You give me a role, I can tell you how it impacts the customer. Whether you’re customer-facing or not, the code that you wrote in that product is affecting that customer, the marketing release that you did, somebody saw it.

Customer Success is not the job of a lone wolf, it takes a pack. CS professionals have to learn to depend on their team and other departments within the organization to truly deliver success to customers.

In his current role, Alex Aguero works to help the world of Customer Success evolve; learning best practices, and coaching his team to do the same. In this interview, Alex took a break from leading his team, to share how we can all improve our approach through cross-departmental collaboration:

1. Relationships lay the foundation of every company’s ultimate goal: Customer Success and ROI

So there’s a misconception that Customer Success is purely relationship-building. And that’s a big factor of it, you do need to be personable and you do need to build relationships, but at the end of the day, business is business, dollars are dollars, and you can have a great relationship but if you’re costing your customer money with your product, they’re not going to renew it.

Relationship is a big part of [Customer Success], but too often it’s seen as the only part of it.

2. The success of a customer is everyone’s responsibility internally

Something that people don’t take into account enough, is the partnership that you have internally, within your own team. 

CS is not a world where you have a bunch of lone wolves, we depend on a lot of people. 

It’s no longer [just] about getting new sales, but it’s getting those new sales and then retaining those customers to prove that you are a product worth the investment, and worth the value that you say you are.

We silo off our worlds too much. And if everybody could just understand that we’re all dependent on each other, that partnership internally can result in amazing things with our customers externally.

3. Encourage cross-functional collaboration with empathy

And I think if everybody could empathize a little bit more of what everybody’s going through, it only will allow us to perform better in our individual roles. 

A lot of people think too much that empathy only goes one way. 

If I know what’s happening with our professional services team, I can protect them from the customer. But if I know what’s going on with you, and we’re transparent as an organization, I understand why maybe that product idea didn’t hit the release that we said it was going to hit; because I know what you’re going through, I know what your pressures are from your leadership. And that’s a huge thing. So ‘Kumbaya’ a little bit, I guess.

It’s very easy to get lost in the weeds of your individual role. And in your individual responsibilities, and just be frustrated if somebody else is impacting that. But if you understand why they’re impacting in the way that they are, I think just generally, we’d have a better working environment across the board. 

Thanks Alex for reminding us that 🎵 we all need somebody to lean on 🎵

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