How Zendesk is adapting best practices in product to customer success, and how it impacts churn and retention.

Teresa Anania


VP of Global Customer Success and Renewals


Teresa Anania
Teresa Anania

Episode Summary

Today on the show we have Teresa Anania, VP of Global Customer Success and Renewals at Zendesk.

In this episode, we talked about effective ways to measure the impact of Customer Success, how Zendesk runs “experimentation programs” within their CS team, and Teresa also explains why time to value is their go-to metric. 

We also discussed the role of a Practise Manager and their function within the team, how CS and sales work together in upsells and renewals, and how Zendesk makes sure to mitigate customer frustrations when being juggled between teams.

Mentioned Resources



Teresa’s definition of customer success. 00:02:12
Effective ways to measure the impact of a CS team on its customers. 00:03:28
How Zendesk run “experimentation programs” within their customer success team. 00:06:16
Why “time to value” is the go-to metric for Zendesk’s CS team. 00:09:21
What is a Practise Manager and what’s the role in Zendesk’s CS team. 00:12:15td>
How CS and Sales work together in upsells and renewals 00:16:47
How Zendesk avoids juggling their customers around from team to team. 00:20:06


Andrew Michael: hey, Theresa. Welcome to the show.

Teresa Anania: [00:01:29] Hi, thanks for having me. 

Andrew Michael: [00:01:31] It's a pleasure for the listeners. Theresa is the VP of global customer success and renewals at Zendesk and Zendesk makes customer service better.

They built software to meet customer needs. Set your team up for success and keep your business in sync. Prior to Zendesk, Theresa was the CEO of alcohol that was acquired by Autodesk and she then went on to become a senior director of customer success at Autodesk. Also just want to say a very big thanks to David Sakamoto, who has had a recommendation for Teresa today and made an introduction.

So [00:02:00] thanks about David. My first question for you though, Theresa is what is your definition of customer success? I know there's a lot of different definitions out there. What do you see as the role of customer success and what impact should they be having within the organization? 

Teresa Anania: [00:02:12] Yeah, that's a really loaded question, but the way I look at it is pretty simple.

I think customer success is all about driving value for customers, making sure that, the solutions that they're contemplating in your company are those that best fit their needs. Once that sale transaction has occurred really in the front line, responsible for ensuring that customer achieves all that they expect out of that solution.

And Capturing that being able to measure that's, our life's work, but definitely driving that ability for first-time devalue getting a quick implement, implementation and deployment, but then also just really maturing their understanding of the solution. And really again, achieving that business goal.

That to me is what customer success is all about. 

Andrew Michael: [00:02:59] Yeah. [00:03:00] So like extremely simply puts is like basically making sure the customer receives value from the tool. But like you said, it was a fully loaded question and you mentioned a lot of things and there's a couple of things I want to touch on.

So the first one was actually like you mentioned measurement Being the life's work of customer success and being able to measure the impact that you're having as a team and how you can increase engagement. So in your experience, like what has been effective ways of actually being able to measure the impact that your team is having for your customers?

Teresa Anania: [00:03:28] Yeah, that is a very important topic because I think we, as CS leaders really need to be able to articulate the impact we're having on the business. And sometimes that's more challenging than you might think. I think the ultimate outcome, the lagging indicator is, let's say retention rate turn contraction, attrition budget.

Many times those metrics are used. Obviously net revenue retention, net dollar retention is another great metric, but that's all lagging. That's all going to happen after you've done all the important work [00:04:00] proactively. So what I like to do is blend that outcome, that business goal and result with actually looking at more leading indicators.

So one of the things that I've modeled out is our impact on first-time devalue. So really taking that onboarding period. Very specifically, what is the engagement we're driving to get that customer fast time to value. And then when you look at that engaged group compared to, let's say those we don't engage with, or you can even suppress a group and have a control group.

The point is you should be seeing an uplift in. Faster time to value with that engagement from CS. Similarly in the adoption journey, you can do the same thing by just taking a look at how are they maturing along that maturity curve, really getting the full value unlocked of your solutions. And what is that engagement from CS that outcome driven engagement contributing to that ability to mature that customer along that adoption journey.

And if you [00:05:00] can demonstrate that. Those engaged or having a bigger impact, maybe they're using more capabilities in the solution. Maybe that group is using more products in a suite collection. Let's say, then you could start to correlate that the work CS is doing is driving that critical moment of truth, which is getting the customer to really unlock the full capabilities of your solution.

So looking at those correlation metrics has been pretty You know that's something that's really impressive at the board table at the C-suite table, because it shows that we're doing leading indicator review as well as that final outcome.

Andrew Michael: [00:05:38] Yeah. And then I think obviously it makes so much sense in the context of tryna retention.

