Customer Success, as a function, is evolving fast. The field’s importance and responsibility are growing, but budget increases do not appear to be following suit. You might notice as a customer success manager that you’re spreading yourself too thin trying to take care of all of your customers at some point. You might find that you have less time to schedule activities to help manage your customer journey and more time to respond to customer requests. It’s tempting to try to compensate for all of the work by working longer hours, but in order to resolve these issues, your CSM and the team must evolve. Automating processes and tasks is the way forward. But be aware of the challenges of automation before you begin.
Scaling entails accomplishing more with fewer customer success managers. Scaling is done in a variety of ways. Automating processes and leveraging technology is a common approach to scaling. There are numerous ways to incorporate technology into your customer success strategies in order to scale your company. The “tech-touch” or “no-touch” engagement model is the appropriate customer success term for incorporating technology to automate the customer journey.
New approaches, strategies, and processes have been developed to operationalize Customer Success value in an organization as it becomes more focused. To streamline their customer success operations, customer success managers used traditional methods at first. However, they eventually realized their limitations, necessitating the use of customer success management software to automate the process. We’ll go over what these customer success automation challenges are and how to overcome them in the section below.
Challenges of automation in Customer Success
Adopting Automation Software
Many businesses buy Customer Success automation software in the hopes that it will magically solve all of their problems right away. Automation can significantly improve your engagement efforts. But when the right resources and expertise aren’t in place, CSMs often face an uphill battle. This is particularly prevalent among small businesses, which is ironic given that they have the greatest need for automation as well as the most to gain from it.
So, what’s the deal? Isn’t automation supposed to eliminate the need for more resources and expertise? Yes, but it’s a little more complicated.
Automation, of course, makes it easier for CSMs to streamline tasks and save time while delivering more effective help to the customer that helps them get more value and drive MRR.
However, and here’s the catch, the Customer Success department must be committed from the start to learning how to use the software correctly.
When users aren’t properly onboarded after purchasing automation software (now we have to solve our own onboarding problems too), they spend more time setting up and troubleshooting their automated campaigns, which tempts them to create each new tactic from scratch. Because of this lack of mastery, there is a significant misallocation of resources, which leads to a general distrust of the software.
Where’s the Human Touch?
One of the most difficult aspects of customer success automation is this. How to maintain a human touch while growing your customer base. It’s impossible to keep appointing more CSMs to handle a growing number of customers. To reduce CS costs and increase SaaS margins, the ratio must eventually increase.
In this case, a hybrid model of high-touch and tech-touch engagement would be beneficial. Using human interaction primarily for enterprise customers while maintaining a tech-touch model for the majority of low-value customer touchpoints can provide a long-term scalability solution.
Poor Data = Poor Segmentation
Your software is completely reliant on the customer data it processes when creating customer segments. If the data is incorrect or incomplete, the segment you want to work with will include the incorrect customers. And allocating time for a CSM to find anomalies in a large amount of customer data is impossible.
Data management should be the responsibility of a separate CS operations team. While a CS platform can collect data from reputable sources (via integration with other tools), process it through required data validation, and then perform analysis, you’ll still need a dedicated member of your CS team to monitor and moderate the data to ensure accuracy.
Suggested Read: Customer Segmentation drives customer success
There is only so much Bots can do (for now)
When you become a partner in helping your customer achieve their business goals, they become reliant on you and expect you to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Automation solves the unavailability issue only to a certain extent. You can automate greetings and simple questions but If they ask a follow-up question, your automated response will give them the same answer over and over. Chatbots can handle the most basic and repetitive queries. Whereas support staff can handle queries of a moderate level of complexity, the most advanced complex queries can only be handled by a CSM who is familiar with the customers. As a result, having support staff available 24 hours a day, seven days a week is required to handle intermediate complex queries.
You weren’t ready for automation!
Building on the first point. You can get a better read on what’s going on by automating customer touchpoints, whether they’re designed to activate, educate, or gauge health, than if you tried to do everything manually.
Automation, on the other hand, can be harmful if done incorrectly. This usually happens when companies automate a process too soon and don’t have a clear picture of what’s going on. You’ll end up with clumsy systems that don’t serve you or your customers well if you don’t go through the process ahead of time.
An Interesting Survey Result for the Challenges of Automation in Customer Success
Takeaways and CustomerSuccessBox can Help
Many CSMs who have successfully implemented automation are using it to streamline their business and save time and money, as these examples demonstrate.
Here are our thoughts on the subject: Full automation may not be the best option because customer success automation has both benefits and drawbacks.
Partial automation, in our experience, works best because it allows you to save time on manual tasks and reports while also allowing you to conduct automated research and track KPIs via Health Scores. This allows you to maintain a human approach while working to reduce churn. Whatever obstacles you face in customer success automation, the key is to overcome them and move forward. The key is to understand the challenges of automation and act accordingly. Automation is the way of the future, and it will affect every aspect of business, including client success, thanks to dedicated software.