In this episode of the Launch Station, we spoke to Stephan Howsepian, who leads a team of Technical Account Managers (TAMs) at Citrix, delivering premium Customer Success Services to its high-profile customers. In his current role, he is responsible for continuous innovation and the improvement of Citrix’s global service delivery practices including key performance measures, operational targets, and the professional development of his team of TAMs.
In this episode, you’ll hear him answer questions on:
Our conversation with Stephan left us with some great insights on how CS teams can strike a balance between Check-box Mentality vs Value-focused mentality by
Here are some of the other takeaways from this session:
Customer success is about showing up and supporting the team: It needs team members who are focused on owning this specialization within their teams.
Understand before being understood: All customers are different, with unique needs, journeys, aspirations, and objectives. Focus on understanding where they are, why they are where they are, where they want to get to, and why they want to get there.
Adopt a flexible attitude: While playbooks and templates are helpful, most plans should be dynamic, allowing teams to pick and choose what works in their specific context. Ensure that all members of the CS team understand why the checklists are created, so they are equipped to use their discretion based on the unique needs of the customer.
Empower your customers: Help customers think about how to think, how to solve problems so that your CS team can go on to expanding their subject matter expertise on the next set of solutions.
Skill sets in a Customer Success team: A good CSM team is a combination of business acumen, technical expertise, and project management. A good fit for people with consulting backgrounds as they can balance customer/relationship management and subject matter/technical expertise. Many organizations have two teams, one for managing the customer and another with the technical expertise that can be brought in when needed. A CS leader should be someone who enjoys interacting with not just the customer, but also other teams at their end — to better orchestrate the master plan and understanding how each team fits in the larger goal at the customer end and your end
Evolution of CS roles
At Citrix, Customer Success grew out of necessity given the various departments and functions. As a result, the customer success approach has evolved to one where the customer has full awareness of all the options available to them, so that they are proposed the right things at the right time. This way, at Citrix’s end, they are not selling what customers may need, but actually need — this way, the sales team has a qualified lead.
Advice to CS managers working with large enterprise clients
Approach to working with high-profile enterprise clients
The CSM team’s portfolio at Citrix is built out considering the different sizes and the financial investment different customers make. A couple of guiding ideas: