Last night, we from Customer Cross joined an interesting Customer Success Leadership meetup in Eindhoven (Netherlands) on “How to Increase Capacity Without Increasing Headcount” . Our panel gave real life cases and numbers to illustrate how capacity planning, segmentation, automation and CS empowerment can help to increase the capacity of your CS team. The idea of ‘mental capacity’ mentioned by Saahil was definitely a good takeaway. And while all of these technics are useful to increase capacity , I want to highlight one strategy that was hardly touched. One that doesn’t cost any money but is very efficient when it comes increasing the capacity of your CS team: prioritization .
Poor economic forecasts have forced many companies to cut budgets and chances are high your CFO asked you “how you can scale your CS team in 2023?” . This usually can be translated to “how can you do more with the same (or even less) budget?” and causes stress in many teams. CS teams are under additional pressure as customers churn faster due to lacking budgets. What we generally see is that under this stress CS teams have a natural tendency to try to please every customer and treat every customer outcry with the same priority or urgency. We try to please everyone. The latter is obviously impossible and causes even more capacity issues.
But in fact one should do the opposite: this is exactly the time and moment to prioritize. Not every customer can be saved or is worth saving. If a customer has to cancel her or his contract because of budget restrictions, you should accept it. Full stop. Customer success teams can let customers churn and still keep good relationships. As a company you lose the ARR and potential expansion, but you will hopefully keep more future second order revenue intact. Second order revenue potential can be massive, so making sure not to ruin that is critical. Letting those customers go and prioritizing the ones that can be saved or expended will massively increase the capacity of your team.
Priority is important, also in customer success. How companies prioritize customer success and within customer success will determine how these companies come out on the other end of this recession.