The Secret to Success: Process Street’s Customer Success Team Tell All
Blog: The Process Street Blog
I was once abandoned when I was six years old.
We were shopping in a busy department store when I decided to ride the escalator one more time, while my parents kept on walking.
Although I now know that my parents were completely oblivious to my own decision to take a solo trip down the escalator, I’ve never forgotten the fear, anxiety, shock, and anger I felt when I reached the bottom of the next floor down.
I didn’t know where to go, what to do, or how to find them again. I felt lost, uncared for, and cruelly abandoned.
Ok, so I wasn’t really abandoned and I was, in fact, entirely to blame for this incident – but I’ve never felt the same about escalators or busy department stores since. I still avoid both.
I’m sure we’ve all had similar “abandonment” experiences when we were kids, but maybe we’ve had some more recently too…
“Humans are driven by feelings. So if you want the consumer to remember your product or brand, they must be engaged and impassioned by the interaction with your company.” – Inc, Harvard Professor Says 95% of Purchasing Decisions Are Subconscious
Not with Process Street though. Thanks to our customer success team, no customer of ours ever feels lost, uncared for, or abandoned.
How? Let’s find out together as we go through:
- Why Process Street would be lost without its customer success team
- What does a customer success team actually do?
- How our customer success team succeeds at customer success
Why Process Street would be lost without its customer success team
Before I tell you why Process Street would be lost without its customer success team, let’s quickly establish…
What customer success is (and what it isn’t)
Customer success is about making sure your customers succeed with your product or service. Because if they can’t use it, they won’t use it. Simple as that.
Customer success isn’t about reacting to problems as they arrive, that’s customer service. And it isn’t about wooing unhappy customers when they land, that’s account management.
Customer success is about proactively reaching out to customers and making sure they know how to get the maximum value out of your product. It’s about solving issues before they become problems, finding opportunities to improve, and making sure your customer feels cared for.
It’s a form of client management that focuses on building deep relationships with customers to ensure their needs are fulfilled and your goals are met.
Why is customer success needed?
But, in spite of this, only 19% of businesses have a dedicated customer success team to proactively handle and alleviate these types of concerns.
So, if 81% of businesses aren’t too bothered about customer success, the question is: Is a customer success team really needed?
Cast your peepers over these facts and figures and come back to me in a second:
- 11% of customer churn could be avoided if businesses reached out to their customers
- Building customer relationships increases trust and loyalty. Loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones
- It’s 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one
- When brands develop deep relationships with customers, around 9 in 10 are more likely to give them second chances after a bad experience
- For every customer who complains, there are 26 who don’t say anything. They simply stop buying from you and cancel their subscription
Still not convinced?
Time to bring out the big guns.
How to succeed with customers the Amazon way
How did they become the world’s biggest online retailer?
By helping their customers succeed.
According to Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder and CEO), the key to Amazon’s success has been helping their customers to succeed.
They listen to their customers and continuously push the boundaries to provide them with what they need. They see their customers “as invited guests to a party” that they’re the host of. And, they treat every interaction they have with their customers as an opportunity to improve their relationship with them. It’s all about helping their customers succeed.
Take Amazon Prime for example. Prime was created because Amazon discovered that their customers wanted to buy quality products for less money, and receive them as fast as possible. It was a solution that was designed to meet all of those customer needs. And it does.
We know what customer success is and we know we’d be lost without it. Now it’s time to find out what’s involved in customer success.
How do we do it?
What does a customer success team actually do?
Customer success is crucial for organizational success. But how do we achieve it? What’s involved?
“A CS team’s primary purpose is to build, maintain, and optimize lasting customer relationships by helping them fulfill and even exceed their own business goals” – Business2Community, Understanding the Customer Success Team Structure
To ‘build, maintain, and optimize lasting customer relationships’, a customer success team’s main objectives are to:
- Turn customers into advocates
- Increase customer retention
- Optimize customer lifecycle
- Manage customer support
- Up-sell / cross-sell
- Generate referrals
- Increase customer lifetime value
- Monitor product usage
- Track success metrics
(Taken from Process Street’s e-book: “The Complete Guide to Customer Success for SaaS Companies“)
How do they do all that?
By proactively carrying out the following four key tasks:
Customer success team task #1: Onboarding customers
Onboarding is about helping customers get started with your product or service. It’s a chance to make a good impression and it’s an opportunity to make sure your customer understands how to use your product or service so that it becomes part of their life as quickly as possible.
Customer success team task #2: Building relationships
Building solid relationships with your customers means you’ll truly understand what they need. This will allow you to consistently deliver on these needs and encourage them to trust and remain loyal to you.
Customer success team task #3: Spotting opportunities
A key part of customer success is finding opportunities to improve a customer’s experience with your product or service. If you can identify chances to upsell or cross-sell, it will not only add value to your customer’s experience, but it’ll also add value to your profit stream.
Customer success team task #4: Developing new features
Talking to your customers, taking the feedback they’ve given, and using the questions or problems they’ve had to develop new features is a no-brainer when it comes to customer success. What better way to help your customers succeed than building something that directly solves their problem or meets their needs?
