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Customer Success During a Crisis Ashley Dotterweich

Your Customer Success team is on the front lines of your business, and plays a critical role in supporting and growing your customer base. But during times of crisis — whether global or local — your normal customer success playbook may no longer resonate. 

During a session on customer success, Ohad Almog, VP Customer Success at Dremio, and previously VP Customer Success at Heavybit member company OverOps, shared what effective customer success during a crisis should look like.

Watch the video below to hear what Ohad had to say about managing customer success during a crisis, and read on for a summary of key lessons from the session.

Focus on Existing Customers

As priorities and budgets shift, sales often slow down during a crisis. During his session, Ohad noted that shifting focus to customer retention may yield better results than chasing new ones. 

Take action to rescue high-risk customers now. Evaluate your existing customers and determine which accounts are high-risk, and which have potential for upselling or cross selling. Usage metrics are particularly important during this time to help you identify struggling customers early and capture the value that your product delivers.

Invest in Support and Enablement Resources

Strong online enablement is critical during times of crisis. Now more than ever; people are working odd hours around family schedules and the uncertain cadence of shelter-in-place protocol, so being able to find the answers they need quickly is important. Make sure your documentation and knowledge base are user-friendly and up to date. 

Now might also be a good time to build out educational resources. Many people are looking for opportunities to upskill during a downturn, and providing opportunities for them to deepen their knowledge or learn a new tool will be a welcome opportunity. If you have SEs and CSMs who have a wealth of domain knowledge (and less to do due to slower sales), you may want to temporarily refocus them on building out educational materials. 

Look for Ways to Surprise and Delight Customers

In a sea of cookie-cutter corporate comms in response to COVID-19, true empathy wins. Look for opportunities to stand out and truly connect with your users. “Even something as simple as some new swag can make someone happy while they’re stuck at home,” says Ohad.

The tone and cadence of your customer communications are critical in times of crisis. Use video wherever you can on customer calls, and spin up Slack channels to make it easier for customers to reach out when they need help. 

Ohad also recommends considering giving your customers additional products and/or licenses for free for a limited time. Your customers will appreciate the help, and this may help with adoption and stickiness in the long run. 

Learn More about Building Outstanding Customer Success Programs

Customer success during a crisis won’t look like customer success during “normal” times. But by taking a thoughtful approach to your customer success strategy, you can retain more customers and weather rough periods more effectively. 

We’ll be sharing more insights from Ohad on customer success best practices soon — subscribe for updates to find out when we’ve released new articles.

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