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Mastering CS – Candid Leader Insights – J.P Scoville | Ep 3 Podcast

Updated on April 30, 2024 22 minutes read

Summary points:

Welcome to another episode of “Mastering CS: Candid Leader Insights,” where we delve into the world of Customer Success (CS) through the eyes of seasoned leaders. Today, Irina Cismas, our Head of Marketing at Custify, is joined by John Paul Scoville, VP of Customer Success at Cinch.

Join us as we deep dive into the challenges faced by customer success managers. You’ll discover more about building a great CS team and how you can juggle various CS tools.

You’ll discover

  • What milestones to achieve in the 30, 60, and 90 days of your career as a CSM?
  • Common CS myths and misconceptions and how to learn from your mistakes
  • Balancing client expectations with deliverables and the art of setting and resetting expectations.
  • How to sell a customer success platform internally, to stakeholders and board members
  • Building a team of CSMs with innate qualities that are both customer-focused and data-driven.

Key takeaways CSMs based on the interview

Starting out in a new CS role: In the early days of his new role, J.P. emphasized the importance of building strong customer relationships and deep product knowledge. By prioritizing these aspects, he aimed to establish trust with customers and address their pressing needs effectively. J.P. believes that strong customer relationships also lead to strong internal relationships within the company. Additionally, J.P stated the importance of focusing on identifying the right metrics for onboarding customers, with a particular focus on delivering the “aha moment” as the initial success metric.

Learning for your mistakes and bulding a culture of fast failure: J.P. shares an important lesson learned from a mistake in his career, emphasizing the value of owning problems and apologizing when things go wrong. J.P. also discusses creating a culture of “failing fast” and explains that while failure is acceptable in a safe environment for experimentation, persistent failure should be addressed through performance management.

Aligning expectations: J.P. emphasizes the importance of establishing clear expectations with customers during the onboarding process and continuously reminding them of what the organization can deliver. However, he notes that there is often a greater gap in expectations at the leadership level, particularly when reporting to executive teams or boards of directors. This challenge becomes more pronounced in the face of economic changes and the rapid realignment of customer success organizations. Maintaining alignment with boards in a dynamic environment can be especially difficult.

Juggling multiple tools: J.P. highlights the challenge of managing numerous sales tools in the customer success space. Given the need to access various tools that touch the customer lifecycle, it becomes increasingly difficult to consolidate all these tools into one efficient platform. The scattered information from these tools can make it challenging to manage and understand the customer’s interactions, adoption, and communications effectively.

Selling the CS platform internally: To convince the board that proper tools are needed for customer success management, J.P. emphasizes the importance of efficiency. In a time when customer success teams are expected to handle larger workloads with limited resources, the focus is on doing more with less. J.P. suggests framing the need for tools as an efficiency-driven approach, where the ROI of the tool is compared to the time and effort saved by having a unified platform.

Building the CS team: When building a customer success team, J.P. looks for certain innate qualities in CSMs, such as the ability to be pleasant, friendly, and to naturally connect with customers. These soft skills are essential as they cannot be easily taught. Other skills related to how to position or frame conversations can be developed through training and engagement.

Podcast transcript

Irina Cismas 00:00
To get us started this evening, I want to ask you if your journey in customer success was a bottle of wine this Friday evening, at least for me, which type would it be and why?

J.P Scoville 00:18
A bottle of wine? Wow. That’s a great question. Unfortunately, I am not very familiar with wine. So I’m not going to be able to answer this very well.

Irina 00:29
Pick another pick your favorite drink, then.

J.P. 00:32
Okay, favorite drink? That’s tough. There’s a lot of nuance to that question. I’m trying to think of something that’s got some bitter and some sweet at the same time. There’s just a lot that’s involved in that in customer success. At some point with customer success you’re flying high, you’ve got a great relationship with a customer, or you’re delivering results, even if the relationship isn’t solid, but you’re delivering results. And so you’re flying high. And it’s just a sweet, sweet experience.

