Ep. 60 – Interview w/ Wally Thiessen

How B2B Organizations Can Improve Their Customer Success Approach

Satisfied customers and renewals are but a few objectives that are paramount to any B2B organization’s success. These cannot be achieved without the right customer success (CS) approach in place. On this week’s episode, we have an engaging conversation with CS expert Wally Thiessen (Customer Success Leader and Member of the Board, Toronto CXPA) about the importance of CS within organizations, how data can be leveraged to optimize CS, and what the components of a successful CS approach are. Wally also talks about how sales and customer success alignment creates much-needed synergy, and how organizations should address the challenges that they are currently facing with CS.

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Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Wally explains the differences between Customer Success (CS) and Customer Experience (CX) [1:54]
  • Some of the most common mistakes/misconceptions when it comes to Customer Success:
    • Converting customer support to customer success [05:56]
    • Focusing too much on the happiness factor [07:55]
  • How to leverage data to optimize Customer Success [10:41]
  • The key components of a successful Customer Success approach: a.) Finding the right customer, b.) Managing the health score, c.) Getting your segmentation right [14:30]
  • Wally’s advice: Start having a closer working relationship between CX and CS, as well as between customer marketing and CS [31:19]

Transcript

SPEAKERS

Christian Klepp, Wally Thiessen

Christian Klepp  00:00

Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for B2B marketers that helps you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. Each week, we talk to B2B marketing experts who share inspirational stories, discuss their thoughts and trending topics, and provide useful marketing tips and recommendations. And now, here’s your host and co-founder of EINBLICK Consulting, Christian Klepp. Welcome everyone to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast where you get your weekly dose of B2B marketing insights. So this is your host, Christian Klepp. And today, I am honored to have a guest on the show who is on a mission to build innovative winning teams and empower others to reach objectives that exceed themselves using a customer success approach. So coming to us live from the beautiful city of Toronto, where I also happen to live, Mr. Wally Thiessen, welcome to the show, sir.

Wally Thiessen  00:54

Thanks very much Christian, great to be here.

Christian Klepp  00:57

It’s great to be connected again, Wally, and I have to say, this is a this is a great city that we live in, except for the property pricing. But that I think would be a different podcast episode entirely.

Wally Thiessen  01:07

Yeah, that would be that would be a whole 30, 45 minutes easily,

Christian Klepp  01:11

Easily, easily. And that’s just that’s just warming up right? so

Wally Thiessen  01:15

Exactly yah.

Christian Klepp  01:16

But um, yeah, let’s get this conversation going. Because this is definitely going to be an interesting topic. Yeah. So while you know, you’ve built up a successful career around, as you call it, developing strong relationships with customers and helping them to solve problems effectively, especially in the area known as CS or Customer Success. So this is not to be confused with the discipline known as customer experience, or CX. Right? Right. So please explain the what the differences are between CS and CX and why you believe these are so important for B2B organizations?