We chatted about it just before the show that it is a really lagging metric and there's so many different inputs. It also, it sounds really interesting, like from the perspective of the way you position as well, like suppressing a group, it's almost like running experimentation program within CS, just like you would within product to try and improve retention or to try and move specific metrics.

[00:06:00] How have you typically gone in the past of setting something like this app as well? You mentioned that you understand some engagement metrics you want to shorten the time to value. You want to make sure that customers are getting there. What would a typical setup look like this for you to test something, to see what works to actually validate it before then?

Like going ahead and say, okay, this works 

Teresa Anania: [00:06:16] Yeah, you're right, because it is like a B testing. And it's also important to remember that we are dealing with real customers that actually need our help. Yeah. So I don't really enjoy having too many suppress customers in a control group, justice group internally that.

You know that we're having an impact. So we take a very, I'll say pragmatic approach. First of all, we look at our unengaged group. And if that is generally able to be a fairly unbiased cohort, we're not going to suppress that many more. So we're really looking at what is, what are the attributes of the unengaged group?

Maybe they just opted out because they didn't want digital content or maybe they didn't want phone calls, but that doesn't mean that they're necessarily [00:07:00] not going to eventually be. Leveraging the full capabilities of the solution. So I think there's creative ways. Data scientists are starting to learn more pragmatically, how to do this without creating like a true double blind study, but still having, look, we're not here to cure some sort of disease and have no error threshold.

We recognize that there is some bias and. The study is meant to really be directional and not necessarily like scientific. So when I could show an uplift of eight points, though, over an unengaged cohort, chances are even if there's a four point bias, it's pulling you a story and then you can always dollarize some of that impact as well.

And again, I found that to be. Pretty impactful when you're dealing with business leaders that do I do hold a number? I can tell you that as one, sure. Way to be able to demonstrate value is to hold the number. So I hold the book of business. I'm responsible for turning contraction. We have variable [00:08:00] comp.

For all of our people in my organization. So that outcome is absolutely the most critical part, but I still think trying to convince our C suite that earlier engagement, proactive engagement, getting that onboarding fast time to value, getting customers to adopt and realize the value really makes that final renewal event, a non event.

So really showing them that impact with the leading indicators has been why I feel like you have to look at it holistically. 

Andrew Michael: [00:08:30] Yeah, and I was all like, cause that was the initial question. Was I thinking, okay, you have a suppressed group, you're deliberately not giving them a good service to try and do anything.

So I'm glad you mentioned that, but also that you made a very good points. I think in the sense that it's like, we're not dealing with life or death situations as well, when you're trying to make these improvements to make these things because you could definitely like argue on the other side that the group that didn't go through the contacts.

They might've been a specific type of user, a specific persona. And you've just created a bias in the data [00:09:00] there. But ultimately, like you said, when you seeing like a big uplift, like a points a, that almost gives you some indication of significance in its own, right. Even though there's bias in your data, and you're just trying to like, make an improvement overall for better service for your customers, why specifically time to value as well?

What's been your experience working with Tom to value 

Teresa Anania: [00:09:21] Yeah. I will say I am not a big subscriber to heavy data science that indicates like how much correlation is there between time to value and ultimate renewable, because I do think to your point, so many other things can happen in that customer journey.

Even if you don't have a great, like first 30 days, it is definitely possible to turn that account around through intervention and just other ways to add value. But I still believe that in that first 30 days, you're really building that first impression with the customer. So one of our biggest differentiators with our Zendesk solution really against the competitive [00:10:00] landscape is that we do offer great.

Fast time to value. You can get 80% of the capabilities and functionality of a great CX experience in literally like weeks not months. So we want to measure that. So we're really looking at after 30 days, how many of our agents that were secured in the model are actually provisioned and starting to use in the first 45 days.

Like. How has the implementation gone, maybe they were self-serve and did it themselves. Maybe we help them with our professional services. So really looking at those metrics and determining when is the right time for CS to be engaged, we definitely have a welcome kickoff. For sure. Letting the customer know.

And this isn't all customers of course, because there's scale where it's maybe digital only we have a long tail, 170,000 customers, but many of our customers that spend a certain amount and have a good potential for growth or getting that first touch [00:11:00] that onboard welcome. And then really the data and the insights help determine from there on out when we need to engage next.

So that we're really using a bit of dynamic segmentation to only reach the right customers at the right time, even during that onboarding period, because maybe everything is going great. And then we can really start getting them accustomed to some of the capabilities they may not have unlocked. 

Andrew Michael: [00:11:24] Yeah.

And then figuring out what's next for the customer, as opposed to giving like a standard solution for everyone. It sounds. And actually I'm one of the 176,000. I just recently set up Zendesk for our new startup as well. And like you said, it was literally within a week had a really great setup from help desk to support and to getting system a really fantastic experience, obviously.

