Scaling Customer Success

Scaling Customer Success
The Jasons Take On...
The Jasons Take On...
Scaling Customer Success
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Episode Description

In this episode, we’re talking about scaling your customer success program. As the field of customer success (CS) matures, increasingly organizations are looking for how they can improve the reach of their CS programs, without just adding headcount. This often involves expanding their low-touch programs, developing new content, and investing in new tools.

We explore some of the options for scaling your CS program, challenges you face, and approaches that can make you successful.

Come join us for this unplugged conversation with the two leading Jasons in customer success. Jason Noble, a UK-based visionary customer success executive and leader, and Jason Whitehead, a US-based customer success and software adoption leader, discuss a variety of topics and issues of importance in the field of customer success.

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The Jasons Take On is Sponsored by Success Chain!

Success Chain provides the tools, services, and support you need to build your change management, user adoption, and customer success capacity. You achieve greater results faster, more effectively, and cheaper than you can working on your own. 

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Transcript

Jason Noble: [00:00:00] Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Jason’s take on podcast series, talking about all things, customers, customer success, and more.

We’ve got myself, Jason Noah over here in London, in the UK, gearing up for summer and my partner in crime, Mr. Whitehead, over in the U S who’s already on his summer holidays. Say, Hey, Jason.

Jason Whitehead: [00:00:21] Hi everyone. Thanks for joining us today.

Jason Noble: [00:00:23] Today, we’re going to talk about something that I think where we’re beginning to see more and more traction on this topic.

A lot more interested in adjacent, you’ve been in a number of round tables recently where this topic has come up is something that a lot of startups have these conversations as they move to more mature organizations and more customers. It is about scaling customer success. So we’re going to go through the normal format.

Kind of some of the challenges we’ve seen some of our thoughts on it, the feedback we’ve seen and then some of the ideas that we’ve had in the different roles and organizations we’ve had as well. So normal format we’re aiming for about 25 minute podcasts. This is just the two Jason’s.

There are no guests on this one. We’ve got some other guests, ones coming up do keep an eye out on our LinkedIn page and our Twitter. And please do, if you’ve got any ideas for podcasts, any ideas for conversations or guests that you’d like us to have on do let us know as before I’m Jay slow. We’re based here in the UK, being around in the customer success board for quite some time now.

Before it was called customer success, I think is quite common. A lot of us have been there but currently with Finley a US-based mobility technology startup organization heading up their European and global customer successful quick intro Fugees.

Jason Whitehead: [00:01:29] Hi everyone. I’m Jason Whitehead based in the Washington DC area.

And I am co-founder of success chain with my partners in crime soon, abit more and Kelly Lucas. Offering up a variety of customer success, focused coaching and consulting and training services. So all kinds of great things and love working with teams, small, large from across the globe. It’s been really great fun.

And I too have been in this space since long before it was customer success and spent a lot of time working. Hands-on doing technology implementations and doing a lot of change management and user adoption of technology. Working hands-on and in-house to get people to use systems and prove the value.

So it’s really great fun to be on both sides of the fence here and seeing how the industry has matured.

Jason Noble: [00:02:10] I think it’s really cool. And I know I’m going to keep. Bugging you to do, let’s do a recording of . Cause I think it’s going to be a really interesting episode to see what you guys are

Jason Whitehead: [00:02:19] doing.

We will do it. There’ll be a lot of fun. Excellent.

Jason Noble: [00:02:22] As always guys, we have a bowl challenge questions, just something for you as our listeners to think about. We’d love your feedback on this. What have you done in the bowl? Chinese question today is what bold actions can you take to quickly scale your customer success program?

While still maintaining the high levels of customer satisfaction, customer experience and success that you need to do. So have a think about that. Please do let us know. Jason, let me push the very first question over to you, sir. So why are we talking about this? Why is this important?

Jason Whitehead: [00:02:49] I think as the customer success industry is expanding, people are realizing in the early days it was all.

How do we just retain our customers? What do we need to do? And we’ll try anything to get there. And now people are realizing and putting in processes and structures like, oh, we need to actually be able to do this at scale. It’s going to keep key to our growth. As a vendor is key to our customers, getting the success that they want.

So how do we really replicate ourselves? And people are learning that you can’t just keep throwing bodies at this, that doesn’t work. So we need to figure out what does work, what doesn’t work, and how do we continue to really take this to the next level, mature organizations and see where we need to. So that we get the results that we want.

What’s your take, Jason?

Jason Noble: [00:03:27] Yeah I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. I The big one is it’s about maturity and, as businesses start, their customers start and it could be business maturity, company maturity, but also customer success, maturity, you all start from somewhere, but as you grow, how do we grow?

How do we grow effectively? How do we make sure that we’re still delivering value and outcomes for our customers? And I think it’s something that every customer success organization. Deals with this. There’s always a level of growth and scalability that they’re going through. And I think it is absolutely tied to your maturity.

And then not just not just about what we, yes, we need to scale, but it’s about what do we do? How do we do this and how can we do this to be most effective?

Jason Whitehead: [00:04:06] And I think to your point too, with maturity, we’re also learning that we’ve done a lot of stuff that we don’t need to do or that doesn’t work or work some, but doesn’t really have the return that we want.

So let’s figure out how we can prioritize, what has the biggest impact for the least amount. Yeah. Jason, let me ask you this, how does scaling impact your success strategy and your vision? This is some big changes here. We’re talking about

Jason Noble: [00:04:26] it’s this huge changes. And I like the way you’ve talked about your experience doing change management early.

Cause it is it’s critical to this and this is all about how do we change as we grow scale. And I think you, your vision structure. They’re not set in stone, as you grow and scale, the number of customers, you have, the team size, the revenues you’ve got coming in, the number of products, any complexity around that grows and changes.

So does your vision and strategy, and you have to have a really solid ability to look at change management here. I think your core principles as to why we’re doing what we’re doing remain the same, but you’ve got to have that flexibility to. Change kind of the, maybe the goals for this year make them flexible change what we’re trying to do over five years as we grow, where are we today?

Where do we want to get to and how to scalability come into that. And I think some of the other areas, the scaling can help you do them scaling absolutely is about bringing more business in more customers in. It may be new market segments, new geographies you’re looking at then maybe new products you’re building out.

And I think that all brings about a level of complexity, as we said earlier on, I think he’s really critical here. Only thoughts for you, Jasmine, how else do you see it impacting kind of strategy and vision?

Jason Whitehead: [00:05:38] I think the other piece too is as the coming back to the maturity piece is we’re seeing.

More and more organizations offering customer success. And all of our customer, all of our customers are experiencing different flavors from multiple vendors of this is what success looks from vendor a. And this is what it looks like from vendor B. And it comes back to that whole point of as a vendor, you need to be offering competitive services.

You need to be standing out and differentiating on the value of your customer success service. That means not only you have to really be able to deliver something that makes an impact, but you’ve got to be able to do it consistently in it. Otherwise, you really can’t deliver what your customers are expecting.

So I think there’s a competitive nature to this as well, too, that it

Jason Noble: [00:06:12] comes in. I think that assistance here as well as super important. Cause you do, when you start doing customer success, you start delivering there. Your customers have. No perception, but there’s a certain expectation of how you’re delivering this and being consistent and making sure that you’re explaining to your customers what’s changing, why it’s changing is important because there can be disruption from if the context that they deal with.

If the processes of changing, they need to know what was it. So question about few again, Jason here. I What, what does scaling mean for your own teams and not just about your customers, but what about your internal team? And that could be your customer success team, but also other stakeholders in your business.

What does it mean for them?

Jason Whitehead: [00:06:52] I think it means a lot of change. There’s going to be a lot of shifting around of responsibilities and some people have greater responsibility than before. Some people will spend a lot of time doing new activities that they didn’t do before. And having to let go of some of the things that they’ve done in the past.

