3 Actionable Totango Tips that Turn Up the Heat in Customer Success

Written By: Annie Stefano, M.Ed, head of Customer Success Education, Growth Molecules

We may have been greeted by the infamous Miami humidity and tropical rain, but Totango brought the heat indoors with their 2022 Customer Success Summit earlier this month. There wasn’t a more fired-up place to be than the Eden Roc Hotel, right off the coast of Miami Beach where over 200 Totango customers and staff joined together to train, learn, grow, collaborate, and share how Customer Success is not just a department or a function, but a philosophy and a mindset that drives the purpose and function of their products and company culture.

Stand Out. Scale Up.

Guy Nirpaz, Totango Founder, CEO, and Author of Farm Don’t Hunt, started with a mic-dropping statement that left the crowd in awe within a waving sea of head nods:

“The customer journey is a product.”

Just imagine it. We treat our customer journey as a product itself; not just a process or a qualitative and quantitative visual between teams across your organization for desired outcomes, but an actual product that your organization invests in consistently over time, adjusting to customers desired outcomes and therefore the company’s business outcomes. He used examples like Disney and Apple, who make the journey part of the customer’s experience because every detail, every moment, every interaction, is under consideration for the end goal: to keep the customers happy and wanting more.

The theme of the conference was stand out and scale up. Stand out in SaaS as a mindset and philosophy where the entire organization needs to believe and act in alignment at every level. It is no secret when “companies that invest 10% or more of their revenue into the CS function, [they] have the highest net recurring revenue (NRR).” With that in mind, the need to scale up is vital and key to achieving thriving business outcomes that can exceed Capchase’s Rule of 40 and avoid losing the most impactful influential drivers of your company who are responsible for customer health.

Totango Tips that Turned Up the Heat

1. Digital Experience is the New Standard Level of Care

As a full-stack or full-cycle CSM, I was given the task to maintain and keep happy a particular segment of customers within a diverse portfolio ranging from small business to enterprise. Due to the seasonality and nature of the product and their life cycle, there were obvious products, tools, or features that my customers needed at particular times in their journey (sound familiar?). Little did I know the series of campaigns or plays I proactively scheduled to deliver to my customers with the most up-to-date resources, e-Learning, and community offerings, was bucketed into what was formally included in a low touch model, is now part of the customer’s digital experience

With over 80% of customers saying they are more confident and willing to keep a product due to simple things like personalization, with the addition of AI or the use and magic of integrated data points into your CRM/CSP, giving customers a unique and personalized experience to keep them knowing your product without a human touch, makes for a stronger, happier, and healthier customer.

I know what you’re thinking – but what happens to the high-touch model? Is there a need for any live touchpoints anymore? Of course, without a doubt. I will say now what I said back then that the empowerment delivered to customers within this digital experience, makes the next interaction point that much stronger and highlights the in-depth value of a customer success manager in the customer relationship. The basic or fundamental needs are out of the way and the real relationship building begins through quick wins, solving problems, and establishing trust.

Crafting a smart, engaging, thoughtful, and purposeful digital experience with smart segmentation, on-point personalization, and delivery with intentionality, customers will be happily served, able to serve their customers in return, and likely want more from you and your company. Considering that such digital touches also help to increase and sustain adoption, all customers should benefit as a standard level of care.

2. 70/30 Rule for Retention & Growth

Emilee Marchesiello from Meazure Learning shared the 70/30 rule in the case study session called “Time for a Checkup: Using Signals to Drive Customer Value and Health”. If we wait for perfection, nothing will ever get done, especially when scaling a team, building health scores, or building a customer journey. Get 70% of it just right, leaving room for the 30% you need to see in action to tweak or revisit and change later. Don’t wait until 100% perfection or it will never get accomplished, built, rolled out, or put in action. At least with 70% of it launched or delivered, there will be data and a more insightful understanding on completing it further. My own advice (even as an impatient Irish woman) is to “go slow, to go fast”, giving ourselves the benefit of time and data to see our plans in motion and in practice. Our job is to adjust and pivot anyways, so truly, perfection lies in the process itself.

3. Multidimensional Health Score is Proactive Success 

No longer are the days where you can use basic category planning in your health scores and keep them simple for the sake of manpower, lack of resources, or to avoid customer success managers misunderstanding what it really means. Data integrations, visibility, and accessibility have all vastly changed and greatly improved, providing the ability to create and build multidimensional health scores.

Think layers, lots of layers, which means likely in your scaled customer success plan, is to make sure to include a CS Ops team member and consider a CSP/CRM Admin. But keeping to the point, crafting truly insightful layers to your customer’s health score will allow your strategic supportive digital experiences, for example, to attribute and provide a more authentic and actionable review of customer health. In a case study session called “Make It Count: The 5 Metrics That Matter” presented by Ella Eng & Rachel Timman from Varicent, they explained that we can no longer use a single measure of health or single reason for let’s say their sentiment as a single data set.

This concept enables “companies to speed up and scale communication, prioritization, decision making and forecasting of their customer success operations.” An example would look something like this:

As you can see, while the one-dimensional options give you some information about the overall health score, adding additional layers of data and insight will give a more accurate window into your customer’s health, needs, and potential future with your products/services. Think of the digital experience, campaigns, and outreaches that can be crafted from the customer’s data presented in the example above. Having multidimensional health scores will provide more strategic input and stronger opportunities for your team to better serve your customers, but most importantly, provide metrics for team to target and strategize on your next end goal.

Summing up how you can apply the learnings from the Totango Conference.

Need help with improving your customer success processes? By partnering with the Growth Molecules™ Team, you can quickly get started with optimizing your Customer Success processes and systems. Not only will your organization be better prepared to scale with multidimensional healthscores and customer journey mapping workshops, but most importantly, your team and organization will benefit from having a thought partner, advocate, and expert to empower and enable them.

About the Author:

Annie Stefano is known for her passion and drive for client retention and the customer journey, upholding strong user adoption with a diverse portfolio of customers from SMB to Enterprise. Her expertise spans over 15 years in Customer Success, Customer Support, Implementation  & Onboarding, Sales (Renewals, Expansions), and Professional Services for B2B SaaS companies. Annie has advanced experience building and customizing CRM structures, including Gainsight and ChurnZero, to align unique customer journeys and increase product fidelity. Stefano holds a Masters in Education Curriculum & Instruction.

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