The predicament: Unsuccessful customer engagements
We’ve all been there. A seemingly successful customer call full of great ideas, brainstorming, and proposed solutions ends with no action items identified. What happens next? Nothing.
Calls like this should be a catalyst for activation and engagement. Instead, they result in missed opportunities to help your customers feel supported, engaged, and ready to thrive. Why does this happen so often? What contributes to such a predicament? And most of all, what can you do about it?
As a CSM, I’ve found three practical steps. These won’t magically solve every problem. But they will keep your customer engagements results-driven, helping customers achieve their desired goals with your product or service while you achieve your ultimate goal: driving adoption across as many aspects of their business as possible.
The solution: 3 steps to success
1. Always clarify roles and responsibilities
In most customer meetings, you, the CSM, interface with representatives from various departments across a company. Participants report to different managers, each with unique goals and priorities. In those meetings, you have a unique role as a facilitator and a participant. You’re connected to the customer yet distinct from their internal teams, allowing you to span the entire organization to help achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
The problem is, often no one feels comfortable taking the lead. That's where you come in to ensure everyone on the call knows what role they play. How? Be direct and specific in asking each participant what they bring to the table and how they plan to contribute.
For example, if a brainstorm needs to happen, make sure everyone on the call knows who will block the meeting. Do you need notes? Identify exactly who will take them. Defining roles and responsibilities as your call takes place will ensure it never ends with participants wondering how they’re expected to contribute.
And don’t forget, your job isn’t only about delegating tasks to others—you’ll also take on responsibilities. By stepping up to the plate yourself, you’ll inspire action from others to help achieve results.
2. Schedule regular meetings with clear agendas
As a proactive CSM, you’re responsible for keeping everyone accountable—including yourself. One great way to do this is with recurring meetings. These meetings allow everyone involved to share updates on progress and align on the next steps.
Ensure meeting time isn’t wasted with clear agendas. Sending agendas before meetings not only reminds participants a meeting is upcoming but prompts them to prepare any applicable updates. Doing so keeps meetings productive and results-oriented.
3. Delegate action items and outline next steps
Before a meeting wraps, roll up your sleeves and assign clear and specific action items. As the CSM, you should identify the items and allocate them appropriately. Each item should pair with a name and due date. Best case, only one person pairs with each item.
Finally, close a meeting with a quick summary of the agreements made to keep everyone on the same page. And reinforce those agreements in a follow-up email—ideally within the same day. Having a written record of the agreements ensures there's no confusion or misunderstanding as the group moves forward to achieve goals.
The result: Fostered mutual accountability plus results
Adopting these strategies can address the challenge of unproductive meetings head-on. As a CSM, you are the meeting quarterback, ensuring roles and responsibilities get assigned, aligned, and acted on among all participants. This includes taking on responsibilities yourself to help drive progress and foster a culture of mutual accountability. Do so, and you’ll quickly see that when everyone is aware of their role, prepared to participate, and committed to the same clear outcomes, remarkable, results-driven meetings will occur.