Tips and Tricks for Automating Everyday CSM Responsibilities to Maximize Productivity

The key to productivity is identifying what tasks consume the majority of your time and which of these tasks can be automated so you can be more efficient.

Updated: September 2022

As a CSM, you will be involved in everything that is related to your customers. Tasks can consume the majority of your time, so how can CSMs stay productive when completing those tasks? One word: Automation. CSMs have the ability to automate many of their everyday tasks, helping them be more efficient and have more time to spend on higher-impact projects to get your customers closer to their desired outcome.

Regardless of the company you’re working at, most CSMs encounter the following tasks:

  • Onboarding customers
  • Measuring feature adoption
  • Account progress through the customer lifecycle
  • Usage of the product
  • Technical support
  • Building the customer profile
  • Reporting
  • Identifying trends and surfacing insights internally and to customers

Meeting with customers and carrying out these tasks usually take up the majority of a CSMs time, so it is difficult to productively utilize time to work on other projects. Nonetheless, most of these tasks can be fully or at least partially automated. In this blog, you’ll learn about some tips on how to improve productivity and save some time by automating and minimizing repetitive tasks.

Minimizing Time Spent on Day-to-Day Tasks

Customer Onboarding

Onboarding customers is something that is an essential part of the customer’s success, so no matter what SaaS company you work at, you will always need to onboard customers in a timely fashion

The onboarding process consists of 4 different stages: 

  1. Kickoff Call
  2. Product Training (depending on how broad your product is, this can be divided into a few steps)
  3. Product Setup
  4. Onboarding Review

The time needed for each stage can vary depending on the customer and their needs, but one way to reduce time and productively get through the many onboarding tasks is by using presentation templates. Presentations are easy to duplicate and edit quickly with various changes to meet the customer's needs no matter where they are in the onboarding process. 

Feature Adoption, Usage Monitoring, and Progress Tracking

In order to upsell and cross-sell new features, you want to be able to see which features are currently being utilized by the customer and which ones are giving them the best results. If you have the resources, developing internal monitoring dashboards can provide you with a full view of each account’s feature usage. You can then identify who your heavy users are, potential new champions, and opportunities to train more people within the customer’s account thus driving further added value and usage across your customer’s organization.

Dashboards and other tools give you more visibility and can automatically create a report of how your customers are using your product or platform. By implementing a CS platform, these reports can be fully automated which can significantly reduce the efforts required to gather the relevant data, allowing you to analyze the data quicker and speed up the next steps. 

In addition to tools and dashboards, another way to stay productive and proactive is by creating alerts to your email or slack. These alerts will notify you of customers that are using a new feature or of inactive customers that haven’t logged in for a while, helping you be proactive in preventing possible churn. 

Support Management

Support management can be some of the most tedious tasks for a CSM. The time-consuming part of support management is tracking the progression of the support inquiry. Where does it stand? Who is the support agent in charge? Does it need further escalation? What’s the ETA? Without the proper tools in place, support inquiries can fall between the cracks and can cause friction between you and your customers.

To stay on top of support progress, you can have support tickets automatically sent to a designated folder in your inbox (Gmail and Outlook). By having support tickets in one place, you can keep track of active and inactive tickets and set reminders to follow up on a daily basis. Having a support ticket process in place is key for productively keeping track of the progress being made and knowing who is the right person to contact in case it reaches a stalemate. Another way you can be proactive is by creating monitoring reports to alert you if too much time has passed without resolution.

Ultimately, finding a way to reach a quick resolution to a support inquiry is crucial. Finding quick and successful solutions will only maximize your day-to-day task productivity, but also strengthen your relationship with your customer and their trust in you to solve any issues in the future.

Reports & Insights

Collecting data and creating insightful reports for your customers can help you build a better picture of what your customers are achieving, goal progression, and their desired outcome. However, collecting this data can be complicated and time-consuming.

The reports you want to build should be related to the following:

  • What is the impact your product has had on your customers' business?
  • What outcomes have they seen?
  • Why is it worth continuing to continue investing and using your company as a service provider?

Having an internal platform in place that measures, gathers, and accommodates this data will be key to providing high-level analysis reports to your customers and ensuring you stay productive with your day-to-day customer tasks. Note that dashboards can be incredibly useful for creating reports automatically, giving CSMs unique insights on their customer and allowing you to be a great asset amidst their customer journey. 

Curating Customer Data

Mapping out your customer’s organizational matrix is a key part of being able to increase product usage, reduce churn risk and improve your task productivity.

An organizational matrix looks different for each customer, but the problem can be keeping them up to date as the business grows and more customers are added to your plate. Updating the customer matrix with the relevant details and contact information can become more of a secondary task, but prioritizing the updates to a customer matrix can be helpful. To be productive with these updates, try setting a reminder or blocking time in your calendar once a month that is dedicated to updating matrices, that way you and your managers can have an accurate “customer profile” page that is trusted and usable.

Maximize Your Time and Productivity for the Customer

All of the repetitive, day-to-day tasks of a CSM can be very time-consuming. Ultimately, to ensure productivity and minimize the time you spend on these tasks, you first have to identify which ones are the most repetitive and the most time-consuming tasks. Those tasks identified should be the ones that are automated, allowing you to free up time in your day and maximize your task productivity and efficiency with the customer.

Once you have a list of tasks, you can begin working on automation and finding ways to make your day-to-day work more efficient. At the end of the day, the most important job of a CSM is to showcase and add value to your customers, so any additional time you can save to work on this will only get you closer to achieving your customer’s Desired Outcome.

For Customer Success teams that are looking to automate their CS processes at the department level, and empower their CSMs to create best-in-class customer experiences at scale, schedule a personalized demo of Vitally's Customer Success platform today.

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