As part of an ongoing discussion about the evolving role of Customer Success Operations, we have the second installment from our very own Senior CS Ops Manager, Barr Moses. Below, she takes us through the second half of her week at Gainsight. For part 1, please click here.
Hi everyone! Last time we checked in, it was Tuesday afternoon and I had to rush out to put out a fire for our CEO and one of our CSMs. They had found that one of the usage data views was not loading properly in her Customer 360 view. After notifying the broader CSM, support and product teams of the issue, I created a quick rule and report so that the team had what they needed to prep for their meeting.
Wednesday morning, I had good news waiting for me at the office. Overnight, our product team based in India found and fixed a bug in the platform. One of the many benefits of having a proactive team in another time zone!
With that fire out, I moved on to the two areas of focus of my day: our weekly support risk meeting and improving internal processes.
As I mentioned on Tuesday, working cross functionally is a critical component of my job. I need to make sure my CSM team has the right processes in place with the right cross functional team members to efficiently and effectively help their customers. In my last post, I described our implementation risk session which is a great way for CSMs to interface with our Services team. Today, we’re focused on support.
A few months back, we launched support risk process to improve coordination between CSM and Support team. This process helps support prioritize tickets according to customer needs, and allows CSMs to stay in the loop about their customers’ concerns. My role now is to prep and facilitate the meeting.
The prior day, I make sure that CSMs are flagging in Gainsight the support tickets that pose greater risk to customer health. The support team reviews these tickets and puts together a plan of attack for solving them. They highlight if additional resources or information is needed from either within Gainsight or from the customer. In the meeting, we walk through support risk by support risk in order of most important in my view of the Cockpit, getting status updates, troubleshooting product fixes, and brainstorming new ideas.
After implementing this process, we found that it also added significant value for the support team. Since the CSM has the overall view of the customer, they’re able to identify support tickets that are especially urgent and escalate issues that would not have otherwise been escalated without the additional context. It’s hard for support to know what is critical in a vacuum, but with the color the CSMs provide, they’re able to take action to prioritize as needed.
Coming out of this Wednesday’s meeting, I move on to focusing on improving internal processes. Today, I’m having a one-on-one with a seasoned CSM on our team to discuss our interactions with our business partners. Specifically, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can make Gainsight one seamless experience for our customers, from sales, to services and support, to CSMs. How can we make the transition from sales to onboarding as smooth as possible? How can we incentivize project implementations to be on time and meeting near term deadlines, but also delivering value to our customers for the long-run? How can the CSM bridge the full customer lifecycle as a primary point of contact? These are the burning questions we discuss and look to solve.
Fast forward to today – it’s been busy already. This morning we held our bi-monthly opportunity meeting to touch base with our CSMs who’ve identified upsell and cross sell opportunities within their customers. We rely heavily on the data to signal our proactive outreach and then ask CSMs to deliver the human intuition needed to lay out the approach to engaging with our customers.
Since implementing this process, our team has felt much more comfortable aligning on best practices. Before, we had one off customer touch points and it was up to purely the intuition of the CSM to tackle opportunities. Now, we leverage the brainpower of the group to tackle every situation.
I have two other meetings on the docket today. First up, a session with our VP of Customer Success to discuss customer tiering and CSM effectiveness metrics. Besides process improvement, I am also responsible for recommending strategic improvements to our business model to better serve our customers. Today, our VP of Customer Success, Allison Pickens, and I are reviewing my analysis of our current set of customers and our engagement models. Since my hire as our first CS Ops manager, I’ve taken a lot of this responsibility off of Allison’s plate and she reminds me often of how enormously grateful for it! I’m able to synthesize a lot of the thinking such that when we collaborate, we get to better decisions together.
The last item on my agenda today is circling up with our one-to-many CSM manager to align on customer outreaches that are planned for the next month. The goal here is to make sure I’m fully aware of our planned outreaches and to make sure that it fits in with the other upcoming CSM customer outreach processes. At many of our customers, this responsibility would reside in the CS Ops team. Since there is so much more to be done here, however, we’ve decided at Gainsight to have a team member on the CSM team to fully own the one-to-many customer engagement.
This afternoon and leading into my Friday, I’ll be updating rules within the software, digging into our analytics for insights, and drafting new reporting tools to improve visibility for our GMs. I’ll have to say bye for now and thank you for joining me for a week in my life!