed in this article as examples of significant time-saving wins. When implementing automation, be sure to have the necessary data, segment your customer base, personalize interactions, and regularly monitor and optimize processes. A successful tech-touch strategy will help your Customer Success team focus on more strategic activities and deliver a more consistent and personal level of engagement to your customers.
Want to add more automation at your organization? Talk to nCloud about our Tech Touch Services Package for Gainsight's Journey Orchestrator.
The author, Travis Peterson, is a Consulting Manager at nCloud Integrators, an industry leader in Gainsight implementation, Gainsight administration, and customer success strategy with a track record of improving customer journeys at hundreds of organizations every year.
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