Absorbing Platform Operations into your Customer Team at Scale
The Company: An early-stage B2B marketplace technology serving global advertisers that wanted to offer deeper insights at scale, but hadn’t completed the full suite of applications to do so through software.
The Problem: The software did one thing really well; the rest of the offering was sold as software, though there was no technology beyond Excel and third-party tech involved. Three-quarters of the applications had to be run by hand. The volume of customer requests and sales were going up, but the delivery of these products was completely un-scalable. Each Customer Success team member was trained on how to export various spreadsheets, import into Excel templates, interpret the results and present to the customer. Each team member did this slightly differently for each customer. This process consumed a significant percentage of the team’s time and could not be scaled up to offer more consistent output for more customers.
The Solution: A streamlined, repeatable and consistent series of processes were created. This new system provided clear documentation on how each process was run, who was responsible at each step of the process and ran through a ticketing system for trackable results.
The Impact: The final output allowed the company to specialize its Customer Success Managers to focus on strategy, customer retention and relationship management, while focusing customer operations team members on delivery and execution. This reduced the annual cost of operations for these systems by 68% while increasing delivery volumes to customers by 270%.
Risk Management to Predict Changes in Customer Happiness
The Company: A mid-stage digital marketing platform harnessing a crowd of vetted copywriters to create customized ad copy for advertisers, but wasn’t able to reduce high churn levels after initial period contracts expired.
The Problem: Customer Success Managers operated on “feel” of their customers, trying to decipher the tone of emails or biweekly calls, to see if their direct contacts were happy with the service. This made it nearly impossible to accurately predict churn. Some CSMs would greatly overdeliver for clients one quarter, at the sacrifice of their numbers for the next quarter. Dozens of data points were collected in the proprietary system, but they were located in multiple locations, and often required spreadsheet manipulation to find the necessary metric. With sales increasing but a requirement to keep CSM headcount even, it was critical to find a way to quantifiably measure a customer without additional bodies on an account.
The Solution: Creation of a risk management team (internally referred to as ‘Black Ops’). They collaborated with CSMs, product, and data science to develop a framework that would pull in relevant metrics, assess the worth of a datapoint, and then assign a score to each customer, updated weekly. Clients below a certain score were flagged as risks and were given immediate attention from CS and renewals teams.
The Impact: Put simply, churn reduced by 36%. An added benefit was more visibility for executives on overall customer success metrics, as well as automatic firing of playbooks for CSMs to implement and rectify common issues. Risk management team was also able to work cross-functionally with other departments for increased knowledge sharing.