Escalation on accounts with no assigned CSM

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Christie Anderson
Christie Anderson Member, CS Leader Posts: 12 Thought Leader
First Anniversary First Comment Photogenic
edited August 2023 in CS Org Conversations
Hi all! 

We recently resegmented our accounts for CSMs at my SaaS company. We moved some into an SMB reactive bucket. There isn't an assigned CSM on these accounts. They have someone assigned to make quotes for them, but that's it. The question we're having is what is the best escalation pathway and who handles these accounts when there are issues that our tech support team can't support? i.e.- they want to cancel or they want to have a call to discuss their account

Currently, it is all going to the manager, but we need to create processes and define who handles what types of escalations. 

Have any of you done something similar at your companies? If so, how have you managed it and built our processes for escalations?

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  • Mary Rosberg
    Mary Rosberg Member Posts: 14 Contributor
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    edited January 2022
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    Support tends to peel the onion on why they'd like to chat. If about canceling, AM makes a save move. If about their contract terms, AM. If about payment terms, Finance team. If other, Support acts as the main POC and tackles. 

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
    First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited January 2022
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    These should still be monitored regardless of who we appointed to be responsible, so we could apply a global fix to the gap in coverage.

    Typically in this model, support will escalate to support supervisor and work to recover the account if it is a technical issue. If it is pricing, sales will be engaged. Billing issue, then it will engage finance or even sales if there is a discrepancy between contract and delivered.

    If you have a renewals department, you can also leverage this team as well. Use what you have. Most of all, if we are lowering headcount in SMB, save for these situations and have a manager or Director of CS SMB that is responsible for the SMB escalations and strategy
  • Stewart Stokes
    Stewart Stokes Member Posts: 17 Thought Leader
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    edited January 2022
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    The advice you've already been given is solid.

    One additional approach I've seen is a "Client Health" or "At Risk" team.  It's a small team of folks who are responsible for pro-active and-reactive retention measures for a large book of small clients.  You staff it with talented, tenured support reps who want a promotion path.  They use data to identify existing retention risks and proactively engage with them to try and turn things around.  They more reactively engage with clients who are calling in to cancel or indicator serious satisfaction problems.


    You'd need to run the numbers to determine whether hiring one or multiple people for this role makes sense.  I.e. what is the cost of staffing this vs the estimated revenue you'd retain by implementing this motion.  It made sense for the company I was at  but may not make sense everywhere.

  • Harsh Shah
    Harsh Shah Member Posts: 40 Expert
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    edited January 2022
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    Hi Christie,

    I believe for all this SMB's account should have atleast 1 CSM assigned who can atleast work on nurturing or creating opportunities for your organization. Because if no one is assigned to proactively work with those customers then there might be a high chance of churn from that segment. In your current model, the support team only helps the customer when they came with any issue but it should be another way around. Someone should stay in touch with them so in case of any issue, they rely on you to get accurate answers while they focus on the core of their business without wasting energy worrying about any glitches. If required you can definitely reduce the regular follow-ups but still, they can be assured that there is always someone to turn to when the inevitable occurs. 

    Furthermore, the assigned can do various activities on those accounts to identify any opportunities for your company. This could help you to grow that account rather than just waiting for them to come up with any problem. 

    I hope this would be helpful, have a great day ahead.

    Best Regards,

    Harsh Shah

    Customer Success Manager, Woliba

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

    Email: hcshah15.hs@gmail.com

  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 98 Expert
    5 Likes Photogenic First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls
    edited January 2022
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    Stewart - this a great approach, and also is easier when you have a data ops team involved
  • Stewart Stokes
    Stewart Stokes Member Posts: 17 Thought Leader
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    edited January 2022
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    100% agree Jeff.  To really make this work you need both:

    - A solid data pipeline that pulls useful and actionable metrics from your product

    - People that can make sense of those metrics in a scalable way