Customer Success Leadership Community

Types of proactive value-added outreach

  • 1.  Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-02-2021 09:50

    I am looking for ideas on proactive value-added outreach that my CSMs can do.

    The challenge is we are a full-service solution so a large portion of our client wants to set it and forget it – meaning they don't want to engage or to think about us. They know we will work and do our job in the background and only want to engage for QBR's, but not even all of them want to hold those. We do have a customer portal but since we are full-service is it not uncommon for customers to not log into it so we can't even ask them about a decrease in logins as that is expected behavior.

    Any suggestions outside of the normal industry trends, new marketing collateral that may be related to their particular vertical, quarterly business reviews, new release futures, etc.


    Brooke Carrie
    Director of Customer Success

  • 2.  RE: Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-05-2021 13:03
    Hi Brooke,

    Sometimes a good way to look at this is to see how the customer  is using your products. If you have a peer comparison to show them best practices or how those peers are better utilizing your product with effective results. Can you use that to engage with the customers.

    Does your company do PM webinars, are you engaged with RFE's? Those can be used as relationship building jumping off points.

    If your customers are not engaged in you QBR's, take a step back to get a pulse if you delivering a QBR  that you want to deliver or have you asked the customer what they would like to go over in a QBR, what brings them most value? The lack of attendance could be to whom you are presenting your QBR's to, do you have a mix, of CX, VP, Dir, Manager, IT Staff, end users? Are your QBR's designed to flow appropriately considering who is attending the QBR? 

    More than happy to chat if you want.



    Saad Khan

  • 3.  RE: Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-06-2021 09:43

    Hi Saad! So my issue is with existing accounts that I have inherited; they are accounts that have never had a CSM before and been with our company for a while.

    My challenge is to get them to engage at all. Some of these customers won't respond to any type of outreach.  I cannot get my foot in the door to even present a QBR. Sharing best practices is hard since we are full service, we do it all for them so they don't really worry about best practices since we, in a lot of ways, handle that for them. Some of the customers I have spoke with say their favorite thing about us is they don't have to think about us - they just set it and forget it.

    So, my challenge is how to stay in their mind in ways other then just sharing metrics - if that makes sense. 

    Brooke Carrie
    Director of Customer Success

  • 4.  RE: Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-06-2021 09:18

    Would your customers find it interesting to learn from one another? Could you hold virtual events that provide value outside of the product? Eg how to grow your career in X? Or ways to measure productivity in X?

    This community was built on the notion of brining people together around the CS industry vs a particular product or technology, and the relevant topics are endless. Could you emulate this somehow, and use what you learn to drive more meaningful 1:1 interactions with your customers based on their goals for the upcoming quarter / year?

    Jay Nathan
    Chief Customer Officer
    Higher Logic

  • 5.  RE: Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-06-2021 09:35
    I had thought of that but a lot of customers are in the same industry and in competition for customers against each other so they don't like sharing details with each other. 

    With that being said, I do try to share general information across accounts - e.g., if someone is looking for a new ERP system I may ask other customers about their ERP and then share it but I have to be very vague and not share any specific details.

    Brooke Carrie
    Director of Customer Success

  • 6.  RE: Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-16-2021 07:22
    Does your company have a podcast, blog posts, or other material that you can offer as a value-add? Or any industry-related information? A simple "I thought this might interest you." could open a conversation. 

    How about a general FAQ document that could be shared?

    Or anything for new employees of your customer to learn about your product in their onboarding process?

    What about new features?  "I wanted to make sure you were aware...."

    Charlotte Naylor
    Reading Horizons

  • 7.  RE: Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-20-2021 11:16
    Are you able to provide and share anonymous benchmarking metrics (e.g., overall or by industry)? This may give your clients a comparison as to how they're doing as well as provide opportunities for change/improvement.

    Stacy Brown
    VP, Customer Success

  • 8.  RE: Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-21-2021 09:53
    I like the ideas offered so far, but perhaps I can ask a separate question. Why do you want to have this engagement? If customers like to "set it and forget it", what are you trying to change via this engagement? Is your retention poor/could be better? Are you trying to upsell? Do you have ANY engaged customers that can act as a "committee" of sorts to have a voice of the customer reference to know if what you're trying to do is relevant or makes sense?

    Brian Hansen
    Director of Customer Success, Carrier/HCM
    Novato CA

  • 9.  RE: Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-22-2021 12:21
    Brooke, you have to find "disruptive" ways to penetrate the customer's busy schedule and cluttered brain. Try having a C-level exec at your company send a personal email asking for 30 minutes to learn about the customer's business and see how things are going. This separates the outreach from the typical day to day correspondence. And has the added benefit of engaging your senior team as well!

    You can even position it (internally and externally) as a strategic initiative and brand it as a "customer listening tour," or - as @Jay Nathan and @Jeff Breunsbach have done - "50 in 50" (conversations with 50 customers in 50 days).

     - Bob​​

    Bob London
    Chief Listening Officer

  • 10.  RE: Types of proactive value-added outreach

    Posted 07-23-2021 12:11
    Hi Brooke,

    I would check with your Support team.  If they do post-incident surveys, you can review for trends (low scores, key words in the comments, multiple cases from individual end users, etc.) and then leverage those as a reason for the CSM to reach out.

    Even without surveys, you can look at customer case histories or get anecdotal stories from Support.  While they have a lot of reactive data, you can use it to dig a little deeper to find out which customers are actually struggling and which ones don't need/want to be bothered.

    The part I love is that you mentioned it's a "value-added" outreach; don't reach out to the customer unless you have some value to share.

    Carl Hoffmann
    A Passionate Advocate for Customer Success