Wally Thiessen  01:54

Absolutely. Both very critical organizations. However, there, there is a very big difference between the two. And if I can explain it in my own terms, I would say that, whereas with CX, what you’re trying to do is deliver on your brand promise over the course of a customer’s life cycle. Okay, the sum total of all of the interactions and how the customer perceives those. So for example, if I think of Disney, everybody knows of Disney. The brand of Disney is essentially that it’s the happiest place on earth. And my family would certainly agree with that. And I think that most people would probably agree that in terms of its brand, it works, because all of the interactions from people buying their tickets, interacting, asking questions, visiting, you know, everything to do with seeing Disney and experiencing Disney has to do with making it the happiest place on earth, just ask my wife. So I think that it meets up to that. So essentially, if you’re looking at CX, it’s largely around the brand strategy on mass for all of the customer base, all of the interactions. Whereas when you’re talking about Customer Success, it’s really much more specific. For one thing, it only pertains to B2B. And even within B2B businesses, it’s to do with recurring revenue. And largely within that, with Software as a Service companies, SaaS companies, and the focus is more about achieving desired outcomes. Yes, there’s happiness and customer experience is huge. But it’s really designed to help customers achieve their desired outcomes. So for example, if a company wants to acquire a CRM solution, they acquire that CRM solution for very specific things, they want to improve their upselling, they want to improve their efficiency, better organization of data on their customers, all kinds of different reasons. And then usually you want to attach percentages, you know, increase this by 10%, reduce that by 5%, etc. It also has to do with more of an operational or functional view. So in terms of where it comes into the cycle, it’s not like customer experience, where it’s the whole interaction and even before the interaction or after the interaction, it’s really more about after the sale. So the sales team would go out and sell something, customer acquires that, largely services would go in and do an implementation and then customer success comes in. So at that point, they help the customer get up to speed with the software, get value out of the software, ideally renew the software, and then expand on the software in the next few years, as long as the customer uses the software. So it’s about the recurring revenue. It’s about the software as a service, largely other industries as well, telecommunications, health and others, anybody with recurring revenue, but largely at this point, it’s it’s limited to Software as a Service companies and is focused more on the after sale aspect, not the whole customer lifecycle. Does that cover it? It’s really quite… as I said, you know, they’re both very important for companies, it’s just that they’re a little bit different. One is more functional, whereas one is more than overall brand strategy.

Christian Klepp  05:15

No, that absolutely covers it. And then, you know, going back to the point you mentioned a couple of minutes ago, it really ties into, like, as you said, recurring revenue. So there’s a lot there’s a very strong, if I understood you correctly, quantitative aspect to it.

Wally Thiessen  05:28

Absolutely. Just this is about companies making money. It’s you know, it’s definitely not a consumer kind of gig. It’s about companies making money, if they don’t make money, then they’re not gonna keep using your product.

Christian Klepp  05:40

Well, that’s absolutely right. That’s absolutely right. Okay, Wally, so you know, you have a lot of experience in the field of customer success. So you’ve probably seen it at all. So talk to us about some of the most common mistakes and misconceptions that you’ve seen when it comes to CS? And how best to address them?

Christian Klepp  05:56

Sure, sure, I’ll give you I’ll give you a couple different ones, the first one that comes to mind, and it doesn’t quite happen as much anymore. But what companies will sometimes tend to do is try and convert their customer support department into a customer success department. It’s on paper, it looks like a really easy switch. You know, they’re used to helping customers, so why can’t they be Customer Success people and then over time, we’ll, you know what, we’ll tweak it a little bit. And the problem with that is that the orientation of people within customer support. And these are very capable people, they know the products well, they know the systems, the processes, etc., very well. However, the way that they used to operating is in a very reactive mode, you expect customers to call them and have questions for them and address and give them you know, problems to solve, issues to solve. Whereas Customer Success is something very different on this, this particular score, it has more to do with being proactive. Customer Success has to have individuals who are very comfortable engaging customers, you know, up and down the chain users, managers, executives, and very comfortable engaging them in a dialogue and encouraging them to do certain activities that are good for everybody’s interest. So with customer support people there used to sit, I shouldn’t say sitting back, but that’s the nature of the job, they wait for customers to call, they’re waiting for the phone to ring, for the emails to come in. And they tend to be individuals who are more comfortable in that sort of a realm, whereas in customer success, you have to have people of a different profile who are proactive by nature. In fact, I would probably go so far as to warn of a cautionary tale here. Beware of CSM who are not proactive, who are not comfortable being proactive. The remedy really is higher productivity. That’s one of the key factors that you’re going to have to look for with your people. So that’s the first thing that comes to mind.

