Some companies practice one type of Customer Success while many have multiple customer segments and align the appropriate Customer Success strategy to that customer segment. In the following blog, I will discuss the High Touch model.
For businesses with high customer lifetime values, companies will often adopt a “high touch” approach to Customer Success. It is important to note that the idea that the tiering of customers is not exclusively related to contract value. If we had a Very Important/Influential/Big Company as a customer, for example, it would be on our strategic customer (high touch) list even if they were paying us $5/month.
Different Relationships call for Different Customer Success Strategies
At companies with the high touch approach to Customer Success, the Customer Success Manager (CSM) typically manages a relatively small number of accounts (e.g., 5-20). This means that the CSM or Account Manager often knows everything that there is to know about the customer – down to pets’ names, favorite coffee spot, their kids’ school schedules, etc. They communicate with them frequently, likely every week and in some cases, every day.
Although the CSM might interact frequently with the customer, oftentimes the interactions are not as impactful as they could be. During your check-ins, the customer might be too busy or preoccupied to take the time to articulate what his issues and/or worries are. However, if you already have an idea of what his pain points are, you can address them proactively. This is where CSM technology can help.
Technology Empowers Customer Success Managers
Customer Success Managers can leverage CSM technology to be better prepared and more consultative in client meetings. Imagine how impressed a customer would be to join a call where the vendor knew everything about them – how long they’d been a customer, their contract value, their last survey score, how many Support cases they have open, how long the last invoice has been unpaid, etc.
By getting a comprehensive view of the customer, the Customer Success Manager can reach out at just-in-time with value-added information like adoption data, best practices and benchmarking versus peers. They can more easily prepare for Quarterly Business Reviews and Monthly Health Checks. And they can manage their calendar of recurring “customer touches.” And they’ll never get blindsided when they call a customer. Finally, they can report on customer health internally in a repeatable, quantitative fashion.
In the high-touch model, CSM technologies can help by improving the impact of client interactions. The increased efficiency and efficacy of the interaction means happier customers, longer LTV and higher probability of renewal and up-sell.
In a ROI study conducted by Mainstay Company, Gainsight was found to increase customer interactions by 250% while providing 3 times the number of metrics available for reporting compared to companies not using a CSM tool.