What’s the point of automation?
Customer Success Managers have so much to offer, and there’s no limit to what they can do. The more domain expertise they gain, the more they create and deliver value to their customers and become long-term strategic partners. By being experts in their fields, Customer Success Managers are able to directly impact their customers’ ability to reach their goals, while building strong relationships.
What’s special about these? They’re people things.
Sure, it sometimes sounds like there will soon be AI for everything, but we’re nowhere even close to actually automating relationship building.
However, there’s a lot of other stuff we can already automate. So what, exactly, is automation good for in Customer Success, and why do we need it?
Automation helps Customer Success teams focus their human sensitivity and it empowers them to create value and coach customer towards better outcomes. Automation helps you become a true proactive coach, an advocate, and a partner for your customers.
Below are three ways to use automation to empower your Customer Success team.
Algorithms eat data for breakfast every day. There are multiple areas of customer data management which you should absolutely automate as early as possible.
Data Collection - On top of being fastidious, data gathering requires a high level of reliability. The quality and heterogeneity of the data collected are what enables proactive Customer Success down the road. Not only does it take lots of time to do manually, a small mistake will cost you copious amounts of time and effort to fix.
Synchronization - Automatically centralizing all relevant data points from various platforms used throughout the customer journey is necessary to gain a 360 understanding of your customer. This is a massive source of wasted time for CSMs and it’s something that is dealt with incredibly easily with the right technology.
Insights - The data you gather is turned into actionable insights. You can manually update your spreadsheet to turn data points into valuable information to be used by your team. However, automatically calculating insights and updating them in real time is a much more reliable approach. Using automation to manage customer insights prevents you from ever missing an opportunity to start a conversation with the right customer, at the right time.
Onboarding, implementation, adoption, renewal, upsell, and escalation… all it takes is a day of planning around each process. Focus your energy on actually drawing out the strategy around each playbook, instead of exhausting yourself managing them ad hoc. Use automation to run these processes so you can sit back and watch it run.
Of course, it will take some adjustments here and there, some trial and error, and there will be some unexpected results. Still, the amount of time and effort needed to make these adjustments is much lower than what it would take for your team to manually manage each process.
Most of us have a diverse customer base and a huge challenge for many Customer Success teams is to work with different tiers of customer effectively. Where there are many customers at a lower price point, 1 to 1 coaching might not be feasible. Automating different workflows for specific user segments is the best way to proactively deliver value to customers without monopolizing your resources unwisely.
Reporting to your customers on how well they are doing because of your SaaS is essential to demonstrating value and building relationships. A great way to report on the value you are creating for them is through automatic emails. If your customer is doing great, that’s a perfect way to remind them how indispensable you are! If they aren’t meeting their goals and their performance is going down, it’s an opportunity to start a conversation with them and to position yourself as their coach and partner.
Another way to use the power of technology is to automate trial conversions emails. Different user behaviors can trigger automatic emails to drive adoption further and create value.
Your relationship to automation will depend on your business and your customers’ needs. CSMs should be able to do what they love, and what they’re good at. Automation is an effective way to save human resources to help your team focus on what they should be focusing on: success.
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