The term “summer slump” presents a pressing problem for a lot of B2B businesses. It seems like there’s always a point during the summer when productivity winds down when dealing with customers until the fall. This can be concerning because even though your customers are in and out of the office on vacation, you don’t want their progress to be delayed and you have goals to meet yourself.
Here’s some ideas on how you can address this slump to ensure that your Customer Success team makes the most of this seasonal downtime.
1.) Monitor Trigger Events
Just because people are on vacation during the summer doesn’t mean business 100% screeches to a halt. Paying attention to trigger events and using them as engagement opportunities with customers is a best practice year-round but can particularly be helpful during a slump.
For example, if you see a customer is using feature X, and think they could also benefit from feature Y, you could use that usage event to proactively reach out to the customer to introduce the new feature. If feature Y is not included in their current edition/pricing model, you can offer them an incentive to upgrade.
2.) Set Goals
Of course, you have customer retention goals to hit, but if you’re in the depths of a summer slump, it can be helpful to set a few mini goals as well to sustain a good amount of activity and keep your spirits high. Maybe you want to make three customer calls before noon each day. Whatever it is, smaller goals can keep you pushing ahead instead of letting your customers’ lull affect your work ethic.
3.) Deepen Customer Relationships
When you get that automated out of office email, or you are being asked to reschedule a meeting with a customer due to them going on vacation – in your next communication with that customer be sure ask about their time off. By learning a little bit more about their family, interests, and travels, you are able to then build a better rapport. Nurturing customer relationships is a critical skill for CSMs and is key to driving loyalty.
4.) Collaborate with Other Teams
When business is slow, use this time to help build bridges and collaborate with other departments internally. Here’s some ways that Customer Success can provide value.
- Marketing – Since Marketing brings future customers into the funnel, it can be helpful for CS to share insights on current customers and provide recommendations on content, branding and the ICP (ideal customer profile).
- Sales – Sales reps are usually the first person to reach out to potential customers and are the ones responsible for communicating your organization’s offerings. CS can use this time to address points where they are typically finding a gap in customer expectations.
- Product – As a CSM you are going to be the one to hear product enhancement requests and/or common feature complains. Use this downtime to go through the slog of customer feedback and compile to present to the product team.
5.) Review Your Tools and Strategies
Summer can be a great time to have your Customer Success team review the tools and strategies they use. If anything is lacking, use the rest of the summer months to try out new tools and develop new strategies so your CSMs can make a stronger impact once customers are back from their summertime activities.
Ultimately the summer is not a loss if you figure out how to use the time in the right way!
Customer Success Around the Web
- 10 Step Approach B2B Customer Segmentation – Infographic showing 10 simple steps to successfully develop your customer segmentation.
- 3 Ways to Rethink Customer Relationships in the Age of the Consumer– Today’s customers are already in the driver’s sear. Rather than trying to retake the wheel, why not help them enjoy the ride?
- Why Customer Success Matters – Learn why Customer Success matters, and how to bring it to your business in this helpful infographic.