There are other times when the product is not perfect, or the solution was sold, and it’s mismatched compared to what the customer needs. And it’s tough, it can be a grind. And so there’s just that mix between really delivering well, on what you want and being a and that smooth sailing, versus having to work hard to drive the results that customers are expecting.

Irina 01:55
I like the analogy. I think we’ll be able to identify drink, which is the same time sweet. And how did you say?

J.P 02:09
Bitter, at the same time.

Starting out in Customer Sucess

The first 30 days

Irina 02:14
Now, I’m not sure if you saw it on my LinkedIn or I also mentioned it in my latest webinar I did with Carmen from Unify Success. Lately, I’ve been into Formula One Drive to Survive the Netflix series. And it’s got me thinking racers go all out from the start. So my question is, how do you see the first 30 days for a CSM? What’s their quick start?

J.P. 02:45
So I am in the first 30 days of my current role. I am replacing the previous director of CS who was managing accounts directly. So I think I can relate to this well. The biggest thing for me is to make sure that I’m digging deep on the product side, making sure that I learn the product and the solutions that we’re providing. While kickstarting a relationship, most customers are patient. And so as long as we kick start the relationship and do it well, if there are immediate pressing needs, obviously you need to address those and solve for those. The benefit here is that you start to build early trust with those customers, they don’t expect you to be able to deliver in the first timeframe. So I bring product experts with me in those meetings. And the benefit there is that I learned as well as solved a customer problem. So I prioritize relationships and deep product learning. That’s where I’m focused right now.

Irina 03:51
And when you say relationships are you referring to customer relationships or also internal relationships? So building bridges internally into the company?

J.P. 04:06
Right now I’m talking about customer relationships. My experience has been that if you build strong customer relationships, and you deliver results for those customers, you start to build and and forge strong internal relationships as well. And you do that while you’re solving the customer problems, right? Everybody wants to take care of the customer everybody wants to win.
60-day mark

Irina 04:30
What are your priorities for the next 30 days?

J.P. 04:41
So the current build here at Cinch is one where we are managing noise more than anything else.

So my next 30 days will be to really prioritize metrics and outcomes that we want to deliver for customers. And so I’ll be focused on what the specific metrics, particularly with onboarding we need to be addressing. One of the things that I’ve learned is that when you manage the noise, there’s no direction in the noise. And so I’ve got to find those metrics that help drive the correct direction, especially for onboarding customers so that they know what’s next, how we’re going to deliver that, how it meets their personal objectives.

Identifying the right metrics

Irina 05:28
And to identify the correct metrics, what do you need? What are the ingredients? How do you know? How do you know what to pick from?

J.P. 05:43
It’s going to take me a little bit of time and a lot of customer conversations to understand what these look like, as well as balancing that with the company objectives. So as I do this, I take some time, and I learn from customers, what is it that you’re trying to accomplish what matters most, and patterns start to emerge as I had those conversations. So I can start to get a feel for at least in a specific vertical, what those metrics are going to look like. And then I aligned them with objectives within my organization as well. And so one of the first metrics that I’m looking at is to make sure a customer gets live, they get that first moment where something is achieved, some value’s provided to them.

I call it the aha-moment. I think that’s a common phrase in CS. And so the first call needs to deliver an aha moment. And so that’s what I’m focused on initially. Second call, you go deeper, and you start to think about how you customize the experience for customers in their customers. And so it’s going to be a little harder to get to second, third, and fourth metrics in the mix. But I always want to parlay this back to what the customers measure for success when they go when they first purchase the product. So first call is always going to be a question about what what customer wants to achieve with the product. And then you measure success towards that and success isn’t delivered until you you reach that goal.

Irina 07:22
That’s your 30-60-90 days, therefore, from company to company, or do you more or less have the same playbook whenever you’re joining a new company?

J.P. 07:36
It definitely morphs. Right. And it depends on the maturity of the CS organization, the maturity of the company itself. This is a fairly new company, it’s more startup than where I was previously. And so it is morphed as I dig in to try and understand and build. My previous company was much easier. I had some specific objectives that we were already delivering against. And so it was really more of a growing and then figuring out what strategy shifts need to be made to deliver the correct results for the organization and customers. This is more focused on how do we build the initial objectives.

