Automation is central to Customer Success. It allows us to work at scale and buys back time to become trusted advisors for customers.

Automation is also a very broad term so in Planhat we break it up into separate concepts:

  1. Automating Communication to Customers

  2. Automating the movement of data


Automating Communication to Customers

There are many different ways you might want to communicate with customers automatically, i.e. without a human having to click a button each time for the communication to occur. For example:

  • Welcome emails to New Users

  • Nurturing campaigns for Users with declining usage

  • Survey campaigns

  • Reminder emails before a renewal

  • Notifying a customer about an update to their portal

In Planhat you have different tools to help you achieve these objectives. Some are specifically built for a use case and others provide general functionality that solves many problems. In summary:


Automating the movement of data

As you look to build efficiency into your CS practice you need data to be in the right place and at the right time. Some of this happens as part of standard modules in Planhat, for example your health score might update when the CSM score changes or a Playbook would schedule a task automatically as part of its template.

However, outside the standard and expected behaviour of modules, this kind of automation covers a vast array of scenarios both within Planhat and in other tools and systems. Owing to the flexibility of Planhat the use cases range from workflow automations to internal communication to webhook integrations with other systems. Here are some specific examples:

  • Start a Playbook when a new Customer is Closed/Won in your CRM

  • Change a customer's health when their usage hits a threshold

  • Create an expansion opportunity when a customer shows certain behaviour

  • Update a slack channel when a customer is renewed

  • Update a field when a certain event occurs

  • Notify the Account owner when usage drops by some amount

  • Schedule a task on a specific day or date and so on and so on!!

To help make this easier we have created two different approaches to the automation of data, what we call Triggers and Automations.

Triggers

Triggers are simple, single step automations using an if this / then that logic. With triggers we have pre-built the options on either side of the if this / then that equation enabling you to pick from a menu of easy to understand, relatable options.

What makes Triggers extremely powerful is that the menu is dynamic to your specific data in Planhat. For example, one option allows you to react when a usage metric changes, but each customer can select from a list of their own specific metrics rather than a generic list. Equally, each trigger can have guard rails so it only applies to customers within a certain Filter or cohort.

This video shows how to navigate to, and create a simple trigger.

Automations

Automations provide an extremely flexible platform upon which you can build multi-step and advanced automations to move data around Planhat, or in and out of other systems.

Automations differ from Triggers in that they:

  • Allow sequences / multiple steps within each automation

  • Provide total flexibility to react off of any change, any where in Planhat

  • Enable you to customise the language of notifications and updates.

  • Run complex queries within the sequence automation

  • Run function executions as part of the automation.

Here are some examples showing the breadth of opportunity using Automations:

  1. When the health score drops below a threshold, notify the Account owner, move the account to a Churn risk phase and start the Churn risk Playbook.

  2. When product usage increases above a threshold, create an Upsale opportunity and send a message to a dedicated AE Slack channel providing a link to the newly created Opportunity.

  3. When you log a QBR meeting note and use the label bug, update Product Board

  4. When a customer is renewed schedule an EBR 180 days in the future and celebrate the renewal in a company wide Slack channel.

  5. When a custom field on any object in Planhat is changed from No to Yes, update fields on 2 other objects and schedule a task.

As you can see Automations provide vast amounts of power to customise and play with your data in innovative ways. This video gives a quick overview of how to navigate to Automations and build a simple one.

Next steps

To learn more about building Automations, read this article

To learn more about building Triggers, read this article

To learn specifically about sending automated messages to Slack, read this article

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