The CSM Playbook for Proactive Client Interaction

Reactive problem-solving can eclipse positive client relationships. DearDoc’s CSM team lead sat down with Built In NY to talk proactive strategy.
April 10, 2023Updated: April 10, 2023

Seemingly mysterious customer churn; meandering client calls; discordant client strategy. 

The symptoms of a reactive CSM team aren’t hard to spot. But how can customer success leaders mitigate these pitfalls? Amid the twists and turns of today’s tech market, it’s more important than ever to build an agile CSM team.

The key to this resiliency is establishing steadfast strategies that lean into proactivity, according to DearDoc CSM Team Lead Garrett Wrenn.

First in his playbook for farsighted client strategy is proactive listening. 

“Proactive listening is not just listening to hear, but listening to understand,” said Wrenn.

Next, said Wrenn, CSMs must recognize the gravity of data.

“Data equals value realization,” he told Built In NY. “Data gives you an excuse to touch base, show value and have in-depth conversations with customers.”

Finally, Wrenn offered a rapid fire lesson on the finer points of proactive client relations: “Identify key indicators for churn, make note of product adoption or lack thereof, create consistent touch points and prompt responses — stay in touch with customers, don’t leave them waiting — and be cautious of lack of value realization”  

Built In New York sat down with Wrenn to unpack his tried and true methods of building a CSM team built to last tech headwinds. 


Photo of DearDoc open office space, with staff working at desks


Garrett Wrenn
CSM Team Lead

DearDoc aims to help private practice doctors grow their business through technology.


What’s one personal habit you’ve adopted that’s helped you be more proactive as a CSM? 

Relationships with customers — or anyone — are always better when the other person listens. 

Recently, I spoke with a practice owner who was interested in our text-to-pay product because she was short on staff and had statements to get sent out to patients to collect revenue. Rather than just adding the product to her account, passing her back to her CSM and saying, “Good luck! Thanks for adding more products with us,” I walked through different workflows we could implement and worked on different use cases. This led to multiple “aha” moments for the doctor. Now, she’s not as stressed because she understands how she will use it. I even showed her our mobile app so she could send payments out herself. 


What role does data play in helping you and your team be more proactive in your approach to customer success?

It’s extra important to note that data needs to be easy for customers to understand — the ability to articulate data, show it in an easy to understand way and tell a story with it will help customers see the value your product, company or service is providing.


As a team, what’s a system or strategy you’ve put in place to get ahead of potential issues before they arise?

Never let a customer discover the problem first, always bring it to their attention with a solution in mind and a timeline in place.

Never let a customer discover the problem first, always bring it to their attention with a solution in mind and a timeline in place.”  


For us, it was easy to identify these things and make them visible in our CRM. Our teams do account audits before they reach out or touch base with accounts to ensure they have the historical knowledge needed to have high level, robust conversations. This historical knowledge allows the CSM to position themselves as a consultant and win the hearts and minds of their customers. 



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