Customer success myths and misconceptions

Irina 08:18
You mentioned that every company or every industry has its particularities, and I’m totally aligned with that. I want to ask you, what are those myths in customer success? That even even senior people do, do miss?

J.P. 08:52
So what does a senior person in customer success miss?

Irina 08:58
Yes, what are those? What are those things that even senior people in customer success tend to miss in their journeys? What do they take for granted? What are the things that we tend to take for granted and we usually overlook?

J.P. 09:20
I can’t speak for everyone. So I’ll just layer this on top of my own experience.

As I’ve stepped into organizations, the biggest things that I feel like I’ve missed, are focused metrics. So when I first stepped in at my previous organization, we had to go through and evolve the metrics that were very granular for specific points, milestones in the customer journey, and in the customer experience.

We want to make sure we deliver specific results at Milestone 4, 5, or 10, at whichever milestone that’s going to be. And if that was still early stage, but it was a fairly mature organization with about 30, CSMs, and an onboarding team, and CSM across about 30 team members. So it’s fairly mature. Compared to this organization, which is brand new, we’re just launching it. But same problem, right?

We’ve been around for a couple of years, as I’ve come in, there are no specific metrics that they’re targeting. And that’s what I think a lot of CS leaders miss is that they get sucked into the customer noise. And they deliver to solve for that noise. Whatever the problems are, right? There are always fires that CS organizations get to deal with CS leaders and CS team members. And so it’s really easy to just manage the noise and hopefully be successful at it without trying to move the organization forward. And that’s one of the things that I’ve talked to my leadership teams about. We can all go in and solve problems, right? That’s where we specialize. We’re problem solvers. The benefit, the goal is to solve those problems while moving both the organization and the customers’ experience forward progressing than not just solving problems. And that depends on what on the customer itself, right? It depends on the organization and the customer. What are the goals?

Learning from mistakes

Irina 11:25
They often say mistakes teach the most. Do you have a lesson, that started with a mistake, and actually turned out to be an aha moment?

J.P. 11:41
Mistakes teach the most. Let’s see. I’m a believer in failing fast. Trying to go back a little bit, I’m trying to find a good one that I can share with you. So at one point, I was a technical account manager, essentially what a CSM is for a wireless organization that built wireless networks in hotels. And one of my roles in that organization was to sell wireless services to conventions. It was a global organization I was selling, coverage for very, very large events in convention centers.

One event was not going very well, the wireless wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. And I think we’ve all heard that horror story, right, where you’ve got 15,000 people that are all trying to get on the wireless at the same time, and it’s just slow, right? And that’s what the experience was. So it was a very large, very well-known customer. And the wireless wasn’t working as expected.

I, unfortunately, didn’t have the technical resources at my disposal that I would normally lean on to solve this problem. And so I was working on it on my own. And it was it was a week-long event, it was brutal. It was very, very early mornings, very late nights. And I didn’t end up getting to solve the problem, the technical problems persisted, and we couldn’t get it solved. The mistake that I made, and this is at the end of a very long week, very little sleep, but with the customer, we had a follow-up meeting.

Instead of owning the problem, owning the fact that we didn’t get it solved and apologizing. I was a little I was a little belligerent. Right, I didn’t get the right scope to begin with. And I kind of pushed this back, I tried to share responsibility with the customer. And the mistake was just owning it and letting them know that this was on us and moving forward. And it didn’t turn out well, we eventually lost that customer. And it was just a really painful experience. So I didn’t learn fast enough to save the customer in that situation. But it is something that I’ve carried with me for a long time. And so I’m very quick to apologize moving forward and not disingenuously but to own the problem, apologize for it, and then pick up and move forward. And I do that with customers. I do that internally because there’s no reason to carry it’s better, in my opinion, to own responsibility and then move the situation forward rather than then. Then try and push it off on someone else.

