Budgets are tight, bandwidth is stretched and customer expectations rise… All those factors make the need for proper capacity modeling more obvious than ever before. Ensuring adequate resource allocation is crucial for your team to maintain high customer satisfaction and achieve your financial and strategic goals. Capacity modeling, a strategic approach to assessing and forecasting resource needs, plays a pivotal role in achieving exactly this proper allocation. A well rounded capacity plan provides you with a comprehensive framework for understanding the current and future demand for CS services, enabling you and your leadership to make informed decisions about staffing levels, training requirements, and technology investments
As ChurnZero suggests, bottom-up portfolio sizing takes your existing resource base (aka the number of CSMs on your team) as the starting point, calculating the maximum number of customers that can be supported by your team. This approach is risk-averse, as it ensures that demand does not exceed capacity. However, it may take away the opportunity to think strategically on how perfect would look like for your customers. This approach follow the following three steps:
Top-down portfolio sizing on the other hand starts with the desired level of service, calculating the required number of resources to achieve this. This approach is more aspirational, aiming to provide the highest possible level of support to customers. However, it may require significant investment in hiring and training new CSMs. If that is not feasible, as realistically a lot of budgeting, planning and organic growth is needed to achieve a high hiring number, you will end up having to go back to the drawing board and compromise on the input factor of your portfolio model. But this is a great approach if you are shooting for the stars, just as IBM who hired an additional 700 (!) CSMs over the last 2 years.
The choice between bottom-up and top-down portfolio sizing really depends on the organization’s risk tolerance and goals. For organizations that prioritize stability and risk mitigation, bottom-up sizing may be a better choice. For organizations that are willing to take on more risk in order to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction, top-down sizing may be a better fit.
By carefully considering all of the discussed factors and follow one of the suggested approaches, you can develop a CSM portfolio allocation strategy that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. This will help ensure that you have the right number of CSMs with the right skills and experience to support their customers effectively, while not stretching anyone’s bandwidth beyond health levels.