1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what your role is at Gainsight.
If I had a subtitle, it would read, “Optimizes processes for calm confidence.” I believe that a way exists to do any particular thing successfully and satisfyingly, if never perfectly, that it’s worth figuring out, that you need people’s perspectives to develop it, and that it takes skill and curiosity to help people put words to their thoughts. You’ll find me in pursuit of that goal, whether it’s inventing customer success processes, facilitating a working session, managing my team, evolving my workout and meditation routine, or (to the aggravation of my fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants husband) grocery shopping. The Customer Success Operations team I manage has responsibilities ranging across:
- Software administration
- Process development
- CSM enablement and change management
- Root cause analysis for churns & downsells
- KPI and Board reporting
- Customer communications and surveys
- User adoption programs ranging from webinars to newsletters to Sightline Vault solutions
- Customer technical consulting, including admin office hours
2. What does your day-to-day look like?
Since my team covers such diverse needs, my top purpose is to create calm confidence in each team member that they’re working on what matters most. On average, I have two hours of sprint meetings and 1-on-1s with direct reports and skip-levels to keep the many workstreams of a CS Ops team pointed in the most useful direction. These 1:1s help me stay attuned to the intel my team is hearing and their personal experiences. I also spend an hour or two in syncs with leadership in customer success and other teams; again, to be clear we are all aligned in the right direction. Then there’s an hour or so of working sessions for projects and an occasional role as host of a customer-facing webinar or user group. I also make an effort to include conversations as a mentor or mentee, or “let’s just have coffee,” to ensure I’m always learning and connecting. That leaves just enough space in the calendar to reserve time for solo work on our projects and to monitor the stream of info flowing through email and Slack for new factors that could affect our priorities.
3. At Gainsight, we believe customer success is a company-wide priority. How do you drive customer success in your role?
Delivering customer success is the driving reason that I came to CS Ops at Gainsight. To pick an example, I use Gainsight customer, MindBody’s app to schedule my gym workouts. So, when my team helps our CSMs do their jobs better or develops a new CS approach that our CSMs can share with their customers, then that software company learns how to better engage with my gym, and my gym uses that software to better engage with me. With each CS Ops win, I revel in the effects rippling outward through our customers and their customers and onwards, through all types of industries, and even to just some dude who likes to be a bit fit me.
4. Do you use the Gainsight platform to do your job? If so, how?
There are two parts to this. First, my team is the primary administrator of our implementation of Gainsight. We provide solution architecture, technical implementation, and support for stakeholders across the business, though our primary ‘customers’ are our CSMs. (A few other teams have individuals who implement and maintain configuration for their own needs, most significantly, Professional Services.) Secondly, in CS Ops, we use Gainsight to execute our projects:
- To communicate with our customers, promote product adoption, and survey our customers, we use Journey Orchestrator and Gainsight PX in-app engagements.
- For the customer technical consulting that we deliver from CS Ops, we receive and track the requests using Playbooks and Timeline.
- In our day-to-day KPI tracking and in-depth analyses (for example, for churn retrospectives and Board decks), we use Dashboards, Data Designer, product usage and survey data from Gainsight PX, computer-generated data from Journey Orchestrator and Scorecards, and data that our CSMs generate through Timeline, Playbooks, Scorecards, Success Plans, and more.
5. Childlike joy is one of Gainsight’s values. Share a fun fact about yourself or your go-to karaoke song?
Singing—particularly a cappella pop music—isn’t so much a “passion” as a thing that’s just part of my life. I’ve been in one group or another (or, in high school, several) continuously since 1991 (when my hair was a lot blonder and my voice was a lot higher). My current group, Vinyl Street, has been a joy and a family since 2007.
6. What’s your favorite thing about working at Gainsight?
Gainsight is a community that reinforces, multiple times each day, the value of being good to ourselves and good to each other. You see it in leadership’s activities that create (and model) transparency, benefit-of-the-doubt, open-minded curiosity, and discussion. You see it in our HR (“Teammate Success”) team’s emphasis and investment in learning, ‘human-first’ skills development, feedback, and earnestly implementing new and updated programs to do the best for teammates. And you see it in each meeting, where people ask how they can help, volunteer their time, are honest about their limitations, and delight in each others’ company.