“One of the things I like to do is to lock us in a room with a whiteboard and markers and brainstorm how to solve the problems that arise from our day to day customer success work.
During these sessions, we break the problem down into small bits and then look at what the data is telling us about those various topics. One of the problems we discussed was how customers tend to get stuck halfway through their onboarding and we don't know why. The core of this session is what we talk about: “Why do you think this customer is stuck? Why do you think it's not moving along? What can we do about it?” You should feel free to talk. No one is wrong. Any ideas you have are good”.
“Everyone in customer success has their own process and tests things out because there's nothing set in stone. So what I like to do is simply say, Hey, open yourself up, and let's play around with it. Our sessions include analyzing data we have from our customers, and then with that information we bring ideas to the table, drawing processes on the whiteboard and understanding what's happening”.
I asked Erika about the participants of the session, who should be invited?
“I'd actually involve other teams. Marketing is extremely important to get involved in communication discussions for example. I believe that these problem solving rooms shouldn't be packed full of people because it's hard to communicate, share ideas when it's too crowded. My suggestion is maybe six to eight people a room tops”.
I wanted Erika to share some more information on the onboarding issue they were working on during one of the problem solving rooms, and how they solved it. “So recently we found out that some of our customers who were marked as ‘completed onboarding’ didn’t actually take specific actions in the tool that we offer them, that are they need and that they indicated they wanted.
So we analyzed each customer's actions in the product and which were not completed. We decided from those sessions we needed specific email templates that showed the product usage of the customer. We then used specific phrases that appealed to an emotion that the customer had articulated during the kickoff call. It worked really well”.
Erika highlights the value she sees in constant education. “There's a lot of content available like EverAfter's ebooks, there's a lot of resources available for free. One of my recommendations for other CSMs is to go read, follow, and subscribe to newsletters from customer success softwares. They have a lot of content out there, and it's a good way to learn how to do stuff and come up with ideas. Also, they can take different certifications, join CS communities and follow leaders in this industry on Linkedin. The content is unlimited!”