It’s time for another 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.
Today we are showcasing – Sam Schneider, the VP of Client Success at Bloomfire. Her department is responsible for onboarding, support, services, and retention of Bloomfire’s customers. Sam has over 16 years of experience in consulting, product management, and leading customer success teams.
Bloomfire is a knowledge sharing platform designed to capture, share, and grow knowledge that already exists within an organization. Bloomfire allows teams to improve productivity and customer centricity by creating a self-service knowledge base. The platform preserves knowledge and makes it searchable so that employees can access and use it whenever they need it.
So without further ado, let’s hear what’s Sam’s take on the Customer Success industry as well as some trusted advice she’s used along the way.
Sam Schneider, VP of Client Success, Bloomfire
Q: What do you think is a common misconception about Customer Success?
A: I believe it’s common practice to treat Customer Success as Account Management or just a support function. Customer Success is a relationship-focused business methodology that relies on people, processes, and tools. If implemented well, it will have mutually beneficial outcomes for the company and customers.
Q: How have you influenced growth at Bloomfire?
A: I took over as head of Client Success in April of 2018. We had the right people on our team, but we needed to invest in technology to scale and formalize processes. I’m naturally an empiricist and like to make decisions based on data. My goal with this tool was to present better customer reporting to executive leadership so that we would collectively understand the health of our client base.
After an extensive search, we purchased Churnzero this year. Since implementation, I’ve created KPIs for tracking support tickets, onboarding timeframes, customer satisfaction, and retention trends. We’ve mapped out new customer journeys and important post-purchase touchpoints. Our onboarding health scores are now incredibly positive, and we ensure that the sales to onboarding handoff is seamless. All metrics are moving in the right direction: retention has increased, CSAT scores have improved, and we are better able to identify upsell opportunities.
Q: What characteristics do you look for when hiring CSMs?
A: I look for diversity because I don’t believe there is an exact recipe for a great Client Success Manager. Bloomfire is a platform that arguably any company can use. We work with organizations across multiple industries, and their business leaders often require different levels of support. I focus more on pairing the right CSM to a Bloomfire champion because this leads to the best outcomes. We focus on hiring CSMs with different personalities, backgrounds, and experience that will elevate the overall skill level of the team and prevent groupthink.
Q: What’s something you wish you first knew when starting out in Customer Success?
A: It’s ok to say no. It is incredibly difficult being the bearer of bad news, especially with my natural instinct of wanting to delight a customer. Being able to say no is an important skill to hone for anyone that is client-facing. Over the years, I’ve learned there are ways of saying no that can provide a positive impression and build credibility with the customer.
Q: What’s the best career advice you’ve gotten?
A: Don’t wait for someone to assign you a task. If you see a process or tool that needs improvement, take initiative.
Q: What’s the best thing a customer has ever said to you?
A: Can we work for you? This means we have the total package. The customer loves our product, team, and company culture.
Thanks to Sam for participating in our spotlight and we look forward to talking to and sharing insights from others in the Customer Success community!
Follow these links to check out tips from our previous spotlights.
- Brooke Goodbary, Customer Success Expert, dataxu
- Marcel Andrei, Customer Success and Product Marketing Manager, Paymo
- George Boyar, Head of Customer Success, Mentor Collective
- Brett Andersen, Director of Client Success, Degreed
- Jason Conrad, Associate Partner, Customer Imperative
Stay tuned for our next Customer Success professional spotlight!
Rethinking Customer Onboarding to Accelerate Success
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
Speaker: Jason Whitehead
Increasingly, Customer Success teams talk about helping customers successfully achieve their desired business outcomes, yet they do very little during onboarding to help customers achieve the results they require. Instead, many onboarding efforts are ineffective and often are narrowly focused on the technology itself.
Many of your customers lack the internal knowledge, expertise and infrastructure they need to successfully achieve their business goals using your (or any) software! It is time to boldly revamp your onboarding process to instead focus where your customers struggle the most – developing the capacity to drive internal success on their own.
This webinar presents a proven model that you can use to help customers quickly shift their approach and build their capacity to drive their own internal success with your software.
Join the webinar to learn:
- Why most onboarding efforts are ineffective and do not set your customers up for success with your software
- Why your customer struggle to achieve their goals and how you can to help them create their own internal success team
- Specific tactics you can use to quickly improve your onboarding approach to be a force multiplier in driving customers success, while reduce the workload on your CS team
Customer Success Around the Web
- How to Achieve Net Negative Churn By Using Value Metrics in Your Pricing– Find out what the secret is to unlocking the magic of net negative churn.
- Keeping Up With Account Planning in a Fast Paced Environment– Learn how to ensure you can keep your account plans up-to-date and valuable.
- Why Surviving the Subscription Economy is About People, Not Products – Check out how you survive the ever evolving subscription economy.
Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero.