Mike Bandar
7 mins

How to Create Customer Service Playbooks for SMEs [With Real Examples]

Your customers are your biggest asset! Aren’t they? You worked hard to get them, after all. But it’s getting harder to keep them happy, isn’t it? In every industry, customers demand more time, ask more questions, and leave for the competition. Why?

The customer-business relationship has changed dramatically in the last five years. Customer options today are broader than ever, there is more information, and if they are not happy, they can easily switch vendors. With all the power, they're demanding an entirely new level of service. It's their terms, not yours, and they'll leave if you don't meet them. Most companies fail to impress their customers because their customer service playbook ignores this shift.

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by up to 95%, and according to Gallup, high customer engagement scores are associated with 50% higher sales and 34% higher profitability. So, keeping customers happy and successful is crucial to keeping businesses successful. 

A playbook is a must-have tool for every business, so let's make a look at how to create customer service playbooks.

This article covers;

  • What is a Customer Service Playbook?
  • Why is the Customer Service Playbook Important?
  • What should be added to the Customer Service Playbook?
  • How to create Customer Service Playbooks?
  • Start with Setting Goal for Playbook
  • Determine and Define Trigger Mechanism 
  • Segmentation of Customer by Personas 
  • Build Plyabook Assets and Instructions
  • Evaluate the Success of Playbook
  • Conclusion with Templates

Let’s explore them;

What is a Customer Service Playbook?

The customer success playbook describes how companies engage with consumers. It takes into account both reactive and proactive functions performed by support and service teams, so customers get the most out of the products and services. These initiatives reduce churn rates and encourage upselling and cross-selling.

Why is the Customer Service Playbook Important?

Some of the most empathetic companies worldwide -- such as Amazon, Virgin, Apple, and Walt Disney-- have celebrated customers and experienced tremendous growth over the past few years. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, for instance, believes in obsessing over customers rather than worrying about what its competitors are doing, which led to the development of new services and offerings that generate billions of dollars in revenue for Amazon.

It's time to invest in your most undervalued growth asset: customers. Getting there requires less DMV-like behavior and more friendliness. We think you can achieve this -- without ballooning costs -- with the right technology and playbook.

A customer service playbook maximizes your ability to satisfy your customers. Customer success managers (CSMs) use them to determine what steps they should take in order to achieve their desired goal and what segments of customers they should focus on in their proactive efforts.

What Should be added to the Customer Service Playbook? 

It is noteworthy that there is no dearth of information available on how to craft a customer success playbook. Furthermore, most advanced CSM tools offer customized CSM playbooks.  Nevertheless, how do we determine whether they will truly be helpful for CSMs in their day-to-day operations? And not just another checklist that impedes the execution speed?

Here’s the list of a few elements that are integral components of your playbook

  • Set of goals that the CSM Playbook intends to achieve. 
  • A definitive list of tasks for CS Managers
  • Customer Milestones
  • Map the entire customer journey with triggers and alerts.
  • The goal, teams, and timeline

But, always make sure to avoid these playbook creation mistakes to ace the process. 

Without further ado, let’s delve into how to create customer service playbooks; 

How to Create Customer Service Playbooks?

Assume we are designing a playbook for a SaaS company with a customer churn of over 10%, whom they want to bring down to an industry norm of 8-10% by addressing low product adoption.

Start with Setting Goal for Playbook

The first step is to identify scenarios for which playbooks may be required. Several factors could contribute to customer churn in our example, including A low adoption rate of the product, champions departing, corporate strategy changes, budgetary changes, etc.

The customers aren't using the full features of the product, so there's less perceived value, which results in lower renewal rates and higher churn.

Determine and Define the Trigger Mechanism 

Playbooks serve a variety of purposes along the customer lifecycle. As a result, they'll be triggered throughout a customer's journey. Including this information ensures there's no ambiguity about when playbooks should begin. 

The underlying issue we found in our example was inadequate user onboarding, and thus a playbook was needed to ensure consistency and predictability. This was the overall map of the analysis.

Segmentation of Customer by Persona 

It is clear to you what the problem is, what the objectives are, and when a playbook should be activated. There is no one-size-fits-all playbook! Segmentation helps group clients with similar needs because the use cases are different. In addition, it simplifies monitoring, targeting, and reporting.

Build Playbook Assets & Instructions

You have to amp out all the activities and resources that are required for each step of the Playbook. Email templates, call scripts, meeting agendas, customer calls, and presentations could all be included, along with additional guides and FAQs. By creating assets, your CSM will already have all the resources they need to complete a task for a customer. As a result, the team can complete the tasks quickly while having the resources available to personalize the information being sent to customers as needed.

Evaluate the Success of Playbook

Is the playbook proving beneficial in acquiring the required goals? Is it adding value to customers? Any lingering friction or new issues? 

To evaluate the continued success of your playbook, use key performance indicators and customer experience metrics. Continue to update each playbook as your team and users' needs change with your product.


Your customer success team will be more accountable and efficient with playbooks.

Customer success teams commonly assign accounts and churn goals to each customer success manager without doing a granular performance analysis. Using playbooks, you can track how your team works with customers.

You can conveniently customize your customer service playbook with the Waybook Playbook’s template. You can even track performance and share reports with your employees in one go with Waybook. Also, all the guides and relevant training materials are integrated into the training platform, which can optimize the success of your CSM team. 

Want to get more insights on the future of Scaling & Systematizing your business? Check out our related resources:

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