CS Insider Report #3 (Feb 16)

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A note from the editor

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Our third report has arrived! It's PACKED with resources, interesting tech, events, my grandmother's cobbler recipe...other things. I don't know just read it. Also β€”> Give your feedback here.

Please make sure to subscribe below to get our condensed insider reports, delivered fresh from the oven at 550 degrees. Make sure let it cool for 15 minutes before opening πŸ”₯

πŸ‘‰ Follow me on LinkedIn!

CS Insider Family
CS Insider Family

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Have only a few moments? ⌚ Here are my top favorites for the last two weeks.

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πŸ“š RESOURCES:

Exploring the Customer Health Ecosystem graphic - Jamie Robson
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Interview Questions for a CS Role - Erika Villarreal

πŸ“ ARTICLES:

πŸ–₯️ VIDEOS:

Critical Lessons from Customer Success Leaders - Quala
  • Why Customer Success Platforms Have It All Wrong - Jake Sorofman & Rick Adams
  • Part 2
    Part 3
How to Create a Customer Journey Map - CSM Practice with Angela Han & Shirley Chapman
How to Apply Change Management Principles in Customer Success - Customer Success Network with Kate Forgione

🎧PODCASTS:

Digital Customer Success - Women in Customer Success with Anika Zubair
How to Make Customer Success a Discipline - Customer Success Leader with Tanya Strauss

πŸ•ΉοΈ TECH:

Affinity Canvas - Cut your customer onboarding time in half.
Otter.ai - Generate rich notes for meetings, interviews, lectures, and other important voice conversations with Otter, your AI-powered assistant.
Hugo - A tool for better meetings through centralized, actionable notes – connected to your work apps.
Screenity - The most powerful screen recorder for Chrome. Quickly capture, annotate, edit, and more for your customers.

🎫 EVENTS

SPECIAL Fireside Chat w/Allison + The Customer Success Economy "BookShop" - PulseLocal
CS Speed Networking Mixer - CS Insider
CSM Mastermind: Managing Change Effectively - SuccessCOACHING

PREVIOUS PLAYLISTS
February 2nd, 2021

πŸ“š RESOURCES:

πŸ“ ARTICLES:

Retention Deficit: How To Keep Customers by Talking About More Than Your Product β€” Churn Zero

Summary

  • If you want more than a one-dimensional relationship with your customers, focusing on product talk isn't enough; you need to focus on the customer. This includes going beyond surface small talk and what the author calls, "Stong Talk." This includes talking about your struggles, challenges, successes, and current conundrums.
"When you use Strong Talk, you discuss recent challenges with your customer and even ask for their advice. You also share your learnings when you know they’re experiencing a familiar challenge."

Tips:

  • Be timely with when you engage in Strong Talk. Every meeting shouldn't always steer into Strong Talk territory.
  • Be courteous and thank your customers when they share their struggles. Their vulnerability is a good sign of your relationship strength so thank them.
  • Plan, but don't script your Strong Talk. This needs to be a natural conversation and isn't something you can force. It might take time to grow your relationship to where you can share more intimate details.
  • Write down your Strong Talk notes so you can reference them and follow up later on. Show that you are actively listening and care about what happens next. Additionally, this is a signal to you to engage in Strong Talk more frequently.
  • Maintain balance with your Strong Talk exchange. If they provide you with their struggles or concerns, make sure to pay them back with yours.
  • Remember, your customers are human too.

Questions to Consider

  • How can you grow a fresh perspective of your customer's challenges and struggles during your conversations. How we you cultivate a stronger customer/csm bond?

🎞️ INSTAGRAM:

πŸŽ™οΈPODCASTS:

πŸ•ΉοΈ TECH:

  • Flatfile β€” Ease the burden of onboarding and data implementation.
  • Kumu β€” Organize complex data into relationship maps that look beautiful

🎫 EVENTS

January 18th, 2021

⏭️ I see a lot of momentum growing in the community, especially on LinkedIn. Along with following the top CS influences, don't forget to connect with those who are just getting started in their careers. Who knows, they might be on the list next year

⏭️ Join us for our first CS Insider Mixer, a fun evening of speed networking. Here how things will go down:

πŸ‘‰ Participants will be broken up into 1:1 mixer rooms.