Cause you. You can’t continue to do the same things you did before. If you’re going to have time and capacity to do something new. So there’s going to be a lot of shifting around. And I think it really means you’ll have to change your structure because, in my mind, scaling really comes down to how do you deliver the type of outcome or service that you want in a different way and do it in a way that’s more cost-effective and in time effective as well.

And that’s going to require some use of technology. It’s going to require some. Providing consumable content that customers can use themselves self service, self success piece, and ultimately it’s about freeing things up. So there’s gonna be a lot of shifts, I think. But I think also on the bright side with changes like this, there comes a lot of career growth and opportunities for folks, which is a great thing.

Learning new, if you have a team that’s building. New success content that you’re going to use an automated tools or platforms or new product content that customers can self service with whatever it may be or come up with new ways to look at data and figure out how can we automate some things or how do we do different trigger points?

There’s lot of new roles new skills that will be developed and be in demand. And that, that presents a lot of growth. Yep. What about you, but what are your thoughts on what it means for your team?

Jason Noble: [00:08:09] I think that career growth one is really exciting because in many times in our customer success organization, start with everyone being very reactive, everyone doing everything which is exciting.

It’s fun to do. But at the same time, you find that your being inconsistent as to how you’re dealing with your customers, you might not know everything that, that team growth, the more mature team structure I think is so important. And I in multiple roles in my career. Seeing that work really well. There’s one organization I worked at where everyone was just a customer success champion.

As they called them, everyone doing everything from implementation to training to support. When I came in there, we put in place a really solid structure, built out an implementation team, actually a customer success ops team or a customer ops team. And I think people jumped at the chance to do this. They were frustrated with some of the existing challenges, struggles.

I, and it was to your point career growth was exactly what they wanted to do. And I’ve seen a number of these people go on and do roles that are now full time. These other roles were moved into. So I think it can be very successful. So I think the career growth thing is really key. The other thing you’ve got to consider is what does it mean for other teams internally?

You’ve got to make sure your sales team understand the structure, your product team, your engineering team, and your support team and how the different interactions and interfaces might change.

Jason Whitehead: [00:09:32] No, I think that’s really key. And, we were hearing more and more from different organizations as well.

I relate to this too. It’s like specialized CS role. So more organizations doing, we have an onboarding team, we have our escalation team, whatever it may be, where do you see go, but really specializing there. I think it’s very interesting for a lot of folks of where we want to go. So I think I find that fascinating, and one of the other things that we’ve talked about is how.

CS professionals. They love to over-deliver and they love to provide best white glove service to absolutely everyone. And they find it really hard to say, oh you’re, tier three customer you’re, you don’t get this. You don’t, you, we can’t deliver the service to you, but we can, if you’re a tier one customer.

And I think part of the scaling process is getting people to let go of and stop doing stop over-delivering and stop performing some of the services that they’ve, that they would like to do. And the customers would love to have for free, but it’s just not, effective or affordable to do it. If we’ve

Jason Noble: [00:10:22] talked about this kind of idea of delivering before, and I think it’s something that we want our customers to be successful.

I, and quite often we have to hand-hold them a bit more than normal, but it’s too easy to consistently overstep the mark. And I think it’s so important to, to pull back and to realize that it’s okay to pull back and it’s the right thing to do, but you’ve got to make sure that you message that correctly to your customers.

Absolutely. The teams

Jason Whitehead: [00:10:45] as well and your team, and I think we’re a lot of frontline CSM struggle. Yeah. My right in that they’re doing a great service for their individual customer that they’re helping, but there’s an opportunity cost involved and there’s a lot of people and a lot of other customers that don’t get what they need because of this choice and try to get them into mindset room and do something different.

So let’s flip this around Jason then, w what are the scaling mean for your customers? But, we talked about the teams, what’s the impact on cost.

