Basic attributes for an introductory customer success framework (Product MVP)
Part 1 of the series on customer success details on how the functional verticals were brought together with a common baseline model with buyer and customer journeys including partnership maturity model for an ISO 9001:2015 certified 65 people workforce. Part 2 speaks more on the next stages which involve diving in depth on each phase of the maturity model and mapping to delivery journey bringing all the functional circles together under a top level view helping find each circle their place in the overall map. The partnership journey was then mapped into JIRA maps using Bauer agile story maps after converting to themes, epics and stories and tailored to each agency in partnership with the concerned digital agency,
I architected a basic framework for the customer success manager to manage the partnership model in collaboration with revenue, marketing and delivery teams. Following detail the design elements of a minimum viable product.
Opportunity risks and concerns
providing visibility on running accounts, leads and stakeholders
planned travel and purpose against each running account
revenue-delivery communication canvas, check-in status and concerns
Opportunity risks : Signals that could be tapped for near term or long term business expansion with the account. Activities that needed strategic planning followed by planned execution. Contents here fed into success plan for the account.
Recording of current pulse (internal leadership) feeding into success plan
Account renewal/retention Risks [Project level risks were managed by project managers in the PMIS system]
Flagged risks [Risks that needed more time, company attention and resources]
Risk description and category : Categorized against phases in ITIL framework as below
Company [Service Strategy]: eg. shift in customer preference or an emerging technology
Readiness [Service Strategy] : eg. customer wanting to get into a new technology or dimension of an existing technology
Product [Service Design] : eg. Encountered an issue that needs product enhancement
Bugs [Service Operations] : eg. High volume bugs for the customer
Implementation [Service Operations] : eg. project plan is delayed
Support [Service Operations] : eg. Too many existing support tickets before renewal
Sentiments [Continual Service Improvement]: eg. Lack of engagement - too few support requests or low and no response to NPS.
Habits [Continual Service Improvement] : eg. customer not using service providers tools and techniques
Other standard risk attributes such as proximity, probability, impact score, actionee, response type and mitigation strategy, …
Published and planned case studies with schedules focusing on the problem definition and solution provided, with technology domains
segmentation drivers (such as contract value, retention rate, etc.) , rating , weight per metric
weights could change per half yearly or yearly portfolio reflections, frequency being dependent on how agile, innovative and experimental the company is, not to ignore risk appetite against market forces.
Revenue/Sales being the first point of contact for the customer drivers were rated first by the sales leads, handed over to customer success manager/head for updation/completion with a collaborative understanding.
reference drivers (such as geo-location of customer) in addition to strategic drivers for completeness. Reference drivers could be strategic drivers for other companies.
account level classification to classify the account as strategic to micro, tiered to four levels for planning and prioritization efforts and financials.
Calls to action based on account tiers
Linked to account segmentation based on drivers unique to the organization to provide an account level score
Visibility on where each account stayed against the stages in the partnership maturity model
Visibility on which stage of delivery lifecycle the project was on the timeline.
Flexibility to select an outreach cadence (Daily, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly….., never) with accountabilities for life cycle touches (Customer Success Managers, Engineering Managers and other stakeholders in leadership responsible for that account) against the above two attributes.
Since innovation, experimentation, retrospectives and reflections are embedded into the project dynamics, there is always enough information to share on hows and whys with the world. Case studies and success stories do not need to wait until the project is over to make it an exit criteria specially in a complex, agile and ever changing world. Content strategy had to be weaved in the success management dynamics.
Marketing circle was provided access to this centralized workbook to collaboratively define with the success managers a content strategy and plan content on the timeline with assigned contributors. Contributors could be from any circle including engineering and culture and not just restricted to managerial solutions.
As an added dimension, opportunity risks were also added to build content . This allowed for sharing on efforts and experiences with discovery spikes for capabilities needed in the future. Though the frequency of content generation for this added dimension was kept to a minimum for the organization did not have a dedicated research and development group.
Current objective for the engagement and Objective Category (Engagement Quality, Business Expansion, Contract Renewal) . Changing based on the status of the engagement and customer/agency pulse.
Tasks planned against objective
Owner of the objective and supporting leads across other functional circles
Priority, expected date of completion and status against the tasks for the objectives/or the objectives themselves.
Account forecasting (Introduced only for completeness and a central reference)
Accounts and classification against business chains
Contracted budget, prospective extension (cost) against probability percentage
The above was architected, built and managed by a centralized workbook in google while being linked to other dependent spreadsheets for easier accessibility. Solution is still being used workforce now being close to 80 as a cost-effective, easily configurable and a minimum viable solution to the success management framework.