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Congratulations! You have been promoted and are now a manager for the first time. The learning curve on how to manage people can be steep. However, with an open mind, open heart, and constant curiosity, you will overcome.

You will find that everyone has opinions on how to do it correctly. There are blogs, training classes, and books galore. And while you can learn from all of those, the reality is you will mostly learn from doing and observing. You will develop your own unique style, and over time, that style will evolve and change as you gain experience.

Along your journey, you will inevitably make mistakes. You are human. What is important is that you learn, grow, admit your mistakes, and humbly move forward. …


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Your alarm goes off.

5:30 am.

Ugh!

It’s time to get started on your daily routine, again. You stumble into the bathroom, turn the shower on and start your day. During your commute to the office, you caffeinate and listen to the same channel on the radio. At times you feel like you have a personal relationship with the morning show DJ. You arrive and depart around the same time (give or take) every day. You are a creature of habit in its truest form.

Your days are predictable, busy, somewhat structured, with little nuances and surprises in between. You have set processes that you follow, meetings that you must attend, deadlines that you must meet. There is a certain comfort you take in this routine, but you often find yourself wondering if there is more out there. What would it be like to start your own business or even join a startup? While leaving the comfort of predictability may sound scary to some, the thought of doing something more is intriguing. …


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New Year’s, a time to symbolically start over. A time to right the wrongs of the past years, start fresh and resolve to do better with whatever perceived shortcomings we have. But with most New Year’s resolutions, the excitement wears off around January 5th. At the first sight of cake or a mimosa, our resolutions easily become a distant memory.

This year, while your personal resolutions may slip, don’t let your business-related ones take a back burner. Wait, you don’t make business-related resolutions? …


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Okay data junkies, let’s pause for a second (or about 244 seconds as this article is a little lengthy), and review what we are measuring in our Customer facing organizations.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you build it they will come.” Well l have created my own version of my own: “If you measure it, you will have insights.”

I am not proposing sending yourself into a state of analysis paralysis by any means, but having a strong understanding of the world that you own is never a bad thing.

As with anything, you need to look at what’s right for your business, team, and customer base, but here are some core metrics and data points that if you are not already tracking, you should be! …


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Say you’ve built a career supporting customers. It’s what you enjoy, or in the least have fallen into. Now, you are continuously hearing buzz about Customer Success, and you are wondering, “What does it take to make that jump into that world?”

If you were to draw a venn diagram on what makes a Customer Support and Success Professional effective, there would be a definite overlap, so it is not unprecedented to think this could be a natural career move.


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Tonight, I read an article written by Daniel Shapero, “LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs of 2017”. And, what a major win for all of the Customer Success Professionals out there as Customer Success Manager was #17 on the list. I thought that this would be a great opportunity to share some of the resources I have used as a Customer Success Professional and to get everyone thinking, “How can I level up my skills in 2017?”

Blogs I read:

Communities that I learn from:


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Customer Success teams cannot succeed if they are operating in a vacuum. I will repeat this statement: Customer Success teams cannot succeed if they are operating in a vacuum.

What does that mean and how do you make sure that your Customer Success team never enters into that “vacuum”?

Customer Success as a department has not been around for many years and is a new concept to many. …


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In my previous article, I covered how to hire your first Customer Success Manager. Now that you have “the one”, how do you get them up and running? Onboarding the first person into a new department can be challenging (almost as challenging as finding them). As someone who has successfully onboarded many individuals along the way,

Before You Begin

As with onboarding a customer, onboarding a new member of your team should have a plan. …


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So here you are, building the next up and coming SaaS tool, with the ever so common recurring revenue model. Things are going really well. Your customers really seem to love you, and why wouldn’t they? Your product is awesome! You and your growing customer base seem to be linked arm in arm skipping into the sunset.

More and more users sign up. Your Product Team is innovating and designing the next up and coming product releases. Your Support Team is answering tickets and solving problems at warp speed. Sales is killing it and closing deals. All seems well.

Then it happens. …

About

Maranda Ann Dziekonski

VP Customer Success at Swiftly, former VP Customer Operations at Pared and HelloSign, Lending Club Alumni, Startup Mentor, Operations Junky.

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