Goodlord's Customer Success Week 2021: Lessons learned and actions taken
23 June 2021
Goodlord's Customer Success team took part in Customer Success Week 2021, attending industry conferences to collate ideas for a "Dragon's Den" style pitching competition. Four teams presented their ideas to improve the team's processes. Emily Popple, Head of Customer Adoption, explains the exercise and reveals the winning proposals.
Earlier this year, our colleagues in the Product and Engineering team took part in Tech Week, where they set aside the product backlog and looked at tech projects they were passionate about for five days. They ended up with five completed projects and a very energised Tech team - so over in Customer Success we wondered… could we do that too?
We decided to set up an activity that would allow us to:
Step back from the day to day of customer work, challenge some of our existing processes, and get creative
Get the team invested in the wider Customer Success (CS) ecosystem. We’re setting people up to have long CS careers and this is an important part of that
Provide a space for the team to bond and work with others they may not have had chance to yet
The obstacles and the task
We initially had a couple of obstacles to overcome. Our priority is always our customers - leaving them without the whole team for a whole week was not something we could make work. Making tangible changes in a week would also be a tall order.
In the end, we settled on a ‘CS ~ over two weeks ~ Week’. Two really big CS conferences followed one another in June: Gainsight’s "Pulse Everywhere" and Customer Success Network’s "The Customer Conference". We wanted our team to attend, to absorb the latest in CS thinking, and come back to us with ideas that we could implement at Goodlord. Too often we go to events and don’t get anything tangible out of it - this would change that.
The four teams and their projects
We split into four teams to attend one day of a virtual conference - complete with food delivery vouchers, a late start to that day, and home-made conference swag in the form of “Goodlord CS Week” t-shirts. The following day the groups got together to debrief what they learned, and to come up with a big idea to pitch to the whole team.
We turned it into “Dragons' Den”. One of the final four pitches would get our “investment” and go on to be implemented at Goodlord in the coming quarter, as well as prizes on offer for presentation skills and networking. We had five senior Goodlordians as the Dragons and then set up an afternoon where everyone pitched. And boy oh boy - did they make it hard for us to choose.
Team one pitched “end to end value realisation” - using the primary goals of our customers and leveraging our tools to continually remind them of how much they have achieved and suggest ways to get even more value.
Team two wanted us to bring "Wellness Action Plans" into our internal team one-to-one meetings as a formalised agenda item. We can’t be the best CSMs if we aren’t looking after our own mental wellbeing, and this would prioritise that even more.
Team three proposed more personalisation when assigning customers so that we can match them with the Goodlordian best suited to meet their needs. For example, if a customer is particularly data focused, we could assign someone with strengths in that area.
Team four pitched “The Goodlord Conference”, bringing leading CS professionals and agents together for a day-long event to help them understand our product roadmap and learn about our additional products and services, and to help us to deliver our customer's desired outcomes.
The result and team feedback
We decided that team one and two's projects were the worthy winners - and we'll be implementing these in the coming months to improve our customers' experiences and our team's performance.
Overall, CS Week was a success - with different team members enjoying the challenge it represented. Ella-Jane Coxwell, Senior Customer Success Manager, says: "CS week was a fantastic opportunity to dedicate blocked out time for creative thinking, to re-inspire the team, and build trust and improve sentiment across the team." Brittany Knight, Customer Adoption Manager, also shared that: "It was interesting to learn things you wouldn't typically learn about in your day-to-day role but with huge takeaways that can be used to help us grow. I would love to do it again."
Even relatively new members of the team found it a useful exercise, as was the case for Freya Morrison, Junior Customer Success Manager. "Having started as a CSM so recently, being able to compare how other businesses structure and conduct their department and work was really useful in understanding in a wider context the importance of my role and department within Goodlord, and to our customers."
The biggest challenge the team faced was fitting it in alongside regular demands of the job - next time, we would plan even further ahead, to make it as stress free as we can. "The best part was working in a team with my peers and discussing what we had learnt from the sessions but the most difficult part was disengaging from our day to day tasks," says Anna Green, Adoption Team Lead. "However, it was a great exercise in prioritisation."
We made real progress on our understanding of the industry, the confidence within our team grew when connecting with other professionals to learn from, and came out of it with two great ideas we’re taking forward. Most importantly, we had a load of fun together - one team even had a song! Release date coming soon…
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