Digital CS: What is your ratio of employee: customers? What do you have in place to support this?

AshleyGarza123 Member, CS Leader Posts: 9 Navigator
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I am interested in the ratio of CS members to customers your company currently has.

What automation or processes do you have to support this?

I am looking at assigning 150 customers per CS member, but have little automation supporting them. We may need to have this bump up to 200/per person in the next few months. Right now, the way our team communicates is by inserting a template via our CSP tool to reach out. Essentially a customer falls into one of the following alerts and we reach out.


  1. Support users or admin not defined
  2. Support tickets not being entered
  3. No PS hours used (if bought internally)
  4. No training taken
  5. Reach out every 30 days asking if there is anything that the customer needs help with
  6. (if telemetry exists) comms based on increase/decrease of usage

My process is still being figured out, but it's mainly reactive. Thoughts?


  • shonafenner
    shonafenner Member Posts: 8 Navigator
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    We're sitting at around 400-450 customer accounts per CSM.

    We do use a fair amount of automation to support this, mostly via Totango. The CSM is triggered for outreach for items such as:

    -Primary contact not assigned

    -No product use in 8+ days

    -Significant decrease in product use (>70% less, compared to 30 days ago)

    -No product use for key add-on feature(s)

    -"Bad response" to Support CSAT, automated customer journey stage CSAT, in-product NPS

    -Account marked "At Risk" and in this status 45 days, 100 days, 200 days

    -High volume of support tickets in the last month

    -Persistent "poor" health rank after 60+ days

    -Proactive reach out for "tune-up business review" either quarterly or yearly, depending on subscription value

  • AshleyGarza123
    AshleyGarza123 Member, CS Leader Posts: 9 Navigator
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    @shonafenner Thank you so much for the insights. How long did it take for your company to ramp up the automation? Right now we use Planhat and just brought on a FTE admin to get things moving quicker. I'm excited for the automation to take place!!!

    For the ratio of 400 accounts, what do you do when the customers have technical questions that don't fall into the territory for Support and the customer doesn't have professional service hours?

    My last question is what KPIs do your team mainly focus on?

  • shonafenner
    shonafenner Member Posts: 8 Navigator
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    Ah, I have good news... I'm a one-person CX Ops team, and I got all that done (and a bunch of automated recurring/ongoing triggered emails) in under 6 months. :) The key was to define "quick wins" and "big dreams", both defined by CX leaders and Ops/admin. Also, I found I could actually do a few of the "big dreams" with minimal effort, so yay! Then, encourage your admin to watch webinars and Planhat's competitor product demos, and they'll have a ton of ideas to run with! Some of my best ideas came from the sales pitch for either Totango or Pendo's competition... its brainfuel for making the most of what you already have at your disposal. From there, it's all evaluating what's working for your unique customers and business, and iterating.

    For us, technical questions all go back to Product Support, so our CSMs are looped into issues and outcomes but get to stay high-level on business objectives and value. We share expansion with Sales, so it's not overly taxing and can be heavily based on the customer's objectives... we're idealistic folks over here :)

    KPIs = retention, retention, retention, with a splash of expansion "assists" for good measure.

  • Cheryl Luft
    Cheryl Luft Member Posts: 14 Contributor
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    Our scaled team has 7 Customer Success Advisors managing 300+ accounts globally. They do this with incoming emails assigned via round robin in a tool called Front; we also have automated CTAs in Gainsight. CTAs are triggered when a customer has not had a meeting with this team in 45 days, un upcoming renewal, and support tickets open more than 30 days. We are working on getting product data into Gainsight so that we can trigger CTAs based on usage data. Additionally, we are working on automating communications for monthly updates that are currently sent manually by CS.

    Definitely not entirely digital, but this growing model allows us to support lower touch customers without putting more work on our named CSMs.

  • kmcmullen
    kmcmullen Member Posts: 14 Navigator
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    In my prior role, we had about 300-450 (depending on timing): 1 CSM at a given time. My team was specifically focused on the Onboarding phase, but once they hit certain milestones, they would move to a similar environment where it was a Community-first model. During Onboarding, we were engaged by:

    1. Gainsight CTAs & playbooks (based on utilization/product data and time with our company)
    2. Member of our internal organization completing request for client engagement (their activation coach or sales person sharing they needed direct engagement)
    3. Clients scheduling via calendar tool themselves

    Once they went to the community model, they were classified in a few different buckets based on: whitespace, usage, engagement (with marketing/webinars, support, & community page itself). We had CTAs that would fire if their status changed (from engaged to not-engaged or vice-versa) and for every 180-240 days for a 1:1 reach out, depending on client size.

    Most of the existing client base in the community model (when they were more 'established') were here when we had a 1:1 model regardless of size... and getting them to adapt was definitely a challenge. The clients that seemed to best fit this mold were ones that had this experience and expectation started from the get-go.