Wally Thiessen  07:55

Another thing that I would, I would probably point towards is that sometimes companies focus a little bit too much or almost exclusively, on the happiness factor. You know, of course, we all want to make our customers happy. It is a very important thing. But happiness is not always necessarily success, especially not in the B2B realm. With customers in B2B, they’re buying products to achieve and goals. They want to measure these goals, they want to achieve those goals. And if they’re not seeing them, they won’t continue using your product. So it’s really important for organizations not to become all consumed with the happiness factor. But focus largely on helping customers reach outcomes get value out of the product. And I would say that if you’re thinking of what would be a remedy for that, how do we start moving down that path? One thing I would say is to help the customer set outcomes, help them figure out what types of things that they probably have, you know, general aspirations for what they want the product to do, but help them tangibly articulate what it is specifically they want to get out of the product, help document it, monitor it, work very closely with your sales team. So Customer Success Managers (CSM) should be working very closely with the reps. And they should be there when the deal closes. So that they can capture this information because the salesperson may or may not necessarily be capturing that type of information. And this, this is actually one of the most difficult things within Customer Success, is being able to capture, monitor and help prove to the customer that they are receiving value out of their acquisition. So that’s the second one that I would point to.

Christian Klepp  09:39

No, those are really good. Those are really great points. And I think it was back to something that you were saying earlier. It’s the nature of the beast, isn’t it. Like you were saying, like customer support is like, okay, they’ll wait until something’s broken. And then you call it and say, Hey, listen, my laptop’s not working. Where’s…? Yeah, whereas Customer Success is, like you said, proactive. And it’s more strategic. It requires somebody not just with that foresight and that strategic approach, but somebody that understands how important research and data and understanding and analyzing trends is. Right. Which, which is a beautiful segue into the next question, because, you know, you kind of can’t talk about customer success. And, and not talk about data, right? Or or at least not bring it up, right. So in your experience, and you’ve spoken to us, you’ve spoken about it a little bit in the past couple of minutes. But how do you… how do you best leverage data to optimize CS?

Wally Thiessen  10:41

Sure, yeah, it’s a data driven world out there. And that certainly holds true for customer success. For starters, I just want to remind everybody that the priority for customer success is to focus on recurring revenue and help customers capture outcomes. And around recurring revenue, that means renewals. And renewals can be done either on an annual basis or sometimes even on a monthly basis. And those tend to be the most popular timeframes, but they can be other ones as well. But basically, you want to help secure the renewal and avoid churn. And the wonderful thing about data is that as long as you’re capturing data, and the systems available today will certainly allow you to capture the data as long as you’re inputting it properly. But it gives you the ability to predict, it gives you the ability to predict when things aren’t going well. So for example, if an implementation of the software system is rocky, if the customer is making a lot of support calls way more than they should be, the system will pick up on that and will provide you with alerts and metrics to be able to do something with that. Which means that you can capture this in advance and deal with it far ahead of when it’s necessary. So there’s several elements of data here. But basically, you have to capture all the data that you can, and work with the system to be able to predict what that means in terms of the customers journey. Is the customer’s journey going well or not well, and you want to jump on it as quickly as possible. Because when that clock goes around to one year, you know, they’d better be happy. Well, not just happy, but also seeing value. And actually, now that I think about it, so data is critical for that that first aspect, which is basically securing the renewal, but it’s also critical for being able to see where the opportunities are. Because the flip side for customer success is being able to either run with cross sell, or upsell opportunities themselves, or to put that in the form of a lead to hand off to the sales team.

Christian Klepp  12:44

That’s absolutely right. And you know, what, to your point, you, you made me think of another question that I’m just gonna throw out there. Hopefully, this won’t ruffle anyone’s feathers. But I’m to your point about what you know CS practitioners or CS managers need to do with data, do you think that that’s probably also where organizations get it wrong? It’s because their teams, because of their teams’ inability to, to analyze or understand those patterns and to and to accurately predict where things are going to go?

Wally Thiessen  13:16

Yes, that is certainly an issue. However, I would say a bigger one is just getting the data organized properly and put into the system cleansed. You know, there’s no end of difficulty. It’s, it’s kind of like the old data warehouse or data mart world. You know, getting your data organized is always most of the effort, usually the predictive stuff happens. And usually it can teach people how to how to read the reports or how to make the best use of the data or the metrics available. But just organizing the data is always a huge issue. Because think about it, you have a lot of different systems. You have, you know, perhaps Salesforce as your sales system, and then you have, you know, another ticketing system in place to be able to capture your support issues. And who knows how many other systems you’re using, and bringing that all together? You know, you never want to underestimate that effort.

