Life of a customer success manager is loaded with responsibilities. Their role as a customer success manager is about owning multiple responsibilities. CSMs’ job requires them to wear so many hats all in a single day.
Customer renewal, onboarding, expansions and upselling, advocacy, building relationships, and nurturing champions are some of the items competing for bandwidth. Most of these responsibilities appear top priority, leaving CSMs perplexed on what job to prioritize, which account to focus on, and above all how to plan and organize their day.
I am sharing my approach here while in the shoes of a CSM, and hopefully, you can try and implement it for your day too.
How to plan and organize your day as a Customer Success Manager?
I always look at my items into two categories
- Scheduled: stuff where I have a handle on the agenda and hence I can control it like a pro.
- Unscheduled: unplanned stuff that can pop as a fine any time, without warning.
Here are a few examples
Scheduled - External
Unscheduled - External
1. Planned onboarding kick off meeting
1. Customer escalation
Scheduled - Internal
Unscheduled - Internal
1. Internal meeting
1. Request for report
Now the stuff on the left, the scheduled items is the good stuff. Because you control it.
But the stuff on the right, the unscheduled items is the culprit, it fights for your bandwidth with the stuff on the left. And more than often leaves you disrupting your day. You end up stretching hours on that day if you have to deliver on all the items.
So far we have captured the problem right, but how do we go about fulfilling all the responsibilities of a CSM in a planned and organized manner, all while keeping our sanity intact.
My approach is to apply a very simple solution. Let’s start moving items from the right side to the left side. Start your day by looking at all the unscheduled items and start scheduling them. But hold on, we may not have the space for all of it, so how do fit everything.
Here are a few examples
Let’s break this problem down. Not everything unscheduled is urgent. So that can be easily spread over the next few days or weeks.
Now the stuff which is unscheduled and urgent. While we cannot preempt the item, we always know the patterns (see tip if you don’t know yet). A practice that I learned many years ago in the agile planning world was to keep some planned buffer in your day for the unknown stuff that may land. If you do not know the trends, 20% is a good buffer to start with. So plan only 6 hours in your 8 hours day. You keep 2 hours handy for anything that might show up.
I hope this approach will get some order back in your life while delivering more success to your customers. An even more advanced and effective way to plan your day will be to get a system like CustomerSuccessBox and which monitors all your accounts for you automatically converts your alerts from accounts that require attention for onboarding, checks for a dip in product adoption, reduced MRR, user contraction, even identifies signals for upsell opportunities and auto converts them into actionable tasks with right priority for you.
You come to work and review your single task board and start cracking. Tasks with pre-prioritized and pre-created, with all the context of the account available right there for you to be most effective at delivering customer success. One very special feature is CustomerSuccessBos AI prioritizes reach recommendatio for you to maximize the MRR retention of your portfolio of accounts. See customer success platform live in action here.
Bonus Tip: The Ultimate Guide to Customer Success Manager