Efforts to scale customer success team activity often fall short because of failure to avoid common mistakes. Your human resources practices, your project management procedures and your technology strategy all need to come together in order for you to scale up without overextending yourself. Mistakes in any of these areas can ripple throughout your organization and doom your efforts to failure.
In this blog, we’ll show you how to scale customer success team pursuits without slipping into some of the most common pitfalls. We’ll cover how to optimize your hiring practices, operational procedures and technology selections in order to ensure that your scaling strategy yields successful results.
Mistake #1: Making the Wrong Staffing Decisions
One easy mistake to make when you scale customer success team size is hiring the wrong people. A bigger staff isn’t necessarily a more efficient staff, and hiring someone with the wrong skill set can introduce inefficiencies that become magnified the bigger your team grows. Putting the wrong person in a key position can make scaling counterproductive and undo the potential gains of growing your team.
To avoid this, make sure you follow sound human resource strategies when making staffing decisions. Start with a clear vision of what skills will be needed to scale up your team and what positions need to be filled. Craft a detailed profile of your ideal candidate, including both desired technical skills as well as soft skills and personal qualities needed to fill the role, such as active listening skills. Develop attractive compensation packages to win top talent.
When recruiting, start by reviewing your existing staff to see if you already have the talent you need. In some cases, you may already have employees with underutilized skill sets that could be put to better and higher use. If you find you need to turn to external recruiting, optimize the efficiency of your talent search by making the most of resources such as staffing agencies and digital recruitment platforms.
Work with your human resources department to develop standardized screening, interviewing, hiring and onboarding procedures. Evaluate the efficiency of your procedures by using KPIs such as employee retention rate and productivity numbers to measure your results. Investing in optimizing your hiring procedures before you scale up can help you avoid replicating hiring mistakes on a large scale.
Mistake #2: Following the Wrong Operational Practices
Another mistake that can hurt your ability to scale up is following the wrong operational procedures. Standard procedures that work well at a small scale may not be well-suited to working at a larger scale. Moreover, flaws in small-scale procedures can be multiplied when you scale up.
To scale up effectively, you need procedures that are suitable for larger-scale operations. For one thing, this means that your processes need to be repeatable. Repeatable processes can be automated, which allows your technology to do more heavy lifting for you, reducing the burden on your human staff. This enables your staff to support more customers per staff member instead of tying you down to a 1-to-1 ratio between customers and account managers.
For example, if you have repeatable onboarding procedures, you can automate the vast majority of your onboarding. For tickets that do require human support, your automated system can send notifications to your staff. This procedure minimizes the number of support tickets your team needs to field, enabling your team to handle a larger volume of customers.
The same principle applies to your procedures for each stage of your customer journey, including adoption, escalation, renewal, upsells and brand advocacy. Creating standard, repeatable procedures for every step in your customer lifecycle enables you to replicate and automate customer success strategies at scale.
In addition to being repeatable, procedures need to be effective, reflecting not only general best practices but also the specifics that apply to your product and customers. Which procedures are optimal for your situation can change as you scale up, so you need to monitor your results and make adjustments to ensure your processes keep pace with your growth. Effective scalable operations need to be continuously optimized based on real-time data.
Mistake #3: Using the Wrong Technology
Avoiding operational mistakes when you scale your success team requires the right technology. Using the wrong technology will hamper your ability to automate procedures at scale, limiting the number of customers you can handle efficiently.
Customer success technology suitable for scaled operations should possess a number of features, including:
- The ability to automate best practices for each stage of your customer journey
- Data monitoring tools that let you automatically trigger procedures designed around best practices
- Flexibility to trigger manual support sequences when data indicates it’s required
- Data-syncing with other apps that use relevant data, such as CRM tools
- Support & product usage/consumption data for understanding risk and adoption
Totango’s customer success platform is designed to meet these requirements so you can easily run any stage of your customer journey at scale. Out-of-the-box modules called SuccessBLOCs come with built-in best practice scripts, KPIs and dashboards for each stage of your customer journey. Real-time data monitoring lets you trigger relevant procedures and send customers relevant automated emails based on where they are in their customer journey. Totango’s platform supports integration with popular apps you’re already using, such as Salesforce, Zendesk and Slack. This allows your team to deliver customer success at a large scale without straining your personnel resources or your budget.
Scale Customer Success Team Activity Up the Right Way
Efforts to scale customer success team enterprises can flounder over several stumbling blocks, including staffing, operational and technological issues. Avoid staffing the wrong people by using sound human resources procedures to match open positions to talent with the right qualifications. Steer clear of operational inefficiencies by making sure your standard procedures follow best practices adjusted to the increased scale of your operations. Prevent technology problems by choosing a customer success platform designed to combine large-scale automation with data-driven personalization.
Totango’s customer success platform is geared toward the demands of customer success teams that need to deliver data-driven customization at scale. Try it free to see how the right technology can help you scale up successfully.