Christian Klepp  14:07

Yeah, no doubt. And I suppose you’re referring to like data hygiene, right? Yeah. Yeah.

Wally Thiessen  14:13

Anything to do with Yeah, ETL – Extract, Transform, Load, hygiene, cleansing, any number of data data activities. Yeah.

Christian Klepp  14:23

So for this next question, could you please explain the components of what you would consider a successful CS approach?

Wally Thiessen  14:30

Sure, glad to. And it’s interesting that you asked that because there is a terrific book, I didn’t write it. I’m not getting any money out of it. But it’s actually called Customer Success, I look at it as, as kind of the bible of customer success. And within that, if anybody’s interested, they have 10 laws, which are laid out very nicely in that that provides kind of the foundation of the book, I’d encourage anybody to read it if they want to know more on this topic. But just to kind of boil it down to what I see is the essence of the core components. The first thing that I would say, and you’ll probably think this is a little bit of an odd one is finding the right customer. Because that’s not necessarily something that customer success does. Customer success can certainly help in terms of profiling what a good customer looks like, as they see more and more customers implementing the solutions. But this is this is kind of a movie that we’ve all seen happen, it’s a huge train wreck, you know, sales reps, or sales are being pushed to close deals, they close deals. Sometimes whether or not the customer really is suited for that particular product. And there is no end of headaches downstream when this is done. In fact, it’s estimated that 90% of churn actually happens at the point of sale, which is kind of scary when you think about it. Not only do you lose the customer, but just think of how much effort goes into all of your teams. You know, the poor implementation guys were trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. You know, the trainers, the customer support, tech support, in addition to all the CSM efforts that are going to be, you know, implemented to be able to implement what is essentially not the right fit. And then in the end, the customer is either going to be demoralized, and not happy and renew just the same or not renew. So that’s actually the first one that I would point to, even though it’s kind of an unusual one.

Wally Thiessen  16:24

If I were to point to another one, I would say relentlessly manage health scores. So health scores are kind of a dashboard that’s used by customer success to be able to see whether a customer is doing well on that the key health metrics. And I would use a little bit of an analogy here, because when you think of a sales manager’s pipeline, they live and breathe by that pipeline. If you’ve… I’m sure we’ve all seen situations where a sales rep might mess up the pipeline might not put as much effort as they should into it, maybe it’s not clean, maybe they haven’t put everything in, that’s the best way to get the ire of any sales manager. And they usually don’t last long if they do that too often. So that the sales manager really depends on the pipeline to be able to drive their actions, you know, as a sales rep too light on activity, do they need to prospect more? Are there deals too small? Are they not doing the right actions? Are the deals dying for certain reasons all the time? You know, a lot of that can be gleaned from a pipeline. So the same way that a sales manager manages and uses and depends on the pipeline, is the way that customer success would use customer health metrics. Okay, has the product been adopted well? What did the survey scores tell us? Are they engaging marketing? That’s a big one right there. You know, we spend a lot of time developing references and capturing references, we don’t have the references, it’s really hard for sales to be able to do their work. And also are they engaging us with respect to the offers that we’re putting forward even as offers just to tell them about our roadmap where the products going? So all these factors can be picked up by the health metrics. And that’s, I would say a key thing that actually ties to data again, as well, but it’s really a key thing that you need to pay attention to.

Wally Thiessen  18:13

And then finally, I would say like marketing, segmentation is huge. That’s one of the first steps in marketing right? Figure out you know, who are the different customers? How are you going to divide them up? And how are you going to treat them and you know, what, what sort of offers do you want to put to them. Getting segmentation right is huge for customer success as well. And again, like marketing, often it’s done by size and potential, you know, your biggest, most valuable customers who have the biggest opportunities down the road, they’re going to be the ones that you would deem to be what we refer to as high touch. High touch means Customer Success Manager (CSM) probably would not deal with too many of these accounts, and would give them a lot of attention. The next tier down the middle tier, is what we would refer to as low touch so you’re still engaging with them just not as often and not as much. And then for the very small customer We usually refer to those as tech touch, because that’s where you’re getting a little bit more programmatic. This is where you want to point the more towards webinars and communities and resource areas for them to be able to do more of a self serve type of approach, as well as automated emails, of course, and that can get very sophisticated. So those are probably the three that I would I would point to as some of the key things that you would want to keep in mind.

