Customer Success Managers (CSM) are the eyes and ears of your organization, and they often serve as a customer’s first point of contact. A customer’s experience and interactions with their CSM will easily influence how they perceive your company and, ultimately, your product. This makes both hiring the right people and developing a CSM training plan of critical importance.
The role of a CSM is fast-paced and carries high expectations, requiring a creative mindset and the ability to strategically pivot with agility. Even when you’ve hired the right people, training them for their roles in the context of your company and customer relationships could last weeks in order to cover the different proactive actions and reactive scenarios for which CSMs are responsible.
Constant, copious training programs are daunting when scaling a customer success team during your company’s period of hyper growth, especially when you may not have a dedicated person or team on staff to conduct training. This training process is much more manageable through the use of customer success playbooks.
What Are Playbooks, and Why Are They Important?
A playbook is a prescriptive approach for both proactive and reactive activities that a CSM typically encounters. Much like a sports team has its tried and true “plays,” with customer success playbooks you are essentially deploying a similar approach for your CSMs.
A playbook scripts how a CSM should approach and manage different scenarios throughout a customer’s lifecycle. This can be for time-bound scenarios—for example, three months before a customer’s renewal—or event-based scenarios—for example, a customer says they intend to cancel.