dynamic yield

As the Head of Customer Success Operations at Dynamic Yield, Rona Yang’s job is clear: equip her team with the tools they need to keep the clients using their personalization platform thriving. After joining the company in March of 2018, she realized much of her time would be spent building out processes to improve the reliability and performance of her team.

In some cases, like making sure meetings were documented in Salesforce, there were existing processes already in place... though, they didn’t work. For others, such as holding quarterly business reviews (QBRs), the company needed to establish new procedures – in this particular instance, to better communicate all of the positive results generated by partnering with Dynamic Yield. (More details on that below.)

So, over the course of 2018, Rona focused on the processes around onboarding, QBRs, handling renewals, and even gathering customer feedback. But, she needed a way to make it easy for her team to adopt all of these new processes, along with a solution to help scale as new hires joined and the team grew across the globe.

One thing her team did have in common was constant collaboration via Slack. Leveraging this crucial bit of knowledge, she thought she would proactively meet the team where they already spent their time in hopes of increasing the adoption of these new processes.

Spoiler alert: it worked.

In our conversation, Rona explained exactly how she used Slack to set up a new process for the company’s QBRs and got her team to embrace the change.

Interested in bringing in automation to help with your Sales and Customer Success processes? Get started for free here.

What is a QBR?

Before diving into Rona’s strategy, let’s take a minute to discuss what a QBR is and why it’s so important for Customer Success Managers (CSMs) to be implementing them effectively and consistently.

Despite the name, quarterly business reviews, or QBRs, don’t always happen on a quarterly basis. They might happen semi-annually or annually. In many cases, they’re strategically scheduled before an upcoming renewal or price increase.

The idea is straightforward: if you want to reduce churn, you need to make sure your customers understand the value of the products and services you provide. And generic numbers aren’t going to cut it.

Instead, you need to provide them with data on their usage of your solution and how they can continue to derive increasing value from it. Often, this is also a natural opportunity to talk strategy with your customer and explain how they can leverage your product’s capabilities to strengthen their company’s performance.

When QBRs are delivered in person, it also helps you strengthen your relationship with those customers. That hands-on attention can be helpful in building champions of your company and tool as well as preventing churn.

We recommend holding QBRs way in advance of any renewal process. This allows your team to get ahead of any potential pitfalls that could make the expansion and renewal conversation difficult.

“I remember an instance when a CSM didn’t think they needed to do an official QBR,” Rona said. “They shared a bunch of data and we later found out they were having internal discussions about whether or not to continue working with us.”

She continued, “We made sure to circle back and invest in a more meaningful QBR which included strategies and ideas for new use cases – needless to say, that client appreciated the effort and remains a happy customer. The CSM simply didn’t realize how important it was because, to them, it was the same data. But how polished it looks, plus the face time you get while reiterating the value (not in a one-dimensional email but actually in-person), makes a real difference.”

The Challenge: Uniting a Team Spread Across the World

Rolling out new processes is hard on everyone, as people are typically averse to change. It’s even harder when team members are spread out across three global locations, which is the case for Dynamic Yield. The company has one Customer Success pod in New York, one in the heart of Berlin, and a single CSM in Singapore.

This means there are exactly zero times when all three pods can learn a new process at the same time. Inevitably, part of the process would end up falling through the cracks. At least, they used to.

With Slack as the primary way to all stay connected, Rona saw an opportunity to bring in Troops and engage her team in their existing workflow.

“We've had to throw a lot of new processes at the CSMs, but because of Troops, we can make sure they at least have reminders for what those processes are and what they should be doing to follow them.”

That idea was key in getting her CSMs to conduct QBRs actively.

How Rona Got Dynamic Yield’s QBRs in Place (Regardless of the Team’s Makeup)

Getting CSMs to understand the importance of a QBR and actually piecing all of the elements together on time is an entirely separate matter. To make it happen, Rona used Troops to engage reps in Slack at key milestones, as you’ll see below.

For Dynamic Yield, the QBR process starts 90 days in advance when they set an internal meeting to discuss how they’ll approach the renewal. Simultaneously, they reach out to the customer to set up a time for the QBR.

Troops alerts help Rona’s team kickstart a QBR and update its status from within Slack.

When the 90-day window begins, CSMs get a Troops alert for the account with important information like which account is due, when the renewal is due, and the last time the client had a QBR. CSMs can use custom call-to-action buttons to update Salesforce records from within Slack or to navigate to relevant information.

Interested in bringing in automation to help with your Sales and Customer Success processes? Get started for free here.

45 days out, CSMs request data on a client for analysis. In the two weeks leading up to the QBR, they then evaluate the current strategies and KPIs selected, and ideate new ways the CSM can help the client hit their goals.

Finally, before the actual presentation, the team does a dry run to make sure everything is in its right place. Every workflow is initiated based on data from Salesforce records that Troops pushes to Slack for CSMs to interact with the information.

As a final step, CSMs are reminded to update account information after the QBR is complete.

When a new hire joins, they’ll receive reminders just as the older team members who know the process better will. This allows Dynamic Yield to decrease the time it takes to immerse team members in core processes while also maximizing their ability to renew and expand existing customers.

Rona couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

“We know Troops is helping with the QBR process because we are actually having successful QBRs with our clients!”

Final Thoughts

Rona was thrilled when she first discovered Troops, since she was able to apply the solution to so many of the processes she’s building.

When we push out a process, Troops helps us ensure the process is being followed,” Rona said. And with the knowledge that her CSMs have what they need to follow through on changes, she’s free to continue improving processes for the entire Customer Success team.

Interested in bringing in automation to help with your Sales and Customer Success processes? Get started for free here.


Written by Scott

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