Customer Success Playbooks: The Non-Technical Secret To Scaling Your CS Efforts
Playbooks help you streamline all customer success efforts, resulting in more efficient operations.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The CS team can both monitor performance and continuously improve processes by experimenting and documenting different tactics and outcomes. When this happens, sales tend to go up—a study by McKinsey & Company found that top-performing organizations gain a 2-5% bump in sales as a result of data-driven decision-making.
4. 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. When that happens, people can double down and their efforts compound over time. The result? A 10-20% improvement in productivity when data-driven playbooks help inform training and development.
Playbook elements you must include
Include the following components in your company playbooks or look for these in a robust customer success playbook from your chosen customer success software.
The outcome: What the playbook is meant to help someone achieve. Example: “How to re-warm up a gone-cold customer”.
The audience: Who the playbook is for, both internally (e.g. Customer Success Manager) and externally (e.g. Budget decision maker at the customer).
The triggers: When the Play becomes relevant. Example: When a customer hasn’t responded to regular nurture sequences for one month.
The core steps: What someone has to do to make the Play successful.
The resources or necessary information: What the person needs in place in order to make progress on the core steps.
Moments of automation: Which elements of the Playbook can be automated (with instructions on how). Also which moments should not be automated (and why).
The milestones: How to understand if you’re making progress and completing steps (i.e. what success looks like).
Common problems: Any FAQ or known issues with the Play and how to overcome them. Example: If a customer doesn’t respond to your email, try calling them before sending another one.
The metrics: How to measure the impact of the Play and identify if it was valuable or not.
The post-mortem: How to look back on your own performance within the Play to identify room for improvement (or identify if failure was due to the structure of the Play or execution). Example: Conducting a churn post-mortem.
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.
Stories, best practices and thought leadership from the customer success community.