In an endless effort to provide the best customer experience for all subscribers, consistently and effectively, what does Customer Success imply for myself at CloudBees? The practical answer is to reduce churn, grow recurring revenue and increase product adoption. How does this become reality, though? There’s no magical “button of success” to achieve these goals and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. From the start, I need to understand what matters most to my customers from their point of view to build a relationship with integrity and credibility. Only then can I provide trustworthy and reliable advice while working alongside the customer to meet their goals. I always want to add value in some facet with each interaction, even if it’s a quick email.
At the end of the day it’s about improving the software delivery cycle as a whole. At CloudBees we utilize a customer-centric engagement model to drive value, and in turn, we seek to establish a regular meeting cadence with customers. This allows me to create a customer journey/roadmap that includes specific goals and timelines. I want to know what is going to make you, as the customer, successful and help create a path to success that includes a sense of accountability.
Customer Success is an emerging market, but it’s permeating throughout all sectors of business. It’s becoming even more important for enterprises to adopt a customer engagement model conducive to positive, regular conversations. Implementing change into an organization is a daunting task, specifically for larger entities, but it is become more evident that an effective CS model executed 100% of the time produces positive results.
Lastly, I’ll speak briefly to the factors I believe to be most influential in qualifying customer success.
Trust. Trust is imperative to establish credibility and a positive, professional rapport. You cannot have mutual respect without trust!
Advocate for the customer. I’m not referring to advocacy in the sense that “the customer is always right.” I’m referring to advocacy in a sense of truly understanding your customer’s needs, wants and timelines to achieve their goals. Having this understanding gives CSMs the ability to advocate for the customer on a truly individual level and work together to make sure that the customer is never wrong. When there’s mutual respect and transparency, we’re in the journey to success together.
Know your product well. Do you have to become extremely technical? No. Will it benefit those of us working in customer success to become more technical and understand the product better? Yes.
Hire the right people. Teamwork really does make the dream work.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Fail fast. I’m not afraid to fail because I learn from my mistakes. The internal support surrounding this methodology makes it effective and enables continuous growth - personally and professionally.
Customer Success Manager