Creating a culture where it’s ok to fail

Irina 14:39
I think this is very good advice that I think it’s applies to all the other teams not necessarily in customer success. I think this is an advice that everyone should follow. You mentioned that you like to create a culture of failing fast. How do you how do you manage to do that? How do you manage to create a culture in which your team knows that it’s okay to fail? In an environment where everybody is afraid to fail?

J.P. 15:13
Well, I think that goes to the root of the problem. Why are they afraid to fail? It’s because culturally, we’ve created friction with failure, right? There’s either egg on their face, there’s embarrassment, there’s potentially, you know, a performance improvement program that gets wrapped into that failure, all these things, a failure is real, right. And failure in and of itself is not a bad thing.

However persistent failure can be a bad thing. So the goal is to create an environment where failure is okay, but not to persist in that failure. And so for me, I create these environments to create a safe spot, right? You can try something, and if it fails, that’s okay. But if you fail to engage, if you fail to want to deliver the results, if you fail to really work hard, then we’ll have a problem. So there’s, I’m going to split those apart.

There’s failure, which is, you know, trying something engaging and not being successful. That’s okay. Right, created a safe environment where they can experiment, they can try, and they can see me do it. I think that’s a big portion of this, I’ll present a new a new program, and I’ll say this is an experiment, I’m testing this to find out what the results are going to be. And if they’re poor, we’re, it’s we’re going to call it a failure and move on to do something else. Right. So showing them by example, that we’re going to try things fail and move on. And when that happens, that everything’s okay, we just shift gears and do something different, encouraging them to do the same thing in their own worlds, right? But then the persistent failure piece of it is performance management. And that’s something that we address in different ways.

Irina 17:02
Thinking back, what’s the golden tip you share with a rookie CSM, something you wish you’d known from day one?

J.P. 17:16
Customers are forgiving. I think from day one, I’ve had that same fear with customers. At least early on, I had that fear, right, where I was nervous to try things that would push the boundaries. And I wish that I had done that earlier, I got a lot of confidence fairly quick. But from day one, I was pretty nervous. And I didn’t want to rock the boat, I wanted to make sure we just delivered what we maintained, instead of really stretching the boundaries and trying to improve or expand the relationship. And so customers will be forgiving, and very, very happy when you produce results that improve their experience. So I think that’s something that I would want to give every CSM as they start in their career, be confident, go in, and try and push the boundaries.

Current Challenges in Customer Success

Irina 18:08
Reaching back to from mistakes to challenges. In today’s CS space, what’s a recurring challenge you often find yourself navigating?

J.P. 18:26
Misaligned expectations, both at the customer level and at the organizational level. So one of the first things that we do as a CSM when a customer is onboarding is to go through the agreement, and the expectations and make sure we’re aligned on what results are expected by the customer. And what we think that we can deliver as an organization, once that alignment is in place, then we can move things forward and make sure that we consistently remind them what those expectations are and what we’re delivering against so that there’s no misalignment there.

I probably see more of a gap there with leadership. So when I’m reporting back to the executive team or to a board, a lot of times expectations get crossed over. And we don’t have, especially with a board, right, you have a quarterly meeting with a board of directors, and so you don’t have as much opportunity to maintain that alignment with the board, and especially recently with the economy and the realignment of, CS organizations within the current economic conditions. Objectives with the board changed very, very quickly and so it was difficult to maintain that alignment as these changes happen.

CS expectations

Irina 19:45
Speaking about board meetings, what’s important? What are their expectations when it comes to CS? What’s important for board members?

J.P. 20:07
It depends on the organization itself. You know, CS maturity also helps drive what those expectations look like. If you’re early stage and you’re more of a support CS organization, then it’s going to be metrics, it’s going to be CSAT, it’s going to be driving more support style KPIs.

If you’re a more mature CS organization, then you’re going to be moving to the proactive side of things, which is driving renewal revenue driving upsell revenue. So net revenue retention is going to be a key metric. And then the building blocks for that what is churn look like and what is growth look like?