πŸ‘‰ Each mixer room will have a few prompts to get the conversation started and will last five minutes each.

πŸ‘‰ There will be a total of 8 mixer room rounds.

πŸ‘‰ Each round we encourage everyone to connect on LinkedIn to keep the conversation going.

Boom! By attending you'll meet and connect with eight CS professionals.

*Space is limited to the first 50 registrations.

⏭️ Salesforce put together a really interesting article on the future of Customer Success. It's not about making our customers happy. Because budgets are tighter and uncertainly is still present, customers expect to see value quickly. Thus, our experiences have to focus on getting them to their desired outcomes.

⏭️ Along with their new article, Salesforce and MetaCX released a new eBook, "The New North Star: Experience is the Method, Outcomes are the Goal". Check it out!

⏭️ mmhmm, a new tech platform, is something to keep an eye on as it can really help spice up your meetings.

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Kristi Faltorusso starts her brand new "CS Real Simple" series & pumps out a ton of great content and graphics. She's on fire!
Jeannie Walters explains why non-customer-facing teams need customer experience training.
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Alex Farmer explains how professional services and customer success teams can work together.
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Kristen Hayer asks the question, "Should Customer Success Managers sell?"
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Liane Cafarate wants to kill check-in calls.
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Ali Topaz discusses how to avoid customer no-shows.
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Guy Rahamim talks about self-growth.
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Julie Pine Parker asks how to manage your 1 to many.
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Kourtney Ezeamuzie gives 6 insights from her first 60 days as a CSM.
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Vincent Conti recaps a recent Customer Success Executives Roundtable and how a CS strategy roadmap can help a company.
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Guru Prasanna shares 6 new QBR ideas for modern-day CSMs.
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Erika Villarreal & Ashna Patel present their CS Raving Fans Bookclub Credo.
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Maranda Ann Dziekonski shares quick tips around metrics.
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Maranda Ann Dziekonski shares quick tips around CSM to CSM handoffs.
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Maranda Ann Dziekonski shares quick tips on talking with your manager about your career path.
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Markus Rentsch distinguishes between acquisition-led vs. customer-value-led business model.
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Ronni Gaun takes a long-term view of cultivating human relationships.
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Anita Toth's poll about NPS ended with 360 votes. See the results!
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PREVIOUS TRENDING POSTS
February 2nd, 2021
Abhijeet Khadilkar defines CS as a mindset.
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Jeff Breunsbach shares example metrics, all on one-slide.
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Ashna Patel's book club met for the second time to discuss "The Customer Success Professional's Handbook".
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Tanuj Diwan discusses the right way to create customer personas.
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Maranda Ann Dziekonski gives her tips for re-engaging unresponsive customers.
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Marija Skobe-Pilley discusses how to have a successful partnership between Customer Success and Sales.
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Kristi Faltorusso discusses the importance of customer first meetings.
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Brian LaFaille asks what proactive customer success looks like.
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Guy Rahamim wants all his customers to prance like a joyful deer.
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Rebecca Nerad recommends some great CS books.
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Erika Villarreal reveals that Customer Success chose her!
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Diana De Jesus gets real and talks about the fear of not being good enough.
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Guru Prasanna shares his 6 new QBR ideas for modern-day CRMs.
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January 18th, 2021

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Namaste πŸ™πŸ½

Welcome to Ashna's Corner! As you get replenished with Brandon's CS recipes, I am here to provide you with your weekly dose of SELF-SUCCESS.

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February: UNPLUG

This week in the 'Self-Success' episode, Ashna is here to help you unplug. Whether it's for an hour, a day or a week- let's remember to take a break!! (It rhymes😁... well, sorta!!)

πŸ‘€ What comes to your mind when you hear "unplugging"? According to Ashna, to unplug is to detach yourself from your daily habits that can tire you if overdone!!

You could do- digital or tech unplug, social unplug or simple mind unplug!

