Job title: Head of Customer Success
Education: (MSc) Telecommunication Engineering
Hobbies outside of work: Cycling, skiing, beekeeping
What appealed to you about the role as Customer Success Manager at StarLeaf?
I have worked within the field of IP telephony and video conferencing for 15 years. I started as a sales engineer for an Avaya partner in 2004 just after my degree, then in 2006 I moved to Cisco in a Customer Support role. I progressed at Cisco into an early field trials and user experience role and then to product management. All these roles have one thing in common, and that is the culture of “customer first”. That is what appealed to me about customer success for StarLeaf.
What was it like to design and build the customer success programme at StarLeaf?
At the time I joined, there was no customer success team at StarLeaf, all the accounts were looked after by the Sales Managers but that was not scalable anymore considering the impressive growth the company was going through. So, I took on the job and was ready to take on this opportunity. I believe it has been the most challenging year of my career so far, and the most fulfilling I have to say!
What challenges did you face when first developing customer success?
At the beginning, the hardest part for me was to keep the focus. I would set myself an objective and I would work for a few weeks towards that goal, then I would review the results and decide whether to carry on or stop. This all sounds good and a well-organized method of working but this soon became difficult as there are thousands of customers to look after and dozens of colleagues that have valuable suggestions to capture new ways of working.
The biggest challenge I faced when building the team and still have is finding people that can help me scale this team. It requires great people not just to look after a large number of customers but also capable of improving and innovating our tools and practices.
How do you envision customer success at StarLeaf over the next couple of years?
We are building a global team formed of experts that are connoisseurs of the domain in which we operate; the team seeks to maintain its strong professional services to our partners and customers alike. Our partners and customers need Customer Success Managers to be effective and pragmatic guides that are able to plan and execute their success with our technologies.
This Team started in UK and we are now rapidly growing across Europe and US as well. It is going to be a multinational and multilingual team of success developers able to deliver great value to our customers, meeting their business objectives and ultimately help the company growth.
What are you most passionate about within your role at StarLeaf?
StarLeaf built its product from the ground up, we own the hardware, the software and the platform. This means that we can be extremely creative in designing the tools that monitor our customers’ adoption and user experience. Customers’ journeys are mapped in our monitoring systems, their beginnings, their successes and their challenges. I love the fact that often times when we walk into business reviews with our customers we tend to know more than them of how they are using our products. The great visibility and the wealth of tools we have to support our job make this role extremely rewarding and exciting.