How does the Customer Success team structure or organize “success-focused” customer communication?
Slater: After on-boarding we meet with a customer as needed, but at least once a quarter check-in and see how we can help drive their success. The cadence of communication really depends on each customer and the different challenges they’re experiencing or not experiencing. Some customers are very self-sufficient, while others might want a monthly standing meeting just to ensure we're staying aligned.
It's so important that we keep communication going and know what's happening with each other. It gives us at Robin a chance to share new features and releases with our customers, as we hear from them about what features and improvements they might want next.
It’s a two-way and ongoing conversation where we share our product roadmap and plans while we gather feedback and ideas from customers. Customer success feeds into Robin success.
Can you offer an example of a customer that recently got significant value from Robin?
Slater: We had a customer that was 100% dead set on a structured and strict return to the office plan. Our CSMs shared some of our thought leadership on hybrid work and how we approach the complexities involved.
After considering this content, having conversations with our CSM and then talking internally, this customer shifted to taking a more flexible approach to hybrid work. Because of that shift, the customer provided a much better employee experience, as well as receiving much better feedback and engagement from their team members than they’d ever expected.
Sometimes our role is to facilitate learning conversations. Truth is, nobody does hybrid “perfectly,” because it's inherently an iterative, long term process of learning.
A customer might think, “We’re gonna have one big, grand RTO launch and it's gonna go great and that'll be the end of it.” Well, that’s not the reality for hybrid work, and we try to help customers understand that it’s an ongoing journey.
What matters most to our customers is employee retention, employee happiness, and having their people using their office space. We’re the people asking our customers, “do your employees like your workplace? Do they understand why it's necessary? Are they and you getting the most value from it?”
How does the CS team align with other functions within Robin, such as product development?
Slater: We're so closely aligned with the product team. We are the customer voice internally and we advocate constantly for our customers within Robin.
We meet every two weeks with our product team for one sprint review of our product roadmap, so we can understand what's coming soon and how we're thinking about it and can share that with our customers. Then every other week, our CS team meets with the product and design and engineering managers to share top of mind feedback and trends that our customers are sharing with us. Every week we’re giving our internal teams a direct line into our customer feedback.
Customers are able to send feedback directly to Robin as a whole company by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and the feedback shows up in our company Slack channel. Every single person in our company is able to see every piece of this customer feedback.
Our product and design and engineering teams will typically reach out if they have something they want to share, or ask for a follow up call to dig in deeper and understand more, maybe telling the customer, “hey, thanks for the feedback, we're going to do something about that issue.”
We let our product team talk directly to our customers. CS doesn’t “own” the customer relationship. Every person at Robin “owns” the customer relationship.
We've got great people here who care deeply about, and work tirelessly for, customers and their success. We stand by what we build and the way we make decisions. We’re also open to changing our minds about those decisions based on what our customers tell us. It’s a partnership, externally and internally, driven with customer success in mind.
Where do you see hybrid work going next?
Slater: There’s lots of uncertainty, but one thing is certain: we build a great product and we’ll continue to make it a driver of customer success.
We also know that if you keep any version of an office open, people will want to come back because the office fosters that human connection and workplace collaboration. We want people to know exactly who's going to be in the office when they go in. They can then make plans to meet and see people.
Robin enables organizations to make announcements about policy changes and social events, and to gather feedback from employees to say, “hey, the A/C wasn’t working or let's do more initiatives that are social.”
Nothing is worse for hybrid work than when an employee shows up at the office and nobody's there and there's no real reason for her being there. People can Zoom at home, right? People don’t want to go into the office just because their company says, “you just have to be here every weekday or else.”
What else would you like to add about Customer Success at Robin?
Slater: The Customer Success team is so valuable for our customers because it's a human touch. You have your own personal consultant who's focusing on your success, who cares most about your success. You have a designated expert who knows the product, who understands workplace strategies and their complexities for different types of customers, someone who can boil it all down to what really matters to you – your success as a customer.
It’s vital for both our customers and for Robin to understand each other and come to a place where we're building things with a shared vision. We’re also building trust, the basis for present and future success. We know as a CS team that if we focus on the inputs, meaning the consultative conversations and the help we provide to drive customer success, then everything else will take care of itself.