Pooled CS Team Tools

Rachel Jennings
Rachel Jennings Member Posts: 10 Contributor
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I'm am looking to move a portion of my team and our customers to a pooled CSM model. I am wondering what tools you've used to help assist customers? I am looking at intercom and I am looking at Front app for a group inbox that the team can work out of.


Would love to hear what other people have done to achieve this?

Comments

  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 96 Expert
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    Rachel,

    I have done this a few times and am in the middle of this now for a customer. I view the keys being:

    • Tiering
    • Tools (support and community, LMS)
    • Pooled inbox
    • CSP to monitor healthsocres and fire plays off based on Risk or Liefecycle factors
  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 184 Expert
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    edited July 2023

    I advise using a named CSM approach with your pooled model. The inbox, all messaging and all touch points are from an individual. We assigned all accounts behind the scenes, invisibly to the org, to a pooled team member, crafted all message with warm personalization and signed by that team member. It includes clarification that the team member is part of your team of Customer Success Team. Responses/follow ups and action items went to the pooled inbox and were handled by whoever was on that day or who had that experience or expertise. (It was not a strict you are on duty today, so handle them all. The team handled them and the owner figured it out, using his or her skills as a CSM, to get them to the right person.)

    Advantages: Pooled messaging has a warm, personalized presentation. They are more likely to be engaged with. All messaging comes from one person. It is less likely to be seen as spam and discarded. Open, engage and success rates are all higher. NPS and renewal also went up! It turbo charged our advocacy program too, an added and unexpected benefit.

    The fears and criticisms all presented when we rolled out this approach were all wrong. But it was a giant battle to get past them (Too confusing for customers, false advertising: you have a CSM, but nope, not really, customers will get used to one CSM and resist dealing with another etc...) and internally the resistance was much stronger than anything customers presented. Internally this approach was viewed skeptically and initially devalued, especially by sales and other CS leaders, and only when the pooled team met, and finally exceeded the metrics of all others did the critics get on board.

    Chad Horenfeldtpkelly38DbradyScaledCSNatasha Alsaffar
  • Cheryl Luft
    Cheryl Luft Member Posts: 10 Contributor
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    We implemented a pooled segment at the start of this year and are expanding this even more in the back half. We use Front as a shared inbox tool and it has been incredibly valuable! There are categorizations, and automation you can set to ensure nothing falls through the cracks, plus collaboration on a message right there in the system. It has been really great for our team. We also use Gainsight's user groups for round robin assignment of tasks. Though we are still in the earlier stages, these have both been successful for us so far.

  • Ryan HL
    Ryan HL Member Posts: 5 Seeker
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    We've experimented with various types of pooled success models over the years- the most effective were the ones we could scale up in a one-to-many format.

    To get a better understanding, could you share the expected inbound volume for the pooled team and the most common types of requests that come in?

    In terms of tools, we try to prioritize what we already have as there are so many features bundled in software and tech stacks that are easy to overlook. Initially, we started with a simple outlook inbox monitored by a group of CSMs and used that to route things accordingly. Interestingly, we discovered that the vast majority of inbound requests were best suited for support, knowledgebase inquiries, or billing/accounts-related questions.

    Our community plays a central role as the hub for scaled customer success efforts. The whole team actively contributes, and specific team members lead key activities such as the content calendar, office hours, and scaled success sessions. Many legitimate csm requests work just as well in a one-to-many hosted session, while others can be assigned as tasks through our customer success platform.

    To be honest, we probably have a few too many formats to send out email campaigns at this point, but tend to lean on our CSP for activity and action-based campaigns and one-off sends that need to have a quick turnaround.

    Jeffrey Kushmerek
  • pkelly38
    pkelly38 Member Posts: 5 Navigator
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    I agree with the advantages stated by @Brian O'Keeffe for having a CSM name attached to it. It has a positive impact on email behavior. We used a group email and Salesforce to create the tasks along with a dashboard from which the pool would select the task they were best suited to address. This gave us great visibility into the frequency and type of inbound requests coming in. We used that information to give feedback to product as well as influence customer messaging and training.

    Brian O'Keeffe
  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 184 Expert
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    I planned to do the same thing with Totango! Until I discovered that Tasks were not ready for prime time. (For internal data issues, not the tool being problematic.)

  • DbradyScaledCS
    DbradyScaledCS Member Posts: 9 Navigator
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    @pkelly38 - I'm standing up this model right now. I am curious how you used group emails and SFDC to create tasks/dashboards. Would love to connect here/offline to learn a bit more.

  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 96 Expert
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    It's easier to funnel into tasks via a zendesk or ticket based system than SFDC

  • DbradyScaledCS
    DbradyScaledCS Member Posts: 9 Navigator
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    @Jeffrey Kushmerek - Curious for your thoughts. I just started with a firm that's only uses SFDC (building out CS function now - so everything is very fresh). I was thinking to try and build as much as I could with what we already have (which is SFDC). What have you learned using SFDC in the past?

  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 96 Expert
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    SFDC should be the SOR, and everything is bidirectional. Do you have Service cloud?

  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 96 Expert
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    so requests would come in and I am guessing service tickets would get created thru service cloud

  • pkelly38
    pkelly38 Member Posts: 5 Navigator
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    No disagreement that Zendesk is a better platform for ticketing, but we chose to use the Service Cloud in order to function independently from tech support and candidly I could manage and stand it up more quickly.

  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 96 Expert
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    yeah I ,made that statement before thinking about Service Cloud. The CTO usually wants to have it all be in the SFDC family, for better or worse.

    But DO NOT try to replicate a CSP with SFDC - that's terrible

    PiperWilson
  • kmcmullen
    kmcmullen Member Posts: 11 Navigator
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    I've seen it done a few different ways: assign via tasks in your CRM. This is helpful for visibility into who was working on what when you look back. We've also just done a shared outlook inbox and using color coding flags in there. Not the most ideal. We also initially started by just weekly assignments for who is managing the requests on a schedule basis, also not the most ideal.

    If you have Microsoft Office suite, you could look into PowerAutomate to forward and create tasks/lists via flows for assignment.