Net Promoter Score is a score that I really, really like. But it’s only when it’s attached throughout the customer lifecycle. So specific events are happening in the lifestyle cycle, rather than just a generic number that we try to live by. If it’s just a number, then then it’s just a number and it’s very hard to manage against that. But if it’s associated with, you know, an NPS associated with the close of an onboarding, then you know how well you delivered with the onboarding. If it’s, after an upsell motion, and rollout of new product, you know how well you did with that upsell and rollout of new product, or if there’s a big project, and you get an NPS. So it has to be programmatic. And in that, in that situation, I think it’s very valuable for a board to see how well you’re performing throughout the customer lifecycle, and how NPS relates to how you score the lifecycle milestones with an NPS score.

Juggling Customer Success Tools

Irina 21:54
With so many sales tools out there ever feel like juggling them becomes a challenge?

J.P. 22:19
Absolutely, it is a challenge. There are a lot of different tools. Because we manage the lifecycle we get we need access to everything that touches the customer. And so if we can’t consolidate that into one tool, it becomes very difficult to manage all the different pieces to the puzzle, right? You’ve got CRM, you’ve got a billing system, you’ve got a ticketing system, all tools that you’re trying to dig into to try and understand. And if adoption’s not in the CRM, there’s one more tool that you have to go to if you’re preparing for a meeting with a customer, you’re looking at the billing tool to see if they’re current, you’re looking at adoption to see if they’re actually engaged in delivering to their expectations. You’re looking at the CRM to see what the last communications look like. There are just too many different places to look to try and manage a customer.

Selling the CS tool internally

Irina 23:14
I want to ask you, speaking about tools, and also speaking about board members, how do you convince your board that you as a CSM do need proper tools to work and function and you can’t live and breathe in the other team’s tools? How do you how do you convince them that you need to budget for tools? Because I do know that this is a challenge and most of the CS teams do live and breathe in CRM, which is not ideal.

J.P 24:02

Efficiency is King right now. We need to figure out a way to be the most efficient, possible CSM, as we take on bigger books of business. We tried to take on more workload as renewals come our way or upsell activities come our way. We need to be able to do more with less. That’s the key phrase, right? Do more with less right now. If we don’t have the efficiencies in tools, then what is the cost associated with that, to me becomes a math equation. What’s the ROI in the tool compared to what we’re doing right now? And how much time do I spend trying to track down information and billing the product and my CRM compared to just having that visibility directly in one CS platform? Then I can take that equation to the board.

Adjusting client expectations

Irina 24:58
When CS strategy doesn’t align with the client’s vision how do you either think up or decide to adjust the route? Speaking also about aligning expectations.

J.P. 25:30
CS strategy in my opinion should encapsulate what the customer expectations are. Maybe give me an example where that would break.

Irina 25:42
Let’s for instance, that a customer’s expectation is to be treated with white gloves. Let’s say that, for instance, I’m expecting to have my CSM available 24/7 for me. And this is something that you cannot cover. Because let’s say that it’s a combination, it’s you got to mix you can’t be where you can’t be available every time ever. But then that’s the expectation. That might be a scenario. How do you deal with I would say, demanding customers that want to acquire 24/7 the CSM?

J.P. 26:35
I think that’s a conversation I have early on with the customer as part of aligning expectations. So when you do your very first kickoff conversation, you’re going through the agreement itself, you’re talking about resources, both external, so customer resources that are coming to the table to support the project, and you’re talking about the internal resources that are going to come to the table to support the project. You know, my expectations for my teams are that they define what the CSM’s availability is and what they’re going to be delivering for them. And there are all different customer types within their purview, right?

For an enterprise customer, they’re going to be much more dedicated to that customer than they would be for an SMB customer. So they need to set those expectations up front, this is what I deliver for you 24/7 coverage comes with our support organization, if that’s available through our support organization. If it’s not, then our coverage is 6 to 6 p.m., whatever the hours of operation are.

