In this edition of our Ask a CSM series, we're chatting with Sean Pinegar, Chief Customer Officer & Co-Founder of Tenfold.
What was your background prior to becoming a CSM? What attracted you to customer success?
My background is entirely in the CRM space. I spent every minute of my workday helping companies maximize ROI using technology to automate processes and increase transparency across all business units. My team was so successful that we won the 2014 CRM Magazine award for ROI. I was attracted to customer success due to my love for working with people. I enjoy providing everyone I work with a feeling of importance and helping them overcome any obstacles that stand between them and achieving their goals.
What does your typical day look like?
- Daily standup. Everyday each employee of Tenfold reports on what they completed the day before, what they are working on today, and what blockers stand in their way. As a team we help unblock others so we can maximize the productivity of the company as a whole.
- Review KPIs for the previous day. We are always looking to improve and use data to drive all of our decisions.
- Review trends in support queue to see what automations our team can build to scale support without adding more bodies. One of the things we do a little different from typical support organizations is have Engineers on staff working side by side with our front line. These fixer engineers are tasked with finding ways to automate repetitive day-to-day tasks of our front line agents. This is key in the ability for my team to to provide a consistently positive experience while our sales increase over 20% every month. For example, in August we saw a 1% increase in support ticket in-flow while we increased our active user count by 13%. Additionally, we increased close rate by 10% in the same month. This success was realized without adding any more bodies to our support staff.
- Cadence call with customers. As a company, we firmly believe that the true value of a customer isn’t just about the initial sale, but it's in the entire customer lifecycle and building the long-term relationship.
- Review our 90 day plan and ensure everything is on pace to meet team goals. As Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one.”
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is taking a mediocre moment and making it magical. I absolutely love the feeling of going above and beyond for our customers. For this reason, I consistently work with our front line agents and interface with our customers on a daily basis.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Keeping our support agents busy. We put such a significant focus on automating solutions that we often find ourselves looking for more ways to keep busy. At the end of the day, this is a great problem to have. This allows our agents to spend more time on the phone building relationships instead of being focused on wrap time or time on call.
Which team (outside of your own) do you work with most closely, and why?
Engineering. My background is that of a Software Engineer. This affords me the ability to work with Engineering to introduce new features and dial in our product to suit our customer's unique needs. In my opinion, every executive should possess, at the very least, the ability to write scripts to calculate KPIs as you will learn more than you ever could giving orders to someone else.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting his/her career in customer success?
Automate, automate, automate. Having solutions is great, but if your agents are going through the same motions several times a day, they will get bored, which directly impacts their ability to provide magical moments. Automate their pains and redundant actions and you see a new kind of customer experience manifest itself.
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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