A Guide to Understand Customer Success Playbooks-Grow Bottom Line for Your Subscription Business

To meet the company’s target and milestones of achievements, it is vital that the customer success team is fully equipped with tools. For every SaaS business, customer success is key to the success of the business for the recurring revenue and its potential that is further carried out by customer success software for SaaS subscription businesses like SubscriptionFlow.

Having a customer-centric strategy in the best software for customer success along with a set of rules and workflows can help you drive your business and this is where Playbooks play their part.

This article is a customer success playbook guide for you to understand customer success and customer success software thoroughly along with the aspects that make a customer success playbook ‘a successful set of guidelines and regulations.’

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What Is a Customer Success Playbook?

A customer success playbook is a set of guidelines and rules to navigate through the instances of customers strategically.

To put it into simple words, customer success managers can use the customer success playbook to assist the customers to move toward their goals and requirements from the provider.

Customer Success Playbook entails creating and structuring key customer success processes to create a unified team with best practices for handling customers.

The customer success playbook aids customers with product adoption and product usage in case there is a roadblock that diminishes the working of the customer. In essence, a customer success playbook is optimized with proactive steps for customer success managers to use whenever needed through the customer success software.

Read More: What is Customer Success and why do You Need it

What Aspects Are Necessary to Make a Customer Success Playbook?

Undoubtedly, a customer success playbook has to be thorough and very direct.

Let’s look at the aspects of a good customer success playbook that defines its true purpose.

Components Roles
Tasks In the customer success playbook, this is solely for customer success managers to assign them the tasks and what are the duties that they must look after.
Milestones The milestones are for the customer and their journey. It maps out the milestones for a customer to achieve throughout the customer journey.

Also, it informs customer success managers and the customer success team of completing the milestones so that a customer is retained.

Triggers and Alerts Triggers and alerts are to map out the customer journey while creating the triggers for customer health scores to take measures for retaining the customer.
Detailed Steps / Set of Actions This is the most important part as it gives the clear steps and actions to be taken for the customer’s success.

Moreover, in this part of the playbook, the room for misinterpretation is almost zero because the actions are further planned out for the next septs. Hence, no mistakes, rather thorough and to the point.

The Goal, Team, and Timeline This aspect of the customer success playbook covers the intended goal for the customer, to which team that would be delegated along with the time taken to reach the desired results.

With the above-listed aspects, and to the greatest extent possible, the customer success playbook actually set up the roadmap to build a healthy relationship with customers, help in reducing customer churn, and support scalability of the business with satisfied customers.

An important point to be noted here is that it entirely depends on the merchant to create a playbook for its clients. The more the customer success playbook template is clear, the easier it will be to retain customers and manage them timely.

How Does the Customer Success Playbook Benefit Business?

If created, managed, and followed properly, a customer success playbook can profuse your business with the benefits. To explain it more, customer success playbooks will equip you with the benefits such as:

Accountability and Tacking

With the help of customer success playbooks, customer success managers can easily communicate with the customers so that company retains customers and also enhance the robustness of the product usage. Moreover, once the customer success team or CSM gets to know about the roadblocks a customer faces, it will help him to track the working on the problem or the issue created.

Structured Guide

Once you have the playbook for your customers, it is assured that you will be safe from the cluttered set of instructions that may give the customers a bad experience. Hence, a chance to be a proactive success team instead of a reactive one.

Reports and Insights

This points towards the customer health score. By integrating your customer’s data with the set business algorithms, the customer health score will create a trigger if it falls in the risk zone.

Playbooks For the Customer Success Team

Now, while you have gained enough information about the playbooks, their benefits, and their working – it’s time to get into the journey of customer success and create relevant playbooks for them so that it is executed seamlessly.

This guide will cover the following playbooks with special reference to their sub-parts to be more profound in the information.

  • Customer Onboarding and Adoption Playbook
  • Customer Health Score Management Playbook
  • Account Retention and Expansion Playbook

Customer Onboarding and Adoption Playbook

The playbook should not only orbit around your point of view or solely for the customer’s point of view but rather both. It means the playbook should be optimized properly so a smooth onboarding experience is given to the customer.

In the onboarding and adoption phase of the customer journey, the few points that would help for the playbook are:

Customer orientation

Customer orientation in the playbook would focus on ways to navigate to the requirements of the customers while educating them about the information. Orienting the customer in a systematic and structured way would enhance the chances of customers understanding the product and quickly moving towards product adoption.

Hence, the customer orientation in the playbook must be clear and as thorough as per the requirement. The modules must be updated by the customer success manager so that the updated content is provided to the customer.

Customer segmentation

Customer segmentation talks about the nature of enterprises and clients you will deal with.

Some clients need high touchpoints while the otherwise for clients. In your customer success playbook, customer segmentation must be written to understand the dealing of small to mid-range businesses and large enterprises.

Milestones in Customer Journey

When the customer onboards, it is important for the customer success team to acquaint the customer with the milestones that will be achieved by using the product throughout the customer success journey. In the customer success playbook, it must be written according to the business of the customers.

Read More: Role of Customer Success in the Subscription Business

Customer Health Score Management Playbook

The customer health score playbooks help you to reduce churn and build customer retention and customer loyalty. It is extremely important to employ churn management tactics in the playbook to achieve higher visibility in customer health scoring. Customer health score management in the playbook can only be predicted right if the right customer churn management software has opted for the right churn management Key Performance Indicators – KPIs.

Setting Up Right KPIs

The key performance indicators will give details about the success of the customer. After the onboarding process of the customer is completed, it is time to observe how successfully the customer has engaged in using the product or services and how the engagement brings results for them.

The key performance indicators are important for the fact that they generate the customer health score on which further actions are to be taken by the customer success team and customer success manager.

For every client, the key performance Indicators might be different and, in the playbook, they should be categorized in a structured way.

Orchestrating the Customer Health Scores

Customer health scores are determined by the key performance indicators. The customer health scores give the churn points. The higher the customer health score the lesser the chance of customer churning. As the key performance indicators might vary from customer to customer, the customer health score might be different for the customers as per the limitations and conditions.

Customer segmentation

Customer segmentation is a very integral part of customer health score management. Customers are segmented based on their health scores.

The customer success playbook will further guide the measures to be taken such as outreaching them, tracking interactions, fostering communications, and other possible steps to make customer success reach the final point.

This all must be part of the customer success playbook when it comes to customer health score management playbook.

Read More: Are You Prioritizing on Customer Success Management?

Account Retention and Expansion Playbook

Customer retention and account expansion are some challenging tasks and require a competitive guide that draws results. Account Expansion is when CSMs can find opportunities or potential in selling more to the same customers whereas account retention is when your customer’s health scores tell that the customer is on the brink of churning. Churn can be voluntary or involuntary. Playbook helps the CSMs to deal with the causes of the churn as well as act quickly when some account expansion opportunity emerges.

For this, the deployment of strategies must be executed optimally and strategically.

Account Renewal

As soon as you know that the customer’s subscription is about to end, the next step is to go ahead with offering the customer account renewal or subscription renewal. For this, the playbook must have the strategies that can lead to successful account renewal and retaining the customer.


With the historical data, you can up-sell your products to the customers to use the products and features in order to retain the acquired customers. For this, the playbook of account retention should have a set of strategies that can help it to occur seamlessly and successfully.

It also entails a subscription plan increase for upgrading and the playbook must be equipped with how to carry out the conversation with the customer while the instance of up-selling occurs.


Cross-selling is also related to retaining the customer. The playbook for account retention and expansion would guide on how to increase the chances of upselling and cross-selling while reducing the churn.

The structured approach for interacting with the customers in the playbook would help to improve the opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling.

Read More: Building the Customer Success For Different Subscription Businesses

Wrapping Up

The customer success playbook can be the gamechanger for you in terms of churn reduction and giving your customers the best experience. If you have not yet made your customer success playbook, then start doing it now!