Similar to an earlier post, this is a summary of a presentation- let me know what you think of this alternative format.

Types of difficult customer situations

  • Incomplete onboarding
  • Low user engagement and feature usage
  • Feature request
  • Disengaged point of contact
  • Weak relationship
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Pricing conversation
  • Cancellation threat

It’s a typical Thursday at 2pm, which means you’re dialing in to your standing client call with ABC Corp. The call kicks off with the expected pleasantries, and you suggest diving into the agreed upon agenda. Your contact at ABC Corp cuts you off- “I think there’s something more pressing we need to discuss. We won’t be renewing when our current contract ends in September.” You’re blindsided by the cancellation and left flabbergasted as to where things went wrong.

Cut to your quarterly review 2 months later. Your performance has been solid by your assessment, and you expect the conversation…

Most companies still think about marketing in terms of a funnel- a bunch of leads go in the top, and a few customers come out the bottom. But leading SaaS companies have starting thinking about Marketing as less of a funnel and more of flywheel.

While there’s been a lot written (and debated on) the topic of how many accounts or how much revenue a Customer Success Manager should own, there’s been relatively little discussion on how many CSMs a Manager of Customer Success should oversee.

Startups grow organically and remain flat as long as they can

Startups struggle to balance the desire to remain a flat organization with the realities of effective management. What’s the appropriate number of direct reports per manager? One study showed that across seniority levels, managers and their direct reports agreed seven was the ideal number of employees for a manager to oversee. That being said, many respondents cautioned that such…

“Great by Choice” is a bestselling work by the popular writer Jim Collins, whose other business books include: “Good to Great”, and “Built to Last”. I’ve skimmed Jim Collins’ books in the past, but what drove me to finally sit down and read this one was the core question Collins and his researchers sought to answer: why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? Collins sought to identify the qualities that allowed companies to prosper in situations where their peers failed. “We labeled our high-performing study cases with the moniker ‘10X’ because they… beat [their]…

We all know the current situation we find ourselves in is unprecedented, and that many people’s lives and livelihoods have been fundamentally altered. Those of us fortunate enough to still have a job are grappling with uncertainty and insecurity- especially those of us interacting with customers on a daily basis. Before we pick up the phone or draft an email to our customers we need to pause and ask ourselves: how can we rise to meet this moment? …

If you’ve made it past the headline, I probably don’t need to tell you burnout is a serious concern for individuals and employers. While burnout isn’t a new phenomenon (I was surprised to find the arguments in this 2016 post remain very relevant), the potential for burnout is exacerbated by elevated stress and anxiety stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Customer Success burnout in particular is tied to two factors: unrealistic expectations and an inability to imagine a time when things will improve. …

Product workflows have a major impact on customer experience. They’re scalable, touch every user, and are measurable and data-driven. But customers often dismiss our best attempts at self-navigated trainings or in-app tooltips because they feel disruptive or irrelevant. Customer Success Managers (CSMs) bridge the gap between templatized product onboarding and a customer’s goals. This post will demonstrate how CSMs can translate well thought out and well intentioned product workflows to language and actions customers can understand.

Onboarding impacts churn and expansion

Des Traynor of Intercom argues that retention is more important than conversion, and high customer retention is built on great product onboarding. The data…

We’re confronted with change in a hundred different ways on a daily basis. A street on your morning commute is closed so you take a detour, your manager assigns you to a newly closed account, or your flight is delayed. And of course change don’t just happen to us, we also volunteer for change. Big changes are usually accompanied by optimism- you’re going to start going to the gym 5x week, sign up for an online course, or save more money for a house. Unfortunately we’re often unsuccessful in making these transformations stick. Why? Because change is hard.

The dynamics…

Brooke Goodbary

Customer Success consultant, writer, and expert

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