That's what we will be focusing on this week! Although, you are in Ashna's corner & she's got a little exercise for you with this week's dose of success! All about practicing Self- Success while unplugging 😎

For the next few days, Ashna wants you to center your mind around some of your daily habits & try changing it up a bit-

  1. Pick a habit (ex. 2 hours of TV a day)
  2. Change it a bit (instead, go for an hour of TV and another hour of TEdTalk or an extra hour of shut eye or an hour of simply listening to music or an extra hour with family.
  3. Practice it for 3 days- see the difference πŸ˜‡

Do NOT quit your habits, instead, perform them slightly differently! And make a habit of thatπŸ™

πŸ‘‰ Follow & reach out to Ashna on LinkedIn to learn and chit chat more about Customer Success & Self-Success.

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Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi! πŸ– I’m Erika! I found my passion in Customer Success 9 years ago when I joined a small financial institution in Mexico. Co-founded ePesos, a Fintech company that offers payroll advance as a service in a B2B2C business model. Recently joined SmartMoving Software, a specialized CRM for the moving industry. 🚚

I’m a Customer Success enthusiast, wearer of many hats, curious by nature and a process addict.Β  I’m happiest when I’m able to translate customer data into actionable insights that help improve customer experience and drive success. When I’m not geeking on Customer Success, I like traveling the world and getting to know different cultures (and food). I’ve visited over 20 different countries and counting.

What you are looking forward to most in 2021 with where CS is heading?

I’m looking forward to seeing this profession continue to grow and more companies from all different industries (not only SaaS) start adopting a customer-centric culture. 2020 showed us how critical our customers are to get through the uncertainty of external threats like COVID.

What's your spirit animal?

The tiger. The tiger holds great passion and energy. They choose wisely their battles. They do not waste their efforts on something that will not give them something positive in return. As a tiger, I’m competitive, self-confident and brave. Time is short, spend your energy on things that make you happy and fulfilled!

What one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started in CS as a career.

Plan ahead. Customer Success requires you to be very organized and plan your week carefully to make sure you cover all of your responsibilities. Customers like hearing back from you quickly. Look for project management tools that will allow you to follow-up timely, take advantage of your CRM and enjoy the ride!

Where people can find you?

I’m working on my blog, its not ready yet.

PREVIOUS SPOTLIGHTS
February 2nd. 2021
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Tell us a little about yourself!

My name is Guy, age 34 from Israel. After my army service as an officer (it is mandatory in Israel), I worked in the ministry of foreign affairs as a security officer. I was lucky enough that my work took me the so many places, such as India, Africa, LATAM, Europe, and Asia.

The time I spent abroad really shaped me and taught me a lot about different types of cultures. I love reading (Haruki Murakami is my favorite author), walking my silly Huskey dog (Toffee), and exploring new places. Today I am a CSM in a start-up company in the web security field (API Security).

What you are looking forward to most in 2021 with where CS is heading?

I think that 2020 made more than a few changes in the CSMs work. Beyond the impact on activities and tasks like renewals, onboarding, and adoption, the most affected one in my eyes is how we create and maintain relationships with the customer's stakeholders. Doing it efficiently will require some out the box thinking and engaging in new ways.

What's your spirit animal?

My spirit animal (if mythical animals can be considered as well) would be the Phoenix. It represents for me that's life sometimes can knock you down but however difficult the challenge you face you can come back stronger from it.

What one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started in CS as a career.

The advice I would give for someone who is taking his first steps in the CSM world is to ask as many questions as needed and not rest until you will have the answer you wanted. It could be from teammates, LinkedIn groups, CSM leaders, or a google search. The begging is crucial for building a well-founded base of understanding the CSM world.

January 18th, 2021
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Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m a Texan that’s currently living in the beautiful Arizona desert. My wife and I are proud parents of a lab-mix pup named Harley. My passions include cooking carb-filled meals, trail running, traveling, and all things Customer Success/Experience. I love collaborating with fellow CSM’s and sharing my tips and insights with my network. Everyone is welcome to check out and contribute to my blog site www.cswhisperer.org

What are you most looking forward to in 2021 with Customer Success?

