Peanut butter and jelly, chips and salsa, cookies and cream, some combinations are meant for one another. And although these perfect pairings can be consumed on their own, we can all agree that they are better together. Just like these famous food duos, CS individuals should see how the recipe for customer excellence is a combination of both human and digital-led strategies.
There is a common misconception that digital-led means replacing your CSMs. However, digital-led motions are there to support and augment the amazing work CS teams put in day in and day out to scale, automate low-value activities, and even enhance the customer experience.
Kellie Capote, CCO of Gainsight, recently highlighted whyDigital Customer Success (DCS) strategies don’t need to butt heads with human-first ones—in part, for these very reasons. And organizations don’t need to choose between fully digital or human motions in order to take advantage of the benefits digital-first strategies offer. In fact, most DCS programs occur on a spectrum, blending human and digital touchpoints in a cohesive program that aligns with customer needs and outcomes.
So how do you decide which touchpoints customer success managers (CSMs) should handle personally? To get started, consider which moments along the customer journey are recurring and easy to automate using one-to-many communication channels. For instance, CS teams can work with Product to leverage in-app engagements that deliver the right information to users at the right time—automatically.
Personalized Product Content
Capote’s recent article highlighted a few ways that DCS programs can quickly deliver on some of this value by automating self-service programs for customers:
- Customer onboarding (i.e., welcome emails, onboarding checklist, etc.)
- Regularly scheduled office hours sessions, in which users can ask questions of other users and a CSM or product expert
- User support documentation and online training
- Short videos that guide users to complete common tasks
- Readily available in-app bots that offer relevant articles and ideas
In each of these examples, customers can still receive personal, human engagement. And when digital outreach is in place, for example, through an in-app knowledge center bot that surfaces preselected onboarding guides or knowledge articles to customers, that content should still be personalized to each user’s specific outcomes and goals.
A great example of how Gainsight does this is by asking customers what their primary roles and objectives are as they are onboarded in our Gainsight PX product. Gainsight then prioritizes specific in-app content for these users to help them most effectively realize value from the product. And CSMs aren’t left out—when this information is collected and synced to customers’ accounts, the CSM then has even more information about how to support a specific customer to personalize their own outreach.
Additional examples from above, such as office hours sessions, can be promoted via human touchpoints (for example, a check-in with your customer) or digital ones (using in-app guides or banners to promote upcoming events). The session itself is then a value-add one-to-many program that helps your customers stay more engaged with your product.
Human-Focused Digital Communities
Another great way to leverage digital-led programs in addition to human ones? Scale customer support and education using a community destination. With online communities, you can enable customers to self-serve and find the content they need when they need it by providing one central hub for documents, FAQs, and best practices. In addition to housing all of your content in one place, your community is where your customers can ask fellow customers how they did it. In this way, you can scale how your customers find answers whether it’s peer-to-peer support or a dedicated location to house all content.
A CSM can also help connect these dots for customers and connect them with one another. For example, CSMs can tactically engage specific customers in community conversations, on the mostly human end, or customers can be automatically engaged via programmatic email outreach with communities or groups that are most relevant to their role and objectives, on a more digital-first front. In either scenario, customers are getting to more valuable resources faster, and CS teams can then provide even more value to their contacts.
A customer community is also a gold mine for digging deeper into what your customers want. A key way Gainsight uses our own communities to do this is by encouraging customers to submit product ideas and opt-in to beta programs using Groups. Once an idea has been delivered, the customers involved will be automatically notified and can then use that new feature themselves.
Human-First and DCS Go Hand in Hand
If you’re looking to explore DCS strategies for your business, consider a blended approach to take the best, most relevant digital motions for your needs and test the waters with the right mix of Human-First vs. digital-first programs.
Remember, digital-first programs can and should still be human and feel personal. If you want to see how Gainsight maintains this balance, watch our webinar, Digital Customer Success: The Secrets to Delivering a Human-First Experience.