Our CSM The Hero


The Journey

I was just on LinkedIn and saw a post about a CSM who came to the rescue. It’s a typical story (unfortunately). A customer calls in and says “The software sucks.” “I’m tech savvy, I can’t figure it out and I don’t think it meets my needs. “

In this situation, the Custome was writing praise for the CSM who met with him, explained everything, reset expectations, offered to re-onboard his team, and had the customer go away happy. As a matter of fact, the customer was so happy with the service he posted about it.

As the manager of a CSM organization, I hear stories like this all the time. Their great and usually will reflect in CSAT scores on the CSM organization. Customers love people who solve their problems.

HOWEVER, THERE IS A BIGGER PROBLEM HERE

This customer was obviously new to the software. It sounds like they’ve been through both the sales and onboarding processes in their customer journey and then they’ve come through it and should be moving into their operational phase of the journey. This should be a smooth transition, all handoffs should have been made, the customer should be busy operational their use of the tool and the CSM should be working with them to understand how to better help them use the tool. Now I know this is “The Ideal” but we are striving for an ideal customer journey. By the way, the negative experience too will be reflected in the CSAT and/or NPS.

The customer situation above highlights a break in the process and an opportunity to learn about where the process has broken down. Were expectations set incorrectly in the sales process? Was training in the onboarding process missed? Were the wrong users targeted as part of the onboarding process? Was it a breakdown on the customer’s side between the Executives who purchased the tool and the users of the tool?

The point is, when a customer has a problem, the immediate need is to solve the problem, and if solved well that will usually make that customer happy. But we need to go deeper and look at the root cause. Why was it a problem to begin with? Why wasn’t the transition smooth? Why were expectations out of alignment with the tool? What can be done to help ensure we don’t see that problem again in the future?

In ITIL there is a process called the Root Cause Analysis which asks the 5 Why’s. It’s used in tech organizations to root cause bugs or operational issues that cause a system to go down. It can also be used by the business and CSM organizations to root cause problems in the business flow and then come up with procedure and process changes to optimize the business flow or in this case the customer journey.

Now I have no idea if any of this analysis was done as a result of the customer’s problem based on the customer’s praise of the CSM and the Software provider’s response but if it wasn’t they sure are missing an opportunity to improve the overall experience for all customers.


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