My CEO, she talks to customers. That's part of our methodology. We're calling [our customers] weekly sometimes, monthly, quarterly—at least quarterly.

Helping your clients succeed requires X-ray vision of what’s ahead, as Glenn Wilensky, VP of Customer Success at Resilinc knows: be the steady sidekick, not the scrambling superhero.

For me, Customer Success means that my customer, they're allowing my team to be part of their team. If they're allowing that, it means they're invested in using my software, they're seeing the value added, because if they're not seeing the value, I don't want to monitor this customer. Because it's not good for the relationship. To me, that's success.

With a background in Operations across a variety of tech companies, Glenn hits on what delivering success looks like:

1. Power in hand means your team can move lightning-quick:

"I think the best structure has to be a top of mind organization. If you've got a Chief Operating Officer—[Customer Success] needs to report there, or to somebody at my [VP] level. That's where it should be on the Operations side. Customer Success has to work hand in hand, though, with the entire organization. It has to have the authority. Without the authority to make decisions about the customer—you're never going to react fast enough. You do need to be, we won't call it the superhero, but you do need to be the sidekick."

2. Deep industry knowledge allows your practice to be the best practice:

"A Customer Success Manager, to be really strong, has to be an expert in the industry that they're working in. That's what brings value to a customer. I want my customers to not want to leave us, not necessarily because of the product we've got. I mean, obviously, that's a big piece, but I want them to be afraid they're going to lose, you know, Jane. Because Jane is an industry leader for them. Our Customer Success Managers bring knowledge."

Customer Success Managers have to be an integral piece of the company's DNA. And they have to be industry experts who spend time with their customers.

"So, if the CSM sees something at one company that is really brilliant, not confidential, but brilliant, they'll bring that to the next customer next time and say, “Have you thought about doing something like this? This is what we're seeing as an industry best practice.” For example, the automotive industry, the CSM has to know the automotive industry. Where if they had one healthcare customer, one automotive customer, one life sciences customer, the in-depth knowledge cannot be there."

3. Visibility is crucial to maintaining meaningful customer connections:

"For instance, I want to go talk to a customer. Another key difference is I talk to customers all the time. And my CEO, she talks to customers. That's part of our methodologies. We're calling weekly, sometimes, with customers; monthly, quarterly—at least quarterly. And we're talking with all our customers. And what do you do if you don't have visibility of what's going on? If I don't have one place to go look, "Okay, you know, has this customer had issues? Are they paying their bills?" Right? "What are the conversations they're having with my team?" I don't know that. I could stick my foot in my mouth. Or totally miss the boat on what needs to be said.”

“I don't want to have to now go call five different people or send a bunch of emails, “Hey, what's going on here?” When I say visibility, that's what I mean.”

Big thanks to Glenn for sitting down with us to spell out success!

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