We spoke with Anna Skidmore, VP of Customer Care at BFA Industries, about the many layers of CX, customer care, and how automation can free up more time for human connection.
Carta’s CRO talks about sales and the customer experience
When we think about CX, the customer support is the team that usually springs to mind first. But for many B2B organizations, there’s another important player in creating a VIP experience: sales. And customer success also plays a vital role. This week, host Perri Chaikof is joined by Jeff Perry, CRO at Carta, who shares his unique perspective on the connection between sales, customer support, and customer success. Let’s dive right in.
Customer success starts early
The equity management platform that’s trusted by thousands of founders, investors, and employees (including us here at Ada), Carta offers a wide range of products and solutions, from cap table management to data-driven compensation tools. Carta hopes to transpire its mission to create ownership and equity for all employees across their nearly 30,000 customers as well.
As CRO, Jeff has a unique purview into what customers need across the lifecycle. We’ve been talking a lot lately about how CX is now the mandate of everyone in the company. Well, Jeff says the same is true for customer success.
The goal, he says, should be to create a VIP experience for prospects throughout the sales process and then maintain that level of excellence when they transition to the customer success team. Every interaction should be geared towards success. “The same goes for our product team,” Jeff adds. “Everything they’re working on should be about building a better experience so our customers are successful.”
Delivering consistency and value
For any B2B business, the customer journey involves multiple points of contact. A prospect may start off with a sales development rep then get handed over to an account executive, the implementation team, and finally the customer success team. It’s important to maintain that VIP experience across every touchpoint — because CX is the sum of all those interactions.
So how can brands ensure consistency with multiple handoffs? First, Jeff says, communication is key. “We have to make sure we’re listening to and understanding the timing and needs of the customer.” This applies to all the teams a customer interacts with at any stage. And as you scale, it’s important to extend that understanding and consistency across automated interactions, too.
For Carta, making the customer success team part of the revenue organization has allowed them to partner more closely with customers. Jeff explains, “When I started here, we had a team of four customer relationship managers who were basically just troubleshooting and fielding emails from customers that didn’t have a great experience.” When asked if they actually had any relationships, the answer was, “Well, no. Not really.”
Four years later, Carta has a 100-person customer success management (CSM) organization to support its growing base, and they’re the ones who actually own the customer relationships. Because Carta believes that “owning the relationship should be part of helping our customers have success.”
Set your employees up to succeed, too
Carta has worked hard to build customer trust by acting as an advisor and partner rather than just delivering a product or service. Carta treats their employees with the same respect and commitment to excellence — because making sure they’re well equipped, able to build solid relationships, and thinking strategically all helps to ensure customer success at scale. The glue that holds it all together? Empathy.
Jeff believes that all business is ultimately about relationships: “People want to feel some connection through the product to someone who cares about how they’re using it and that they’re getting value from it. So even though we’re selling software, we’re really in a people business.”
Tune in for the whole conversation
Hear more of what Jeff has to say about customer support, experience, and success by watching this week’s episode on YouTube or listening on your favorite podcast platform. Our key takeaways:
- CX is the sum of every interaction a customer has with your brand, from the first email through renewal or expansion
- Automation should handle simple, repetitive interactions so your CSM team can focus on building relationships
- Every business is a people business — so make sure your employees are set up to provide the best possible CX
Lynn’s career has spanned across different kinds of content, from copywriting, to journalism, to marketing, and even mystery puzzle games. She brings facets from all these disciplines into her work at Ada. Outside of that, Lynn loves playing games, hiking, and reading about trees.