FirstFuel Software is a pureplay SaaS company specializing in cloud-based business customer engagement for energy providers in North America and Europe. Their software helps over 30 energy providers improve customer satisfaction, increase revenues and decrease service costs by transforming complex data into actionable insights.
As Vice President of Customer Success, Domenic Armano leads FirstFuel’s companywide CSM efforts. He’s a lifelong advocate for customers and an expert on Digital Customer Engagement. I’m so excited to present his unfiltered responses as the first entry in our “Welcome to my Customer Success Org” series.
Name: Domenic Armano
Title: VP Customer Success
Company: FirstFuel Software
Location: Lexington, MA
How did you get into Customer Success?
Since a young age, I've always been in customer facing roles. My first foray into SaaS/CS is here at FirstFuel. We've built the practice from the ground up by focusing on helping our customers solve their problems with our software platform.
How is your team structured at FirstFuel? We have CSMs, CS Ops, and Customer Support all rolled into the CS group here at FirstFuel.
What factors make up your customer health score?
Adoption, Product Features & Bugs, Customer Readiness, Sentiment, Support.
How do you segment your customers?
We don't—since we’re a verticalized SaaS company, all of our CS relationships are "enterprise."
What’s one word that describes Customer Success at FirstFuel and why?
Sorry, it's two words: "Problem Solvers"
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
Focus on driving for results.
What are you reading right now? How are you applying it to your org?
I'm a huge proponent of the "Get Shit Done" (GSD) mantra—I have the coffee mug to prove it. Right now I'm reading “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan. I've been applying the learnings from this book to help simplify our processes so we can focus on what really drives Customer Success for our business and GSD.
What’s your wildest, diving-catch, last-second customer save story?
I'm a planner so I don't typically like heroics...to that end we're typically ahead of the curve planning renewals and other customer related activities.
What does your tech stack look like?
For CS we use Gainsight, Zendesk, JIRA, and Basecamp.
What’s one time-saving workflow hack you couldn’t live without?
There are no shortcuts—you gotta put the work in to get results.
How do you manage your customer touch points and action items?
We've mapped our customer journey for tech touch items and then use CTAs for action items. I've established 1:1 relationships with several of the executives at some of our strategic customers. It's tremendously valuable that our customers’ executives have a clear line into FirstFuel.
What’s one thing your Customer Success org does better than anybody else?
We dig in and work with our customers to help them truly solve their problems. For example, we initiated a change management program to help our customers understand the complexity of implementing enterprise class SaaS solutions such as ours.
Who owns upsell and renewal at FirstFuel—Success or Sales?
CS owns identification of opportunities for upsell and then works closely with our sales team to move them towards closure. Renewals follow a similar process.
Who owns Customer Marketing? Success or Marketing?
It's a collaboration between our Marketing and CS teams at this time.
What Gainsight features do you use the most?
The dashboards and then Cockpit for CTA review and success planning.
Why did you choose Gainsight in your Customer Success Software evaluation over building internally or working with a different vendor?
Gainsight offered the best combination of features and functionality that would help us scale. As a leader in the CS industry/movement, I knew I would have access to the very best of CS advice and thought leadership.