Jason Noble: [00:11:09] I think, generally it’s a very positive impact. There’s a reason you’re doing this. It’s all about delivering better value or more value and better, more outcome.

I, and I think most costs understand the need to do this. They understand that there might be some pain points along the way. What they might not have sometimes is patients. If you go through these big changes, some of the contacts are changing. They’re dealing with some of the processes.

It might. Yeah. Awesome. So you’ve got to think about that very carefully. How do we do this without impacting our customers? I think we talked about earlier on, but th the key really for me, is all about standardization and consistency. So we’ve got to make sure that as we grow, we can deliver that right level of service.

Maybe it’s a white glove service. Maybe it’s more self service. Okay. But we’ve got to be consistent with what that customer wants is if we can do it for one customer, we need to do it for two, for three, for four. So that standardization is really critical, particularly when it comes to what are the outcomes we’re delivering?

What’s the experience. And you’ve got to look at the segmentation with your sales team as to how you deliver, not just about how they sell. I think one of the other things, and again, I’ve seen this several times is particularly as you go from a relatively small team and small number of customers is that suddenly.

Customers might not be dealing with a dedicated person to CSM and having one-to-one relationship. It might be more self service. It might be a more team-based approach. It might be a broader thing where there’s lots of different people they can speak to, or it might be that you’ve doing the very white glove service, doing support, doing training for them.

And now there’s someone else you’re still there. Your team is still there as the key contact to help facilitate the conversations. But you’ve got to make sure you explain to your customer the benefits of doing it, why you’re doing it, what it means for them and how you’ll go through that transition period.

I think the other key thing it means is as we grow inevitably, There are some additional services. There’s additional products we can offer. Be it technology products, or be it services like training, like professional services. So there’s also the potential for us to deliver more value to our customers.

I think that’s a real sell, the reason why we’re growing and scaling our services is so that we can get better at it. Offer you better value, better products. I think there’s some of the really key things. This then brings us onto a really good question now. So we’ve talked about why we’re scaling what it means for our customers and what it means for us internally, but how do you scale?

And I’m going to throw this one back to you, Jason, but what are some of the approaches you need and what about tools and technology? How can that help scale? Yeah.

Jason Whitehead: [00:13:44] It’s gonna be a challenge for a lot of folks and there’s no one right way to do it, but ultimately it comes down to what is the work that we can either.

That doesn’t need to be done. That’s no longer necessary. What are the things we can automate and make it available through other tools? Yeah, I think there’s also that. And what are the ways that we can empower customers? To achieve success on their own more. And someone say, oh, you’re just pushing work off on your customers.

No, we’re enabling customers to do what they need to be doing themselves anyway, because a lot of the success issues that the customers face are really internal to their organization and how do we help them through that? So I think there’s a variety of things. One, you have to look at what is the structure we need in place, and what’s the infrastructure that we need in place to help make this happen.

And then there’s going to be. Tools and platforms and things like that. I think there’s going to be a certain amount of what’s the content that people need, whether it’s content about our product content, about how to achieve success and derive change and adoption on your own. We’ve heard folks like Dave Jackson talk about product led customer success.

What are the things we can put within our product to help our customers achieve success? And I think it’s an, all the above approach on this, but really coming in to say, w what is it that we can build once and reuse over and over again, that will make everyone successful. And I think related to that too, is, where do we need some standardized playbooks?

Where do we need to have a clear, even like a RACI matrix with our customers and their journey map. Here’s what we do. Here’s what you do. Here’s how this all comes about. And really just being very clear and intentional about what are the steps, what are the processes that we take internally? What are the steps our customers need to take internally?

And where do we work together with them? And obviously that has implications for your structure, the skills that you need, everything else to make sure. How do we free up time to create this content or build out these playbooks and analyze what’s working and then train people up. W what else would you throw in there when it comes to scaling?

