Whether it’s scheduling meeting requests, sending follow-up emails, or identifying opportune outreach moments, automation gives you a sixth sense and an extra hand (or 20) to drive more effective engagements across all your accounts. By programming repetitive tasks and trigger-based communications – built on behavior, lifecycle, or product usage – you never miss an opportunity to capitalize on your customers’ most pressing pain points, needs, and wants. You become better attuned to their personal reality and product experience by showing up for them every time their actions say so, and without them ever speaking a word. Along with becoming a more intuitive partner, automation gives you extra time and brainpower for strategic thinking. You can devote your energy towards solving complex customer problems and brainstorming new ways to bring value instead of letting the coordination of routine communications dictate your day’s productiveness.
So, if you’re ready to break free from the stress and chains of your own manual micromanagement, we put together a list of common outreach scenarios where Customer Success automation keeps you on task, on time, and on point.
Scenario #1 – Strengthen feature adoption based on behavior
Most customer adoption communication cadences are based on subjective or arbitrary time intervals, such as sending automated emails every two days. Instead trigger your outreach based on the customer’s actions (or lack thereof).
Example: After a customer initially logs in once, they don’t log in for 14 consecutive days. This considerable lapse of time triggers a playbook with two follow-up emails or an in-app message to reengage the customer and start a conversation.
Scenario #2 – Reinforce positive actions and milestones
With your customer’s product usage data, track when their team or a member meets a specific usage threshold to congratulate them and offer advice on more advanced features.
Example: When a customer reaches a celebratory milestone, such as creating 100 Segments, send an in-app congratulations. Or, if a customer reaches 100% license utilization, send a message applauding them on growing their team and offer to schedule time to discuss how you can help meet their expanding needs.
Scenario #3 – Offer relevant resources and support based on lifecycle phase
Use automation to trigger emails with helpful content based on where the customer is in their lifecycle, including onboarding, adoption, renewal, and expansion. If you use a trial model, offer “getting started” guidance and educational content when the user first signs up. As their trial ends, remind them to purchase to avoid service interruptions. If a trial user expires without purchase, bring them back with special offers/discounts.
Example: At the 180-day post onboarding mark, send your customer performance reporting now that they regularly use the product and have viable data to glean insights from. Or automate a task and email to schedule an executive review so you can showcase the team’s gains to leadership and sponsors.
Scenario #4 – Uncover hidden value with “did you know” campaigns
These campaigns promote common product features, use cases, and shortcuts that are applicable to most users within a specific product tier, but for whatever reason, are typically overlooked.
If you don’t have any frequently underused functionality, use tips and tricks to show your customer how to use your tool more effectively – whether it’s your own favorite shortcut or a new how-to you’ve recently learned. Collect and organize your best advice and use it to start an adoption campaign.
Example: In ChurnZero, many users are unaware that they can manage their own events, add their own fields, or set up their own contract attributes on a contact page. If you set up an automated playbook to send customers one tip every three weeks, you deliver six to nine months’ worth of content while establishing consistent touchpoints.
Scenario #5 – Send users metrics that matter to them
Build an automated playbook to show customers you’re continually thinking ways to accomplish their goals and keeping their success top of mind. Create an email encouraging customers to check in on their progress and metrics, such as “Hi [First Name], I was thinking about your team’s positive progress today, and I know user engagement is important to your success. Have you checked out your metrics lately? Also, here’s one of our most popular blog post on the top SaaS metrics that I thought might interest you.”
Example: Send a monthly Benchmark Report Card to your customer based on their product activity that highlights gained efficiencies such as including total time saved by using specific features.
Scenario #6 – Drive product usage when activity decreases
Don’t wait until a periodic review to discover that your customer is not actively using the product, particularly sticky features. Set thresholds for usage of key features and when a customer dips below these limits, proactively engage them. Focus on the value the feature can deliver, also well as starting small and growing their usage.
Example: If your customer doesn’t log in within the last 14 days, create a playbook to trigger an automated email prompting the customer to log in to check out a new feature or send practical use cases personalized to their top needs. Then, set a task to call them to check in a few days later. You should also track declines on a month on month and quarter on quarter basis.
Scenario #7 – Start customer onboarding off on the right foot
As soon as a new account is assigned, make sure the Customer Success Manager is alerted and can immediately reach out to kick-start the customer relationship. Don’t lose the customer’s momentum and excitement with a delayed transition from Sales to Customer Success. To set clear customer expectations from the start and make a favorable first impression, create an onboarding journey to automate your next steps. The first journey milestone should include time-bound tasks that are assigned to both you and the salesperson.
Example: If a customer purchases a new module, send an onboarding kickoff email that outlines next steps and introduces their new Customer Success Manager. You can also use automation to greet them the first time they log into your product, introducing the human and technical resources that are available to them. Suggest steps to get started and track if the user follows those steps. Reach out to help them if those steps don’t occur.
Scenario #8 – Get lagging onboarding customers back on schedule
Your customer is efficiently progressing through their onboarding journey’s milestones. However, they begin to fall behind during training. Specifically, they haven’t integrated with a product function that plays an essential role in helping them meet their goals.
Example: When a customer becomes stuck in an onboarding journey, set up a playbook to email the executive sponsor informing of the delay and outline the required steps to get back on track.
Scenario #9 – Customize user training by role type
During training, there are often many roles you need to engage at designated points along the way. To ensure everyone follows a consistent and solid process, use journeys to both assign tasks to the appropriate roles and manage the project across teams.
Example: If you have a new admin user, send an email or in-app message with all the resources they need to truly get started. If you have a new end user, do the same!
Scenario #10 – Stay on top of your business review schedule
Business review cadences can be hard to keep track of on top of everything else you’re tasked with as Customer Success professional. Create a Play that triggers every time you exceed X days without a business review. Never again leave a customer wondering why they haven’t heard from you or miss an opportunity to deliver value.
ChurnZero Tip: You can trigger 90-day reviews based on the date a customer completes implementation or renews – or any date of significance.
Scenario #11 – Schedule renewal meetings with the right stakeholders
With busy customer schedules, it can be difficult to even nail down a time to discuss goals for the upcoming year and renewal. The quick setup of a playbook makes light work of this by queuing up automated in-app messages and emails to the appropriate contact to secure this discussion.
Example: Begin your renewal process 180 days before the date of contract expiration with a task for the Customer Success Manager to confirm the customer is receiving value, so communications can be adjusted as needed. Once you’re 90 days out from contract expiration date, use a playbook to automate your remaining renewal emails.
Scenario #12 – Relaunch a lapsed customer
Have you ever had to relaunch a customer? Perhaps, it had to do with an acquisition or a major process change. Whatever the reason, they never fully got off the ground and “restarting” is now your best way to move forward.
Example: Create a journey to relaunch the customer. Consider the existing information you have as well as the new items you need to address to get them back up and running.
Looking for more Customer Success automation inspiration?
Check out these 15 automation ideas that put Customer Success on the path to more timely, relevant, and compelling customer outreach.
Customer Success Around the Web
- 10 Crystal-Clear FAQ Page Examples – Get inspired by these FAQ pages and learn how to make your own.
- How to Give Your Customer Success Team Superpowers– Move your CS team away from burnout and toward success with these three superpowers.
- 5 Stages of Customer Onboarding– Take a look at what the five distinct stages are and how you can optimize them.
Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero.