The growth of remote work has brought both opportunities and challenges for customer success teams. The Customer Success Salary Survey 2023 Report found that 54.5% of customer success professionals now work fully remotely; for context, 3.6% of customer success professionals work 100% in the office, and 41.9% are hybrid workers, splitting their time between office and home.
Being able to work from the comfort of your own home has allowed people to ditch the inconvenient aspects of working life. For starters, you can forgo your grueling commute to reach the office by 09:00 AM. Despite the proposed tranquility of remote working, it also requires teams to be far better communicators and organizers.
Trying to coordinate meetings and stay connected with contacts can make Customer Success Managers (CSMs) feel like they're being pulled in too many directions. Gone are the days when you can grab a “quick five minutes” with a colleague on your way back from the office kitchen.
As a result, teams are increasingly adopting scheduling tools – especially those using artificial intelligence (AI) – to enhance efficiency and build stronger internal and external relationships.
Calendly's State of Scheduling report offers invaluable insights into how scheduling automation can significantly benefit customer success teams, and businesses as a whole.
This article delves into our four key takeaways from the report that showcase the growing importance of intelligent scheduling:
- AI-driven efficiency in scheduling boosts productivity
- Personalized customer interactions through automated scheduling
- Strategic use of AI to address customer pain points
- Building a culture of effective meetings
AI-driven efficiency in scheduling boosts productivity
One of the standout revelations from the report is that “inefficient scheduling is the new productivity killer,” which is particularly found in hybrid workplaces. According to Calendly:
“What people resent are unproductive meetings. They resent the busy work around the meeting lifecycle — finding times to meet, building agendas, taking notes, etc. They resent lost time; time they’d rather channel into something strategic and ambitious.”
Customer success teams often juggle numerous meetings, and inefficient scheduling can be an inefficient use of time. AI-driven scheduling automation platforms like Calendly not only simplify the process of finding suitable meeting times but also integrate with existing tech stacks, ensuring a seamless workflow.
This integration allows Customer Success Managers to focus their efforts on strategic tasks and less time on administrative burdens, ultimately enhancing their productivity and ability to serve customers effectively.
Personalized customer interactions through automated scheduling
As a customer success professional, you’re a quintessential “people” person. Forming meaningful relationships with clients is your bread and butter. But too often, your ability to nurture those critical relationships is derailed by the demands of coordinating meetings.
Your time is divided between establishing authentic, personal connections with colleagues and customers and not getting bogged down by the administrative collateral of scheduling and following up. You end up missing chances to reinforce value or agree on desired outcomes.
The constant juggling act leaves little room for the human touch at the heart of customer success.
Rather than deepening bonds through attentive listening and strategic questioning, you get caught up in confirming logistics and details. Your focus shifts from understanding customer needs to simply getting through obligations. And those personal connections that drive growth and retention can get lost in the shuffle.
According to Calendly’s Chief Product Officer, Stephen Hsu, it’s time to reevaluate meetings and focus on the human element – the authentic, personalized connections that drive us forward. This, of course, is the bedrock of customer success.
By automating the busywork of scheduling, AI-powered scheduling automation platforms like Calendly enable customer success teams to take a personalized approach to each client. Intelligent assistants can handle those preliminary questions about preferences, freeing up reps to have deeper, more meaningful discussions that strengthen relationships.
In essence, smart scheduling clears the path for human connection by eliminating administrative drudgery.
And for customer success, that personal touch is everything. By preparing more effectively for meetings, teams can better understand needs, exceed expectations, and drive the engagement that fuels growth.
Strategic use of AI to address customer pain points
AI can solve customer pain points as well as internal operational challenges, to the State of Scheduling:
“Most managers would [...] much rather see their workers eschew admin tasks for building better relationships with customers, prospects, and candidates.”
For customer success teams, this means leveraging AI to anticipate and address customer needs proactively.
AI-powered scheduling platforms like Calendly can analyze scheduling patterns and preferences of clients to provide insights into the most opportune times to engage customers and their preferred communication channels and even highlight potential areas of concern.
What this proactive approach does is ensure customer success teams are always a step ahead, ready to offer solutions and support when customers need them most.
Building a culture of effective meetings
If there’s one point you should take away with you after reading Calendly’s report, it’s this: ineffective meetings aren’t just an issue for customer success teams – entire companies are crying out for a rehaul in meeting etiquette. The culture needs to change.
This report discovered that thoughtfully layering AI into your organization’s tech stack can help set the stage for more impactful meetings by ensuring they’re not only well-timed (who wants a disorganized schedule filled with overrun meetings?) but are purpose-driven.
Customer success teams can use AI and automation to filter out unnecessary meetings, ensuring that each interaction with their customer is valuable and contributes to their success. By fostering a culture of effective meetings, teams can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, as clients feel their time is respected and valued.
In the spirit of efficiency… let’s wrap up!
Calendly's State of Scheduling 2023 report provides a clear roadmap for how customer success teams can leverage AI-driven scheduling tools to enhance their efficiency, personalize customer interactions, and build stronger relationships.
As the business world continues to evolve, the integration of AI and automation in scheduling will undoubtedly become a cornerstone of effective customer success strategies.