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Digital Customer Success: No One Cares About Features

In Part 1 of the Digital CS Series, Ben Lee explains how to approach building a successful tech-touch program
Ben Lee
March 9, 2022
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Ben Lee is Catalyst's very first CX Program Manager. He is responsible for building out various Digital Customer Success programs to help supplement our amazing CS team while providing efficient and meaningful self-serve resources to our customers at scale.

What is Digital Customer Success? 

Digital Customer Success (a.k.a. “Tech-Touch” or “Scaled CS”) is a data-driven methodology for driving value and adoption at scale through various channels such as email, in-app guides, online community, etc. Some organizations run Digital Customer Success programs exclusively for a particular customer segment (for example, customers without a named CSM), while others might launch it to their entire customer base, adding even more support for customers who already have a dedicated Customer Success Manager, for example. 

No One Cares About Features 

Customers don’t purchase software to use features — they purchase software to achieve outcomes. That’s why it’s critical you have a clear pulse on what those key outcomes are prior to building out your Digital CS content and programs. 

Many times, I’ve seen various teams quickly launch a Digital Customer Success motion by simply targeting users who aren’t adopting certain features and pointing them to the related support article for said features. The problem with this strategy is that the content they’re pushing on these users lacks the context behind the outcomes they are hoping to achieve, subsequently making their Digital CS programs ineffective. 

Start With Discovery

The first step in building an effective and impactful Digital CS motion is doing active discovery and gaining insights around the outcomes your customers care most about. Once you have a solid understanding of their desired outcomes, you are in a much better position to craft content that will have a much higher likelihood of resonating with your target audience and driving the behavior you’re hoping for. 

Here are some examples of how I ran discovery prior to creating content:

  • I watched lots of recorded customer meetings using Gong. This was a really efficient way for me to get a foundational understanding of what our customers truly care about. Being able to watch these videos at 1.5x speed was nice icing on the cake as well. 
  • I interviewed our CSMs at Catalyst to learn about what topics they are consistently addressing with their customers. This was a great way to surface themes and understand which assets I should produce to take the maximum load off of our CSMs, while enabling our customers effectively at scale. 
  • I validated that there was a unified stance on how team members are prescribing best practices and recommendations, generally speaking. For any inconsistencies I noticed, I collaborated with leadership to ensure there was alignment across the entire team and everyone was on board with the final messaging and positioning we decided on. 
  • Lastly, I needed to ensure we had the right tech stack in place to be able to successfully launch various Digital CS initiatives. Luckily, I get to use Catalyst, so I had a lot of those bases covered already. 😎

If you’re curious, here’s an outline of my current Digital CS tech stack:

  • Catalyst - The core tool I use to access and analyze customer data, launch various email campaigns (using the Playbook functionality), and measure the impact of said campaigns through integrated data syncing into Catalyst. 
  • Vidyard - The bulk of my content revolves around short enablement videos. I chose Vidyard because it offers robust engagement analytics as well as a Salesforce integration that allows me to map engagement metrics to various customer contacts (which then syncs into Catalyst). 
  • eWebinar - This tool allows you to pre-record a live-style webinar experience and make it accessible to customers at scale and on-demand. Viewers can even interact and ask questions, which can flow directly to your Support team, for example. 
  • Bento - A tool that integrates with your back-end data so that you can launch personalized in-app guides for various types of accounts and users. 
  • Vanilla - An online community platform that allows customers to engage, network, learn from one another, and also houses Digital CS content for users to self-serve (launching soon for Catalyst customers!)

Digital CS is a never-ending initiative and there are so many ways you can engage and deliver value to your customers. So before you focus on boiling the ocean, start simple and small — and remember — always start with discovery.

Stay tuned for the next article in this series where I’ll elaborate on how I was able to leverage all the insights gained from my discovery and translate that into a framework for content creation.

Better relationships. Less churn.

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