Founded in 2011, with offices in Edmonton and Toronto, Jobber Software has helped thousands of home service businesses be more successful.
When she joined in 2014, Justine Burns was Jobber’s first Customer Success hire. She’s now become the Director of Customer Success and has evolved her department into three distinct teams. We sat down with her to talk all things Customer Success and found out how she maintained a strong culture of empathy at scale.
Can you tell us about your responsibilities at Jobber?
I’m the Director of Customer Success and I’m in charge of 3 teams. We have a Product Coach Team, a Tier 2 Support Team, and a Support Team. It’s my job to make sure that I help each team member; I facilitate their performance, help them grow at Jobber, and at the same time facilitate the overall strategy of the department. I oversee team growth, structure, and KPIs.
How did you get started in Customer Success, and how has your path led you to your current role?
My dad owned a restaurant when I was a kid, so I’ve been working in the service industry since the age of 14. At a certain point, I decided I wanted to get out of the restaurant industry, but I still loved the people aspect of it. I knew Sam Pillar, the CEO of Jobber, and it got me interested in the tech industry. I kept on asking him for a job, and I made my way to becoming the first Customer Success employee at Jobber.
How is your team structured, why, and how has that structure evolved over time?
It started with me and then slowly, as we kept adding people, I navigated towards a Supervisor role which was still very hands on. Up until last year, we were a single team of about 10 people and we realized we could start making things more efficient by branching out some of the duties, and that’s where Tier 2 Support came into place. Tier 2 is taking all of the day-to-day technical stuff off of the support team’s plate.
Then, we noticed that product coaching impacted our abandon rate greatly. We decided to dedicate 2 people to full-time product coaching.
Our Customer Success funnel starts with the Sales team identifying qualified leads and ensuring there’s a good fit. Once the customer enters their credit card information, we send them over to Product Coaches and give all of them some one-on-one training.
After that, we monitor usage and activity and reach out proactively to increase adoption. Once we know they’re going to stick, it’s in the support team’s hands to answer any technical questions or issues that might come up.
What is the most unique thing about the way your team functions?
I think that all the people who are part of this team are all very unique, friendly, wonderful, caring, and respectful… and they have a great sense of humor! There’s a strong feeling of belonging and an understanding that what they do is truly helping our customers succeed as business owners. This shows in the way team members work together as part of a team - it’s heartwarming and motivating.
At Jobber, we really care about culture. Our hiring managers have to submit all applicants to culture interviews before hiring them. For Customer Success, this is essential inasmuch as I’m hiring people who love people, it’s what I care about and it’s 100% something that matters as the team grows.
For Customer Success, it's essential to hire people who love people.
What is the biggest challenge facing your team, and how do you address it?
The main challenge has to be communication. The processes we had in place yesterday won’t always work today, and it will constantly be a challenge as we grow. We need to be on Slack at all times and be responsive to other team members, especially in regards to our new office in Toronto. We have very specific Slack channels and if someone on the team has a question, it needs to be answered very fast. Everyone has a sense of responsibility towards other teammates, which makes it easier. We have running meeting notes, so if someone has to miss a meeting, it’s their responsibility to get up to speed. We have daily stand-ups and a general weekly meeting with both the Toronto and Edmonton offices, which is recorded on Zoom and accessible by everyone.
Su, Paddy, Rebecca, Connor, Colin, and Morgan from Toronto checking in on the Edmonton office.
What does the culture of Customer Success look like at Jobber?
There are two ways I can answer this: the actual culture of the Customer Success team, and how the company as a whole views Customer Success. As I mentioned earlier, the Customer Success team truly cares about our customers and that’s the focal point of its culture. At Jobber, more generally speaking, Customer Success is a highly valued team because they know our customers best. If we are going to be building a product that is meaningful to our customers, we need to know and understand what their actual needs are, not what we think they are. The best way to get these insights is through the Customer Success team, so the company as a whole truly respects us for being on the front lines.
Customer Success is a highly valued team because they know our customers best.
How has your user base evolved over time, and how has that affected the way your team operates?
It’s so funny, when I started, a lot of the people that were coming to us were just using pen and paper to run their businesses, and Excel spreadsheets for the more technical ones. Our customers at the time didn’t even realize that software could save them time and money. We had to do a lot of hand-holding and walk them through every single piece of the product. The Sales team would do hour-long demos with our customers to get them up to speed. The mentality has changed a lot since then, there’s a common understanding that technology can help them run a more efficient business. This means less hand-holding, but greater expectations in terms of what they need, and what they want. Our customers now hold us more accountable than ever, so we get more feature requests and more feedback on the product. With that, our job has shifted from mainly walking customers through the platform to finding new systems and processes to feed those feedback items back to our product and leadership teams.
What does a typical day look like for a member of your team?
