In this edition of our Ask a CSM series, we're chatting with Adam Pifer, Customer Success Manager at Outreach.
What was your background prior to becoming a CSM? What attracted you to customer success?
Prior to working as a Customer Success Manager, I was an SDR at a San Francisco startup that made Software for CSMs! My education is in Finance and Business Management, but as I watched the tech industry take the world by storm, I found myself quite intrigued and wanting to be part of this fast moving industry.
What does your typical day look like?
A typical day for me is absolutely packed. As a CSM, I’m tasked with a plethora of responsibilities. First and foremost, driving engagement and adoption of our product, and making sure my customers have a strategy within our platform that optimizes their workflow to maximize output, efficiency, and results. This includes giving them a clear path to success, through a thorough onboarding, a workflow driven training, quick and easy access to support and ongoing training, and a strong knowledge or our platform.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is by far, working on the front lines with our customers. Giving them time back in their day by showing them how to efficiently and effectively use our platform, and seeing results puts a smile on my face. Over time, tracking progress and improvement, and being able to quantify those results to them, builds friendships and relationships that last. And when the end results just happens to be a spike in captured ROI for our customer, it’s a win for everyone!
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is that there are only so many hours in a day. I believe there is always something you can be doing to increase customer knowledge/adoption. I try to spend as much time with my customers as possible because I know Outreach is a solution that truly works, so naturally, I want to get it in as many hands as possible!
Which team (outside of your own) do you work with most closely, and why?
My time is spent pretty evenly with 2 teams actually. First and foremost, is our Support team. Working as a liaison between my customers, and my support team when our customers require technical help. While the CSM is the front line to the customer, making sure we can route appropriate technical questions to our Support team is a critical part of our job. Not only routing them there, but ensuring there is a timely resolution.
Second, is our Product team. We work hand in hand with our product team to enhance the experience of our customers. From UI, navigation, and UX to product feature requests, it is a table stake for our organization to be the voice of the customer and deliver the experience that they not only desire, but that will optimize and maximize their output through the use of our platform!
What advice would you give someone who is just starting his/her career in customer success?
The advice I would give is simple, but crucial. First, put your seatbelt on! Second, grit! You must be made of grit. You must breathe grit and drive grit. You must have the ability to see the big picture, and forecast decisions and intersections well before the customer crosses them. You must have a deep passion for solving, and an unwavering commitment to relationships. You must have a love and true passion for people!
In our Ask a CSM series, we're talking with some of the industry's leading Customer Success, Education and Training professionals about the ins and outs of their day-to-day. Stay tuned for new Q&As each month!
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