As of when is a CSM tool valuable?

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Tine Van Dyck
Tine Van Dyck Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
edited January 2022 in CS Technology
Dear community,

As of when is it relevant to move towards a CSM tool? Do you look at the number of accounts CSM is managing? Maybe also the maturity of the team + the data that is available (the readiness to automate)? Are there other criteria to consider?

Thanks a lot in advance,
Tine

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  • Andrew Marks
    Andrew Marks Member Posts: 54 Expert
    Office Hours Host 2022 5 Likes First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2022
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    A few things to consider from a process perspective:
    1. Do you have a well-thought-out customer journey/process in place?
    2. Do you understand where your "moments of truth" lie in that journey?
    3. Do you have a way of capturing and processing both the leading indicators of progress and the lagging indicators associated with your customer journey?
    If you feel confident about all of the above, then you know what needs to happen, who needs to do it, what the results should be, and what to do if those results are different than you expect, all key elements in getting value out of ANY CSM tool.

    My two cents.

    Andrew
  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
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    edited January 2022
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    I agree with Andrew because the purpose of a CS tool is to help scale. If you don't have the right foundations, you will be scaling zero. I've seen some organizations purchase as CSP they were not ready for. So there was a scramble to get their processes and goals in line because they were already paying for something they aren't prepared to use.

    Some things to ask yourself. Have you exhausted every tool in your tech stack and there are still gaps in visibility or capability? Are you spending too much time manually preparing things that could likely be done through automation? Do you know where all your data lives and how to extract the right data points?

    Do I have the right headcount for this or will adding this tool create more work for an over-worked staff? Will I have the right automations that take the guess work and the tedious processes out of the CSM's hands freeing them up to be more strategic?

    Have a plan to migrate eventually. But take care of your processes and headcount first so you aren't scaling things that aren't ready to scale.
  • Harsh Shah
    Harsh Shah Member Posts: 40 Expert
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    edited January 2022
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    As per my understanding, the below parameters/questions would help before choosing CSM tool.
      1. What problems you're trying to solve with a CSM tool or why optimize your existing customer success system?
      2. What additional help your CSM & AM team will get from a CSM tool with their core responsibilities (overall customer lifecycle, serving customers, and expanding business)?
      3. How to migrate the current data to the new system?
      4. Is there a ready solution out there depending on your organization's goals and needs?
      5. Its features make your customer life easy and help streamline your overall communication process?
      6. Will it help you to streamline current processes and align your team?
      7. Does it give more visibility and control across customer interactions?
      8. Consider the integration of other customer data points into this new system

    Because at the end of the day, the main goal of any CSM tool is to support the success manager on multiple fronts.

    I hope this would be helpful in your decision process!

    Best Regards,

    Harsh Shah

    Customer Success Manager, Woliba

    Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshshah-15/

    Email: hcshah15.hs@gmail.com

  • Tine Van Dyck
    Tine Van Dyck Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
    edited February 2022
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    Hi Andrew, 

    All good questions and unfortunately, the answer is "not yet". We are working on it though, but it will take some time. Thanks a lot for your insights!

    Tine
  • Tine Van Dyck
    Tine Van Dyck Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
    edited February 2022
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    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks a lot for your feedback. And I agree with you. Technology is an enabler, but without the right people/knowledge, processes and data we will not realize the value we would like to get from such a tool. We are currently working on this and I'm hoping to be ready for the technology part by the end of the year.

    I like your question about exhausting every tool available as well. This is actually where my question was coming from, now that I think about it. I find it hard to predict/assess at what point it will not be sufficient. I'd like us to work more proactively and to scale/automate, but how far can you go with reporting tools and manual work? So I guess I have some work to do to figure this out (and to convince our management why it's valuable to invest in a tool). 

    Thanks a lot for helping me think about this! 
    Tine
  • Tine Van Dyck
    Tine Van Dyck Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
    edited February 2022
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    Thanks a lot, Harsh!

    Today, we are not ready for a CSM tool. These questions will definitely help me evaluating our readiness and making my case for the investment once I believe we are ready.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! 
    Tine
  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
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    edited February 2022
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    That makes sense. It sounds like your org has reached areas of growing pains. The biggest question to ask is what can be automated and is that area built for scale (repeatable, applicable to a broad area). If it is, you are ready for some automation. If it isn't, we need to fine tune our processes to meet that criteria.
  • Shelby Czarnota
    Shelby Czarnota Member Posts: 11 Contributor
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    edited February 2022
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    Hi Tine,  If your organization is running a modern Cloud CRM (Sales, Services, Support, Marketing) and you have some level of analytics layer, I am not sure you actually need a CS Platform.    Remember, even small scale motions with tech touch can really be managed from marketing CRM, automation of workflow and tasks as well as Cross unit 360 customer view and coordination.    I would say front office focus first on how your different functions seamlessly work with the customer at the core, then how your customer experiences through their lens, journey and expectations.  Figure out the white space capabilities across your organization where your existing tools do not enable those primary functions of front office and customer experience.
  • Tine Van Dyck
    Tine Van Dyck Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
    edited February 2022
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    Hi Shelby,

    Thank you for your thoughts, that is indeed a sensible approach!

    Best regards, 
    Tine
  • Mukhtar_cs
    Mukhtar_cs Member Posts: 3 Newcomer
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    edited September 2022
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    Hey @Tine Van Dyck - would love to see how you've gotten since you wrote this post? :) - Mukhtar