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Q: Despite being a top performer at my current job, I feel unfulfilled. Given the current economic climate, should I take the risk and join a new company or stay put? If I do decide to explore other opportunities, how can I tell if the new company is a safe bet with solid fundamentals in this uncertain economy?
I am so sorry to hear you’re not getting what you need from your current role, I’ve been there myself. I have to admit, earlier in my career, I would have stayed in a role because I thought I had to, or I prioritized the needs of the business or my team over my own. After years of navigating these choices I’ve taken a different approach - I now prioritize my happiness and fulfillment.
Regardless of the economy, it doesn’t hurt to start looking. While the market may not be “hot” there are tons of companies that are hiring and one of them could potentially meet your needs.
When scouting companies it’s important to be prepared prior to your search, to save you, and the company, a ton of time and heartache. Here are a few things you can do that will help you in your search and make sure you land at the right place.
The last piece I will leave you with is to trust your gut. Spend enough time asking questions and conversing with folks during the process. Get a feel for their moods, energy level, enthusiasm, preparedness etc. When you know you know.
I wish you a ton of luck and hope you find a happy home.
Q: When clients cancel or do not renew, what questions should I ask them?
First, it’s important to understand that churn will happen and how you treat your customers as they leave is as important as how you treat them when they come onboard. Part of this is making sure you understand what went wrong and what you could have done to continue to earn their business. One of the things we do as customers are leaving is conduct an exit interview, this allows us to ensure we have the best understanding of what happened and why they decided to leave.
When conducting the interview we start with recapping what we know about the situation. This helps the customer understand what we know and don’t know about their journey and our hope is that they feel we have been dialed in to the partnership.
There are a few questions we will ask to better understand things from the customers point of view and focus on experience, product and market.
Q: What are the top 10 CS platforms and how do they compare? The context is to drop the legacy excel spreadsheets and use a CS tool that makes life easy and helps Customer Success Manager (CSM) focus on the business and relationship side.
This is a great question and it’s important to understand that all of the platforms on the market do something very well and can bring value to a Customer Success Program. Still, it’s also critical to understand that purchasing a CS Platform is not a strategy and it requires a lot of thought and design on how to orchestrate it in a meaningful way. That said, I will list out as many platforms as I can comfortably speak to.
ClientSuccess: Easy to use, configure and deploy, no technical expertise required; guided onboarding with predesigned best practices and detailed elements to take the guesswork out of designing your customer journey.
Gainsight: Designed for Enterprise organizations; highly configurable and customizable platform.
ChurnZero: Strong emphasis on a 1:many approach; features and functionality associated with scaled programs.
Catalyst: Designed for the CSMs with a focus on easy workflows for day-to-day management.
Totango: Free version to get started makes it easy to try out some of the basic features and then upgrade to leverage more of the platform.
I highly recommend doing your due diligence, just because a platform worked really well for someone else doesn’t mean it will meet your needs. Here are a few things I recommend you do before starting your evaluation.
Lastly, it’s critical you do your research - start by checking out G2, Glassdoor, ask around in communities and then start your own evaluation. There are pros and cons about every solution on the market but at the end of the day you should find the solution that will help your team and customers the best way possible.
Starting your first job as a CSM can be daunting but fear not! Dive into this article and uncover seasoned tips, fun templates, and effective strategies for making your initial customer outreach, onboarding, and churn management a remarkable success.
Moving into Customer Success Operations, how to handle a complex and ever-evolving product, and setting high-level KPIs. All your questions are answered in this installment of Dear Insider.