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Why a Customer Success Playbook Is a Must-Have for Every Team

Playbooks provide proactive best practices to help the busy customer success manager (CSM) accomplish more without hiring more. They assist the customer-facing team with a set of repeatable processes and actions to achieve desired outcomes that benefit both the business and the client.
January 26, 2023
Blog

You aim to sync your business goals to your client's goals. That’s great, but how can you and your team achieve superior results in a cost- and time-effective manner as your customer base grows?

Curated playbooks and automation are just the right tools for the job. As your service and products evolve, and your Customer Success (CS) team grows, playbooks will help you educate and equip your staff to execute the fitting automated-yet-personal touches and customer interactions.

Why a Customer Success Playbook Is a Must-Have for Every Team

(Christina / unsplash)

What is a playbook?

Playbooks provide proactive best practices to help the busy customer success manager (CSM) accomplish more without hiring more. They assist the customer-facing team with a set of repeatable processes and actions to achieve desired outcomes that benefit both the business and the client.

A series of steps, assigned to a group of accounts or a single account, guide the CS agent in helping the customer adopt and engage with the service or product at different points along their journey. For example, if your company's goal is to reduce churn, a playbook can aid you in helping those clients with decreased usage achieve their desired outcome with your product. The result is that both you and your customer get closer to your goals.

Four benefits of utilizing playbooks

There are a host of benefits that make playbooks a must-have for any CS team, but here are our top four:

Accountability

Playbooks provide suitable, actionable steps and touchpoints that a CSM needs to help steer the company towards achieving longer-term goals, like reduced churn rates and increased renewals. In addition, these guides allow the CS team to assign duties and responsibilities and then track what has been completed and by whom.

Structure

A single customer success manager could be in charge of hundreds of clients. Playbooks provide them with priorities and game plans of what to do and when to do it for maximum productivity. The combination of what to say and when, along with automated interactions for low-touch customers, optimizes workflow.

Measurability

The CS team can both monitor performance and continue improving processes by experimenting and documenting different tactics and outcomes.

Employee Training

New hires can hit the ground running when they have reliable methods to work off of and don’t have to “reinvent the wheel,” so to speak.

11 playbook elements

Include the following components in your company playbooks or look for these in a robust customer success playbook from your chosen customer success software.

  • Defined goals, such as “Identifying upsell opportunities.”
  • Targeted or segmented customer lists.
  • Desired outcomes, such as customer renewals.
  • Tasks or prioritization criteria for how the CSM should work through the customer list.
  • Interaction plans and tools like email templates, phone scripts, and meeting decks/presentations with communication sequences.
  • Customer journey milestones.
  • Triggers and alerts, such as the customer’s lack of use, to help the CSM get the customer back on track.
  • Detailed steps and actions to avoid guesswork or ineffective/unapproved tactics.
  • Reporting and goal trackers.
  • Time parameters, such as “...if no response for six weeks or more, then…”










7 steps for creating your playbook

Follow these seven steps to create and customize your customer success playbooks. Identify:

1. Pain points: This is your ‘why’ of needing a strategy to develop satisfied customers. For example, do your customers typically need help with training at the beginning?

2. Goals: Typical customer success goals include reducing churn, increasing engagement, improving customer satisfaction survey (NPS) scores, and the like.

3. Customer lifecycle triggers: Creating playbooks is an important step. Knowing what and when to automate parts of them is just as critical. Administrative and non-relationship aspects make great candidates for automation. For instance, your customer’s stage in their journey can prompt the start of an automated playbook script.

4. Customer segments: Identifying and grouping clients with similar needs makes targeting, communicating, monitoring, and reporting easier.

5. Instructions: Help your CS team know the right things to do to get the results you want. Is an email effective? If so, what information should be included? Is there a template for it?

6. Follow-up communication: Learn the effectiveness of your client interactions directly from your clients. Did they achieve their goals? Do they have any suggestions, comments, or concerns?

7. Reporting: There’s always room for improvement. Observe and document the effectiveness of the communication and playbook to further improve your processes.

Why Catalyst playbooks

Playbooks allow you to prioritize and streamline your actions to boost the results of your customer success efforts. Effective and mechanized workflows can be customized to suit your client’s size, product, industry, and more. From onboarding to upselling, playbooks provide flexibility for tailoring your touches to changes in your client's data or behavior.

Catalyst is a SaaS company’s best friend for all things customer success. It provides inclusive and intuitive tools, like playbooks, to equip the busy CS team with the ultimate in triggers and tech-touch automation without sacrificing time or excellence. Easily set up prompts, automate alerts, assign tasks, and deliver personalized interactions based on the customer’s journey. Improve engagement and satisfaction with your products and services more quickly and efficiently without additional technical knowledge or operational overhead.

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