A mantra is one of those things you say to yourself to keep you focused in meditation. In Customer Success things can get pretty stressful, making it easy to lose focus. A CSM typically has multiple balls in the air and can easily become overwhelmed and distracted, so we thought it might be helpful to have a few mantras a CSM can repeat to themselves to help them regain focus on keeping all their customers happy and on-track to value attainment.
Why do we do what we do? To bring delight to our customers! If I’m spending any time working on something that isn’t directly tied to demonstrating value to my customer, then I need to stop or de-prioritize this activity. My primary goal is to help my customer(s) meet his/her/their objectives using our platform. Any time I find myself spending time on an activity that isn’t directly or indirectly tied to this goal, I really do need to stop and regroup.
In other words, what’s done behind the scenes is as important as what’s done on stage. Just because my To-Do cue isn’t full of customer-facing tasks such as calls and e-mails to make doesn’t mean I don’t have important work to do. Each customer has objectives that I am striving to help them attain. When my activity log isn’t full of “cast” tasks, I need to spend that time doing my “crew” work. This means doing research on my customers’ usage patterns and knowing what kinds of professional services they may benefit from. Should I be chatting with my sales team about expansion/upsell opportunities? Have I come across other resources that may benefit my customer?
It’s called the Customer Lifecycle. I know what my customers should be doing each step of the way, and it’s my job to get them there, and keep them on track. While they may at times veer off track, I know where they should be in their lifecycle, and I have the right tools and strategies for getting them there. I rely upon my CS Management platform to remind me of the current state of each of my customers, and my tasks are all aligned to the appropriate lifecycle for each of my customers.
I may have so many balls in the air that I don’t know where to begin. However, I am aware of all that I have to do (thanks to my customer success management platform), but sometimes I don’t know where to begin. Every task is important. I will not let quantity paralyze me. Start doing things – one at a time. Every task I do needs to be a “right thing” (meaning it’s something that will further my customers along their lifecycle). If I just keep at it, I will feel a sense of accomplishment, and the tasks within my To-Do column will invariably shrink.
Let’s not forget to keep our eyes on the prize. While we reminded ourselves on Monday that we do all that we do FOR our customers, we must also remember that Customer Success (and our jobs) exist because our customers have choices that they can easily exercise. They are subscription holders who can exercise their rights to cancel, and we don’t want that. We want them to renew their contracts, and to do that, they must continue to derive value from platform/services. We must keep our eye on the prize, and the fruits of our labor will be justified.