Tracking Cost to Serve

Deirdre Stenson
Deirdre Stenson Member Posts: 7 Seeker
First Anniversary
edited October 2021 in Metrics & Analytics
Hi! As our team plans for next year, one area we want to focus on is getting a better understanding of both where our CSMs spend their time (what types of activities/areas of focus) and also better understanding the "cost to serve" for each segment of our customer base.

We have a good method for tracking/categorizing live engagements, but wondering if anyone had a method in place for seeing ALL customer touch points and categorizing them, so we can truly understand where our CSMs are spending time vs our engagement model. I'm all ears if anyone has ideas!!


  • Jay Nathan
    Jay Nathan Member Posts: 108 Expert
    Photogenic First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls 5 Likes
    edited November 2021
    I would have them track their time for a period (say, a month). Give them a set of standard categories as well as an “other” category which you can organize later if there are outliers to the standard entries.

    Couch it as a time & motion study to learn so that the team tracks as accurately as possible to get a decent baseline to work from.

    Then you can set up tracking mechanisms in your CRM or CS Platform for the highest value activities.
  • Shannon Mastrangelo
    Shannon Mastrangelo Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited November 2021
    Keep it simple --> and know the value for your team (other than management reporting)

    We've tried this a few times and every time it struggles because we over complicate it out of the gate (>20 reasons for interactions).
    Step 1: 
    I would try to keep your categories to 7 or under. Its been a longtime since I've been in Six Sigma but, there is data somewhere that scientifically captures that this is the breaking point.

    Step 2: Use it to proactively plan if you can. Once you have a customer strategy defined use your tracking to capture the engagement plan (vs. reactive). Reactive = little value for your team. Proactive means as the creator I can use them to manage my workload, goals, track successes, creating swarming, etc.

    Step 3: Embed the capture into SOP such as QBRs/cross-organization collaboration/customer reporting

    Above don't under-estimate your change management needs and be ok with the fact that you will be able to get richer data from self-driven experiences. This is because the data capture is automated. If there are pieces you can automate - do, it will help increase consistency and data quality. We leveraged --> it still had gaps which is why we are circling back to a hybrid of manual + automated capture to try to triangulate time invested at a customer level. 
  • Celine Bocchi
    Celine Bocchi Member, CS Leader Posts: 11 Contributor
    First Comment Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited November 2021
    Hi Deirdre,
    We definitely track and our priority is time the CSM spends on the client.  Like the last person commented, keep it simple.  We also had a ton of categories (30!) at first and we are currently trying to bring it down into smaller buckets like Functional Workshops, Annual Business reviews, general coaching, escalations.
    In the time spent on client, we have direct client facing time, but also prep and follow up time.
    When we are thinking of CSMs hours for headcount planning, we have found we don't need to get into too many details like admin time or time spent on shared presentations that happen regularly and each CSM have the same amount, and just assume something like 15% on top of all CSMs client time.