Tell us something fun about yourself.
In 2007, I was on a taping of Wheel of Fortune that aired on my birthday. I won $19,000+ by answering puzzles like Coast to Coast, Stick and Father Figure, and Waves Rolling On The Shore. On Waves Rolling On The Shore, I went on a streak where I didn't get a single letter wrong, but the amounts on my spins were not that much. Pat Sajak joked that one good strategy for playing the game is not to let anyone else play. I would end up placing second and be short of the bonus round because the final wheel round had everyone's letter multiplied by $6,000. I only had a $12,000 lead, so it was anyone's game. I ended up using the money to buy an engagement ring.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself as a new CSM?
Trust the process. Other people will be more skilled, others will make more money, and others will get jobs you want badly. You are exactly where you need to be for each time of your life. Enjoy the ride, but always keep moving forward. Keep the energy you are giving to the CS Community and double it. You will be glad you did.
What book, podcast, or influencer do you recommend checking out?
From Impossible to Inevitable - It will put a lot of perspective on the two sides of the equation: Product and Customer. For a business to be successful, the product and customer need to agree with each other. It also helps reduce barriers such as the gap between critical needs versus nice-to-have.
What is one tech tool you can't live without?
Guru - having all of my playbooks and knowledge at my fingertips makes it easier for me to focus on the customer instead of spending time remembering the process.
How can those looking to break into CS get started?
Start with industries or products you are familiar with. It is easier to hire someone who understands the customer or is a power user who already sees the product's value than someone who is brand new to both.
What's next for Customer Success?
The name of the game is scale these days. When organizations have solidified their CS identity, they look for ways to scale it across the entire book of business efficiently. Digital models pooled CSM vs. named CSM models. These are areas CS professionals should start becoming well-versed in it.
What's something you recently learned the hard way?
A good customer can make up for a bad team. A good team can make up for a bad customer. A bad customer and a bad team can only spell disaster. Additional - This professional community is the gift that keeps on giving. If you spend enough time enriching others, you will receive blessings tenfold. - Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn