Building CS from scratch

irafridman Member Posts: 2 Navigator
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Hi there!

I've recently joined an early stage start-up as the Customer Success lead.

Really looking to connect with folks in the same boat and I was wondering if there are any communities for those who establish CS teams and processes from the ground up?

Also, would really appreciate any helpful playbook templates.



  • tejash_24
    tejash_24 Member Posts: 23 Navigator
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    Absolutely,building a Customer Success (CS) function from scratch is a crucial step in ensuring the long-term success and growth of your early stage startup.

    Here's a comprehensive plan to help you establish a successful Customer Success team:

    **1. Understand Your Customers:**

      - Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience, their pain points, needs, and preferences.

      - Segment your customer base based on their characteristics, behaviors, and goals.

    **2. Define Customer Success Goals:**

      - Align CS goals with the overall business objectives and growth targets of the startup.

      - Develop key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure CS success, such as customer retention rate, net promoter score (NPS), customer lifetime value (CLTV), etc.

    **3. Create a Customer Journey Map:**

      - Outline the entire customer journey, from onboarding to expansion and renewal.

      - Identify critical touchpoints where customer success interactions can add value and reduce churn.

    **4. Hire and Develop the Right Team:**

      - Recruit skilled and empathetic CS professionals who can engage effectively with customers.

      - Provide ongoing training to ensure your team is equipped with the product knowledge and interpersonal skills needed for success.

    **5. Develop Onboarding and Training Programs:**

      - Design a comprehensive onboarding process that helps customers understand your product's value proposition and functionalities.

      - Offer educational resources like tutorials, webinars, and documentation to facilitate self-service learning.

    **6. Implement Customer Health Scoring:**

      - Create a system to measure and track the health of each customer account based on their product usage, engagement, and interactions.

      - Use this scoring to proactively identify at-risk customers and take appropriate actions.

    **7. Build a Communication Strategy:**

      - Establish regular touchpoints with customers through personalized emails, calls, and check-ins.

      - Develop a proactive communication strategy to keep customers informed about product updates, best practices, and industry trends.

    **8. Offer Value-Added Services:**

      - Provide personalized recommendations and solutions to help customers achieve their goals using your product.

      - Offer consulting or advisory services for more complex needs.

    **9. Establish Feedback Channels:**

      - Set up channels for customers to provide feedback and suggestions, such as surveys, feedback forms, or user community forums.

      - Act on the feedback to continuously improve your product and service offerings.

    **10. Monitor and Analyze Data:**

      - Utilize customer data and analytics tools to gain insights into usage patterns, customer behavior, and pain points.

      - Make data-driven decisions to refine your CS strategies and tactics.

    **11. Scale and Automate:**

      - As your customer base grows, implement automation tools and processes to manage customer interactions efficiently.

      - However, maintain a balance between automation and human touch for personalized engagement.

    **12. Collaborate with Other Teams:**

      - Work closely with Sales, Product, and Marketing teams to align efforts and ensure a seamless customer experience.

      - Provide valuable customer insights to inform product development and marketing strategies.

    **13. Continuously Iterate and Improve:**

      - Regularly assess the effectiveness of your CS initiatives and adjust your strategies based on performance data and customer feedback.

    Remember that building a successful Customer Success function takes time and dedication. By focusing on understanding your customers, providing value at every touchpoint, and fostering strong relationships, you'll be well on your way to establishing a thriving Customer Success team that contributes to your startup's growth and success.

  • irafridman
    irafridman Member Posts: 2 Navigator
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    Thank you so much @tejash_24 !!! Super valuable insights!

  • tejash_24
    tejash_24 Member Posts: 23 Navigator
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    Glad that it will help you

  • ianwelles
    ianwelles Member Posts: 17 Navigator
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    I am doing the same. My advice is to take a deep breath and then recognise the reality of where you and your company are at. Patience is critical - we know what is right, but getting hundreds of people to do the right thing takes months and years, not weeks.

  • Brandon Hemmelman
    Brandon Hemmelman Member, CS Leader Posts: 7 Navigator
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    Excellent advice above, both with the framework and on patience. Reflecting on building a CS team, here are some things I wish I did:

    • Keep every step as simple and measurable as possible
      • This will keep you nimble as you learn and allow you to see the signals that matter
    • Share what you are learning with leadership as you are building
      • This will build trust inside the org and allow you to get feedback as you iterate
    • Create a roadmap to follow for each step of the plan you create
      • This will help keep you honest with your plans and allow you to think strategically
    • In the beginning you may find more of your time dedicated to tactical customer engagements
      • This may be OK for the short team, but as time progresses be thoughtful about where you are spending your time
  • Seda
    Seda Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    Photogenic First Comment

    Hi @irafridman if you want we can connect, I am also building the same from scratch