How customer success teams can get creative with role playing sessions and CSM-led projects

Shai Ritblatt
April 7, 2021

Shai Ritblatt, Head of Partner & Customer Success,EMEA & APAC at Sisense shares the Sisense approachto creative plays:

״In the day-to-day there are many things that aren't working, or they're taking longer than expected, or they're exhausting both internally and externally. As a team leader, you get to take feedback,  so you can either ignore it, or you can say, "Okay, we have to stop what we’re doing, and analyze this.This is where the creative ideas come from and if you're receptive you'll usually find someone very passionate about it or very frustrated that things are the way they are, and they'll want to be the owner of the solution”. 


Ritblatt is big on giving the CSMs control of finding solutions on their own. Ritblatt typically asks them to interview the entire team, talk to key CSMs from other regions, talk to see what they can learn, understand the main issues.  Afterward he hands them the keys to come up with an actual solution:

"Build how you would like the process to look like. What would you improve, change, and what would you get rid of altogether? Next, we sit down and go over the plan, just to make sure it's set up and ready. Then we usually present it to our own team. That way, the CSM gets great exposure. We get some additional feedback from the team and make a few changes before going public”.

Shai talked about a specific project where a CSM had given feedback that led to a solution he found on his own.  “We have a product that we started with an on-premise product. While most of our new customers are already in the cloud, the ones that aren’t had to go through a migration process. The process hasn’t always been the best. There are problems along the way, delays in the process, unclear things. This CSM wanted to ease this process and provide a better experience with a shorter transition period. So he did exactly what I told you before, spoke with the team, spoke with the DevOps departments, so not just CSM but also other groups within the company that relate to this process and they really tweaked a few things for the short term and now we're also building a completely new experience that is based on the feedback provided”. 


Every once in a while, we role-play. We asked the team about their failures and successes from the last quarter. Instead of just sharing them, we asked them to prepare a very brief overview about how they handled it. They give the CSMs in the room a handout that includes: customer name, ACV, a couple general outlinings of the problem. And then we go and choose the most interesting topics or cases. The CSM who provides the use case is going to act as the customer and the other CSMs will role play and tell what they'd do, how they'd act, and the CSM based on his knowledge of the customer, would respond accordingly. Lots of learnings come from these sessions.

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