Helping Our Customers Succeed
Meet Valerie Potter, strategic customer success manager in Ireland
Few people can say they talk to customers as much as Valerie Potter, our strategic customer success manager and self-proclaimed "voice of the customer.”
Day-to-day, Valerie has a lot on her plate including customer calls, giving advice on training, onboarding, and helping to liaise with support on technical issues. But her most important task is making sure customers have what they need to be successful in their DevOps journey.
Despite loving what she does, customer success wasn’t always on Valerie’s radar. In fact, Valerie was a software engineer at HP – and later project manager – before even knowing what customer success was. However, after working for some time inside the confines of a development group, Valerie began to crave a wider range of social interactions. Eventually, Valerie left engineering for a more customer-facing position: customer success. Which soon led her to CloudBees.
"Coming to CloudBees completely transformed my career. There’s so much more freedom and you can tell CloudBees actually sees the value in customer success. Because of that, our relationships have stood the test of time.”
When asked where her gregarious disposition comes from, Valerie was quick to mention her past experience working in hospitality. "I just love meeting and talking with people,” she says. “I’ve always loved the energy and empathy I feel when interacting with people – especially in person. I truly believe face-to-face meetings help build stronger relationships.”
Though her job is tech-focused, Valerie says soft skills are as important as a technical background - maybe even more so. "Soft skills are crucial for customer-facing roles like customer success. Being comfortable and empathetic, managing their expectations, having good listening skills, presentation skills, and time management, are all as important as having a technical background,” she says.
At the end of the day, Valerie asserts, it’s not about individual success. It’s about how the Hive works together, the trust instilled in each other to do what’s best for the customer, and continuous improvement. The software business is all about continuous improvement, but so is CloudBees. "We’re constantly re-evaluating how we can best serve our customers and seeing what’s working and what’s not. I think the reason we’re so successful is because we work together,” she says. The level of trust within and across departments makes a world of difference when it comes to customer success.”