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Today’s Project Management Tools: A Customer Success Organization’s Best Friend

At JASK, a smooth implementation process for our customers is crucial to our success. While we can’t control every variable, we use Asana to manage what we can. Every time we get a new client, we fire up a new Asana project. Doing this helps us create a repeatable implementation process, simplifies collaboration, and keeps everyone honest on what needs to be done.

**Disclaimer: At JASK, we love Asana, but there is a plethora of amazing project management sites and software you can explore based on the needs of your company.

 

Benefits of Templated Workflows

1. Maintaining Repeatable Processes

We do not hire people at JASK that want to be told what to do 100% of the time and just get by doing the bare minimum. We want our team members to focus on higher quality problems, and constantly search for new and better ways to do things. With that being said, we still need to finish the more repetitive tasks and like to take care of them as efficiently as possible. Templated implementation and customer management workflows allow us to accomplish standard tasks with minimal effort while saving time, and brain power, for larger problems.

Implementation is a crucial part of our business, so we want to ensure that everyone is focused on the right aspects of it. Our template is constantly evolving. This is fantastic because it means we have found a better way to onboard our customers. We contribute our success to the fact that we aren’t wasting time and energy on disorganized implementation processes.

Old World: We would just go with the flow and handle tasks as we remembered them or the customer brought them up. This was a huge waste of time and brain power.

New World: We have every necessary task planned, and are delivering on them before the customer feels the need to ask.

 

2. Simplifying Collaboration

Keeping track of what everyone has done and needs to do can be challenging. During our implementation process, we have a Technical Account Manager, Customer Success Manager, Threat Hunter, and a customer all trying to complete tasks and stay in sync.

We use Asana to keep everyone on the same page and simplify the collaboration.

Old World: A mess of email chains, slack messages, and personal notes that everyone is trying to keep track of. Things inevitably fall through the cracks.

New World: A single view of who did what and who needs to do what. You will still have plenty of slack/email chains, but you won’t need to worry about tracking them as closely because you have a single source of truth on the status of your tasks.

 

3. Keeping Everyone Honest

When we are coming up on a renewal with a customer, it is extremely valuable to have a list of accomplishments we have achieved since they became a customer. Asana makes this possible for us. Not only is it fantastic for showing how much time both parties have invested in making the partnership successful, but we are able to digest all of the open tasks on a per customer basis.

For example – before you start working the renewal, you can look at all of the open internal tasks and feature requests to predict customer concerns going into the renewal. This allows you to complete all simple tasks and get timelines for the longer term ones. By doing so, you continue to build trust with your customer and show that you’re on top of, and actively addressing, their concerns.

On the flip side, you have a list of tasks that are in the customer’s court. You can use these to explain what extra value they will get out of your product once they’re complete. This keeps both sides honest with the effort they have put in, and what needs to be done in order to get the most value out of the product.

Old World: Summing up the value you currently provide and sending over a quote with your fingers crossed.  

New World: Building trust with a total review of what you’ve accomplished, and what you plan to accomplish following the renewal. Sending a quote with confidence.

 

Making It Happen

Now that the value of using a project management tool for customer success has been covered, let’s make it happen.

 

1. Template That Sucker

Do a brain dump with your team of everything you do while onboarding a new customer. You will also want to plan out what you will want to track on an ongoing basis after the initial implementation is done.

For us, it comes down to four task types based on roles. We have Technical Account Managers, Customer Success Managers, Threat Hunters (JASK SpecOps), and the customer tasks all split up accordingly. The first template will take some time, but lock all of the people that will be getting tasks in a room for an hour (or as long as it takes) and make it happen. From there, you can continuously adjust the template based on what works and what doesn’t.

 

2. Pick A Tool

As mentioned previously, we use Asana, but it’s not the only tool out there for this use case. Don’t just pick Asana because we use it. Take a look at a few, see which feature sets align best with your business, and go from there. Two key features that we couldn’t live without are the ability to clone projects and private vs public projects. Determine what you need to succeed and go all in on it. 

 

3. Do it

The key to all of this is to just do it. (Not trying to steal Nike’s fire here, but it’s a great tagline). Find the right group of folks to hash out the idea; template out the process you want to improve; pick your project management tool, and make it happen. There is no need to overthink it. If you are getting into the weeds, take a step back and think about the bigger picture. Once you have the first version done, ship it, use it, and then you can sort of the granular details.

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