I think we have a great Customer Success team here at Apptegic.  So great, in fact, that we are trying to automate them.  They don’t mind.  They are happily helping make it happen.  Here is what is going on. 

Our Customer Success team’s job is to maximize the overlap between two different circles. 

We have happy customers that fall into different camps.  Not every customer is going to use everything or even the same things. (Of course, these diagrams can be improved by adding change over time as well as level of usage and more.) 

So a great Customer Success Manager will:

1)   Understand everything that your company can provide for a customer.  This isn’t just features, its also not just benefits.  It is use cases.  How could customers use us to solve problems?  Even better, how are customers using us to solve problems?

2)   Understand the customer very well.  This includes the understanding particular use cases they want to solve, but also includes understanding their business and its goals.

3)    Guide the customer to success.  Not just support them or teach them how to use the feature of the product.  Rather, guide them to success with it.  Help them solve their pain and accomplish the business objective. 

Doesn’t that sound great?  Yes.  But there is one problem.  A great Customer Success Manager, who can do this well, will become very very busy.   What is the answer? 

Automation.  Automating engagement. 

The goal is not to replace the Customer Success Manager.  You need his/her brain constantly doing (1), (2), (3) above for individual customers if they are high value enough or for segments of customers and use cases.  But, automation can significantly empower your Customer Success Team.  Here are three examples:

1)   Understand how customers are using your solution to solve problems?  If you are using engagement automation software to understand each customer’s behavior within your online solution, a Customer Success manager can look at a sampling of ideal customers or customers in a particular industry to see their behavior.  What is their pattern?  What features do they use, when?

2)    Understand the customer very well.  Why waste valuable time asking a customer whether or not they have set something up yet or used a key feature.  This should be automated.  Empower the Customer Success manager to enter a call or email with all of the information available about the customer’s current state and use of your solution.  As well, empower with the information to prioritize his/her work. 

3)    Guide the customer to success.  An 80/20 rule applies here.  80% of a Customer Success Manager’s time is spent explaining the same things.  Automate this so they can focus on the 20%.  Take the knowledge in their brain and don’t put it into doc that no one reads…rather message the customer right in their online experience with you to provide in-context tips, guidance, workflows, and tasks that will guide them forward.  Then the CSM can focus on more strategic value-add. 

We are finding that automation engagement is helping our Customer Success team prioritize, be more efficient, and add more value in in-person and in-app interaction with our customers.