Jason Noble: [00:15:25] I think some of the things you’ve looking at tooling and technology, we talked about the idea of customer ops before, but someone in your team that’s effectively focused on processes and operations and the data, rather than everybody doing it and build that standardization there. And you’ve got to look at tools like, what analytics are you doing?

What level of reporting? How do you bring in standardized workflows for customers? Inevitably start looking at the likes of a real customer success management platform, not just spreadsheets where we might start with. I think the other thing you’ve got to start looking at is creating some standardized playbooks from everything, from onboarding, for training, for renewals, for upsells.

But have playbooks the work across the team with defined tasks and calls to action so that everyone knows what good looks like, what best practice looks like. And I think there’s some really cool things. And I think the other thing you do is as you grow the structure, your team, you start defining your typical RACI matrix RA who’s responsible for it.

Who’s accountable, et cetera. I do know the CNI, but I’m just going to say it, but just to bring that structure in and just so that people know. Who’s doing what, why they’re doing it so that I think you’ve got to build out the structure around job roles and specifications a lot more.

I think there’s some of the really key things. I look at it,

Jason Whitehead: [00:16:38] And I think part of it too, if you want to be really bold is the taking a fundamental look of where our customer struggling to achieve success on their own. Is it specific to our product is and sometimes there’s some product pieces there and that’s part of it.

But I think more times than not, it’s the customers, most customers I’ve seen stress. Getting value from any technology, not just one platform. And they struggle with how do they drive adoption? How do they get people to use technology differently in their organization? And I think at a more fundamental level, if organ vendors can help customers build their own capacity to drive change, to drive adoption, to drive success with the technology, those are skills that may transfer to other platforms as well too, but that’s, what’s going to eliminate the demand.

And I think people are always talking about how do we meet the service we need to do. No. One’s really talking about how to be reduced demand from our customers, which is you build your own customers capacity, which is very progressive thought there and very different approach. But

Jason Noble: [00:17:28] it’s, I’m excited now.

Cause it is like you say, sorry for in trucks, Jess, but it’s yeah. It’s very different. We’re trying to change our customers, not just give them a tool that they can use for one thing, but we’re trying to change the way that they work and think about this,

Jason Whitehead: [00:17:43] But when I go into an organization that’s implementing technology when I’m doing my user adoption projects, one of the first questions I ask is, tell me about your typical system here.

What percent value do you think you’re getting from it? Look person of full effect of adoption. Do you have. Typically people say we’re probably using about 10% of the capacity here. We could probably get about 10% of the value from this tool that we could. And yet they don’t really do anything to get more value out of their existing tools.

They look for new ones. And what’s also fascinating is when I look at some of the business cases, people put together to justify a purchase. I’ve look at the numbers here. I’m like, okay. The numbers that you’re here expecting in terms of value in return, you’re assuming a hundred percent full and effective user.

Okay. What in the history of your organization makes you think that’s going to happen? You just told me that it’s 10% here. Let’s adjust here and say, oh, if we put even a fraction, more effort and resources into driving adoption, after the technologies live and getting value from it, our results would be, tenfold, 20 fold, 50 fold, whatever it may be.

And yet folks just really look at that, justifying the purchase of the technology, not about how they’re gonna get value out of it. Fascinating to me. So let me ask you this though, as we’re moving down off that little side train here what do you need to scale your CEUs delivery? And when do you need to do it again?

Jason Noble: [00:18:55] I think that, what do you need? I think you need to look at your team, you’ve got to have the vision, you’ve got to have kind of the buy-in from your stakeholders internally. Quite often, you’ve got to have budget, if you’re growing, you need the budget for it. And this is all about growth.

I think the, when you need to do it, it’s a really interesting question for me that the way it is when you go from customer one to number two, and it really is because you’re taking what you’ve. From that first customer building on it, show you what worked, what didn’t work in it, looking at what needs to change, stopping, doing things that we didn’t like before, but it’s all about that second customer.