That’s a lot. Especially if you have a large customer success team and a large set of customers – as we do at Process Street.
So, how does our customer success team carry out all these key tasks?
How our customer success team succeeds at customer success
“We’re able to achieve negative churn. Month to month the revenue from the customer base we have is growing. In theory, if we never signed a new customer again, we would still be able to grow our revenue. Negative churn is where you need to be.” – Jason MacMurray, Process Street’s VP of Customer Success
With a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 49 (50 is considered excellent), a consistent customer satisfaction rating of 97.4%, and coming from a place of negative churn, it’s clear we know what we’re doing when it comes to customer success.
But how do we do it?
According to the customer success team, it comes down to one simple thing.
What’s the one thing you must do to succeed at customer success?
Invest in customer success software like Process Street.
According to research, 83% of organizations think customer success needs to ‘go digital’, but only 25% of customer success teams use software to succeed with their customers.
We’re not one of them!
What exactly is Process Street?!
For those who don’t know what Process Street is, this is for you.
Process Street is super-powered checklists. It’s the #1 business process management (BPM) software out there, as voted for by GetApp. Build templated processes for all your recurring tasks and run checklists from these templates each time you need to complete a process. With it’s no-code platform and humungous template library, you can get started right now.
Watch the below for a quick demo, or read this for a beginner’s guide to using Process Street.
I sat down with Blake Bailey, Process Street’s customer success team lead (who also features in 5 Mind-Blowing Things We Learned About Our SaaS Price Model), to learn how we use our own product to make sure our customers succeed with Process Street.
Blake, how does the customer success team use Process Street for customer onboarding?
“For larger customers, we tend to have three to five onboarding meetings spaced out over about two months.
Here, I’ll focus on the first initial meeting.
Once they’ve done that, we jump into our Salesforce CRM, access their account page, and click on the custom ‘Onboarding’ checklist template run link”.
“This run link opens up a brand new checklist from the ‘Onboarding’ checklist template and, via integration with Zapier, auto-populates the checklist with the customer information from Salesforce.
The data that pulls in from Salesforce includes things like the pricing plan they’re on, the number of users they have, the company size, their sign-up date, and the sales account executive.
If a customer is running late for their first call, which can happen from time to time, we can select an option from the drop-down menu in the checklist which fires off an automatic email to them, to ask if they’re joining.
As we go through the call we can record key information such as what processes they need to build, when they need them set up by, the different roles within the team, what they need support with, and the metrics they’re interested in hitting.”
“As soon as we’ve finished the meeting and completed the checklist, all the information we’ve captured gets sent back into Salesforce and a link to the checklist is stored too, in case we need to refer back to the checklist or update anything during our other onboarding calls.”
Ok, so what’s the biggest benefit of using Process Street to onboard customers?
“Using Process Street and integrations through tools like Zapier, we’re able to ensure that all of our data passes from one place to another seamlessly and that our customers have a really pleasant onboarding experience with us, here in Process Street customer success.”
To use an onboarding checklist template, like the one Blake talks about, try this High Touch Client Onboarding for SaaS Companies Checklist Template.
Too many organizations take the wrong approach when onboarding high-touch customers and they pay the price of increased churn rates and low long-term retention. Use this template to get it right.
If you don’t have an account with us, sign-up for a free trial.
How does the customer success team use Process Street to improve customer experience and spot upsell opportunities?
“To make sure we’re on top of what our customers need and also to check-in on how they’re doing, we run quarterly business reviews, or QBRs. This helps us spot any potential problems. Like for example, if they haven’t logged in for a while – we might want to address that. Or, if they’ve started creating loads of different templates for the same sort of tasks, we could suggest they use conditional logic to streamline their processes. Stuff like that.”
How do we do that then?
“In Salesforce, we’ve added a ‘QBR Checklist’ run link to each customer account, so when it’s time for their QBR, all we have to do is run the QBR Checklist. This opens up a brand new QBR checklist and automatically pulls in the customer’s data from Salesforce, via Zapier integration.”
Like when we onboard customers?
“Yeah, exactly. So, the goal of this process is to create a customized report deck for the client. In this deck, we want to include things like new features, account information, how active they are, and when they joined.
We also want to add in their logo – just so it looks super-personalized. A good trick to easily grab the client’s logo is to add a Google search link into the template. So for example, I usually Google for something like “transparent version of the customer’s logo”. I can then take the link to this search query and add it into the template so that each time I create this report, I can quickly find the logo I want. Then, once I’ve done that, all I need to do is upload it, so it becomes part of the checklist.”
“Once we’ve done all that, we can check that task off and the QBR deck will be automatically generated.“
How does the QBR deck get generated?
“Via Zapier integration. We have a QBR template in Google slides with appropriate variables in it, like for example client name, client logo, client activity, last time they created a checklist, new features, etc.. and we’ve set up a Zap that allows Zapier to pull that information from Salesforce and the QBR checklist into the report deck.”
Ok, sounds super-efficient, but also complicated? Is it difficult to set up?
“Nope! It takes two seconds. I’ll run through it real quick.
