What Really Happens with a Manual Process

November 15, 2013 Pam McBride


Manual Process

What Really Happens with a Manual Process

Hooray! Four qualified and enthusiastic customer success managers have been recruited. The VP is well aware of the business goals – reduce churn, grow the lifetime value of every customer, and maybe even improving conversions sits with this organization.


So you start by assigning a list of customer accounts to each customer success manager. “These are the customers you are responsible for.” Each customer quickly becomes a tab on a spreadsheet x 4 managers. Core information to be tracked is identified. “This is what I need to report to the CEO, so please make sure the information is captured accurately so I can roll it up for my monthly reports.”

And engagements start occurring slowly with at least half of the customers in the initial two weeks. Some engagements happen more than once, maybe with more than one individual associated with the account. There are phone calls, emails, and online chats. The tabs on the spreadsheet are being populated religiously.

Customers are delighted to hear from your organization – typically conversations only occur when there is a problem. So the engagements become more frequent  – an engaged customer is certainly a good thing!

The end of the month quickly approaches and the details captured in the tabs are not quite as, well, detailed. Working from memory, recalling conversations and the need to show results, customer success managers populate and submit their respective spreadsheets. At a minimum, the spreadsheet actually does capture information relevant to the customer success process. Certainly not ideal but better than the alternative! The VP could require the customer success managers to update Salesforce once a month to reflect their activities and status. Worse case scenario because now they are required to stop ‘CSMing’ and update SFDC from memory – a sales automation tool not even embedded in their workflow.

The lesson here is not that the process is cumbersome and manual for the customer success managers – although without question it is! It’s that the data you are reporting on, is likely more inaccurate than accurate. Not sure which is the lesser of two evils – they are both equally detrimental to your SaaS business.


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