Customer Success Leadership Community

Customer Communications - Role Build-out

  • 1.  Customer Communications - Role Build-out

    Posted 20 days ago

    Hi all, 

    I'm looking to create a role in our CS org responsible for strategic customer communications.  Primary responsibilities would be to build out (and support) a customer communications roadmap in alignment with CS/Sales/Support/Product/Marketing. 

    Seems like there is a lot of buzz in the CS space around outbound customer communications and ownership.  

    Has anyone successfully stood up a similar role w/in CS and any learnings you can share?




    Jason Kobs

  • 2.  RE: Customer Communications - Role Build-out

    Posted 20 days ago
    Jason -

    I created the role on my team out of necessity. I could write a lot about why, etc, but will stick to a few key points here. I'd be happy to jump on a call if you'd like more detail. Making sure that R&R is clearly defined is critical. I joined a business with rapid growth without R&R and specified procedures, which is very normal for start-ups. Your job is to develop policies and procedures to allow for scale. We took on the task (pick up a hat and run with it ;-))

    Some tips:

    • Identify upfront the various types and forms of communications your customers receive, ....cradle to grave
    • Designate (codevelop) an owner (process level), an originator (process origination), reviewers, and approvers for each type. Not all types need to originate from your team but you may want to review and/or assist in drafting it. The owner and originator can vary, e.g., sales vs marketing vs cs depending on type.
    • Develop written standard operating procedures and a playbook
    • Designate a place of storage and naming convention for each type.
    • Designate a backup person in the event the process owner and/or originator is unavailable
    • Best Practice - automate the workflow, ....but down and dirty works to get started
    • Determine retention periods (some have legal requirements)
    • And, be sure to designate WHO gets copied or needs to know, by type, for each comm. - SOP 

    That's off the top of my head. Hope this helps.

    James Conant

  • 3.  RE: Customer Communications - Role Build-out

    Posted 17 days ago

    @James Conant and @Jason Kobs,

    Great insight and advice. Th
    is seems like the perfect job for a Customer Education professional. Is this something you considered? If not, why not? ​​

    Zenya Learning LLC
    Pam Micznik
    Managing Director

  • 4.  RE: Customer Communications - Role Build-out

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hi @Jason Kobs,

    I specifically focus on helping CS organizations with transcending communication strategies that tie back to mutually desirable outcomes for CS teams and their customers. It's great that you're building out a role specifically focused on this discipline. It becomes a tightrope exercise to focus on what matters to your organization while eliminating all of the noise that may arise along the way. I've talked to a number of CS leaders about this topic, and I can tell you that I've discovered three major pillars of communication in the CS world: 

    • Daily Communication 
    • Pivotal Communication
    • Action-Driving Communication
    Each one has its own place at each stage of the customer lifecycle and the outcomes are exponentially different depending on so many variables (some of which is noise or counterproductive). You definitely want the person in the role to take a holistic look at all touch points with a customer, large and small, and agnostic of medium, whether it is a web meeting, email, or an impromptu phone call. An example is an CSM introduction email. It seems like a simple exercise, but how the CSM positions him or herself here makes a world of  difference, even if it is a follow up to an intro call. I've identified about two dozen different communication points that present an opportunity for growth for CSMs. ​

    Your person should think about these overarching dynamics as he/she begins to build out the roadmap. In addition to a roadmap, I would suggest that you seek someone who has the ability to to not just build the roadmap, but also be able to understand that the concrete components should marry with a set of abstract components, such as tone, timing, audience temperament, and other considerations.

    Ja'Rod Morris
    Tribe Strategy