Customers and customer success teams will spend most of the customer lifecycle in the nurture stage. Also known as the growth or adoption stage, nurture begins at the point of first value and continues until the customer renews; then the process starts again. In this stage, the main goal for the customer success team is to deliver valuable engagements that help customers grow their product usage, obtain their business objectives, and continuously renew their contracts.

Valuable engagements come in many forms. From training to troubleshooting to feature launches, there are several ways to interact with customers during nurture. The goal of each engagement should be to get customers to see real value from the product and achieve tangible results to make their investment worthwhile. This guide offers proven best practices around choosing your engagement model, trusted strategies, and tactics to grow recurring revenue.

Choosing the Right Engagement Model

Do you have a small, high-value customer base? Do you have thousands of smaller customers?

Do you have both? How you engage customers depends on the profile of your customers. The first step in creating a nurture strategy is to truly understand and segment your customer base. Once you know your customers, you can choose the right customer engagement model.


Here are 3 types of customer engagement models:

1:1 Engagement Model

A small customer base with large contract values requires a relationship-focused engagement model. Your customers are investing a lot into your product, so you need to ensure that each touch point – formal training, support, business reviews, etc. – guides them to understand the value they get and builds more trust with their customer success manager.

One pitfall to avoid is wasting your customers’ time. Do your homework and present up-to-date account activity information at your meetings. Make sure emails are personalized and tailored to their use case. These have to be high-value engagements.

1:Many Engagement Model

A larger customer base with smaller contract values must include automation and scalable

engagements. It is not possible to offer 1:1 attention to every customer, but it is also not acceptable to let customers fall through the cracks. The strategy in this case would be to create customer segments based on specific criteria to personalize customer engagements in a more scalable way.

Your team needs an early warning system to handle a large customer base. Investing in one will help your team better prioritize the customers that need immediate attention.

Blended Engagement Model

Most companies have a mix of large and small customers. In this case, segment customers to apply 1:1 strategies for key accounts and 1:Many strategies for everyone else. Your team should engage with customers in a way that maximizes the growth of the entire portfolio, not necessarily the growth of any particular account.

Each of these models relies on customer monitoring, segmentation, and personalized engagements. All of your customer-related activities and engagements should be combined into Success Programs and SuccessPlays.

In the next sections, we will take a deeper dive into each engagement type and how they can be adapted to different engagement models.


Building Success Programs

Success Programs are repeatable and timeline-based processes designed to grow your customer throughout the nurture stage. Whether these engagements are targeted to all customers or specific segments, they aim to achieve a very specific business goal.

A Few Examples of Success Programs Include:

Feature Adoption Program

Differentiate your product or introduce new features to specific segments of your customer base to increase overall customer adoption and expand utilization.

Usage Reporting Program

Share metrics such as license utilization and daily active users with customers to communicate the value your product has delivered over a period of time.

Best Practice Sharing Program

Identify when customers are ready for advanced use cases and share the necessary success stories and best practices to provide motivation to increase product adoption.


EXAMPLE

Feature Adoption Program with Different Engagement Models

1:1 Engagement Model

In order to drive adoption on the account and user level, you might schedule a training with the team followed by sharing best practice tips over a few weeks to encourage them to use the feature. You can then monitor who is using the feature and continue to nurture those who have not yet adopted.

1:Many Engagement Model

You can drive feature adoption with email campaigns that share a recorded training with different benefit messaging for your various customer segments. You can monitor who is using the feature and drive continued consumption with automated usage-reports and best practices.

Building SuccessPlays

SuccessPlays are not timeline-based like Success Programs, instead they are event-based engagements that are triggered by customer behavior. These type of engagements are valuable when your team identifies indicators of negative outcomes and engages to prevent escalations.

A Few Examples of SuccessPlays Include:

Drop in Account Utilization

Identify issues that can cause drops in product utilization and engage the customer at the account and user level to prevent larger issues from developing.

Service Outage Affecting Users

Approach service outages and malfunctions by proactively communicating with the customers that are affected with proper instructions and more information.

Slow Adoption After Onboarding

Drive stronger product adoption at the account and user level by triggering a SuccessPlay for new customers that are not highly engaged with your product.

Example: Drop in Account Utilization with Different Engagement Models

1:1 Engagement Model

Touch base with the key contact at the account. Address any issues that might include training, product configuration, etc. Once you document the issue, make sure you monitor the situation to ensure that the account utilization improves over a certain period of time.

1:Many Engagement Model

Automatically trigger a series of communications to go out to accounts when there is a significant drop in utilization. These should include best practices, more training videos, or other opportunities to learn more. If the utilization drop does not improve, touch base with the key contacts at the customer to develop a plan.

Launching Your Valuable Customer Engagements

By building an engagement model, including robust Success Programs and SuccessPlays, your customer success team can guide customers through the nurture stage with added value and real business outcomes.

Every engagement model relies on connecting all of your customer data and segmenting your customers by several criteria. Hundreds of companies are using Totango to provide real-time customer status views to increase engagements and be more proactive - for every engagement model. Totango helps increase product adoption, reduce churn, and measure the value customers are achieving with your product. By investing in a nurture stage full of valuable and proactive engagement, you can keep and grow more customers at scale.