What best practices are being used to schedule customer calls?
This time of year can be a bit hectic for most companies in our industry. We are planning goals for the year and trying to be strategic when deciding the best way to reach prioritized business outcomes.
In my role, I schedule and organize many customer facing calls (touch-points) for our CS team (CSM's). Some weeks I'm lucky and able to get all needed calls on the calendar. Other times, I struggle to even get a response.
Are you finding its harder during different parts of the year to schedule necessary calls with your customers? How are you mitigating this ebb and flow? What practices are you using to be the most successful? What tools does you use to help you along the way?
Q. Are you finding its harder during different parts of the year to schedule necessary calls with your customers?
A. Yes. Quarter-end and year-end are especially difficult times as the customers are focused on hitting their financial or sales targets at those times.
Q. How are you mitigating this ebb and flow?
A. Generally avoid even trying to schedule touch-points the last few days of each quarter and near major holidays. Use those times to focus on completing training, doing internal tasks, and planning.
Q. What practices are you using to be the most successful?
A. Some ideas:
- Combine touch-points with conferences (such as user conferences, industry conferences) where you can
- Generally avoid 7am-10am as these are often the busiest hours of a customer's day
- Via a tool, allow the customer to pick the touchpoint meeting time and length from a set of available timeslots. If the customer selects the time, they might be less likely to cancel
- If it's just a quick touchpoint consider keeping the meeting to 15 minutes only out of respect for the customer's time. Letting the customer know up front that the meeting will be that short might make them more agreeable to scheduling it.
Q. What tools do you use to help you along the way?
A. I'm not much help on this one, but I could suggest a web-based calendaring tool that would allow the customer to see an array of available meeting timeslots and pick the one which suits the customer the best. I believe these are inexpensive and common.1
I would love to hear more about what others are doing. We did a couple of time-spent analysis for CSMs, and found up to 20% of time was being spent just getting calls on the calendar. That’s a huge expense!0