One of my favorite yoga concepts is “start where you are”. In the physical practice of yoga, this serves as a reminder to honor your body and how it is feeling at that moment. If you can’t put both legs behind your head like the person on the mat next to you, that’s okay. Recognize that your body is not ready for that and you have to take steps to get there or that your body may not be anatomically built for all poses. Remembering that yoga is about your personal progression and a journey.
I love to take this concept ‘off the mat’ and into daily life and business. In relation to Customer Success and deciding what tools you need in your tech stack, you have to “start where you are”. You have to assess what you’re using today, what are the biggest issues you need to resolve, and what will give you the most ROI to help your progress in your CS journey.
Look at each step in your customer journey. Where are your CSMs spending the most amount of time and understand if there is a tool that can help them become more efficient. Are the CSMs being bombarded with emails from customers about bugs and issues? Maybe your best bet is a helpdesk ticketing system. Are they spending too much time searching for documentation? Perhaps you need to organize in a tool like Confluence. Is the time-to-value for your customers way too long? Possibly a tool like TaskRay could help the CSMs to create standardized workflows and metrics.
Another important step is to assess what tools are already being used in your team and across the company that could have functionality that CS can benefit from as well. Make a list of each tool and how it is being used. Identify where you may have duplication in functionality and what the strengths and weaknesses are for each tool. You may find that your team is using several different tools for the same purpose. For example, if you have one CSM using Asana to track a workflow and another one using Trello or TeamGantt, you may be missing out on opportunities to create efficiencies and collaborations. Pick one and align on that across your team.
Many people think that they have to adopt some big, fancy CS platform in order to be successful with their customers and meet their goals. But, implementing something before you’re ready can be a costly mistake. Just like yoga is a journey on your mat, Customer Success is also a journey. Starting simple and continuously assessing “where you are” can help you progress at the right pace as your customer base grows and your team and processes mature.
Throughout this month, you’ll read some great articles about the CS Tech Stack. I hope you find some tools that help you in your CS journey. Always remember to “start where you are”.
Annie Geile is a writer for the Chicago Customer Success Podcast. She has served as Label Insight’s Vice President of Customer Success.