Paul Foster who heads up Skylan Recruitment Ltd speaks to Peter Davies, a seasoned leader in Customer Success joined us on our DigiTech Leaders Series to give us the answers.
0:57 Learn about Peter Davies background on Customer Success
He started on 2007/2008 as a Wealth Manager at Wells Fargo. After that he joined TechSpace which lead him to join a high-growth, start-up or HR start-up Hibob. Then, Total Synergy, a sydney-based architect space company. More recently, Currencycloud, a prominent fintech company.
3:20 How soon should businesses start to employ Customer Success strategy?
There’s never a bad time to start putting efforts into retaining, growing, and getting customers to value sooner. It really depends on your budget and where you can put your pennies.
4:50 When should we start thinking about Customer Success?
I think we start off with an idea and a premise that we have a gap in the market and we want to try and build to that niche. Having a feedback early is really valuable.
5:40 What kind of common mistakes have you seen in Customer Success?
One of the biggest mistakes is not knowing what it is in reality and just labeling it It should really be fully understood by everybody of the senior management in the business and then from there down, philosophically and functionally, what it is. Not getting philosophically aligned behind it and not applying the right strategy and approaches for their product services based around the complexity of product or industry.
7:54 When it comes to Customer Success, how are people defining it and how it should be defined as?
It’s data-led and data- informed. It’s proactive and value-driven. You’re driving towards key outcomes, rather than preventing problems. Customer Service is all about being on the front line, reacting to customer issues that they’ve discovered, and trying to help them with that.
9:27 What kind of metrics should Customer Success teams/leaders be using?
The most impactful is the one that’s relevant for you. It’s not a cop-out, it’s difficult, it has a bit of delay. To do it properly it would take at least probably 6 to 12 months. KPI metrics, if for pure CS, time to value, on-boarding times, retention so either logo retention or revenue retention. NPS, more of a lagging indicator, But that and CSAT, are more important for understanding impact and satisfaction, feedback loop.
12:34 What are some of the best techniques that have minimized churn and reduced it?
Little to no data on why clients had churned. Once you know, you can look at the reasons behind the reasons and factor these into your health score. Monitor and act proactively and get ahead of the churn.
14:33 Which tools would you recommend for Customer Success?
Salesforce and Gainsight, it enables to create health scores and calls to action. Zendesk, a support tool and a customer success tool. Intercom is a powerful tool, Gainsight have Journey Orchestrator, which is a communications tool you can use to lead people to send out messages. In-app chat, for guidance and engagement. Gainsight have dashboarding features, but Tableau is there and it’s integrating with Gainsight soon as well.
16:31 What are the key skills/ attributes of a good or strong Customer Success Manager?
Skills is most important. A good talk from Pulse, talks about what to look for, what kind of make up do Customer Success Managers with different stages of growth for a company. They led between domain knowledge and customer success management experience. The number one thing I hire for is empathy because you can teach people new skills but you can’t teach them to genuinely care about the customer or care about what you’re trying to achieve.
18:34 What would you say is the difference between a good Customer Success Manager versus an excellent Customer Success Manager?
The difference between a great and exceptional CSM would be, go through the motion of Customer Success and practice it as a profession and exceptional ones really care.
20:28 How do you see Customer Success in the future in terms of its ability to evolve?
It’s sort of an amorphous being, stretching into all departments of a company. I see it in 20 years time, just the Customer Success and everything else just slotting in. There’s a natural move towards Customer Success Managers having more commercial impact on the business.
Curious about the Pulse and the blue book to Customer Success? Visit the sites below to know more:
Check out other interesting blogs: https://skylanrecruitment.co.uk/blog/
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