If you’ve created Zaps before, you’ll know that you need a trigger to start the Zap, right?
So, the trigger to create this report deck is the task we checked off earlier, in the Process Street QBR checklist.
Then, we need to confirm what actions we want Zapier to take to populate this report.
So, in this case, we first need to confirm that we want Zapier to create this report deck. Then, we need Zapier to find the customer record in Salesforce, pull data from that record into the deck, pull data from the QBR checklist into the deck, and format the dates so it all looks pretty. Once the report deck has been auto-populated with this information, we’ll see things like the number of members, number of guests, web sessions, active templates, active checklists, sign-up date, number of checklists they’ve run, last time they ran a checklist, all that type of stuff.“
Now you have the QBR report ready, what happens next?
“We take the customer through it on a call. As we’re going through the deck, we’ll have the QBR checklist open in front of us, so we can add notes to show how they’re doing. We also make improvement recommendations and add action items that are automatically created as tasks in Salesforce.
If we think there’s potential to expand this account, we mark the task as “yes” and another task is created conditionally. Once we’ve filled out this conditional task, and after we’ve completed the checklist, a new opportunity gets created in Salesforce automatically.
Once we’ve done all that, we send the deck to the client using the email widget and complete the checklist. This then sends all the information we’ve collected in the checklist into Salesforce. New notes, new tasks, and new opportunities are then created – depending on what we’ve added to the checklist.“
If you want a QBR checklist, similar to the one we use, try this Sales Report Checklist Template.
And finally, how does the customer success team use Process Street to build long-lasting customer relationships?
“We know that around 9 out of 10 consumers value a business that knows their account history and knows what their current activity levels are. We also know that around 7 out of 10 consumers value having the same customer success representative each time they interact with us.
That’s why we’ve built a customer health-check into our weekly to-do list. It’s important for us to check in with our customers on a weekly basis so we can build really strong connections with them, spot and deal with any potential problems, and also offer them help, guidance, and support if they need it.”
How do we run these health-checks?
“I mean we could run health-checks manually. You know, we could check every single customer’s account, every single week to make sure they’re ok. But that would take too long, right? So, we’ve automated the whole process.
In Salesforce we’ve added a run link to the ‘Health Check Checklist’ and created a Zap which automatically runs this checklist every Wednesday at 9 am on every account.”
How does it do that?!
“We’ve used the Mail by Zapier utility and set it up so that every Wednesday at 9 am an email gets sent from every customer account in Salesforce to a Zapier email address. This email has the name of the customer record and the ID of their account in Salesforce. When Zapier receives this email, it triggers a Zap.”
“The Zap uses the customer’s account ID to find the account in salesforce and from that account, it finds the owner ID, which is the name of the customer success manager, or CSM. It then runs a new Health Check Checklist in Process Street, auto-populates the date, time, and account information like the MRR or rebilling date, adds a due date, and assigns the checklist to the CSM.
This is important because if there are any changes to who owns which account, it will handle the changes automatically without us having to do anything. It pulls the information in, live, every week.
The checklist also loads some of the different customer success tools we use. For example, we use Mixpanel to monitor things like customer activity. So, the CSM can access this tool and use it to see what the customers’ usage patterns are and then add this information into the checklist.
They can answer pre-set questions like:
- Are template views increasing or decreasing?
- Are paid seats stable or unstable?
- Are checklist runs stable or unstable?
And then, they can give them a health score. They can select blue if they’re healthy, green if they’re expanding, yellow if they’re a low concern, red if they’re a high concern, and black if they’re absent.
Once they’ve added this information, the CSM can complete the checklist which will send everything from the checklist into the customer’s account within Salesforce. We’ve also set up a filter in Salesforce which allows us to run reports based on these health scores to give us a snapshot of who’s expanding and who’s at risk. That way, we always know exactly what’s happening with that customer at any given point.”
Blake, any last pieces of advice, tips, or tricks for our readers?
“Be sure to check out our monthly webinars. We did one recently where Salesforce Datorama’s senior success consultant Alex Hauer, revealed his customer success team secrets.”
If you’re interested, check out the webinar Blake’s talking about:
(As an aside, we also wrote these learnings up into an interesting piece on how the Salesforce customer success team use Process Street. Read it here.)
And with that, what’s your favorite thing about Process Street?
“Without a doubt, my favorite thing about Process Street would have to be the ability to automate things. If you know anything about me, you know that I hate manual labor and do automate nearly everything in my life. Process Street makes that easy.”
So, there we have it. A sneaky peek at some of the ways the Process Street customer success team uses Process Street to help their customers succeed with Process Street.
For those that have read some of my previous work (like “Find the Best Customer Success Software & Grow Lifetime Customers“, “Stop Profits Plummeting with a Quality Management Plan“, and “EQMS: The Best Way to Crush Competition, Push Productivity & Reduce Recall” for example), you’ll know I usually like to end on a powerful quote.
So, here’s one from poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou:
“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
We’d love to hear how your customer success team succeeds with customers in the comments. Who knows? You may even get featured in an upcoming article!
The post Blog first appeared on Process Street | Checklist, Workflow and SOP Software.