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Customer Success is turning 25! Why is it still so hard?

Authored by Paul Reeves

For the next 12 months, Emila D’Anzica and I will produce The CS Makeover Show in partnership with Gainsight to simplify CS operations and enablement. Each month Emilia will host a LinkedIn Live show featuring guests who have transformed a customer-facing service or program and improved the lives of its customers and employees. There will be Before and After segments with a focus on the surprising “makeovers” and the lessons we can all learn to simplify and improve our work. This show will be a little different than your usual podcast, webinar, webcast, or live show in a few ways.

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It’s All About Simple

The main goal of our show is to make it easier for CS professionals to get results by providing clear, easy-to-follow guidance. If you search for “‘customer success’ best practices” today, you’ll get over 6 million hits. Virtually every month, you can find a new book on Amazon on CS. It’s not that there isn’t good content, but so often it’s superficial. It lacks details and context. We hope to cover one topic a month and provide sufficient detail, guidance, and tools that you’ll be able to quickly apply the lessons that were shared by our featured experts. Simplicity, we hope, brings clarity that empowers. It’s a big task, but fortunately, we won’t be doing it alone.

This Show is about You

There are now so many CS experts that have so much to share. So the show is not a single, 30-minute live event. It’s a daily collaboration with you and the thousands of CS practitioners who endeavor to help other CS professionals be successful. Our program month begins with a blog post, like this one, introducing the month’s topic and guest. It also introduces one or more polls to get feedback on questions we should explore this month and discuss during the show.

In the live show, the audience will be the third guest and included in the discussion via poll results, comments, and live Q&A. After the show, we will compile guidance and contributions into useful collections, with proper attribution–giving credit where credit belongs. We’ll publish and collate content on this website. Each month we will release a tool or practice that you can use immediately.

Our Inaugural Show: GitLab’s David Sakamoto and Sherrod Patching

Our first show will focus on simplifying premium-tier customer onboarding, an inherently complex process involving multiple teams and risky transitions. Emilia is excited to welcome
GitLab’s VP of Customer Success, David Sakamoto, and Head of Global Technical Account Management, Sherrod Patching. For those who don’t know, GitLab became a unicorn in 2018 after Alphabet’s Google Ventures (GV), Iconiq Capital and Khosla Ventures invested $100 million in the company. The open-sourced GIT repository and collaboration platform became even more popular with global tech communities after Microsoft acquired its leading rival, GitHub. This meant the company had to onboard even more customers than ever.

David joined GitLab in early 2019 and he brought Sherrod a year later. Together they will explain the complex challenges that prevented their teams from quickly getting their customers deployed and realizing value. They will share the decisions they made and why they chose the technology they did to bring order to the chaos. In an initial discussion, we learned that some benefits of the simplified onboarding program include happier customers and happier team members who can enjoy weekends and vacations. You don’t want to miss their makeover story!

Want to Share Your Simplified Story?

Do you have a story to tell? Lessons to share? Share your tips and best practices by posting them in the Gainsight community, on LinkedIn or Twitter, and tagging them with #SimplifyingCS.

On LinkedIn DM Emilia or me, Paul Reeves, to join the list of possible guests on the show. We’re reviewing applications and looking for guests to showcase or appear in recorded segments.

Our First Poll

Our first poll is about the challenges you’ve overcome when launching your onboarding program for premium-tier customers. Here are a few common examples:

  • Transitions: Ensuring internal handoffs happen consistently
  • Playbooks: Having a playbook to onboard customers efficiently and easily
  • Data: Identifying and using the right data to capture and use
  • Customers: Getting customers to participate in the process
  • Results: Knowing when onboarding is done

Question: What challenges do you experience in managing your onboarding program for premium-tier customers?

What challenges do you experience in managing your onboarding program for premium-tier customers?

More Resources to Help You Simplify.