How Driving Customer Success Drives Robin Part 1 of 2
Allison Slater has been Manager of Customer Success, at Robin since late last year, and she’s been working within the Customer Success/CS function since 2015.
During a thirty minute Q&A, what came across most clearly was Slater’s passion for helping Robin’s customers succeed. What follows is an edited version of our conversation.
How does Robin organize and define the customer success function?
Slater: We've got a team of 25 people within Customer Success that includes onboarding specialists (or “ONBs”), customer success managers (CSMs), and team managers. Our CS team is divided into two parts, on-boarding and customer success.
Our onBs give our customers a consistent onboarding and training experience to get their first site launched with Robin. And post-onboarding, customer success owns the long-term customer partnership. Our CSMs help customers with product adoption, expansion, customer feedback, best practices, customer advocacy, renewals, and beyond.
We define our CSMs as optimistic workplace experts our customers can rely upon to help them create vibrant workplaces that empower people to do their best work and foster a sense of community.
How do you measure success as a CS team?
Slater: Well, customer success is in our name, and every customer has different needs and a different version of what success looks like. What we call “customer health” is a big indicator of our success.
It might sound “squishy,” but there are multiple data points we use to measure “customer health.” Of course, we track a customer’s adoption and utilization. There's also aspects of customer health that are more subjective.
We ask our CSMs and our ONBs to determine “how happy is the customer with us? What are their customer-specific success factors? What are their particular risk factors?”
We work collaboratively in CS to put together a story around our customer base, and we’ll use colors to paint a picture too, saying, “we've got this many customers who are bright green and really happy with us. We've got some in the yellow zone that need more attention and care, and we might even have a few who are in the red and ready to churn.”
Our approach to customer success is both quantitative – we look at lots of data points – and also qualitative, based on the ongoing conversations our CS team has with each customer. We blend the data points and the subjective elements to tell a fuller story that enables us to track and drive customer success.
What are “typical” challenges our customers face, whether in onboarding or later in their customer journey?
Slater: Robin is really easy to set up, so the biggest challenge most customers face, as with any new software launch, is getting their employees to start using it.
After the launch, we support customers in developing a great communication strategy to ensure that employees know about the tool and know how to take full advantage of its benefits. The scope and specifics of that adoption/communication strategy really depends on the complexity and needs of each customer organization. Our CS team helps them tailor the communication strategy to drive adoption and utilization.
Another “typical” challenge we help customers with is getting the full value from Robin data and the insights it can provide to support better decision-making. There are insights around how your workforce is interacting with, and feeling about, your workspace/office.
“How much are your people using the office and when do they use it? What are your people liking and not liking?” That data is important to harness as you develop hybrid work plans and policies, and configure your workspaces.
How does Robin share customer success and best practices across our base of customers?
Slater: We do so many different things. For example, we write up case studies about our highly-successful customers so that other customers can learn from their experiences and approaches. We're also working towards a customer community later this year, a place where customers can more directly share experiences, ask questions, and help each other.
Our blog , podcast, and resource center are also great ways that we share best practices and thought leadership around hybrid work strategies in general with our customers and the wider workplace community.
Obviously, our CSMs are great resources for sharing know-how and actionable insights about driving customer success. Our CSMs have a breadth and depth of experience that they share internally and with our customers.
There's also a really cool hybrid workplace index that we've built into the product – it offers analytics that customers can use to benchmark themselves for their industry, their country, and beyond to see how they stack up against others and where they might improve.
How do the ONBs and CSMs approach building a “success-focused” relationship with each customer?
Slater: We take a consultative approach that requires a lot of listening and asking good questions to better understand what success means for each customer. One size definitely will not fit all, so we tailor what we do to the unique workplace culture of each customer and iterate as we go. Sometimes that means us providing standard resources or templated approaches that the customer can then tailor for themselves.
We also have an employee experience tool in Robin that collects employee feedback, so customers can actually ask their employees how their experience is every time they go into the office. The tool also includes a blank box where employees can go into more detail about their experience and how they might want the office improved.
The admins can see that feedback and use it to take appropriate action. All of this feedback helps us help our customers with adoption and helps them – and us – identify what's really going on and what can be improved moving forward.
Stay tuned for “part 2” of this interview, coming soon!