4 Ways to Empower Your Customer Success Team

Rachel Skroback
November 7, 2022
5 minutes

Customer success teams are responsible for just that: ensuring the success of customers. In other words, CS is on the front lines of B2B SaaS organizations, building relationships with customers and doing the work it takes to retain them. 

Particularly during times of economic uncertainty, customer success teams can be put under enormous pressure. Since retention is more cost-effective than acquisition, CS professionals may also be held responsible for maintaining and driving revenue. Simultaneously, budgets may be tight, forcing CSMs to do more with less. Although this can present several challenges, there are ways for CS leaders and company executives to work together and empower their CS teams, even during economic hardships.

Empathy and understanding

Oftentimes during a recession or economic downturn, B2B SaaS companies may choose to limit hiring within their CS teams. And in some cases, workforces are cut. This means resources are limited, and CS team members are asked to do more work. Additionally, customers’ challenges become the challenges of the CSMs they work with. With all of these factors in play, burdened CSMs are susceptible to mental fatigue or burnout, and company leaders must do what it takes to ensure their teams are okay mentally.

This may look like more 1-1 meetings and check-ins with employees, openness to new solutions, encouragement of mental health days, new mental health resources, recognition of burnout warning signs, or simply being flexible as a team. Regardless of how it looks, empathy and understanding are essential ways to empower your CS team to be successful, especially when resources are limited.

Access to data

In order for CS professionals to build trust with their customers, they need to be able to present data that proves product value. B2B SaaS customers regularly evaluate their tech stacks to determine which products and services are above vs. below the line, and any products that are deemed non-essential run the risk of being cut. With this in mind, CS teams need to be able to easily pull concrete data points that prove the value of their products.

When meeting with customers, CS professionals should build trust by presenting data-driven narratives. For example, a CSM can use data at each touchpoint throughout the customer journey to show how their product has helped a customer accomplish their specific goals. Sharing data in this way establishes CSMs as trusted advisors, which can be massively influential on revenue, trust, and retention.

Cross-functional collaboration

In some cases, CS professionals may struggle to gain access to customer data and key insights from other teams. If this process isn’t streamlined, it can limit them from doing their jobs efficiently. To empower your CS team, it’s important to make sure teams are working together regularly to eliminate roadblocks and bottlenecks.

Customer success teams rely on support from other teams, such as insights, operations, product, and sales. Without this support, CS is limited in the data and insights they can share with customers. To make sure these teams are working well together, it’s important to establish feedback loops, hold regular cross-departmental meetings, and make time to forge strong relationships.

Process automation

For a customer success team that is bogged down with manual work and hundreds of accounts, automation can be game-changing. CS professionals need to have time to have meaningful conversations with customers, but tedious, inefficient processes can often be what holds them back from doing so. It’s important for company leadership to employ tech that empowers CS teams to do their jobs more efficiently.

When building a CS tech stack, opt for products that present immediate value, speed up workflows, and grant CSMs easier access to essential customer data. By doing this, your team can do more with less and free up time to do what’s most important: build relationships with customers.  

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