Monthly Customer Meeting Format

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Rachel Jennings
Rachel Jennings Member Posts: 10 Contributor
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Hey Everyone, 

I wanted to know if you hold routine meetings with your customers what format and discussion points do you have? 

I have moved from SaaS to research, so typically I am used to discussing items that include: 
- Usage 
- Support tickets and themes from them where we can support them further 
- New projects 

What are things you bring to meetings when you have no compelling event for the meeting (yes I am working of reducing the cadence from monthly to bi-monthly or quarterly)
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  • Jeff Heckler
    Jeff Heckler Member, CS Leader Posts: 80 Expert
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    edited October 2021
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    Hi Rachel,

    You should be applauded for so adeptly thinking of how to serve your customers.

    However, one thing I'd reflect upon in this scenario is: If there is "no compelling event for the meeting" is this a meeting that should occur?

    I always come back to: Is this driving value for my customer and my team and company?

    Additionally, there exists an opportunity to drive value at-scale for the items you list (and more) via CS Ops and digital/automation plays with personalization.

    Oh, and hello in Naples!  I'm just up the road in St. Pete.  


    My best to you and yours,

    Jeff

  • Jonna Pedersen
    Jonna Pedersen Member Posts: 11 Contributor
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    edited October 2021
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    Hi Rachel
     Would love to know more about how you are moving customers to a bi-monthly or quarterly cadence? My team gets trapped in the bi-weekly/ monthly meetings where we know the value is not really there. The customers are so used to the more regular cadence that I worry about messaging (don't really love saying well this has no value :) ) Would you share your strategy?
  • Jason Thurman
    Jason Thurman Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited October 2021
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    I always shoot for a goal of hosting meetings when needed, and avoiding unnecessary ones. @Rachel Jennings, you're already thinking that way it sounds like.

    @Jonna Pedersen, I understand your concern too. I think you can sell customers, though, on the idea of action-driven meetings. They're in the same boat we are. They want to maximize value-add time at work, and don't want to do things that are unnecessary. Meetings as a concept generally don't have a real high CSAT score!

    The message I use when it's time to scale back meetings is always some version of "Well, we've accomplished our objectives with this meeting series, so I want to propose a different cadence moving forward." And that cadence usually involves some version of "Buzz me by e-mail/phone/other when needed. I'll respond, possibly with setting up a meeting ad hoc. And in the meantime, expect to meet again on <date> to discuss this follow up item we're tracking."

    That last part is important. If we're not leaving meetings with some sort of call(s) to action being tackled by one/several of us, we're generally wasting time. And if we're hosting another meeting before we have meaningful updates on those action items, then we're also wasting time (unless it's time to escalate). My customers don't generally want to take time out of their day so I can tell them "no real updates," so as long as we promise to maintain a cadence where we're monitoring objectives, we can sell them on meeting when relevant.
  • Jonna Pedersen
    Jonna Pedersen Member Posts: 11 Contributor
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    edited October 2021
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    Thanks Jason! I really like the idea of proposing "action based" meetings to pivot away from the "touchpoint" talk track I think we all get caught up in using. Going to use this as an A/B experiment with my team. Appreciate your input, have a great weekend!
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Expert
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    edited November 2021
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    Hey Jonna! Could having a premium support or technical account manager offering (paid, of course) help reduce the burden on CSMs?
  • Sean Wilkes
    Sean Wilkes Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
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    edited November 2021
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    Do you define an agenda for every meeting? If you're struggling with content, maybe putting the responsibility for organising the meeting and defining the agenda on to the customer will help them realise there's less value. In a world where we're all on Zoom constantly, being respectful of time (yours and theirs) shouldn't be something you're afraid to raise with a customer. Just make sure that if you're moving to less frequent meetings, the customer still feels they have effective methods to communicate with you and the team asynchronously (chat, email, etc).
  • Jonna Pedersen
    Jonna Pedersen Member Posts: 11 Contributor
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    edited November 2021
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    This is definitely a road I'd like to take, we haven't been able to secure budget for this type of CSM to engage at this point but it's certainly a great option (and hopefully on our horizon!)
    I would love to see a premium support model, where the customer can pay for additional services like a dedicated Support Analyst or a technical CSM to assist with minor configuration changes (our software is extremely complex) or to have a go to person for support inquiries/meetings etc. Our problem is how to annually bill for the service (it isn't really SaaS ACV but also we don't have annual recurring services packages).
    Great food for thought we plan for 2022 :)
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Expert
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    edited November 2021
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    It isn't SaaS, but it is ACV when packaged, positioned and sold as such. Can be an easy upsell but does come at a lower gross margin than software. I would avoid doing it as one time or monthly basis services. 

    We have built a managed services approach that bundles a tam, premium support, and strategic consulting into a package. It's not a la carte so you can't unbundle it but it has multiple value points that make it attractive to our customers to purchase on an annual / multi year basis (especially larger customers).