In this edition of our Ask a CSM series, we're chatting with Lauren Berry, Manager of Enterprise Success Management at Simply Measured.
What was your background prior to becoming a CSM? What attracted you to customer success?
I was previously an account manager with a marketing agency as I thought it would be a great entry for me to learn more about marketing and advertising. What I learned was that I had a knack for client relationships and that at my core, I love the study of people. Being an account manager in an agency setting taught me a great deal about presentation skills, basic communication best practices and diligence (meeting follow-ups within 24 hours, for example), and how to de-escalate “fires” that come with the territory of being in client services. I came to Simply Measured as the first account manager given my previous experience and now manage our Enterprise Customer Success team.
What does your typical day look like?
Today I have the opportunity of working with 5 of our most talented Customer Success Managers, and making sure they have the tools and resources they need to make their clients most successful. I still get to work with clients directly whether it’s during a business review or escalation, and it’s still one of my favorite parts of the job. Each day really is so different, though! It’s the beauty of being in client services. You never know what the day will bring. We could be on client calls 4 hours of the day, or planning our product trainings and researching the best customer fit for those new products, working with procurement departments on contract negotiations, etc. It’s ever-changing.
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job in Customer Success is hearing a client say that we’ve made their life easier and/or are truly grateful, not just for our product, but really for the people behind it.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
When we can’t deliver success in the client’s definition. It’s never fun to feel like you’re disappointing someone, but being the face of a technology product it’s going to happen. Bugs occur. There are barriers to creating the perfect version of product for every individual customer. It can feel disappointing, but I try to make sure that we’re at least delivering 85% success in those scenarios with alternative solutions so that everyone can feel good about the “no” answer.
Which team (outside of your own) do you work with most closely, and why?
We work with Product and Product Marketing most closely. We are the eyes and ears of the customer and it’s our responsibility to advocate for our customer on their behalf. Alternatively, it’s our responsibility to advocate for our product back down to the customer. It’s a tricky balance and one that requires lots of communication and contact with those two particular teams.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting his/her career in customer success?
Make sure that you are someone who thrives in a bit of uncertainty, not every day will be the same and there aren’t cookie cutter responses to all situations. If you find joy in building creative solutions that take your businesses and your client’s needs into consideration, you’ll do very well. Always listen, really listen (i.e. ask questions, seek to understand) to your customer. And learn as much as you possibly can about the product and industry. It really requires you to be a jack of all trades.
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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