Digital Customer Success is for everyone!

In an ideal world, every customer gets one-on-one time with their Customer Success Manager, and there are enough Customer Success Managers to fulfill every request without overwhelming your CS team.

What a beautiful world that would be!

But we live in reality, where time and resources are not, in fact, unlimited, and there isn’t always bandwidth for CSMs to provide individualized attention to each and every one, let alone the proactive engagement that makes Customer Success so…well, successful.

That’s where tech touch comes in, especially as your business scales and grows. But some businesses have a hard time embracing the concept of tech touch or digital CS. Some believe tech touch should only be utilized for the long-tail of their customer base – volume accounts with lower dollar value than mid-tier or high-tier clients. Others think tech touch is too impersonal to lean on at all. And still, others over-rotate here, making the mistake of putting automation ahead of human interaction as they build their CS strategy.

I’m here to tell you there is a better way, and it involves one crazy idea: tech touch is for all your customers.

Yes! It’s true.

Regardless of your preferred terminology – tech touch, Digital CS, one-to-many, digital engagement, customer marketing, etc. (I know, there are a lot!) There is, in fact, a way to incorporate automation into every customer tier without losing that quality human interaction that we all know and love. In fact, we’d argue that excellent, personalized service is only possible once you embrace automation. All of your users need some version of your digital Customer Success experience.

Prioritize dynamic engagement with all customer segments

A 2020 Customer Success study by Deloitte took a closer look at enterprise technology customers to find out how CS initiatives are meeting their needs and where these customers find the most value in them. While it’s not surprising that they found CS penetration on the rise, it is startling that only a third of these customers said they are satisfied with their current levels of service. 90% of them discuss their goals and business objectives with providers, but 50% say that Customer Success solutions only partially deliver the desired outcomes.

At the same time, TSIA has seen a 20% increase in a company’s ability to predict churn and retention when they invest in digital capabilities over companies who don’t and a +2 point differential in their NPS scores. In TSIA’s State of Customer Success 2021 report, they pinpoint “The Rise of Dynamic Engagement” as one of four critical trends for Customer Success organizations to evolve and scale. According to the report, “Dynamic engagement represents the alignment of human and digital resources to cost-effectively deliver against the promise of your company’s technology and service offers.” In other words, you need both human and digital elements to deliver the best customer experience possible while you grow.

Start with human touch and build a tech touch strategy to support it

It’s safe to say that the existing engagement framework, where CSMs deliver a high touch model with little to no digital support, isn’t cutting it on its own anymore. The Deloitte study really highlights how even when you think your CS strategy is adequately engaging your customers, they may still be struggling with your solution. For example, out of the 74% of respondents who were offered CS onboarding services, only 31% were satisfied with them. Since we know that successful customer onboarding is what leads to healthy adoption and retention, this statistic is particularly alarming.

Customer Success organizations need to take a hybrid approach to tech touch and human touch, adjusting each based on maximizing the customer experience. It’s helpful to look at your solution from a customer’s viewpoint to see where your gaps are. In the Inaugural Customer Success Leadership Study, many of the CS professionals we surveyed said that deepening customer engagement was one of their top concerns. Finding better ways to provide more proactive, frequent, and meaningful engagement is what keeps CS leaders up at night. Yet, the adoption of CS tools focused on customer engagement is still low. Only 24% of Customer Success teams are using a community tool, and 28% are using in-app engagement software despite how amazing they are at guiding your customers through your product’s world. Could this explain why so many respondents to the Deloitte study were unsatisfied with their onboarding experience?

The journey to tech touch for all

Customers aren’t the only ones who will benefit from a more robust digital transformation. Customer Success teams can find a treasure trove of valuable insights that automation has to offer. You can find out what your customers want in real-time or gather community-wide feedback on new releases. It also frees up your CSMs’ time to hone in on precisely what your customers need at any given moment, spending their resources where they can make the biggest impact.

In previous blog posts, I’ve discussed ways to begin scaling with digital Customer Success. It’s worth taking a closer look to see where your organization could start embracing a few of these changes. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the starting line or rounding out your tech stack, there are so many ways to make your customer relationships more engaging with automation.

It’s time to stop seeing tech touch as low touch and see it for what it truly is – full of potential to maximize customer engagement and bring the human touch to more customers than ever before.