As DemandGen’s Director of Customer Success, I think a lot about what we can do as a team to help our customers be successful. My background as an account manager helps me understand the potential we have to influence our customers’ success, and my team’s day-to-day experiences give them insight into each client’s unique challenges and opportunities.
I think of customer success like a safety deposit box: two keys are required to open it! As a client, you have your own key—tagged to your key responsibilities—and you entrust DemandGen with a key tagged to ours, so that we can provide the services you need. What that means is that both DemandGen and you, the client, have to contribute to the relationship, to ensure your success.
What are the tags on DemandGen’s key?
1) Listen. I would say, without a doubt, our #1 most important responsibility is to listen to what the customer is saying—reading between the lines to understand not just issues they mention, but their underlying concerns. DemandGen has always been about collaboration, and before you can collaborate you have to understand. So I teach my team to listen actively and work to continually improve our skills.
2) Ask. We have to be willing to ask tough questions, even if they are sensitive or could get into internal topics. Sometimes it can be very difficult to do that, even emotional, but many times I’ve had the experience of one little question opening the floodgates of information—leading to amazing solutions. Our team members are expected to be advocates for customers, even when it is hard.
3) Be Accountable. On DemandGen’s marketing materials, we talk about being an extension of the client’s team. That is not just sales fluff! My team really means it. Each person working on a customer account truly feels that he or she is an extension of the company: that we work FOR these companies, not just WITH them. They care deeply about what happens each and every day. We are invested in the success of each client, and that means we have a lot of accountability for the actions we take.
4) Be Proactive. In a service industry, it can be easy to fall into an “order-taker” mentality: get this project, do it, close it, move on. That’s not the DemandGen way. Instead, we pay attention to the overall patterns in each cycle: what the customer cares about, what the company focuses are, what are their goals and objectives. By doing that, we can look ahead and proactively guide customers in the most helpful ways.
What tags are on the client’s key?
The client’s key tags are more about what can be helpful to our relationship, as opposed to requirements.
1) Championship. Our most successful clients name an effective champion for our relationship: someone who cares about the internal organization, who can be an agent of change, and who sees issues as opportunities rather than roadblocks. The best champions drive toward the overarching goals even when it’s difficult, communicate individual successes, and ultimately benefit their careers as well as their organizations.
2) Transparency. Solutions are most effective when the problem is clearly understood. Of course you have internal issues that need to stay inside, and dirty laundry that we don’t need to see! We don’t want to pry, but the more honest you can be with us, the more help we can be to you.
3) Compassion. At the end of the day, some humor and humility and personality go a long way! We are all people facing the same personal and professional challenges every day. Maybe we’re just really good at selecting our clients, but with the vast majority of them it’s not so much a vendor/company relationship as a friendly collaboration. Understanding the human elements at work makes our relationship work.
Mali Dvir is Director of Customer Success at DemandGen. Mali has played a variety of different roles including Account Management, Solutions Architecture and managing our Implementation team. With over ten years experience working with 400+ clients, delivering complex integrations and supporting our sales and services organizations, Mali has developed a passion for ensuring customer success and satisfaction from the moment we engage with our prospects through delivering exceptional service and support through the lifecycle of our relationship with our clients.