How is your CSM team adapted to being VirtualCSM ?

Neelu Shaikh
Neelu Shaikh Member
edited August 2020 in Customer Success

CSM role is relationship-based engagement, would love to hear challenges, impact and ideas on ensuring CSM value is not diluted with 100% virtual customer engagment.


  • Spencer Hancock
    Spencer Hancock Member | Scholar ✭✭

    Hi @Neelu Shaikh, that's a great question. One thing I have been doing is turning my camera on during meetings with my customers. It's a small gesture, but I think it helps maintain the relational component of being a CSM. There are some more great tips in this blog post - How Customer Success can Make a Lasting Impact During the COVID19 Crisis, I'd highly recommend taking a look at it. It was authored by Phil Nanus, VP Customer Success Research here at TSIA. Phil provides some practical plays that CSMs can run during this new time that is requiring 100% virtual customer engagement.

  • lprovost

    Hi Neelu! Great question. Mac Guidera recently published a blog post on Staying in Touch: How To Improve Digital Engagement for Customer Success that talks about the best ways to engage your customers during this time.

    We also have a webinar coming up by @John Ragsdale and Jaime Domenici (from Salesforce) about Salesforce's Secret Growth Engine During COVID-19: A Culture of Customer Success, that will presented on May 28th. I think this might give us some great insight into best practices in virtual CS operations.

    @Phil Nanus, what have you been hearing from member companies?

  • Phil Nanus
    Phil Nanus Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Neelu Shaikh - 91% of CSM teams are entirely remote or partially remote. For most the pivot to a completely virtual environment is a non-issue. Where it has comes up is in Hardware or in a Field Service capability that is running Success motions. Could you elaborate with specific examples where you believe CS value is diluted because of remote work?

  • Neelu Shaikh

    Thanks Phil. Like your article. That is correct that most of the work CSMs do is remote, and the basis of that is built in that 10-25% time CSMs spent with customers. This role is relationship-based and deriving insights when you are on customer site. Virtual meetings are hard to build relationships, its all business. It takes longer to establish trust.

  • Jaime Farinos
    Jaime Farinos Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    It is working fine. We always use remote conferencing with video. Some customers are still not so comfortable with using video, others are, others were not, but they get converted. The experience over video is so much better and brings us closer to our customers. Regardless of whether the customer will use video or not, we always do so. It has worked very well.

  • Pat Day
    Pat Day Member | Enthusiast ✭

    @Neelu Shaikh and @Jaime Farinos great to see our thought leadership here ! I do see some delays in the CSMs building relationships if they have on boarded into the account via this new virtual world. Also, in the infrastructure (IaaS market), it's a multiyear cloud journey that takes time for the CSMs to build their influence with the customers digital/IT transformation strategy.