How to Improve your CSM to Customer Ratio

July 8, 2014 Paul Chilensky

Customer Ratio

Knowing how many customers a single CSM can successfully manage will vary with each company.  The one common challenge we all face is how to increase the ratio in order to scale your customer success organization while maintaining costs.

First you need to have a complete understanding of the functions performed by your CSM staff. This is also known as “Workflow”.  There are many ways to determine this however one way is to pull your senior CSM’s into a working session to outline each step in the process.  Then associate a “Worktime” to each. This will give you a baseline for the projected amount of time each customer requires. Obviously you will have the unexpected calls or requests so use your best estimate and factor this time in.

Next you need to evaluate each function performed and determine how you can automate it.  Having performed this exercise with many companies what I have found is a large percentage can be automated with technology.

Some SaaS CRM vendors offer “Playbooks” or “Alerts” which allow you to automate many functions while becoming a “Proactive” Customer Success organization. Automation will allow you to free up time while increasing your overall product adoption levels.

The desired outcomes of this process should be improved level of service, consistent processes followed, reduced labor time, increased CSM to Customer ratio and the insight into understanding how to scale your customer success organization based on unit sales.

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