New Year’s Resolutions from the first Customer Success Meetup of 2014

January 22, 2014 John Kennedy

Dave Strang from Achievers replies to a audience question at the Customer Success Meetup event on January 22, 2014.

Have you set your Customer Success New Year’s Resolutions yet?

If not, you can find inspiration from members of the Customer Success Meetup group.  Last night, the third meetup event was held at the headquarters of Achievers.

The event consisted of a panel discussion.  The panelists included Mario Da Roza (Director of Customer Care at Trapeze Group), Kristian Gaetano (Manager, Customer Success at Achievers), Dave Strang (Team Lead, Professional Services at Achievers) and Jessica Weisz (Chief Customer Office at SoapBox).

Each panelist shared several experiences and responded to questions from the meetup community. Although their organization sizes, offerings, and experiences differed, they all shared a passion for ensuring the success of their clients.

Regardless of whether they are a “one woman team” or lead a large department, our panelists continue to evolve the role of customer success as they acquire more customers and lines blur between sales and professional services.

Key Takeaway: In your organization make sure that every department understands their contribution to the overall customer’s experience.  This helps you establish strong collaborative workgroups when challenges a raise.

Here’s a summary of what each panelist learned in 2013 and resolved for 2014:

Mario: Since joining Trapeze Group in the fall of 2013, Mario had to quickly get acquainted with the company’s technology and new team before he could roll out broad customer success initiatives.

In 2014, he plans to further define the role of customer success in the organization and “calm the nerves” of the sales team.

Kristian and Dave: For years, the customer success managers at Achievers have worn many hats.  In 2013, the organization began to introduce specialized roles as the company grew.  As a result, CSMs have had learn to “let things go”.

In 2014, the focus will shift to improving team productivity, global expansion, and reducing burdensome decision points for the customer.  Sometimes providing more options isn’t necessarily better as it often introduces anxiety and unnecessary complexity.

Jessica: In 2013, Jessica joined the SoapBox as their first Chief Customer Officer.  As she ramp up she recognized there steps that were often repeated when acquiring and onboarding customers.  This year, Jessica plans to automate as much as possible so she can focus on proactively engaging with her clients.

Growing Pains: All of the panelists are growing their teams.  Many expressed some difficulty in finding individuals with the right mix of “art and science” to fill their customer success roles.

The following companies are looking to fill customer success roles immediately:

I want to thank all of the panelists for sharing their insight.  I also want to thank the audience for contributing to the discussion.

Last but not least, I want to the thank Holly Tiesson and her team at Achievers for hosting the event.  They provided food and shelter on a cold winter night.

If you’d like to see a recording of the event, you can find it at  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/42958010.  The password is Cl13ntsuccess!

100 Members Strong:  I’m happy to announce that the meetup group has now received 100 members.  We’ve come a long way in just over 3 months.  Please continue to invite your colleagues.   There is always room for more.

 If you are not a member, join the meetup group today!

Look for our upcoming group survey and details about the next Customer Success Meetup coming to your inbox soon.

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