And then it goes to customer three and you learn from each other. I think he could also be when you look at different segments that we’re doing, not just dealing with say a certain geography or a certain size of customer, we may be moving into different segments. Another way it could be when you’re increasing your product portfolio, maybe to start with you had one relativity.

Or simple product, but you’re adding complexity to it or you’re growing that product suite, but it could also be as, as you grow as a business, you’re seeing a massive demand in on the sales side, you’ve got a massive shift in revenue, the size of deals increasing. You need to look at how you scale.

I think that it really, what it boils down to is when there’s a really been a significant change towards growth. So anything where there’s an underlying growth within your businesses, when you be to look at scale and it goes, we’re talking about customer success, but clearly scale works across everything.

You need to look at your finance, your support, product, your engineering and them. The answer to scaling that a lot of people think we need to do is just throw more people at it, hire more resources, but you’ve got to look at the, your typical triangle people, tools and processes, and you cannot just scale one and you’ve got to scale three of them.

And I’m for me, you almost, you want to start with the processes because you can then think about the tools you can think about the team side of it. So I think there are some of the really key things. I think one of, one of the challenges you’ve got, Jason, I’ll give you a question on this. How do we’ve talked through how we scale.

When do we scale? There’s clearly a period where we’ve got to help our customers understand what’s going to happen and there’s a need to change, but how do you manage your customer’s expectations and how do you manage the transition going from low level of maturity in particularly, you’ve talked earlier, right?

High touch and self service. But what about if you’ve got customers that like that white glove treatment? That’s what they’ve always had because they’ve been customer number one and suddenly you’re shifting to now and more of a low touch and medium level touch model. How do you help customers manage that transition?

Jason Whitehead: [00:21:28] Yeah. Yeah. And nobody likes to have stuff taken away from them and nobody likes to have to pay for something that used to be free. But the reality is, I think that often we’ll come to that at some point. So how you do that is, is critical. I think a couple things come to mind is really think through what does that long-term transition look like and how you explain it to customers directly and confidently.

And they are they’re resource constrained themselves and they have customers and they know how difficult this can be. That they’re like, okay, this is just what we have to do. So a few things I’ve seen. Same to, especially like the large customers that are currently white glove, we’re changing our model.

Here’s, what’s going to look like, and for the next year you’re grandfathered in at this rate. But after a year, then you either need to pay for the service, or we’re going to start to transition you down. Or over this period, we’re going to be implementing new pieces seizures as well. I remember years ago it was working internally at a fortune 100 company and we were rolling out in Eastern.

Functionality for the first time and customers would start to come over a portal and put in a ticket, things that we all expect now. But back then it was revolutionary. They were used to just picking up the phone and having a white glove service. And we explained to them that, no, we’re, we have to transition to this, but here are the benefits that you will get.

You, you’ll be able to see the history consistently and you’ll actually get faster close times. And they were a bit upset because we asked for five or six pieces of information right up front that they didn’t. Provide before. And they’re like, this takes so long. We’re like, yes, but we’re also removing five iterations of process here.

So your total close time will be much faster and you’ll get a much better result. And as they started to see that oh, okay, we get it. So I think being able to explain to your customer why you’re making these changes, how it will impact them and then where they will get some benefits, even if they are losing some services that they didn’t have before, if you can show them what’s in it for them in a different way.

That goes a long way. Yeah. But I think it’s also, you’ve got to be clear and consistent in the communications and you just, this is the new way we’re doing business. We understand what we used to do, and we’d love to be able to continue that, but it’s not possible, but here’s what we can do. And here’s how, here’s what we think you’ll like about it.

Let’s give it a whirl and customers, most customers will make the transition with you in occasionally. I think you might lose one or two, but if they’re losing, if you’re losing a customer because of this transition, there’s a bigger issue at play. This is my. But what about you? How you’ve had to deal with customers a lot and go through different transitions and changes, so service level, but have you seen,

Jason Noble: [00:23:39] yeah I think that the biggest things, it can be painful.

