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Building a Successful Agile Customer Success Team



Agile is already one of the most popular management frameworks for product and engineering teams at Saas companies across various industries. However, it can be effectively used to build a great customer success team that can better approach and implement strategies.


Blockers to successful customer success teams

Typically customer success teams face various challenges that can hinder project progress and efficiency, including:

  • Shifting priorities

  • Moving targets.

  • Company silos.

  • Maintaining customer focus.

  • Adapting to change.

It is imperative that Saas companies work to tackle these issues which can be detrimental to company effectiveness as a whole.


Agile customer success priorities and benefits


Priority management



Perhaps the most significant benefit to a successful agile customer success team (CST) is that they are better equipped to remain competitive and implement innovations faster. As a result of fierce market competition, Saas companies are faced with never-ending industry developments. It’s imperative that CST departments stay on top of new data and be prepared to react accordingly.


Maximize value



Saas companies should constantly be looking to churn reduction to stay relevant. However, customer success is no longer just about churn rates. Agile allows CST departments to take a more collaborative approach to customers and measure exactly what value they are getting from services.


Continuous improvement



CST departments must constantly strive for improvement, as they now encompass various business aspects, including sales, product, and customer success. Therefore, implementing agile frameworks will enable the departments within Saas organizations to better communicate, as agile naturally fights company silos.


Implementing agile methodologies

Although agile was first designed for software development, its frameworks lend themselves well to other areas of Saas organizations, including the CST department.

So, what are some methodologies that can help build success?


Scrum



Perhaps the most popular agile methodology is scrum, a process that breaks down projects into small periods called sprints and typically lasts between two to four weeks.

Traditional models will emphasize efficiency over value, which can sometimes lead to the implementation of processes that don’t work. Those customer success projects will often run over schedule and be less effective, as new industry changes might shift market trends and demands by the time the process is complete.

On the other hand, Scrum is designed to improve teamwork by encouraging learning through experience, self-organization, and reflection on wins and losses to continue improving. Scrum is best described as a tool to ensure tasks are completed in time and extract maximum value.


Kanban



Kanban is a management system that CST departments can utilize to visualize tasks and maximize productivity and workflow. CST projects can often be intangible, such as new practices to reduce churn rates. Kanban enables teams to visualize such projects and better communicate targets and aims to peers within a scrum team and other departments.

The best way to implement Kanban effectively is to set up a board with Kanban cards and WIP limits. Doing this also allows teams to identify inefficiencies and forces prioritization of tasks that are near completion.


Utilizing agile with best practices in customer success

To conclude, it’s important to note that Saas companies must still implement best practices to ensure their CST department succeeds. That includes being customer-centric, having a killer onboarding process, and providing value through additional learning materials and customer resources.


Getting all these elements right will ensure that your company is best positioned to compete and operate efficiently while maintaining churn rates low.




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