In the always-on world of SaaS, the role of customer success varies across companies and industries. Some teams are responsible for onboarding and training. Others manage subscriptions, software usage, renewals, upsells and other parts of the sales process. There are even more functions beyond those, but the point is: customer success is still being defined.
At InVision, our customer success team is responsible for managing the relationships with our most important users: Enterprise customers. This is our most advanced product available, and we serve customers across many different industries, from finance to technology startups and everything in between.
The roles we serve include designers (many definitions for this as well), product managers, engineers, business analysts, marketers and even C-level executives. My focus? Understanding my customer’s design process and workflow to ensure they understand how to best utilize InVision to improve their process. If these first two items are going well, my other responsibilities, which include renewals and account growth, are much easier!
Below is a preview of how the team at InVision defines customer success.
Do you ever have that one day where you have a million internal meetings? Monday is that day for me. There are always at least two weekly recurring meetings: product enablement and renewals overview. This week I also have a customer training.
9-11am Email catch up. We support customers all around the world from Australia to London, which means I usually have emails waiting for me first thing in the morning. I also use this time to plan for the week ahead.
11-12pm Weekly sales enablement meeting: Knowing our product inside and out is imperative to doing our job well. This weekly meeting is an opportunity to learn new features and brush up on old ones. Our team’s product evangelist runs this call and the agenda changes each week.
12-1pm Renewals overview: We begin the renewal process with our customers 60 days before the subscription expiration date. This meeting is important to go through upcoming renewals, accounts at risk and to help our sales team forecast for the quarter.
2-3pm Customer Training: We offer one-hour customized webinar-style training sessions for all of our Enterprise customers.
We generally have a 15-minute call ahead of the training to dig into the customer’s current process and tools and then cater the team’s session to the relevant workflows, integrations and best practices.
Visiting the design team at Airbnb at their offices in San Francisco for a few training sessions.
Taco Tuesday is more appealing than Training Tuesday but trainings are very important too. We take product education seriously on the customer success team.
10-11am Advanced Product Training: We’re lucky at InVision that we’ve had some loyal followers for years and thus many users are looking to take their product usage to the next level. This is when I bring in the “big guns” namely our Enterprise Product Gurus. These team members are part of the customer success team and have been with and/or using InVision for years -- so they know the platform’s technicalities inside and out. We focus on sync, advanced prototyping, security, team management and much more. I feel fortunate to have multiple resources to provide to customers. If I need to go deeper on training, we can do that.
12-1pm Craft by InVision Training: Craft is an award-winning suite of free plugins for Sketch and Photoshop that lets users pull real data into their designs in real time. This is pretty unique for InVision, and these plugins are incredibly helpful for our customers. When used correctly, Craft can seriously speed up a design team’s workflow using actionable data. When we released Craft earlier this year, all customer success managers reached out to their customers to offer quick and dirty trainings and many have taken us up on this.
1-1:30pm Enterprise Kickoff & Admin Training: Some of the Enterprise teams using InVision can get up to the thousands so the individuals who will be managing the account need to know how to do that. As soon as a customer comes on board, we ask to schedule a kickoff call. We want to ensure that our customers know what services are available to them, how to manage the account and most importantly, ensure they have a friendly face (voice) to connect with anytime they need anything.
2-4pm Work time. With so many meetings, it’s easy to not have any time to do actual work. What does that entail exactly? Going through alerts of customers who aren’t using their account, sending out account renewal notices, responding to training requests and much more. We usually have an event or two we’re supporting, which means inviting local customers and spreading the word.
We support customers all over the world, 24/7. This doesn’t happen everyday but today is an early one: I have a 7am call with a customer in India. The customer’s team is growing and they want to add more seats to the account. I’ve looped in the account executive to be present on the call. The AE handles finances and I’m there to make sure the customer is happy and see if we need to set up a training session(s) for the new users.
11-12pm User Research Meeting – InVision is in a unique position in that we are designing and building a platform for product designers, managers and developers. Therefore we have a customer base that is eager and willing to give us feedback, which is awesome. I love connecting my customers with our product team. These meetings, usually held over video conference, are a great opportunity for our team to receive invaluable feedback directly from users and for users to see and hear from our product team about roadmap, product decisions and much more. These sessions are mutually beneficial.
1-2pm Read the InVision Weekly Digest and catch up on blog - This is a block of time held on my calendar every week. It’s so important that we’re up to date on industries changes and happenings. I’m lucky that InVision has a great weekly email (that’s very popular) where I can easily access much of the most important information happening in our industry. I make a point to catch up on other trades as well. I want to know about big product releases for my customers, which I find on places like Product Hunt and TechCrunch. I’m always looking for reasons and unique ways to engage and reach out to my customers.
3-4pm Internal Product Briefing – This weekly meeting is an opportunity for us to connect with our product team to understand feature releases, improvements and focuses for our team. Since we are communicating with customers daily, it’s important for us to be up-to-date on product releases.
6-8pm Local Event – Attending technology and design events is crucial and I try to get to as many events as I can. Tonight, General Assembly is hosting a screening of our documentary DESIGN DISRUPTORS. I’m attending to give a quick intro to the film, answer questions and meet with any customers and users of InVision. Selfishly, I love attending these events because my conversations with our customers are overwhelmingly positive and I get to smile and feel proud about the company I work for. Pretty cool.
Leading a training session of designers, product managers and engineers at Fjord in New York City.
These are some of my favorite days: today I’m headed onsite to a customer’s office. I live in Austin, Texas and we have a good amount of customers in the area. InVision is unique with our distributed work model. We have customer success managers all over the U.S. This allows us to travel and meet with our customers in person rather than being siloed to one city. Our goal is to schedule three in-person meetings each month. The customer I’m visiting today has a beautiful office in downtown (and great lunch spots nearby so I’m ALWAYS happy to pay these guys a visit). I’m here at least once a quarter so these customers are pretty up to speed on the product. Today’s goal is to run through any new feature releases and talk roadmap. We take product feedback very seriously at InVision. All requests are escalated to our product team and considered for our backlog. We wish every feature request could be immediately built-in but that doesn’t always happen. We keep track of these requests and alert customers when relevant releases are made.
Myself and Rusty, my 1.5 year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. He swims all year round, no matter what the temperature is.
Today is a breeze: one training call and one renewal, then making sure my inbox is all caught up before I sign off for the weekend. You may have read on our job postings that InVision has half-day Fridays. Often we have customer calls or other meetings that need our attention but not today so I’m signing off early and taking my dog Rusty to the park.
Thanks for spending the week with me! I hope you enjoyed it.
About the Author
Angela is a product enthusiast who helps companies improve their design process and leverage InVision’s premiere Enterprise platform. She got her start in technology working for several Boston startups, in roles including (but not limited to): content writer, product manager, and utility player (whatever that means). Angela connects with her customers through a deep understanding of the challenges they face. When off duty, you’ll find Angela exploring her new city of Austin and exercising her high-maintenance retriever, Rusty. Follow Angela on Twitter @angelachisholm, sharing her favorite product pieces, bad jokes and of course, more pictures of her dog.Follow on Twitter More Content by Angela Chisholm