It can be challenging. And you said there, but the communication’s critical. You’ve got to explain to us. Why you’re doing it when you’re doing it and not just tell them on the day, but there’s a campaign, there’s a communications campaign. And for me that’s the biggest thing is to make sure you’re explaining to your customers why it’s not going to impact them adversely and what they’re going to get from it, why you’re doing it.

And when I’ve done that and done it I think your customers all. Come out onsite. They all know what you’re trying to do in any difficult transitions. If you’re changing processes are going to impact them. If you changing contacts they don’t worry about it so much, as long as you’re explaining with it.

So for me, it’s all about the communication. This isn’t something that’s easy. It can be very difficult as you’ve said, but the communication is really the key thing. Yep.

Jason Whitehead: [00:24:28] And I think, if you have a Custer customer advisory group where you’ve done the surveys with your customers really.

That we’re doing this in response to what you told us, this is what you said you want, we’re listening and here’s how we’re taking action. And I think also when you have, if you have the tools in place to capture data, being able to show them, six months after the transition or a year after the transition, look at all these great numbers that we can show about how you’re better served because of this transition.

That goes a long way to restoring some faith in peace as well. Definitely. Yeah. So Jason, when you do scale, what do you stop doing and what do you keep doing? What new things do you start. I

Jason Noble: [00:25:02] like this as a question. Cause I think this is one of the really good things. What do you stop?

Where do you start and what do you continue doing? And I think you’ve one of the easy things to say is, I think you stopped doing everything quite often. When we start in customer success, we are purely reactive. If a customer says jump, we say how. And it goes back to that same about over-delivering.

So you stopped doing everything. You’ve now got a better team structure, who choose should be. What and I think what you’ve then got to start doing is you’ve got to start making sure that you’re pointing the customer in the right direction. Your customers are still going to ask you, call you, contact you and asking for X when it’s not about you delivering it.

So you’ve got to start letting them know what the right conversations are and who they need to speak to and what the right processes are. And I think that’s really powerful. I think the other things that you need to start doing, and we talked about earlier on is kind of standardization of your prey books, making sure you’ve got those.

You might not have any, but make sure your team understand those, make sure you’ve got those calls to action. Make sure you train your team on that. And I think that consistency is critical. So once you’ve got the processes, you play books, you know what good looks like, but make sure your team will understand this and start selling those playbooks and processes.

That’s really important. I think what you’ve got to keep doing, this is, it becomes harder when you’ve not got that one-to-one relationship, but you really still want to know your customer and make sure you’re. Understanding what they do, understanding their own challenges, understanding where you fit into the life cycle, understand how you’re impacting their outcomes, but make sure you still know your customers.

And that, that, that information is shared internally. Don’t just keep it in your notepad in your head, but make sure you’re documenting it story in your CSM platform, for example. And I think the other thing you’ve got to keep on doing, and probably accelerate is delivering value and outcomes. This is why we’re scaling.

This is what we’re telling our customer. This is the message why we’re doing it. So you’ve got to continue driving that message that these are going to be the benefits for you and make sure you document and show them that I think that’s really important. It is. We’re effectively changing how we’re working here is we’re scaling.

We’re also changing how other teams internally work, our teams work, but also our customers. I think, as you said before, Jess, that the biggest thing is around clear and consistent communications. Nothing, you cannot, you can’t undersell the need for doing. Yeah.

Jason Whitehead: [00:27:21] And one of the things also that we talk about a lot for success changes the idea of how do you get your customers onboard from the very beginning, with the idea of we’re working towards mutual success, we need to make you successful as a customer, but we also have to be successful as a vendor.

And let’s talk about both of our mutual responsibilities, our mutual commitments to this, and what are the steps and processes we need to do and how we’re going to hold each other accountable through this process. That a lot of CS organizations skip over this expectation setting and reinforcement all the way through, oh no, this is, this has to work for both of us.

