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The Customer as the Culture: Highlights from our Customer Success Webinar

Claire Burge In this guest post by Claire Burge, CEO and Founder of This is Productivity, a startup that is redefining the future of work, Claire shares key takeaways and discussion points of  her conversation with Omer Gotlieb, Co-Founder and SVP of Business Development at Totango, about the keys to customer success, which include culture, process, and technology.


Omer and myself broke the conversation into 4 main sections:

  1. Why customer-centricity is important
  2. The current state of customer thinking inside organizations
  3. Customer technologies and how these platforms do and should differ from other business systems
  4. A thinking framework for establishing a customer-success process and culture inside an organization

Of the 190 attendees, highlights of the dialogue and the polls taken include:

  • There is a core group of people leading Customer Success who have executive backing to make the customer a culture in its own right.
  • There is however a group of people who still face a very big uphill battle inside their organizations to make customer-centricity an executive-level agenda.
  • The concept of customer-centred thinking is still being led by the customer success team in most organisations: the connection between all departments is not yet in place.
  • Customer success technologies differ from technologies like Salesforce in that they bring all customer data points together in one centralized place, unlike HR or sales or legal technologies that keep the client silo’ed inside that specific business function or area of the business. For example, once a client is signed, CRM technologies seldom track the client’s full interaction with the business after that point.
  • A thinking framework, which has been proven within business research to be a successful change management formula, was discussed in relation to customer success:
    • Leadership
    • Technology
    • Individual enablement
    • These three factors when combined, bring about the most effective change or movement in a new direction. So whether one is building a success team, or approaching one’s organization about making customer-thinking central to their processes, one has to ensure that one is bringing strong leadership buy-in, a technology to back up all actions and tasks and individual training to the roll-out plan.
  • Practical discussion points were raised around how to bring this to the attention of executive leadership, in comparison to middle management or people working at the coal face inside a team. Each level of team member needs a different set of ROI calculations to justify why investing into customer-centric thinking will be worthwhile at their level.
  • Customer advisory boards were discussed and explained in detail.

Rich questions flowed throughout the webinar and included:

  • Providing a high-touch personalized experience is really challenging with a high number of accounts, how many accounts/customers do you suggest each customer success manager should have?
  • In the absence of an awesome tool like Zoe, what other tools do you suggest?
  • How does one measure client success inside specific applications?
  • What tips or best practices do you have for a customer success team to show value to existing clients?
  • What is the relationship between customer success and customer engagement?
  • How does one efficiently set up a customer success process?
  • How do tools like Totango differ from tools like SalesForce?

Looking forward to exploring more of these conversations with attendees over the coming days as the conversation continues. We are offering limited customer success workshops to attendees who feel that taking a step back and really delving into their process would be a useful exercise.

Adrienne Welch

I'm the Content Marketing Manager here at Totango. I get to hear great stories of how our solution is impacting our customers' businesses, and then I get to share those stories with the world. If you've got a Totango story you want to share, I'd love to hear it!

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