So you’re rolling out a new tool?
You’ve endured the pain of back-and-forth contract negotiations, solidifying executive buy-in, and creating engaging training content, all while communicating across the organization every step of the way.
As far as you know, you’ve done everything right.
Then comes the time to measure adoption and impact. Suddenly, you realize employees aren’t following the processes you’ve mapped out, they’re rarely logging into the new tool, and this tool that was supposed to simplify work is actually standing in the way.
What went wrong?
My name is Hannah Brotherton and I’m the Customer Success Operations Manager at Spekit. I’m here to tell you all about the mistakes we made when rolling out Catalyst, our new customer success platform, and how we used those learnings to design fully integrated, personalized learning journeys for our CSMs that reduced the number of ghosted accounts by 23% in the first two weeks after rollout.
Why did we decide to implement Catalyst?
We needed a tool that would proactively allow us to monitor and manage the health of our customer base.
At the time, all our customer account management was happening inside Salesforce. But, we had really low engagement, and it was incredibly difficult to take notes on customers within Salesforce that were easy to share and collaborate on.
So, what ended up happening?
Everyone on the team had their own unique way of documenting customer health. Some people used Google Sheets, others used Evernotes, and some just used regular old pen and paper.
From a leadership perspective, this meant we didn’t have the visibility to understand, measure and proactively improve upon the health of our customer base.
That’s where Catalyst came in.
It provided a platform where we could build individual customer stories in a way that was easy to share, communicate and collaborate on.
Take One: Rolling out Catalyst | Out-of-the-Box
Our initial rollout of Catalyst was focused on platform adoption, account documentation, and note utilization. Slowly, we started the leverage Catalyst playbooks for product launches, health metrics, and at-risk accounts.
It was a few weeks after rolling out our Seismic integration Catalyst playbook, and I noticed that people weren’t checking off the corresponding tasks or engaging with the playbooks.
I followed up with the individual CSMs to understand why it wasn’t working for them and what was holding them back from leveraging the playbooks. After sitting down with a few and seeing these tasks from an end-user perspective, it became clear that the experience was broken.
While these playbooks looked beautifully structured and easy to understand from the admin side, the end-users were receiving these in what felt like a four-mile scrolling dump of resources and information (with the most important part – the tasks – at the bottom!).
Here’s an example of what it looked like:
The team couldn’t find the information they needed right when and where they needed it. Anyone would resort back to pen and paper if it saved them the struggle of sifting through so much information (not all of it relevant to their specific challenges).
We needed to:
- Bridge the gap between new CSMs and more tenured ones to ensure that the playbook resources met both of their needs: Some CSMs will be more familiar with the playbook than others. We wanted to make sure that they didn’t have to go through a ton of unnecessary steps once they knew the process but also needed to support CSMs that were using the playbook for the first time.
- Make the playbook resources quickly accessible and digestible: If employees are forced to scroll through pages or dig around to get answers, they won’t do it.
We needed to make a change.
Take Two: Rolling out Catalyst Paired with Spekit’s Just-in-time Learning Platform
I took a step back and re-evaluated how we could support the CS team by combining the power of Catalyst with Spekit’s just-in-time learning platform.
Spekit is designed to break up long-form training, resources, and guidance into digestible bites and surface that knowledge exactly when and where employees need it (directly within tools like Catalyst, Salesforce, etc.).
I realized that with Spekit, I could take what was once a “four-mile scroll” playbook and break it down to surface only the information that a specific CSM needed to help that specific customer.
Ghosted accounts, which we’ve defined as accounts with:
- No interaction in the last four weeks
- Multiple (5+) attempts have been made to contact with no reply
Were our top priority and so I decided to try another rollout, focusing on the ghosted accounts playbook, and combining the power of Catalyst and Spekit.
Here’s how I did it differently this time:
1. To truly measure the difference, I launched the ghosted playbook both ways (one using Catalyst only and one combining Catalyst and Spekit).
2. I recorded Loom videos walking through both experiences (luckily, I saved them so you can check them out! Here’s how the playbook surfaces in Catalyst without Spekit:
- Not personalized to my needs
3. Here’s how the playbook surfaces in Catalyst when combined with Spekit:
- Playbook content is broken down into “Speks” or content cards in Spekit
- CSMs can instantly access each based on the unique needs of their customers
- Quick, easy, and efficient
4. We tested with a small group of CSMs to ensure that it worked and would serve the purpose, they helped to finesse the process by sharing more resources they had used in the past that were successful.
5. We launched via async communication with a video walk-through, then a live ‘reveal’ with a ghost presenting the playbook – everyone loves a good theme!
Can you guess which option the CSMs preferred?
Making learning part of the environment
I think of operations as environmental design. If you want to change or drive a specific outcome, being able to design your environment to remove any friction to that outcome is how I approach it.
Spekit was able to remove that friction while creating a flexible, choose-your-own-adventure style of learning that adapted to the needs of each CSM. By combing the two, we ensured that we were:
- Meeting the CSM in the flow of work with the materials they need to be successful: Regardless of how many times the end user encounters the playbook (we have some CSMs with large books of business and others that didn’t have any ghosted accounts), they had all the information they needed to navigate the process successfully. It was both detailed and simple, which allowed the CSM to self-select the support materials they needed but still keep the tasks simple and clear.
- Allowing the CSM to have autonomy in how they engage the customer: Each customer is unique and the CSM typically knows how to approach getting them re-engaged. Where we usually fail is either having playbooks that are really long and super prescriptive, or too simple and lack resources. We wanted to ensure that the CSM was empowered with the resources they needed to get the customer engaged and easily understood what the entrance and exit criteria were on the playbook.
- Not getting in the way of completing the tasks: Some of the feedback that we got in the past was when we had a lot of documentation or details in the task, taking time away from solving the actual issue. We made sure that our tasks had very clear and concise information/instructions/resources that connected to Spekit and only entailed two steps.
- Engagement with playbooks (completing tasks on time) skyrocketed
- Our CSMs were amazing in adopting and providing feedback throughout the process.
- Within the first two weeks, we reduced the number of ghosted accounts by 23%!
- We continue to see the number of ghosted accounts decrease and have since worked to launch other playbooks to support additional at-risk reasons.
It’s now 100 times easier to proactively monitor and improve customer health, making the lives of our customers AND our employees better.
- Always remember to put yourself in the seat of the end user: Watch them as they navigate through training or processes you’ve designed to see how they’re experiencing it.
- Learning is not one-size-fits-all: Every employee has different skill sets and depths of knowledge. Design your learning environment so that, regardless of an employee’s tenure, they can easily access the information they need to be successful when they need it.
- Listen, iterate, listen, iterate: I don’t know anyone who nails it on the first try. Never stop listening to feedback and making small improvements to improve the employee experience continually.
Ready to learn more? Chat with the Spekit team today!