SmartKarrot's recent CSM survey said that 61% of companies surveyed do not use a CSM tool like Gains

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Kevin Mitchell Leonor
Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
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edited July 2020 in CS Technology

Looks like many of us are not alone on that one. The three most popular tools were a CRM, Video Calling, and a ticketing system (also 61% of 250 companies polled).

Which also means most companies still have CSMs performing a lot of support related work.

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  • Shaun Porcar
    Shaun Porcar Member, CS Leader Posts: 19 Thought Leader
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    edited May 2020
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    I'd generally agree that many companies still have CSMs dedicating not an insignificant amount of time to support related work, but I believe that's more of a function of the responsibilities within their CS charter rather than use of a CS platform. I'd love to see more data on this though.

    I've led teams where the CSM's fully owned support (for a time) and also those that haven't. I've also had support teams essentially partner with CSM's to provide bandwidth extension on day to day operational tasks such campaign setup, QA, and optimization. It was simply a function of the budget available to hire (earlier stage) and the maturity of our product (newer to market, lots of 'beta' features, complexity and lack of customer resources...). I can come up with lots of reasons for why CSM's should and should not and plenty of areas of gray in between — and of course the rationale for why CSM's should spend time on support diminishes with scale as more resources become available to hire folks to take on that responsibility.

    Also might help to share the link where the survey results can be obtained for folks who may not have seen it https://www.smartkarrot.com/customer-success-survey-2020/

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    Ticket support questions are inevitable from the customer so it is important that even when we offload those to a newly formed support team, we are staying on top of things that are important for the customer. So i fully agree. Thanks for providing the link. I only had a downloaded copy.

  • Alex Farmer
    Alex Farmer Member Posts: 62 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    Really interesting.  I've always had the opinion that you can build a lot of it in Salesforce in the early days.  Once you get past 300-400 customers, then these platforms help automate and push teams to react just in time using data, as opposed to requiring them to look at dashboards and then react.

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    Automation would really change the game and that’s when programs like Gainsight scale well. Problem I have seen is that some companies don’t have the baseline philosophies to even make a system like that work

  • Alex Farmer
    Alex Farmer Member Posts: 62 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    Yes! Automating a bad/nonexistent process doesnt improve the underlying process!  Seen too many companies try to "fix CS" by buying software - doesn't work without strong backbone of process/culture/practice.

  • Scott Hopper
    Scott Hopper Member Posts: 70 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    @Kevin Mitchell Leonor I think one of the challenge of  customers , support and CSM's.  There is inherent value when a support problem gets fixed.  Support orgs originally, were tasked with enhancing there enterprise service and created single point of contacts.  Which was great, but they were there to solve technical issues, not necessarily go bring in resources.  As time evolved a concept of Support account managers was developed which had a greater hold on the support contract and understood pieces of the sales ownership of the account.  This somewhat evolved toward a CS manager being more consultative and proactive. 

    As modern Success has taken hold.  Detaching from customer issues has been a theme, but the challenge is if  Success doesn't lead here who takes over this burden. I think that really depends on the organization, but especially complex products.  Whether it be called a TAM or Support Account Manager, or SPOC you need someone that can give attention to the current support issues.  Coming from 15+ years experience in  enterprise software, someone owning that piece of the equation helps.

    Ideally a great SaaS product doesn't suffer as much from product flaws, anything that has 1000's to tens of 1000's of users running on it will have a greater support need and these customers will want a resource they can work regularly on these problems. The challenge is can the software company or service afford both kinds of resources, and can the customer live with 2 people helping them out on a regular basis.   

     

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    if Success doesn't lead here who takes over this burden - that hit me right in the soul there. very true.