Customer relationships are the foundation of customer success, and for many CS professionals, meetings are the best way to build trusting relationships with customers.
But while meetings may be the best way to get facetime (virtual or otherwise), each customer session needs to be run effectively. Customers want to know that you value their time, and there’s no better way to do that than to set a clear agenda for every meeting.
This is our library of agenda templates for all of the most common meetings that customer success professionals attend, from discovery calls all the way to helping customers thrive in your product. The agenda templates below this note are pulled from our library of 80+ meeting agendas which you may find helpful for your other meetings as well. 👇
First, find a template that most closely matches the types of meetings you're having with customers. Click the button to Download the template as a Word doc, copy it as a Google doc, or add it to your free Hugo account.
Once you have your customer meeting agenda template in hand, customize it to your own process. What kinds of customers are YOUR customers? What types of questions, updates, or documents are commonly used during your customer meetings?
Here are a few common agenda items in CS meetings that may belong on your agenda template:
And depending on whether the meeting is virtual or in-person, you may also want to add:
Many professionals even like to offer for the customer to add additional information to the template. What else should be discussed? What questions can be answered? Once your customer is involved in preparing for the meeting, they'll show up more enthusiastic because they've bought in and invested in the outcome.
The best thing your CS team can do to get value from these customer success meeting templates is to share your agenda with your customer before every meeting. Sharing an agenda sends a signal that you're prepared to meeting with the customer and value their time. It also gives them an opportunity to think about the big topics in the meeting and show up better prepared.
There are two questions a customer success manager needs to ask every meeting. These simple questions will help you gauge your progress in meeting your company's objectives with their customers and ultimately serve as an example of the value your team brings.
1. What is the current status of the business goal you are working on?
2. What opportunities do you see for improvement in this business objective area over the next month, quarter, year, and beyond?
This simple question will help you uncover what gaps currently exist in your customer success efforts. Using this information you can then prioritize which areas of your customer experience initiatives should be prioritized first; helping to streamline your efforts in all areas.
This is not a one-time exercise. Continually ask this question every meeting; whether it be a monthly, quarterly or annual business review. Focusing on the growth trend of your metrics will help you make sure your customer's needs are being met by your company.
The second question is more of an open-ended question and allows for the customer to be a part of the problem-solving process. It also helps to look for where new opportunities may be created in your business. You can ask how they see improving the value and satisfaction of your customer.
This question will drive better quality of service which should help you grow your business long-term. The more value that you bring to a client the greater value that they will give back to your company.
Typically when you talk about a CS meeting, you're describing a meeting where you, the customer success manager, get together with your customers face-to-face to help them achieve their goals.
There is also a Customer Success Team Meeting which is where everyone on the CS team gets together to have a conversation to review progress, share ideas, and celebrate wins.
For the purposes here, when we describe customer success meetings, we're talking about meetings with customers and clients unless otherwise noted.
Customer Success meetings help you get everything in one place. It's a great chance to announce updates, review progress on key projects, and build relationships with the customer base. It's also a chance to show your customers what value you bring to the table, explain upcoming changes, and have a chat about customer wants and needs.
Customer Success meetings can also be used as a testing ground for new features. If there are any new customer-facing features coming up that require face-to-face engagement, these are the perfect forums to let your customers get involved.
There's much more to customer success than just getting people through onboarding or providing support. Customer success is the process of building a positive relationship with a customer and setting that customer up for success.
A good meeting is an effective meeting. It serves its purpose and helps you achieve your goals. At the end of it, you walk out of the room with something tangible that was added to your business because of the meeting that you had.
You may be tempted to have CS meetings solely for the purpose of relationship building. The problem with this approach is that the meeting is hollow and without value. Your customer won't walk away feeling like they got a good use of your time. Even if they are polite during the discussion, they'll be less like to schedule with you again in the future.
Set the tone early on. The purpose of a meeting is to get things done effectively. The very first thing to do when you get together is to establish the right atmosphere for getting things done.
Notice patterns about challenges and frustrations. You'll probably notice patterns in what people say during customer success meetings...things that come up again and again or are phrased in a certain way. So pay attention! These patterns can be used for later reference when asking for features or developing ideas for improving customer success functionality.
Be open-minded, empathetic, and inclusive. You're building something great together. Think of your customer as being on your team.
Know what you want to get out of the meeting ahead of time. Do you want to get feedback on or educate your customer about new features? Find out about their latest challenges? Make sure you have made contact with all decision-makers? Make an intro to the sales team? Build that into your plan for the meeting.
How many times per week/month/quarter? That depends on your customer base and your industry, among other things. An agency might meet with a customer once a week or more because of how closely they're working on a project. An enterprise SaaS software company may only meet with many of its customers once a year due to how large it is.
Ultimately, don't just meet with your customers to have a meeting. Meet with them when there is an opportunity to help them be more successful and accomplish their goals.