Everything managers need to know about Customer Success Automation

A complete guide to customer success automation
    On this blog post, you'll learn how:
  • Customer Success automation can help you with retention;
  • Its main benefits;

Customer Success equals customer retention, right?! Well, in theory. But hey, who says this theory can become a practice? On our last post, we talked about the importance of a proactive customer success team and how predicting issues is the number one goal. By anticipating problems, you can prevent churn and retain more customers!

So yes, a good customer success equals retention. And to maximize your efforts, there's always automation. On this blog post, we'll explain how a customer success management (CSM) software can help you improve your results.

Customer success is basically everything that is done to assure that the client has the best experience. From marketing to sales, onboarding, support, hiring and operations, it is all done to help the customers to get significant value from your product. And that involves every part of the organization. Each employee needs to be held accountable for, and encouraged to, add more value at every stage of the customer life cycle.

Gartner reports that 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, up from 36 percent four years ago, and those who do it well are 5.2 times more likely to win additional business.

89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, and those who do it well are 5.2 times more likely to win additional business

With this in mind, it's only logical that all teams should be aligned and ready for any demands that might show up. The best way to do that is optimizing processes to get more out of your strategies.

Customer Success Basics

Surely there are some metrics that can help you to measure how well is your CS performing, but once again, the best responses to your actions are your churn rate, retention and referrals.

There are ways to optimize your strategy and one of them is by automating your customer success. We'll talk about that in a minute.

First, let me remind you of a few things that you can do in order to streamline your strategy:

  • Track your user behaviour: what are the points of friction in your product? Are the users not finishing your onboarding? Are they having any difficulties? What about the user experience, how is it? Understand user behavior and see where people are spending their time within your app;
  • Feedback: simple feedbacks can give you valuable insights of what is really important to people and what your customers think about your product;
  • Proactive support: excellent customer service really is one of the biggest driving forces behind customer success. Help your users to solve problems but not only that; go beyond and identify possible issues to solve them fast;
  • Visualize your tasks and strategies: do you really know what your team is doing? Is your workflow really flowing? By knowing that, you can better understand the ups and downs of your strategy.

From that, the next step e customer success automation.

Customer Success Automation

The traditional Customer Success approach of contacting each customer (or awaiting for a contact) is time-consuming, inefficient and doesn’t scale as the number of accounts a company aims for tends to keep growing, but the CS professional can't keep up the demand.

However, new CSM softwares can monitor accounts for specific behaviors based on rules set by the company, and notify the customer success team when they detect potential issues, like too many support tickets or a drop-off in usage.

Although this is helpful, it is still reactive. I mean, sometimes churn is not so straightforward. Sometimes a customer just concludes he isn't getting the value they sought out to get from a solution and the next thing you know there’s a cancellation request in someone’s inbox.

But, what if you could be alerted more accurately and earlier about accounts that are likely to churn? Or easily identify those customers who are most likely to convert from trial or expand their use of your product? You’d be in a better position to turn around struggling customers, as well as help those who are ready to purchase more from your company.

If the customer success team has the ability to target the right customer at the right moment, not only their productivity would improve, but key metrics like retention, revenue, customer satisfaction and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) as well. But how can you achieve that? Three simple words: Customer Success Automation.

So let's see how to automate some of the key items that we mentioned above:

  • Event tracking: with the right tool, you can track all your users activities from page views to emails opened, clicked, and so on. This is first step to try and understand your customer. You can then assign values for each event and evaluate the client's level of engagement. Is he committed? Fully engaged? Now you can find out!
  • Integrate all your communication: a good customer success automation platform will allow you to keep all your conversations in one place, whether it's an in-app message, live chat or email. With this, anyone in the team can know what is going on, what solution was provided, if an issue has been solved and so on.
  • Have you ever imagined a place where the whole company is fully aligned? Where you can pass on a customer to another team member or other department with just one click? A place where you visualize everything that has been done or need to be done in the near future? Well, a CSM software (the right one) offers you all of these possibilities. Manage processes workflows and monitor yours and others activities with simple boards.

Why Customer Success Automation?

We already mentioned that customer success automation can improve productivity, help with retention, client satisfaction and lifetime value. But there are some other practical benefits of investing on a good software.

First of all, let's talk about team alignment. We've already written about the importance of sales and marketing integration to ensure more sales, but don't forget that the CS should be included on this equation as well. With all teams working together towards the same goal, it becomes easier to succeed.

Not to mention that important customer data is shared between everyone, so all the behavior analysis can be based on different aspects, and a better and more complete customer profile can be created.

The team's integration paves the way for another benefit: passing the baton automatically. What does this mean? When a client is satisfied with the customer success and the team truly believes he is ready to move forward, he can be passed on to the sales for an upsell. Or if your product has a trial version and your client has just finished onboarding successfully, the platform will be responsible for moving this client to the next step, which is a contact with a salesperson to a future paid subscription.

If you don't have to worry about the sales departament knowing of a client that is ready to upsell (because your kanban board will do that), or spend your time sending emails to the customers to find out how was their onboarding experience (because you've already set up an automation to release emails to customers soon after the onboarding), this means you have more time in hands.

What will you do with that? It's up to up. The point here is remind you that you'll have extra time to work on strategies, analysis and other important issues.

Remember that we've mentioned a system of points to rate your user's behavior? Well, it has a single purpose: help you to discover who is becoming less engaged. Lack of engagement usually means possible churn. So customer success automation does help you "predict" churn.

Less churn means more retention and we are back to what we are saying in the first paragraph of this topic. What a beautiful cycle, right?

The result of employing customer success automation is that managers spend more time with customers who need it, and where they can make an impact on growing the business.

As you can see there, are different reasons why you should invest on a CSM software. A customer success strategy that scales uses technology to extend the reach of the team in a way that still drives value for the customer.

Note that customer success is a process and being the best at it doesn't happen overnight. You might need to change the whole culture of the company. But once everyone understands its necessity and what good results can come from it, CS-thinking will guide every action of every team.

What about you? Have you bet on customer success automation yet? Or are you still flirting with the idea? Let us know!

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