And I make sure that they understand that the CSM is a business partner. Support is a tactical partner to help solve product problems, and very clearly outlined the who, what, where with those customers, the hard part comes when they first reach out to the CSM and put that to the test and say, I need you and I need you now. And my expectation is for the CSM to make sure that they’ve got guardrails set up with the customer, right so that if a customer reaches out at 6pm, okay, you respond to them, but set the expectation that in the future, this would be a support question, or it would come the next day. And then you start living by that the next time they reach out at 6pm. You respond to them at 8am, the next day when you come into the office or whatever your hours of operations are.

Irina 28:25
How do you say no to a customer?

J.P. 28:33
I prefer not to say no. I prefer to provide options for the customer that don’t include whatever it is that they’re requesting. So it depends on the scenario itself. There are times when you’re going to have to say no. And my experience has been that you rip the band-aid off, you don’t hesitate. And you just say I apologize, this is not something that we provide for you. And if you really need this, then you probably need to look somewhere else, right? But my preference is to come to the table with options. Oh, you need X, Y, and Z? Well, here are the three different things that we can provide for you. Even though it doesn’t align exactly with what you’re requesting.

Building the CS team

Irina 29:16
We talked about strategy and some processes and setting up the foundations. I’ve asked you about tools and their challenges. Now I want to talk about what I think is the third important piece, building the team. Because in my vision, there are three important things. It’s the processes, the strategy, the brain behind them. It’s the enablement, the tools that help you achieve, but you also have the team and the resources in place to make it work. When you are building your team, are there certain qualities that stand out as absolutely essential?

J.P. 30:05
For a CSM specifically? Yes, there are innate qualities that can’t be taught. Soft skills are, in large part the types of things that I see as innate. The ability to smile when you talk to a customer, the ability to be pleasant, those are are skills that I look for in a CSM. Because they’re natural, the other things, you know as far as how to position or frame a conversation, those are skills that we can that can be taught, and can be learned by this by the CSM with the right engagement, to drive the correct results. So innate qualities are what I look for first and foremost in my early CSMs.

Irina 30:58
What are the roles that you are trying to fill in when you are leading a CS organization?

J.P. 31:20
So it depends on your starting point. So if you’re in an organization that’s got a strong support organization that’s got an onboarding team, and that has a CSM team. Depending on your product type and how technical that product is, oftentimes, I’ll bring a solutions architect into the mix, someone that can be that technical resource, that’s proactive, they’re not solving the break-fix problems that support would solve. But they are thinking bigger picture and how the product can be used at an enterprise level at a greater at a greater value and then layering that into our enterprise customer value prop. So that’s that’s one piece to it.

Now, if you’re early stage, and you don’t have a support organization, CS is doing everything, then you need to start thinking about how you move the CS organization to become more proactive and start thinking about that tactical break fix organization in support. So that’s the stage I’m in right now. And so one of the things that I’m thinking about is how do I pull a support organization to the forefront to help my customer base start to lean on that support organization for their tactical break, fix questions, while still providing the business relationship that’s required with a CSM.

And so again, it depends on your organization and where you’re at. But there are lots of different layers to how you can build out these resources. One of the things that I find is missed often is that technical resource in a solutions architect, as the maturity starts to happen in your CS org.

Irina 33:06
Because you mentioned two types of organizations, the startup and the small companies, and also medium to high companies, which go to more on the corporate side, I want to ask you, what about the ones that are in between? What are the signs that indicate that it’s time to go into a more specialized role? So what are the signs that indicate the CS cannot be a Jack of all trades? So it’s time to go more in-depth on some specific roles? When do you know when to do it?

J.P. 34:03
It depends on your product type in a lot of situations. So if your product is very technical, and it’s it doesn’t have a great UI UX, it’s not product lead growth. You have to have a technical mind supporting that customer that I think you need specialization earlier on. And the gap there is if you see that your customers aren’t onboarding as fast as they should or are churning during the onboarding process because it’s too difficult, then you need to specialize in some sort of an onboarding element that’s going to really help drive the results that you’re looking for in your org.