We rotate between phone, chat, and email support on daily basis. Flipping people around helps us prevent burn out and it keeps it interesting. We have a morning meeting with everyone in both Toronto and Edmonton discussing issues that might be coming up. From 2 o’clock onwards, once we’re caught up on the day-to-day stuff, people are able to work on other projects. One of our employees built out an entire evangelist program by herself. She made the entire thing happen, from building to implementing the program, and now manages it. Another team member runs all our webinars and collaborates on content with the Jobber Academy team. I have other people working to improve processes with our support tools on their own and fully owning the projects they’re working on. I always try to facilitate cross-functional projects and as much as possible I recommend my team members for new roles in different departments. We’re a startup, so there’s a lot of room for growth.
One of our employees built out an entire evangelist program by herself. She made the entire thing happen.
What metrics do you watch closely?
We call abandon rate the number of people who enter their credit card information but don’t end up paying us when the time comes. I focus heavily on this metric, especially since our Product Coaches are responsible for one-on-one training and following up with customers to drive engagement and adoption. Any spike in that rate indicates that something isn’t working well and that there are some processes we need to change. Of course, I closely watch our churn rate. More specifically, I look at when people are churning, if there’s a trend for high churn at the 3 months mark, we need to understand why and create processes to address the issue.
I’m not too obsessed with quantity, but I focus heavily on satisfaction ratings. We have a really high CSAT score but we can always improve by looking at individual feedback items. If multiple people are saying the same thing, we need to pay closer attention and adjust. Similarly, we analyze cancellation reasons. Customers now have to call us to cancel, which is more work for us but allows us to have one last conversation and identify the reason for cancellation almost systematically.
What is the most powerful part of your Customer Success process?
I think what makes us special and makes the customer journey at Jobber so powerful is the people aspect of it. Our customers know us, they feel comfortable getting a hold of us, and they know they are being listened to. That’s not something you can put a process on. Our customers are small business owners and they are so passionate and proud of their work, so when they call us they want a real human being with whom they can connect with and who recognizes the uniqueness of their experience. That’s what we’ve built so far and it’s still our north star.
Our customers know us, they feel comfortable getting a hold of us, and they know they are being listened to.
What role did Customer Success play in developing the overall business strategy at Jobber?
It’s been huge. Customer Success touches on every single part of the company, and it’s what we’re known for. If you look at our review sites, our Customer Success is what makes us stand out from other companies. Most companies can’t - or don’t want to - maintain the support level that we have. It all comes from the culture of the founders, and it has only grown since day 1.
Every single new hire has to go through what we call Jobber’s “Welcome Mat” - it’s a fully automated onboarding program that was created and driven by a team of employees here.
The first week, we introduce new hires to customer empathy, customer pain points, and how the product solves them. In short, we make sure new hires understand the product, the customers, and how the two connect.
During week 2, all new hires sit with the Customer Success team and answer chats. The best way to get to know the customer is to talk to them and allowing everyone to do so keeps the company and product customer-focused at scale.
Customer Success touches on every single part of the company, and it’s what we’re known for
How do you keep on learning about Customer Success?
Personally speaking, I read a lot of blogs and magazines, but they don’t have to be Customer Success related to have an impact. Our CEO is very good at getting me in touch with other Directors of Customer Success with whom I can discuss pain points we’re encountering and get advice on how to handle them. Having conversations with other companies and people who are doing Customer Success in their own ways definitely helped me learn and grow. In Edmonton, there’s a group of people I’ve been getting together with to discuss Customer Success and exchange ideas. For instance, we chat about how to roll out an NPS program into a company, and other things along these lines. Edmonton is a smaller city, so the tech scene and the Customer Success community that comes with it is only getting started.
As a team, we make sure to share good articles with each other, and we assign topics to people so that we can have them present new information to the team and discuss new ideas.
At the end of the day, how can you tell that you’ve made your customer successful?
This is a really difficult question. One way is through the passion and engagement of our customers. When they call us about feature requests (good or bad), it’s apparent that they’re successful and want to help us make Jobber even better. Engagement is another strong indicator, customers using the product and changing the way they run their business as a result means success. I think the feedback we get and the connection we have built with our customers is a strong indicator that we’re doing something right.
In your everyday life, what does success look like?
I love connecting with people so, so much. I’m definitely an extrovert, and meeting people, connecting with them, having conversations, that means success to me. That idea pours down in every single part of Jobber, and in my personal life, which is why I know I’m doing something right.
Do you have one piece of advice for Customer Success professionals who are just getting started?
If you’re not completely passionate about people, don’t bother. Customer Success isn’t the right industry if connecting with people isn’t what makes you happy, and you should go into another stream that better aligns with your interests. The driver for a CSM is that true belief that you can make a customer successful using the piece of software you work with, whatever it is. That belief comes from a love of people and caring deeply about their success.
The driver for a CSM is that true belief that you can make a customer successful using the piece of software you work with.
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