Christian Klepp  19:34

Wally, you broke that down so beautifully, I’m just gonna have to quickly recap that. So one is finding the right customer. The second one is managing the health scores, and segmentation.

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You know, you spoke about metrics. You know, I believe that was the second point that you brought up and, you know, just off the top of your head, in terms of customer success, what are your most important metrics that you will say, you know, CS practitioners need to be paying attention to, as they’re developing these CS strategies?

Wally Thiessen  20:36

Yeah, I would say, time to value. So that’s how quickly can you work with a customer to help them see value out of the software. So it may not be complete value, it may be, they may want to achieve, say, five key factors or three key factors. So it might be getting them to see value in the first. It’s like anything that builds momentum. If they can get a quick hit, find something where they see value, then all of a sudden, everybody gets lifted up. The users, the managers, the executives, everybody gets a good feeling. And that’s what gives everybody the energy to be able to push forward for other things.

Christian Klepp  21:17

So I’d like to get your thoughts on this Wally, there’s, you know, there’s several articles out there, but I picked one by a platform called Futureofsaas.io. Okay, well, there are many key trends that are shaping the future of customer success. And here are some of the main highlights there are several on the list. But in the interest of time, I’ve chosen three. The first one is sales and Customer Success alignment creates synergy. Point number two is Customer Success evolves as the new growth engine. And point number three is Customer Success is becoming a promising career discipline. I would have thought that was already the case currently, but you know, shows you how much I know right it. So thoughts on the above.

Wally Thiessen  22:01

Yeah. So the first thing you mentioned was sales and customer success. And I would say 100%. The relationship with sales is the most important one for customer success. By far. In fact, generally what I do is, is I try and encourage the CSM that I oversee to meet with their sales counterparts, at least for the key accounts, the focus accounts, ideally, once a week, if possible, at least a little touch base because staying close with the sales rep is absolutely critical for all aspects of the sales and the customer relationship. And especially when it comes to revenue aspects like around the renewals, and around any cross sell or upsell opportunities, how to finesse them work together, coordinate, share information, all that sort of thing. So that’s the first one. I think the second one you mentioned had to do with the new growth engine.

Christian Klepp  22:57

Yes.

Wally Thiessen  22:58

Okay. And that that kind of has to do with the upsell and cross sell as well. And right now this is this is kind of a hot topic. Because I know that a lot of organizations are trying to push customer success as far as possible, to the point where they want customer success, the CSM to take charge over the renewals, as well as the upsell and cross sell. And some cases that can work really well. But it really depends on lots of different factors, how complex the deal is, whether there’s a lot of negotiation, etc. And the one thing that you really want to be sure of is that you’re not undermining that the CSM role as a trusted advisor because as soon as the customer ceases to think of the CSM as a trusted advisor, it’s to nobody’s benefit, because then the customer will automatically lose faith, or a lot of faith in the CSM, and it won’t be won’t be effective, won’t be efficient, it won’t be good for anybody anymore. So you have to make sure that you maintain that trusted advisor status by all means. And then the final thing is promising career and I would actually go further and say that it’s already become a very… it’s a huge career and it’s growing in leaps and bounds the past five or six years I’ve seen dramatic growth. And it continues. I heard the other day actually that it’s somewhere between 30 and 40% annual growth right now, in terms of the number of CSM, the number of people in customer success. You know, you get situations where a lot of university students, recent grads, come right out of school and march right into startups. That’s very popular, very common. The two are actually made for each other. And the other thing you see quite a bit of are people who are mid-career, who have decided, I don’t want to be a teacher anymore, I’m going to go into customer success. You’d be surprised at how many people move from different types of careers, marketing sales to customer success. So it already has become a juggernaut, and is going to continue to be one, even though the field is relatively young and still maturing, it’s certainly quite a magnet.