Let’s talk about how we get there. And I think especially when scaling, you’ve got to be really tight with customers and for some really strong agreements of what they need and what you deliver them, what they have to do themselves. And I think when you can get there, that helps a lot.

Jason Noble: [00:28:03] We want to manage those expectations.

Don’t you thought you said he put, he is not just about doing, letting it happen. You’ve got to let them know what’s going to happen. Why. Yeah, let me one, one last question here just before we wrap up, but what what news skills that even team members do you need to help you scale and how does scaling your customer success team impact overall staff?

Jason Whitehead: [00:28:26] Yeah, this is one of those I think obviously will vary based on your organization. But I think there’s some things you can assume that you will need. One is you will need skills to be able to create the tools and content and materials that customers need to drive self success. So people who can write people who can digest information and put it into usable formats maybe it’s videos, maybe it’s something that’s, you’re going to need to create and maintain accurate content that helps people and figure out the right way to deliver that.

As you go in there, like that’s not a skill that everyone has. And then you get some people who are really good at building relationships and really good on the phone and do other things that may not be the skill that you need to create some of the scalable content as well. You’ll probably need different parts of your team too.

You mentioned before CS ops and how do we put in place processes and structures and tools. You’re getting someone who can do all that. Increasingly we’re finding that people need a CS data analyst on their team and really getting into some of those areas there. So I think there’s going to be a lot of changes there, but ultimately I think what it comes down to is that you’ll probably need some more specialized areas as well to really get things moving.

The exciting thing is I think there’s some opportunities here to develop new skills and a lot of career growth for folks, if you can do that. And so I think for an organization looking to do this one, it’s going to be, how do we build these skills? How do we reallocate our team and restructure. And then if necessary, how do we recruit new people?

And it’s amazing how hard it is right now for CS teams to find really qualified people to come in and do the work. So I think it’s going to be a, how do we build more than how do we go out and find in the market? Cause it’s increasingly harder to find. But what else would you add to that?

What skills and things do you see being needed?

Jason Noble: [00:30:00] I think one of the key things for me is you. Don’t be blinking. I think you’re going to need new roles, new skills that you might not have known before. I, the example I gave earlier about someone moving into CS ops, this was at a time when CS ops didn’t really exist, but this person just didn’t like contacting customers.

They wanted a more PA type role, an operational role. And it made sense for us then as we were implementing. Customer success platforms building out standardization and it made sense. So don’t, I think you’ve got to, you’ve really got to go into this with your eyes open, look at all different opportunities and ideas and work with your team on this.

And I think we’ve got to also be open to suggestions and ideas that might come from your team.

Jason Whitehead: [00:30:40] So I think that’s pretty much everything that we’ve covered here in the time that we have, I think scaling is an exciting area. It’s going to be where lot of focuses going forward. Any closing thoughts before we get to our bold

Jason Noble: [00:30:49] question? I think like you said, Jess, this is something that I know this has come up in lots of the round tables you’ve done recently.

Podcasts recording with a lot of great leaders out there that people are talking about this, and it’s something that every business comes up. So I think it’s a very exciting topic. It’s taken us a few stakeholders a while to get to talk about it but I think it’s something that I have no doubt that we’ll talk about again.

Jason Whitehead: [00:31:10] Absolutely. Awesome. Thank you everyone for joining us today. And before we go, we just want to recap our bold question here. Okay. What bold actions can you take to quickly scale your CS program while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and success? We’d love to know what you come up with.

So please contact us on social media, share on LinkedIn tag us. We’d love to hear what your thoughts and hear what you guys are doing. And if you have other great suggestions, let us know. So from Washington DC, I’m Jason Whitehead. Thank you so much for joining us.

Jason Noble: [00:31:37] I’m from London. I’m Jason Noble. Thank you very much, guys.

Really enjoyed this session. Great. All

Jason Whitehead: [00:31:42] Bye now. Bye.

 

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