Lesson Learned: Spending 2 Days in the Mountains with 100 Customer Success Leaders

September 27, 2017

Marley Wagner

Category: Customer Experience, Customer Success as a Service, Customer Success Strategy, Virtual Customer Success Management

I recently spent a few days in the mountains of Utah with 100 CS leaders. I say ‘leaders,’ not because of the VP title they wore on a lanyard, but because everyone showed up – ready to learn, ready to engage and ready to lead. My goal of attending CS100 was simple. To leave this mountain retreat smarter than when I arrived, and to have some fun in the process. And boy did I do that. I learned a whole lot. That Utah has some pretty interesting laws, and that nearly everything is closed on Sundays (think Chick-fil-a, but bigger). Contrary to popular belief, I learned chasing waterfalls can be a whole lot of fun (sorry TLC). And I learned on my 4th hike of the trip, that no matter how difficult something seems, you can accomplish anything by putting one foot in front of the other.

In all seriousness, three things resonated with me in the following days. I hope you find value in this short series. Three follow-up pieces ensue, giving each takeaway the spotlight it deserves. You don’t have to attend CS100 to be a CS leader. You too can show up – ready to learn, ready to engage and ready to lead.

1. The value of small, intimate events like CS100

I loved TSW San Diego. CustomerSuccess Con was a success. Gainsight Pulse was awesome. Nick Mehta – if you are reading this, Vanilla Ice performing after breakfast is nearly impossible to beat. But everyone knows Vanilla Ice. Who reading this has heard of Peter Breinholt? I didn’t. I would argue that 90% of attendees hadn’t heard of Peter before CS100. However, as I sat there among my CS colleagues at the Sundance Amphitheater – one thing became evident. Peter wasn’t there for the fame. He was there because this is what he genuinely loved to do. This was his passion and his community. His band-mates were literally his neighbors. Folk/pop may not be my favorite genre of music. But passionate, genuine humans are my favorite genre of people. And this perfectly illustrates what CS100 was all about.

2. CS Innovation of the Year – The Customer Maturity Model

If you are a customer success leader and you have not heard of this, it is only a matter of time before you do. For those of you who haven’t, I’m honored to be the first to shed some light on this game-changing maturity model. For those of you who have – you’re going to want to tune in. Because I also thought it was an impressive concept – until I had the opportunity to sit down with several CS leaders and understand how it is used in practice, the real-life business impacts, and most importantly what that means for you. As the need to scale efficiently grows in your organization – this will be a valuable tool in your CS toolbox.

See here for an in-depth explanation in the meanwhile, from CCO extraordinaire, Boaz.

3. Customer experience and segmentation

Easily the most engaging topic at CS100, as CS leaders, CEO’s and managing partners at equity firms all chimed in. Simply put – consensus amongst all – if you cannot become a true customer-centric company – you will not survive in tomorrow’s business world. Sure, data supports this, but look no further than your own POV when it comes to your habits as a consumer. You cast your vote daily with your dollars, and I challenge you to ask yourself – what kind of companies do you support? How is that changing as your expectation as a consumer evolves?

Learn more – Discover how virtual Customer Success Managers (vCSM) can help improve customer experience at scale. Check it out here.