Christian Klepp  25:07

Yeah, no. Exactly. And that was my assumption that it was already a promising career discipline, that’s just to your point, it’s just evolved in, you know, different directions. And some of that might have to do with what’s been going on in the past 12 to 15 months, we’re not going to mention that word. But um, or just CS in general. Right. And, and just adding on to that point for the next question is what are some of these challenges that you’re seeing, you know, the CS currently facing?

Wally Thiessen  25:38

I would say that probably the biggest challenge, which has come up over the last little while, and will be with us going forward, is around how do you balance the need to scale with personalization. And what I mean by that is that organizations will naturally want to be able to support their customers with as little effort as necessary, or by automating as much as possible. And you know what, CSM ‘s are expensive, you can’t really afford to have CSM on every single account, there will always be a lot of accounts, generally smaller accounts or less prominent accounts for the organization. And you want to try and find ways to service your customers with less face time, less touch engagement, but you do want to have some touch, because, you know, let’s face it, that’s what, that’s what connects customers and vendors together. So you do want to try and figure out how to do that together. And I’ve actually seen one really good approach for this, at least, I like it. And the idea is that even if the customer, given the size of the account is destined to become a tech touch account, doesn’t mean that you can’t still do the orientation for them with the CSM. And this is important because what you want to do is get that customer off on the right foot, and you want them to implement the product, essentially the way that it needs to be implemented, you want the people trained, you want the adoption to happen. So once you get some of that going, then you want to gently ease them off into more of a programmatic response with tech touch. So I think that that’s, that’s probably the best approach that I’ve come across. And then in terms of… so I would say that’s kind of what I see is the biggest challenge right now. And then I would say that there’s always the big ongoing challenge, which is always around helping the customer see value from their acquisition, that’s always going to be a challenge, never going to be easy. And there’s a million reasons why it’s going to be an ongoing pursuit.

Christian Klepp  27:44

Yeah, absolutely. And you know, to your point about automation. I mean, like, quite frankly, there is a there is a time and place for that. And in this day and age where everything is becoming increasingly digital, and we’re technology, you know, as the usage of technology in the right way is paramount. I mean, there is a certain degree. And again, back to your point, there is a certain degree of like the human touch or personalization required in these interactions.

Wally Thiessen  28:11

Absolutely.

Christian Klepp  28:12

All right. So here comes the part where you have the opportunity to get up on your soapbox, and in a good way, in a good way, but like I guess the question is, what is it like that you believe or rather, what is the status quo in customer success that you passionately disagree with? Or reject? And why?

Wally Thiessen  28:35

For sure, and I think I may have touched on this already a little bit, but it’s the obsession that you get in some quarters and yeah, it I would say it’s kind of an obsession around customer happiness. You know, you can make a customer ecstatic, but in the B2B world, while that’s wonderful. And you certainly want to do that. If you do that without making sure that they see the outcomes, they see the value and then ultimately, you will fail which is which has to do with success in this case has to do with renewing. And for customer to renew they have to be seeing that they’re getting value tangible value that they can measure So yes, absolutely, you know, do what you can to make the customer happy. And that is an important pursuit. But at the same time, don’t do it at the expense of helping them see the value. And I would say that in reality, you do need both. Essentially, you have to achieve outcomes to be able to guarantee that the renewal will happen. And at the same time, you really do want that happiness or customer experience, positive customer experience, delight the customer and all that, because that’s what gets advocates built. That’s how you encourage more people to become advocates. And if you get a lot of advocates, that’s what leads to growth, because those are the people within your customer base, who are going to encourage their customers internally to look at other products, other uses, grow their footprint. So it’s actually they’re actually really good partners when you think about it.

