The seasonality of customers is agile and complex. On down times we want to focus on what we need to do to get ahead of the curve and set our customers up for success and during the busy times, we will often be tied up with implementing new products or services. However, there is an element that is equally important as Customer Success – Personal Success. Busy and down times for customers will always vary and, frankly speaking, there is no such thing as downtime. So how do we set ourselves up for success so we can excel? To be able to progress and create Success, there are certain points we must consider and talk about openly: Failure
Success is not an inherited trait but rather a learned and earned trait. When we have failures we should not only do a retrospect on what went wrong but we should also openly speak with our colleagues to provide transparency on what went wrong and how we can get better. As a Customer Success Manager we should strive to change the mentality in our workforce to demonstrate that failure is also something positive. Typically what drives failure is shame and fear. Shame that we failed and fear that we will be judged only based on that. Yet, to embrace and speak about failure we allow ourselves to be vulnerable – and that will allow us to become better people and better CSMs. There’s a quote by Brene Brown that highlights why failures are
good, she says, “if one isn’t making mistakes, then one isn’t really showing up!”
Most recently I had our VP of Customer Success mention that in order to create that balance
we should find adequate ways to be present in each. My VP’s comment was “If you’re at work
thinking about how much laundry you have to do or that perhaps your pet/child is at home sick,
how focused are you really at work?” If you’re at a company that offers flex time or work from home days you should feel ok when you take that time off or work from home. It’s ok to disconnect and regroup – by taking “Me days” or a mini vacation we allow our brains to decompress. Uber focusing on issues or tasks when you’re at your max leaves very little room for innovation or creativity. Go ahead and take a break.
We are NOT a band of one. While our title says we are Managers we should not stop at having people work for us but also create relationships through honesty, transparency, and two-way communication. As leaders, we should lead by example and inspire those who work with us and for us. There is no amount of data that will create culture. While you may consider the holiday season as “downtime” – remember to take some time for yourselves and reflect and regroup. Enjoy your families and personal time.
Gary Marroquin is one of the co-founders of the Chicago Customer Success Podcast. He is currently a Technical Customer Success Manager with Label Insight.