The Accidental Customer Success Manager: My Life Driving Adoption and Success with Webex Collaboration
The Customer Success Blog Series highlights Customer Success Managers (CSM) and their Customers where we spotlight a Customer Success Story. Learn how Cisco’s collaboration technology is making positive organizational impacts, solving real-life business challenges and can impact a customer’s outcome.
Driving Adoption with Customer Success
Have you ever heard the adage, “Most of the jobs that kids will have when they grow up, don’t even exist yet!” That’s the real speed at which technology is booming. When I was young, I wouldn’t have known what it meant to be a Customer Success Manager for Cisco, but now I love my job and I don’t want to look back!
First things first: Do you know what a Customer Success Manager (CSM) does? Some people might think it’s a newfangled word for Customer Service, but my role goes far beyond. CSMs are relationship builders that work in continuous strategic engagement with their customers, to help them reach their potential. We enable customers to fully embrace the collaboration solution they just bought, and are always there to monitor and advise throughout the customers’ lifecycles.
Traits of Good Customer Success Manager
I feel like CSMs are multitalented superheroes. A CSM needs to both be quantitative with their advice, based on data from the customer, and they also need to be an empathetic person that enjoys getting to the root of a customer’s emotional needs. I love that I find balance in this role. Sometimes I’m analyzing a customer’s data, which is a quiet activity, and other times I’m in my A-Game outgoing mode, connecting people and engaging stakeholders, to solve their problems.
What Does it Mean to Be a Customer Success Manager at Cisco?
Let me walk you through a day in my life. All-day I keep one goal in mind: How can I take my customers’ work to the next level with Webex?
7 am: I get up and checking on my smartphone for Webex Teams messages and prepare mentally for the meetings I’ll have today. (I love that I can start my workday from anywhere.)
9 am: I arrive at my office, ready to meet with a partner. I connect to one of the available DX80s in the huddle spaces in our office. I get a crystal-clear picture of what my contact needs since we interact face to face over video. We work together to plan how we can technically set the customer up for the best, modern experience.
10 am: I spend some time catching up on messages with customers, ensuring them that I’ve got their back, to solve their needs.
11 am: I catch up with one of my Sales counterparts to have a smooth hand-off discussion of a new customer’s needs. The sales specialist learns the customer’s needs up front and shares them with me so I have insight into how I can best be impactful. We post our follow-up steps into a shared Webex Teams chat space so we stay connected.
Noon: One of my favorite times of the day is catching up with my mentee. He recently got new customers and we are diving into the data to ensure that the approach the customer is getting reflects their needs. I love that part of my job includes learning from and teaching my peers- It helps me grow.
1 pm: Time for a lunch break!
2 pm: Time for a customer meeting. They share that they are looking for a way to make it easier for their project managers to see what is going on with their team in France. This is exactly up my alley and here I am so excited I can share a similar success of another customer, and the steps they took to get there! I give the customer-specific follow up tools to start showing their project managers how they can work with WebEx, like our Adoption Guides & Toolkits
My big goal with customers is always this: How can you effectively use the Cisco Webex collaboration solution
to make your work life easier and, as a positive side effect, drastically improve your work life balance?
4 pm: I prepare for an Online Class we are going to give in German about getting started with Webex Meetings and Webex Teams. Sometimes, I host these live sessions with any customers who want to drop in and learn something new, like new features or user tricks.
5.30 pm: Time to head home and enjoy the evening.
9 pm: I do just a quick check on Webex Teams, now that my global counterparts are online. I have the occasional late conversation, but there’s nothing cooler than a live chat with someone in Amsterdam, the USA, and Australia at the same time.
Learning and Sharing Keep me Passionate about my Job
Every day as a CSM is different, and my days give me opportunities to learn over and over again from different customers and advise them from my experience. My customer’s success is what puts a smile on my face. Every success story I create, where we work together to reach their success, I treasure and learn from.
Check out a story about the success of one of my customers, Technofy. By adopting collaboration technology with Cisco, Technofy connected their dispersed teams and cut down travel by 50%.
So there you have it- I’m in my dream job- helping customers reach their full collaboration potential. If I’d have known what my dream job would be as a kid, I might have had a different answer to the constant child question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Questions about being a Customer Success Manager at Cisco? Feel free to ask in the comments!
If you like to join our team and work together with me, you can apply here.
Sep 16, 2021 — Aruna Ravichandran