This is the second installment of our blog series where we spotlight a Customer Success professional and get their take on the industry as well as get to hear some of their top tips they’d like to share.
This spotlight will be featuring Brooke Goodbary, who is a Customer Success expert at dataxu. She shares her experience working on the frontlines of Customer Success in fast growing startups at brooke.land/blog.
Let’s hear what she has to say!
Q: What is your best career advice to give someone starting out in a Customer Success role?
A: Become a product expert and get grounded in your product early on. The first weeks and months in a few role always feel chaotic and you don’t want to be learning the ropes of your product while simultaneously providing training and guidance to customers. You’ll encounter plenty of occasions to employ the “fake it ‘til you make it” mantra, but if you don’t have a foundational understanding of your product you’re more likely to find yourself on uncertain footing.
Q: What’s a little change that can make a big difference with your Customer Success management?
A: Ask questions to uncover your customers’ true needs and challenge your assumptions. It’s easy to take what people say at face value and to pass it along up the chain, but asking follow up questions shows that you’re engaged and want to get to the heart of an issue. Instead of just logging a feature request for a report your customer asked for, dig a bit deeper to see how they plan to use the data captured in this report. You might find that the functionality they need already exists in some other format, or that the issue isn’t with reporting but with driving adoption with their internal stakeholders.
Q: What do you think is a common misconception about Customer Success?
A: Customer Success isn’t a silver bullet for churn. There are lots of reasons customers churn and only some of them can be solved by Customer Success. Bringing on the wrong type of customers or building features that don’t address the underlying need for your product can’t be fixed by bringing on 5 new CSMs. For Customer Success leaders to have any hope of addressing these type of fundamental misalignments they need to have executive support to institute widespread changes.
Q: What are some trends you see happening in the Customer Success industry?
A: As Customer Success gets adopted by enterprise companies and startups that produce very technical products, I’ve noticed Customer Success teams begin to specialize. I’m starting to see titles like“Enterprise CSM” and “Technical CSM” on the rise. I expect to see this type of specialization continue as companies learn that there’s not a single CSM mold that works for every organization. Instead, the characteristics of what makes an effective CSM should be reflective of what customers need.
Q: What do you love the most about working with your customers?
A: The personal relationships you’re able to build with customers makes Customer Success an incredibly fulfilling job. While it’s fun to chat about what you did this weekend, or your upcoming vacation plans, meaningful relationships require substance. I’ve found that strong and long lasting relationships are built on trust and mutual respect.
Thanks to Brooke for participating in our spotlight series and we look forward to talking to and sharing insights from others in the Customer Success community! If you missed the first spotlight, you can check it out here.
How to Nail Customer Handoffs between Sales and Customer Success
Wednesday, October 24
2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
The handoff of a new customer between Sales and Customer Success is a critical moment in the customer lifecycle. But for many organizations, this transfer of customer knowledge is a disorganized mess, lacking clear requirements and fraught with tension or even downright distrust between the two teams involved. But it doesn’t need to be this way – and for the sake of your customers, it shouldn’t be this way.
In this webinar, Abby Hammer and Casey Altieri from ChurnZero will share tips to clarify and strengthen your customer handoffs between Sales and Customer Success. While working with Customer Success teams of all types and sizes, Casey and Abby have seen a lot of tactics that work – and a lot of tactics that don’t. They will share their top tips for consistently successful handoffs and building trust between your Sales and CS teams.
Abby Hammer, VP Products & Customer Success, ChurnZero
Casey Altieri, Lead Sales Executive, ChurnZero
Customer Success Around the Web
- Enterprise SaaS Churn Rates – What’s Acceptable? – Find out at what stage a company should be worried about their churn.
- Customer Success is a Team Sport – Learn how to play Customer Success as a team sport between all your different teams.
- Microsoft, Salesforce and SAP CEOs: Why Customer-Centric Revolution Changes Everything – Understand why the cloud’s ability to completely revolutionize customer engagement and customer experience has become the dominant topic for the CEOs.
Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero.