Tracking Risk Mitigation Plans

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Hi!

First post here and I'm excited for some feedback! We use salesforce for our CS team and have been struggling with visibility into churn mitigation efforts/progress and keeping CSMs organized around churn mitigation planning. We have a churn risk level (values= confirmed churn, high, med, low, unknown) field, a churn risk context field, and a churn mitigation plan field in salesforce today. The team has struggled to keep the fields updated proactively.

I'm trying to better understand what other folks are doing, even if it's leveraging other tools, to encourage CSMs to actively create a plan once risk is identified and then to document and proceed with that plan.

The challenge is also in being able to quickly see progress against a churn mitigation plan at the management level. How have other folks solved for this? Happy to answer any questions or elaborate on what we've tried so far. Thanks!

Comments

  • richardconvery
    richardconvery Member, CS Leader Posts: 8 Navigator
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    Hey Justin!

    I got fed up of not being able to track this effectively so I'm building risk lists, with the ability to create narrative and 'mitigation tasks' against risks, into my product. The below is coming out next month.

    In my previous roles as Head of CS, I would make sure that in my weekly/fortnighly catchups with the team we would have a dedicated time to reviewing the risk list and how we're tracking. Setting the expectation that the CSMs are going to be discussing each week meant that they would set aside time before the call (at minimum) to update their risks before the conversation.

    I'd also explain that

    a) the risks are viewed by the leadership team, as it's so important to the business, and

    b) they are encouraged to proactively add risks. Adding a risk doesn't indicate that they're bad at their jobs, in fact adding risks early is encouraged as it gives the whole team plenty to time to address the issues.

    I hope that helps!


    Richard

  • Jay_Mohammed
    Jay_Mohammed Member Posts: 3 Navigator
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    Hey Justin - 2 ideas here:

    1) Quick fix: Wherever the team is supposed to be updating their actions/next steps, tie a "last updated" field to it. This way leaders can quickly filter which Risks have not been updated over a certain period and hold their ICs accountable.

    2) Longer-term fix: I've found that if reps aren't updating their risks properly, it's not because they're lazy; it's more so because they don't truly know what to do. Over time the organization should bucket their risks (product quality, feature gap, too expensive, non-payment, departure of decision maker, etc) and create standard "risk plays" for each bucket. Each risk play will likely involve multiple teams, so collaboration and alignment with different departments are critical. Once the plays are established, it is easier to see which step each risk is on and drive urgency for the next step.

    Hope this helps!

  • Meg Valentine
    Meg Valentine Member Posts: 7 Navigator
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    Frankly, I haven't had this problem. When I've created mitigation plans in the past, I've clearly outlined the steps, roles and responsibilities, the role the customer plays, the Product Specialist plays, the role that the CSM plays and any other team mates. And put it into a project plan that outlines that for everyone involved. It's a very transparent process that is shown to the customer team as well as CS leadership and any other BU leads that are involved.

    One of the things I've recently seen is AI being used to track which customers are churning and what preceded that churn. Then that data is funneled back into CS teams to keep an eye out for these various indicators of churn risk. For example, if a customer has 6-10 new support cases opened each month, but 4-9 of them are resolved within 30 days, the risk remains low, but if they do not open ANY support cases in 30 days, and then start opening a lot of them in one week, that's an indicator of churn risk. If however, those same customers were able to be on hands-on sessions with either Product Specialists or Support, within 6-12 hours of opening a case, their churn went down significantly.

    I hope that helps.

  • Cheryl Luft
    Cheryl Luft Member Posts: 14 Contributor
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    We currently use Gainsight timeline activities to signal risk, this information feeds into Salesforce for visibility across the company. This is not a perfect process as there definitely is some confusion/hesitation in assigning the types of risk but we have and continue to iterate on these to align with churn reasons.

    There are also save plans in place for customers who are at risk that are used to collaborate with the sales side and anyone else who is involved in the account risk.

    Happy to talk through what we currently do if you're interested.