Creating automated workflows with Playbooks

Playbooks help you automate internal customer management, fire alerts for in-need accounts, and engage customers.

Overview

Playbooks help you automate common Customer Success needs by performing a series of actions (e.g. fire a risk indicator, send an email, create a task) on accounts or users that meet certain requirements.

Each action in a playbook is applied at a defined schedule based on when the playbook was first activated on the account/user.

A simple playbook example would be one that is auto-applied to customers 10 days before their renewal. On the 1st day the playbook is applied, you could auto-send the renewing customer's owner an email letting them now they are renewing soon. On the 3rd day (i.e. 7 days before renewal), you could create a task for the customer's CSM to review their product usage in Vitally.

Of course, you can build way more advanced playbooks than that 😉

Creating Playbooks

To create a Playbook, navigate to Playbooks in your account settings (or get there via Quick Jump).

Creating a Playbook is broken up into 4 steps:

  • Overview - Define basic details about your Playbook

  • Rules - Define rules to auto apply your Playbook

  • Actions - Define actions to auto apply to matched accounts/users on a set schedule

  • Review - Review your Playbook before setting it live

You can navigate through each step via the Back & Next buttons or by clicking on a specific set in the builder navigation on the left.

Defining your Playbook's basic details

The Overview step provides ways to define general details about your Playbook:

  • Name - Give your Playbook a name so you/your team can easily identify it later.

  • Category - Optional, but helps keep your Playbooks organized.

  • Target Accounts - Select whether the Playbook should apply to all (tracked) accounts that match your rules, or just subscribed vs trialing accounts.

  • Target Audience - Select whether your Playbook's actions should apply to accounts matching your rules, or just users. Note that many actions are currently only valid when applied to matching accounts.

  • Description - Want to give your team some direction when the Playbook is applied? Then enter a note here and add account/user variables via the bottom right icon in the toolbar. We'll 'compile' your note here with the matching account/user when displaying it throughout Vitally!

Defining rules to auto-apply your Playbook

Playbooks are auto-applied to accounts/users only when they meet certain conditions. You'll define those conditions here!

Note that there are 2 types of rules: Account rules & user rules. These rules function somewhat differently depending on whether your Playbook targets accounts or users:

  • Targeting accounts - If your Playbook targets accounts AND you have User rules defined, then the account is a 'match' if any user at the account matches your User rules.

  • Targeting users - If your Playbook targets users, we'll apply any Account rules to the user's account and any User rules to the user itself.

Defining your Playbook's actions

Actions allow you to configure something that should happen once accounts/users match your rules on a set schedule.

For example, on the 1st day a Playbook is applied to an account, you can send an email to the account's owner. On the 3rd, you can create a task for the account's CSM. And on the 10th, you can send another email.

Read below for an overview on all actions.

Viewing accounts with an active Playbook

To view accounts with a specific Playbook active, you can enable the column for the desired Playbook and then sort by that column, add a filter on the column for the desired Playbook, or both!

The column for each Playbook shows both the date the Playbook was applied to the account as well as the percentage progress through the schedule of actions.

If you click on the percentage progress, you can also see a history of the actions performed on the account by the Playbook. If the creator of the Playbook added a description, you'll also see that as well.

Viewing all current & past Playbooks for an account

Each account dashboard displays all active and past applied Playbooks to the account, with active Playbooks displayed first.

Click on a specific Playbook to see a history of the Playbook's applied actions to the account.

Closing a Playbook

If you'd like to 'force stop' a Playbook from executing any further actions on the account, click the Stop playbook link displayed below the progress timeline.

Closing a Playbook has 2 impacts:

  • All previously-applied actions are 'undone' (e.g. active Indicators are ended, pending messages are not sent, etc)

  • No further actions will be applied to the account for that Playbook unless the account has the entire Playbook reapplied to them.

When closing the Playbook, you can optionally leave a note detailing why you are doing so. This note is visible to your entire team.

Available Playbook Actions

Auto-assign CSMs and AEe

Manage your CSM and AE assignments with intelligent algorithms! With the "Assign a CSM (or AE)" Playbook actions, you can auto-assign team members to accounts using 3 different algorithms:

  • Assign to the selected team member who has the least-managed accounts

  • Assign to the selected team member who has the least-managed revenue

  • Assign to the selected team member who has not been assigned to an account for the longest amount of time (i.e. 'round robin')

Start a conversation with user(s)

Naturally, starting a conversation with the right user at the right account is a critical component to Customer Success, and this action helps you do just that! You can send an email via Gmail or Intercom, auto-send it from the account's CSM, send personalized messages (using user, account, and CSM variables), and even schedule conversations to start on a delay, which gives your team time to review pending conversations and make any needed edits.

Create an Indicator alert

Indicators are automated alerts that detect significant opportunity or risk states accounts may transition in to. They can be assigned to teammates, manually silenced (by marking the Indicator as addressed), and more.

Add the account to a segment

Segments are organized subsets of your accounts, and you can use Playbooks to auto add and remove accounts to segments.

Create a task

Tasks are to-dos created for accounts and assigned to your teammates. With this action, you can ensure your team members complete specific activities for accounts exhibiting specific behaviors.

Update a custom trait

Custom traits help you track data points about your customers directly in Vitally. With this action, you can set the value of a custom trait automatically for accounts that match your rules.

A popular use case for this action is to map your plan names to their monthly cost, automatically setting an MRR trait for accounts based on the plan they're subscribed to.

Show an in-app NPS survey

Vitally's NPS for B2B SaaS (free) add-on is NPS rebuilt for Customer Success. When enabled, you can pair it with Playbooks to limit the users at accounts that should be shown a NPS survey.

For example, you could setup rules that filter accounts to just those on an annual deal that are renewing within 30 days. Add a 'Show NPS' action to your Playbook, and we'll only show the NPS survey to users at matching accounts!

Send a Segment track

Vitally's Segment integration allows you to configure Vitally as a Segment destination, syncing the data you track in Segment (groups, identifys, and tracks) into Vitally in real-time. However, you can also use Vitally as a Segment source, which allows you to push Vitally's unique customer insights back to Segment for use in your other tools! This doc explains that in more detail.

This action allows you to send a Segment track call to Segment-connected integrations as accounts or users reach certain points in the Playbook. For example, say you have a Playbook that welcomes new customers the first day they become a paying customer. With this action, you can send a track back to Segment to let other systems/data stores log a record of these new customers.

An example track sent from a Playbook might look something like this:

analytics.track({
event: "New Vitally customer", // You get to define the event name per Playbook
groupId: "ACCOUNT_GROUP_ID", // We auto-set this for you using the account's Segment group ID
context: {
groupId: "ACCOUNT_GROUP_ID" // We auto-set this for you using the account's Segment group ID
},
properties: {
playbook: "New customer playbook" // This is the name of the playbook in Vitally
}
});