Customer Success is growing at a rapid pace. It’s very exciting to be a part of it. One thing I look forward to is seeing more CS/CX professionals becoming thought leaders. More companies are seeing the value in CS and need the proper training on how to hire the best CSM’s and implement a CS strategy, among other things. These thought leaders will be great resources for these companies looking to scale and retain clients.

What's your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a wolf because they travel in packs and draw strength from each other.

Where can people find you?

Use LinkedIn to connect with as many CS professionals as you can. There are so many talented CSM’s that post incredible content on LinkedIn. You can learn a lot just by scrolling through your feed every morning.

Twitter/Clubhouse: @cswhisperer

Instagram: saasy_csm

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Equipping Sales Reps with the Benefits of Dedicated CSMs

Instead of every sales rep describing the benefits of a CSM differently, we decided to streamline and standardize our messaging – simplifying their job and ensuring consistent expectations.

What: A document that equips our sales team to better explain the purpose and value of a dedicated customer success manager during the sales process.

Why: Enabling sales reps to organically introduce the customer success team during the sales process and effectively highlight the value that comes from working with an organization dedicated to their success.

How: We created multiple versions of the same slide, knowing that sales reps all have different methods and preferences when interacting with potential customers.

  • Option 1: A minimalistic PPT slide intended to be added to a slide deck that serves as a presentation aid for the sales rep (e.g. during a video call, on-site presentation).

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  • Option 2: An icons & bullets PPT slide intended to aid a sales rep on a call when they don’t have visuals to assist them, but still want to make sure they hit all the key points.

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  • Option 3: A leave-behind, text-heavy PDF version to be used in lieu of a conversation when getting the customer on the phone isn’t possible or they’ve specifically asked for a hard-copy of the information presented.

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This was well-received by our sales reps who appreciated the customer success team creating meaningful content that they could seamlessly incorporate into their existing sales process.

And as Steve Jobs would say, β€œThere is one more thing…”

When most of us traditionally think about the marketing collateral Customer Success can help create, our minds usually jump to case studies, references, and quotes. However, we wanted to quantify and showcase the value our Managed DLP team has provided to customers recently – value like increased DLP maturity, a risk reduction snapshot, and headcount savings. This document equipped sales reps with hard data around the benefits that our MDLP customers experience. They loved it!

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If you have any questions or would like to know more about socializing a similar concept at your company, feel free to reach out to Kourtney and Joshua on LinkedIn.

Want to share your CS resource with the community during our next CS Show and Tell? Just fill out this form! πŸ™Œ

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It's never fun when a customer stops responding to your emails and ghosts your meetings.

As a Customer Success Manager, how have you re-engaged your unresponsive customers in the past? What advice do you have for those who are dealing with this issue?

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πŸŽ‰ Betty Chao completed Level 1 of the Certified Customer Success Manager Program.

πŸŽ‰ Zach Byard completed Level 3 of the Certified Customer Success Manager Program.

πŸŽ‰ Kristi Faltorusso was recognized as a 2021 Engagement Expert by Higher Logic.

πŸŽ‰ Rashida Hodge has joined the Microsoft Customer Success family as Vice President of Customer Success.

πŸŽ‰ Ankit Girwal got a new job as Senior Customer Success Manager at Zenoti.

PREVIOUS COMMUNITY WINS
January 18th, 2021
February 2nd, 2021

πŸ‘ Irit Eizips made the Top 100 Global Inspirational Leaders of 2021. Congrats Irit!

πŸ‘ Brandon Cestrone got a new job as Senior Customer Success Manager. Way to go me!

πŸ‘ Sarah Doughty has joined the Winning by Design team as a Customer Success Architect.

πŸ‘ Jeremy Donaldson welcomes his 3rd future (customer success) leader come May 2021.

πŸ‘ Kimberly Bara completed Level 3 of the Certified Customer Success Manager program.

πŸ‘ Guy Rahamim reached Level 2 of CCSMP!

πŸ‘ Women in Customer Success launched their own Slack community. Check them out!

πŸ‘ Bhavika & Lotte started their own CS chat show!

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