Common Customer Success Challenges

The road to thriving in Customer Success is fraught with these common Customer Success Challenges. Is your organization guilty of any?
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The road to thriving in Customer Success if fraught with bumps and bruises. A Customer Success Manager often gets dumped on by both the customer and the organization, taking responsibility for a great number of things from both sides. So what are some common Customer Success challenges? 

Challenges

  • Lack of Visibility – Customers that do not respond to emails, phone calls or even smoke signals – you can’t work your magic on a customer that’s completely ghosted you. Remind yourself what your customers’ role is in their organization, understand their priorities. 
  • Interruptions & Fighting Fires – A lack of proactiveness will lead to perpetual firefighting by Customer Success Managers. Always having to fix small issues either in the product or a process, or put out fires takes away from a CSMs ability to demonstrate value and connect in a positive way with your customers. 
  • Lack of Prioritization & Segmentation – Do you know which of your customers are strategic accounts? What does a strategic account mean to your organization? Is it growth potential, dollar amount.. do you know? Not prioritizing or segmenting your customers makes it harder to give them the appropriate care they need to nurture that relationship. 
  • Outdated Processes – Does your organization’s internal methodologies need a kick in the butt? Sometimes processes are created and then never updated – does your onboarding process from  3 years ago still make sense today? Is the way you structure a check-in call actually useful since those new features were implemented? 
  • Unaligned Goals & KPIs – Your Customer Success Team should have the singular operating mantra of ‘what needs to happen to make the customer successful in their business.’ Don’t allow arbitrary corporate goals drive how your Customer Success Team operates.
  • Lack of Templatization – Don’t make someone reinvent the wheel every time they need to do a quarterly review with their client. Dedicate your top-performing CSMs to creating resources that can be accessed and used by everyone, update as necessary. Not only will this save time, but it will create consistency across your entire Customer Success Team and the messaging you’re putting forward. 
  • Manual Management of Every Task – Similar to a lack of templatization, if there’s a task that needs to be done, and there is a tool that can streamline that task, why aren’t you at least considering using that tool? Automating repetitive tasks can go a long way to freeing up time, and make your Customer Success Team happier too.
  • Poor Asset Management – SalesForce, Slack, Pendo, Intranets, Email. Don’t make people hunt for those gorgeous templates and resources you’ve created. Decide on a singular source of truth for your Customer Success team and stick with it. This may be an intranet that houses all the important documentation and templates. The key here is to keep it simple, with access requiring as few keystrokes or clicks as possible. We’re all water in the game of life and want to take the path with least resistance. 
  • Bad Culture – A bad culture in your company can be the single worst thing you have to deal with. A bad culture makes people disconnected, unengaged and generally less willing to put in the effort, resulting in poor performance. But don’t get upset with your employees, culture and engagement are a two-way street. If your greater company has a bad culture, at least try and create a sub-culture within your Customer Success Team, so they can operate happily. 
  • Task Switching or Multitasking – Customer Success Managers are tasked with a great number of things to accomplish throughout any day. This means switching between various and often disparate tasks all day long. This is not only tiring, but studies show (2) it reduces your ability to do anything well. Help your Customer Success Team manage their time to improve overall effectiveness. 

Solutions

Many of the challenges above can be solved by simply taking a step back and having a conversation to uncover a solution. 

Being proactive, strategic and willing to try things will often get you further than relying on the status-quo. 

If you have an existing Customer Success Team, involve them in every step. The kind of person that is a CSM is the kind of person that is capable of producing solutions and thinking strategically. Use that resource. 

Next Steps

If you identified anything above that you believe affects you start a conversation within your organization to get things moving and consider joining us on Slack to discuss and ask for help!

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