Anyone who has worked in Customer Service knows how difficult scaling customer management can be. When providing customer support for businesses, it can be normal for CS personnel to manage anywhere from 40 to 100 customers.
Managing a large portfolio of clients can feel like a daunting task. Every customer believes their issues take precedence so it can be difficult to determine how to prioritize customers and manage time effectively. Understanding this is crucial for CS teams to run smoothly and for customers to get the most value out of the product or service being sold.
Fortunately, there are some best practices that CS teams can deploy to better handle their customer management. When it comes to managing a large portfolio of clients, here are a few tips every CS team should consider.
Create Client Cohorts
The best thing Customer Support teams can do when handling a large volume of clients is to split your customer list into different cohorts. These cohorts can be split into different categories depending on what makes sense for your company or industry. For instance, the segmentation of the cohorts can be based on:
Product or Service client subscribes to
Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)
Region of Country/World
Client Engagement (High-touch vs. Low-touch clients)
By splitting up clients into different cohorts, CS teams will be able to manage their time more effectively. In this system, CS teams can have dedicated staff or strategies that vary for each cohort.
For instance, Customer Support teams can create delegate tasks by region to pair up workers with clients that are in their time zones. Or CS teams can assign their more experienced workers with high-growth clients and newer or less-experienced staff with low-growth clients.
Through the cohort system, CS teams can use their people, marketing materials, and strategies more effectively. Rather than dealing with clients in a first come first serve style, the cohort system provides a structure that connects the right resources with the right clients.
While CS teams can get incredibly creative with the cohorts they create, the best place to start is by creating two cohorts, a lower and higher cohort. Through this simple segmentation, Customer Support teams will have a significantly easier time managing their CS resources.
Low-touch Cohort Clients
When splitting clients into different tiers of cohorts, the biggest advantage CS teams have is that they can effectively mitigate time-consuming activities spent on lower-tier clients.
Lower Cohort clients are not necessarily less important clients, but they do take less priority. This could be because they’re old, low-touch clients, their budget is limited, or there is little growth potential. Whatever the reason is, it’s likely that the lower cohort has more clients, but each client requires less time on average compared to high cohort clients.
Because lower cohort teams have more clients and require less attention, the strategies used for these clients will differ. For instance, if a CS person has over 40 clients, it’s unlikely they will have regular meetings with each of them. Instead, CS people can de-prioritize their low-growth clients and send customer marketing material or pre-recorded webinars rather than in-person meetings.
Without this strategy, it can be easy for CS workers to spend too much time with needy clients that have low-growth potential when they should be spending more time courting the business of high-growth clients. By using this cohort method, CS teams will not only use their time more effectively but there is a better chance of growing revenues and customer satisfaction as well.
High-touch Cohort Clients
High touch cohort clients are going to be the most important clients. These are likely the biggest clients, most time-consuming, most profitable, or even the newest clients CS teams deal with. These clients are where CS teams will want to have regular touchpoints and use their best workers who have the experience and professionalism to handle sensitive matters.
With high-touch cohort clients, CS teams can create a more repeatable strategy of how and when to engage the clients. With a higher cohort of clients, the mission is always to increase engagement, as this will increase the number of selling opportunities and improve customer engagement.
The best way to execute this strategy is to schedule out all important client interactions to not become overwhelmed and maintain every client gets the CS support they need. Depending on the product and customer base, this may have CS teams engaging in regular touchpoints like monthly or quarterly reviews.
CSMs can also create touchpoints around corporate events such as new product releases that provide value to the clients. With high cohort clients, CS teams should always be looking for new opportunities and strategies to engage these clients. Because these clients are the most important and profitable, protecting this revenue is of the utmost importance.
Invest in a Customer Data System that helps to Scale!
Splitting clients into different cohorts is only half the battle. The hard part is servicing all your clients and keeping them happy. While you might split your clients into lower and higher cohorts, customers will always think their issues take priority.
While all customers might be needy, that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult to deal with them. Fortunately, with tools like Ascendo, managing customer interactions can become a no-brainer.
Automated Knowledge Creation: Create Knowledge from everyday interactions.
Know the expert - Know who the expert is to provide further guidance on the particular topic of discussion.
Enhance Self serve: Provide your expert at all times and all channels with a Virtual agent. Resolve issues, learn from issues, and build the ability to augment human agents. Scale your workforce. Reduce Escalations.
Auto-categorization: Why solve one issue at a time when you have smart backlog management? Find what type of issues are in your backlog and how to resolve them.
Escalation Prediction: Detect interaction intent and sentiment to predict customer escalations.
Knowledge Intelligence: The self learns from every response to automatically create and improve knowledge. Bring out relevant and latest knowledge as customers call for it. Provide additional weightage to knowledge created by the expert. Identify gaps, duplicates, and auto-retire what becomes irrelevant.
Agent Assist: Assist agents where they need and when they need. Automatically learn from the expert to make every agent an expert.
Voice of the Customer: Detect new issue categories as soon as they surface so you’re always on the pulse of customers' concerns and sentiments. Then use trend data to make more informed staffing, knowledge, and scale decisions for your team.
Auto Root Cause: Why solve one issue at a time when you have smart backlog management? Find what type of issues are in your backlog and how to resolve them.
Action Intelligence: Reveal patterns and insights across all customer interactions that you can use to drive Product to where it matters most, plan to staff, and proactive customer services.
With Ascendo, AI does most of the work for CS teams by providing product feedback so teams can accelerate product-led / customer-led growth.