Jul 15, 2020

Issue #12: Foundations of a remote Success team

Chris Hicken By Chris Hicken
CEO at 'nuffsaid
foundations-of-a-remote-customer-success-team

From an interview with:

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For many teams, the initial shock of moving to remote work is over. But, in the words of Fast Company, “remote work isn’t going away anytime soon,” and teams now need to invest in the systems, processes, and culture required to work remotely for the longterm. 

 

GitLab is 100% remote, and the company has been iterating and documenting how to work remotely for years. So for others who are now building a foundation for effective remote teams, here are the key elements of what makes our setup successful:

  1. There’s always a doc. When people aren’t in a shared office, it’s especially important that they have a way to find the information they need at any time. GitLab is uniquely transparent; employees can simply Google search a question and find our documentation around that topic. Other companies may consider having an internal, searchable place (like Google Docs) where all documentation lives—then they can train new employees on how and where to find that information.
  2. If there’s no agenda, there’s no meeting. It’s too easy to slip into the practice of booking a meeting by default. Obviously this can waste people’s time; it also allows collaboration and decisions (that could be helpful for another team member) to go undocumented. Some other notes about how we run meetings: 1. We aim to record all meetings, so anyone not present can get read-in at a later time, and 2. We strive to make meetings optional because people are in different timezones and synchronous meetings can be impractical. 
  3. Culture drives the behaviors needed in a remote team. If you expect the team to document decisions and have agendas when booking meetings, your values need to support those behaviors. At GitLab, we have six values and each one helps us effectively work together as a remote company.  

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The top articles this week: 

This week's newsletter features posts on: 

  • Stop Calling Churn a Customer Success Problem
  • How to Recognize Remote Employees 
  • How Product and Success Can Define a Feature Request Process
  • How Do You Manage Individuals Within Your Account?

 

 

EDUCATION

Your Guide to Successfully Training Customers Remotely

Kyle Poyar, VP of Growth at OpenView, shares “six things that can move the needle on churn” that tend to involve teams outside Customer Success. 

Read the post

 

PROCESS

Measuring Customer Success Relationships

Here’s a list of ideas for recognizing team members from Claire Lew (CEO at Know Your Team). Among the list, she recommends recognizing team members by sharing customer reviews—“use their words, not yours.”

Read the post

 

HIRING

(Unstructured) Job Interviews Don't Work

Ujval Bucha, Sr. Product Manager at Cornerstone OnDemand, makes the case that Customer Success should do more of the legwork in helping Product organize and triage customer feature requests.

Read the full post

 

TEAM BUILDING

The Secrets to Our (Customer) Success

A recap of a “CS Leadership Office Hours” discussion with a list of tips and advice from various Success leaders on how they measure and manage contacts within an account.

Read the full post