How Scaling CS Can Be Like Thanksgiving Dinner
By Ellie Wu
For companies, growth (or hyper-growth) is a good problem to have. For CS teams, the celebratory wave of new customers is followed by the sobering realization that more customers do not always translate to additional headcount on the CS team. Moving from exhilaration to anxiety is much like Thanksgiving dinner that starts with gratitude for the feast turning to gluttonous overindulgence.
What are your top goals?
Based on your business stage and model, should your team goals be reactive (saving at-risk accounts and post-churn follow-up) or proactive (maximize adoption and growth)? With more requests than bandwidth, your exec team needs to agree on priorities and CSMs must clearly understand what can and cannot wait.
Are you set up for success?
You wear your stretchy pants to Thanksgiving dinner. Do you have the right number of people, skill sets, and tools on your team to realistically achieve the goals you're responsible for delivering to the organization?
Segment based on similarities.
Segments depend on factors including complexity of product, size of accounts, unique business factors, etc. so there is no magic ratio. Grouping by size, growth potential, strategic influence, or stage in customer journey allows CSMs to batch their tasks for "like" customers and increase productivity.
Know when to punt or share.
CSMs are often pulled into tasks/functions because they are the path of least resistance. Efficient scaling your team is enabled when CSMs have separation from support and resist firefighting tendencies. Diligent documentation can identify better workflows and more autonomy for those on your team.
Some Thanksgiving dishes taste better next day and some customer deals are bigger with a shorter lifecycle. However, your team can only capitalize on this if the structure facilitates proactive customer interactions and capable of active value discussions where they are trusted advisors instead of ticket gophers.
- 4 Ways to Scale Your Customer Success Efforts by Lindsay Smith, Director, Client Services/Product Manager at rSmart
- 11/23 Webinar 7am & 1pm ET: Managing a Fast-Growing Customer Success Team w/ Amity CEO & Founder Paul Philp
- How to Choose and Successfully Implement Customer Success Software from Irit Eizips of CSM Practice including a CSM Software Checklist
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