It’s a common scenario: you’ve set up your employee advocacy tool, created your content strategy and sent the invitation email out to all your users. You might even have held a launch event or two. Then…nothing. After a week it’s still only you and your closest colleagues on board. Or perhaps you had a splendid first twelve months with your employee advocacy platform, but each month in year two you’re seeing more and more users ghost away. What gives? You need Customer Success Management.
What is Customer Success Management and CSM?
Any tool, no matter how useful it may be, is just a tool until we as people and as organisations develop the habits required to use it well. At the start, and sometimes during, you need to light a fire under your employee advocacy program and really boost engagement. Even the best software user-experience isn’t enough to bring about a required cultural change without human hands to guide it. You need a service that understands the software, the industry, and most importantly…You.
Customer Success Management is offered by software vendors as a complement to the value-add of their platforms, particularly for cloud-based solutions (even Microsoft are taking the plunge). It allows clients to benefit from benchmarking and best practices from a platform’s whole user base, helping them, in turn, to identify and maximise the impact of their social influencers. Customer Success Managers (CSMs) follow their client’s progress, recommending context-specific strategies for creating, maintaining and extending engagement. Put another way, your CSM is like technical support with benefits. They’re your go-to guy/gal. While undoubtedly your organisation has social influencers already within its ranks, you need to persuade everyone how employee advocacy works and the associated benefits. This may include your senior stakeholders. It’s a fast-moving milieu, so you need to keep abreast of all your platform upgrades and evolutions.
Wait… wasn’t this called Account Management a few years ago?
Customer Success Management is so much more than account management. Simply put your CSM succeeds if you succeed; your account manager succeeds if they solve the problems you raise. That’s the key. Customer Success Management requires a more sophisticated skill set. Over and above technical mastery of the software, business skills are essential. Your CSM is a trusted advisor, proactively following and reaching out to guide your activity. In a world where you’re inevitably faced with competing priorities, this is invaluable. A good CSM will help you manage and leave you looking like the employee advocacy star you were born to be.