Christian Klepp  30:08

And I might have asked us previously, Wally, but if you were to choose, or maybe you don’t even have to choose, but that’s probably what I’m asking you. What would you prioritize? Would you prioritize happy customers over renewals or renewals over happy customers? My sense is the latter from what you’ve been saying.

Wally Thiessen  30:30

Yeah, but at the same time, you can’t disregard, you can’t, you know, totally to the complete disregard of the other. You know, you have to put effort into both. You have to make sure that both happened to a certain extent.

Christian Klepp  30:44

So you gonna have to bring a balance between the two?

Wally Thiessen  30:46

Yeah, you just have Yeah, it’s it’s, it can never be all one or, you know, not the other. Sure. It’s all outcome, and you’re just upsetting the customer time and again, what good is that? They’re gonna leave anyways.

Christian Klepp  31:01

Absolutely. Absolutely. And just like, you know, just to wrap this up some parting words or words of advice to all these CS practitioners out there. One thing that you think people should start and one thing that you think they should stop when it comes CS?

Wally Thiessen  31:19

Okay, yeah, I gotta cheat a little bit. So there’s a couple things that I want them to start. One, I would like to see a closer working relationship between customer experience and customer success. I don’t see that often enough. CX is brilliant for providing insights, they can provide so many insights to customer success. Not to mention be able to provide customer success, the really good understanding of factors around the customer lifecycle, and the customer journey. So I would say that that’s a key thing. And at the same time, customer success can provide valuable feedback and validation to the people in customer experience, the two should be working together very close. And I just don’t see that enough. And the other thing that I would say, along the same lines is working closer between customer marketing, and customer success. Customer marketing is traditionally where you get things like, you know, communities, and webinars and all kinds of other programmatic programs. It’s kind of where tech touch is going anyways. So you should really work a lot closer together. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. But I think it’s one of those things that needs to happen. And or investing in customer marketing, because it’s a little bit different than customer success. Yeah, so those would be the two things and you wanted me to mention a stop. And this doesn’t happen all the time, but we don’t want it to happen ever. And that’s not letting some of the sales reps some of the sales reps like to hold on to their ownership of the account a little bit too tight. And they don’t often or they don’t always let in the CSM. And that’s really to everybody’s detriment. Because the customers would benefit with that, that engagement between customer success. And so would the sales rep, everybody would, it just breaks down the relationship if the sales reps are trying to hold things a little bit too tight and not letting anybody else in. So that would be my stop.

Christian Klepp  33:31

Right. Right. Well, that’s some pretty solid advice. So Wally, thank you so much for coming on and sharing. This has been such an informative and absolutely insightful session. So please do us the honor of introducing yourself and let us know how folks out there can get in touch with you.

Wally Thiessen  33:48

Sure, sure. I guess you can say that I’m a passionate career relationship guy. I build relationships throughout my whole career with customers, the focus being to help them solve their problems, and continue being customers. I’ve done this through being a sales leader through starting a customer marketing organization as well as launching a customer success group as well. I guess when it comes right down to it, I’ve always felt that if we’re solving the customer’s problems, everything else will be taken care of. It’s just the way it goes. I should also mention that I’m a board member of the CXPA in Toronto, Customer Experience Professionals Association. Because I truly believe that customer experience can be a huge boost to customer success. And I think that the closer we can get those two organizations working together, the better for everybody.

Christian Klepp  34:46

Fantastic. And how can people out there get a hold of you?

Wally Thiessen  34:49

Oh, yes, um, LinkedIn fits for purpose, works great. Feel free to reach out to me. I’ll be glad to connect with anybody who just wants to chat about you know, customer success and and how it works and how we can make it better.

Christian Klepp  35:07

Fantastic Wally Thiessen, thank you so much for your time. It’s been an absolute pleasure. So take care, be safe, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Wally Thiessen  35:16

Thanks very much, Christian. Have a good day.

Christian Klepp  35:18

Take care. Bye for now.

Wally Thiessen  36:09

Bye bye.

Christian Klepp  35:20

Thank you for joining us on this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. To learn more about what we do here at EINBLICK, please visit our website at www.einblick.co, and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast player.

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