If it’s a simple product. It’s really easy to adopt and use, like a mobile app. That’s just really easy, then great. You just need someone to support them on the business side to make sure that your use case is being is growing, and is being productive across maybe just different functional groups within their organization. If that’s the case, then I don’t think specialization is not quite as important. Or it doesn’t have to happen as early on. So for me, it’s not a question of what stage the organizations in, it’s more a question of how well-developed the product is for customer consumption.

Irina 35:25
Then interesting go, it’s an interesting angle, I think. I never heard that a product is the one that dictates or influences so much the CS strategy and the approach, but you have a valid point, indeed. It’s the product that gives the direction in many cases. What makes the difference between a good CSM and great CSM?

J.P. 36:04
Hyperfocus, maybe detail-oriented will be another way to say that, but my best CSMs have a deep understanding of the product and the customer use case. And they have amazing follow-up tenacity that never lets a customer down. The ones that don’t have that tenacity are mediocre CSMs and they let things slide, customers start to lose faith and trust in the product and the CSM that supporting them. And then you’re in a rebuilding phase where you have to rebuild that trust.

Irina 36:45
I just think that collaboration between team members is very, very important. But the bigger the team is, I feel that it’s very hard to keep everyone aligned and on the same page. My question is, how do you manage to do that? What’s the playbook of making sure that everyone moves into the same direction?

J.P. 37:10
I agree that collaboration is a huge piece of this. That’s why I would maybe fall back on my previous answer around qualities that I hire for. When you hire for those innate qualities, that collaboration comes naturally. There’s not as much conflict associated with the collaboration between teams. As far as how do I keep teams aligned, I have a leadership team that I meet with on a regular basis, and we align expectations associated with that. And then I meet with the entire team on a monthly basis. And I report on results. I tell them exactly what we delivered against what strategies and ambitions we have for the next month and what we’re going to be rolling out. That’s the time for them to ask questions and get answers directly for me as the functional leader. And I just give I created in that safe space where any questions? Okay. Right. And they can they can ask those questions and we aligned really well in those types of settings.

Irina 38:14
Now, I want to end this interview with a quote, with a resource, or with inspirational leaders that you are following. Do you have one? What’s your North Star? What’s that thing that guides you in customer success?

J.P. 38:45
I think I heard two questions in there. So is there an inspirational leader that I follow?

Irina 38:53
If it’s a book or a leader, you can answer both of them or you can only pick one. I’m giving you options.

J.P. 39:05
There are a lot of really great thought leaders in the CS world. And I listened to a lot of them. The ones that matter most to me are our data-driven leaders who have a very empathetic approach to taking care of people.

Irina 39:28
They’re a combination like this?

There is a combination like that. Yes. So they are a bit of a unicorn. I have to admit right there. They’re not. They’re not common. Yeah, there are a couple out there that I really admire. I don’t think I’ll drop any names. As far as Northstar goes, I’m a people-first person. So I really try to take care of people. People bring life to work and work to Life. So I want to make sure that they’ve got a great experience in and can feel comfortable with both of their both their personal life and their work life in both of those environments. Secondarily, I am pretty data-driven. So, I look at data to make decisions. My North Star so if I were to is I build my organization right now, the thing that I’m thinking about most is where do I achieve that aha moment for customers? And then how do I drive activity towards that to make sure I get customers to engage and stay? Once they have that aha moment, then they’re willing to invest further in building out the solution. And that’s what I’m ambitious to find that aha moment to really drive customer engagement with our product.

J.P. 40:57
Thank you very much for your time and your answers. It was great talking to you!

Want to hear from your favorite CS leader? Let us know and we’ll invite them to our podcast.

Nicoleta Niculescu

Written by Nicoleta Niculescu

Nicoleta Niculescu is the Content Marketing Specialist at Custify. With over 6 years of experience, she likes to write about innovative tech products and B2B marketing. Besides writing, Nicoleta enjoys painting and reading thrillers.

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