Not at the level, we would have a hands-on customer success, but so the tool itself, I think know, 

Teresa Anania: [00:11:52] After this interview, I'll make sure you get a little bit of white glove treatment as well. Okay, 

Andrew Michael: [00:11:59] nice. The [00:12:00] thing I was interested as well, as you mentioned, like data science a few times it sounds like you're working quite closely with the data team then from a customer success perspective.

What is that relationship? Do you have somebody that's working directly with you or are you trying to secure resources? How do you deal with that? 

Teresa Anania: [00:12:15] I've seen it so many ways, like embedded in the CS organization where they can really be immersed in the actual practice and then centralized and being able to benefit from that center of excellence.

I'd love it. Zenned, Zendesk, that we have a bit of a blend, which I think is the best it's hybrid. I have one person on my team. Not a data scientist, but clearly the person that understands the requirements that we have from a data standpoint, the key moments of truth that we are trying to basically engage with the customer, we call them killer issues.

Things that we know just from our human engagement are likely going to cause a customer to be frustrated. And not on a healthy path. So that person immersed in my [00:13:00] practice really speaks our language. And then we work in partnership with a great team of data scientists and analysts, data curation people, so that we can really identify, the best of both worlds and talk our language.

So we don't have to translate it into terms that data scientists understand. But also leverage from them a little bit more of the heuristic approaches to identifying which accounts are on a healthy track, which accounts are not versus always waiting for like that. Perfect predictive scoring.

Andrew Michael: [00:13:36] And this person that sits within your team then, like what would be their main day to day functions? Do they do any actual, like data analysis themselves or it's really just being that bridge between 

Teresa Anania: [00:13:47] yeah, it's really a bridge. It's like a product manager. If you think of it like that, I call them practice managers where they really, again, they understand our high touch method.

They understand our medium touch. They understand our [00:14:00] scaled approach and each of those have some overlapping data requirements. For sure. So the benefit is this data science team is not hearing from individual leaders in my organization. We have a very. Clear intake process and then prioritization because we all know that again, you got to start with what you have, if you can't wait for perfect data.

So what I really value is being able to start scrappy. Let's learn even from our humans, if this data that is being surfaced is helping them engage in a way that is having a good, effective outcome that. Gets that customer closer to full ROI versus, waiting for perfect correlation.

And what are the drivers of that predictive score, where sometimes it makes it too difficult to action on. So I think the individual and actually I'm building out a team, a small team in my organization is more of that product manager to really liaison with the data science team. And I [00:15:00] found that to be a really practical way to.

Bridge the two. 

Andrew Michael: [00:15:03] . Yeah, I like that as well. Again, it's like taking a product led approach to customer success. In sounds like you're running your own sort of experimentation. You have a PM type role within the team. And like treating. Part of your product as customer success or vice versa, which I love.

It's actually like at Hotjar I hit up, I used to head up business intelligence there, and we also had a hybrid model of sorts when it came to data analysts and working with different teams whereby we had the center of excellence, but then we would have embedded analysts. Working within different product squads and working within marketing.

And the end goal was to have an analyst working with each team within the company, each squad but having that center of excellence, where they came to for the weekly stand ups, what's going on like code reviews and things like this that you would need to be the need, but still being able to immerse yourself within that team.

Being able to like really understand the problem truly and deeply be able to empathize with customers, even get on calls with them as well. [00:16:00] Definitely pays off. Yes. The next thing I wanted to touch on then as well as your role as global customer success and renewals. So this is something as well, like on the show, obviously, when we think about a net negative churn and like increasing retention is really like upsells and renewals, like being a big part.

And typically as well, like the two are separated when I speak to like different organizations. In some cases they do the same, but I would say. 80% of the time when I've spoken to people, it's typically that they try and separate the relationship between customer success and sales. And they try to hand over how do you handle this today, yourself within your organization?

Like what role does customer success obviously within renewals, but then at, when it comes to the renewal time? Like how heavy are they getting involved in upsells across sales? 

Teresa Anania: [00:16:47] Yeah, I think this is such an important topic. And again, just because I've been at this for so long, I have seen it always. And I really love the way we're doing it at Zendesk.

We've evolved. First of all, [00:17:00] starting with sales leadership to clarify roles and responsibilities. So sales is absolutely, and we have a very simple but important racy to basically document this understanding. They are land and expand and they're expand. Motion is all about, big expansion, new instances, new white space in accounts.

We absolutely leave that completely to sales. Now, the exciting thing is that I have in my organization, two profiles, I have our customer success leaders who are absolutely there again, to drive that value, to understand the customer's needs intimately, why they bought our solution in the first place, and then ensuring that they're taking them on this journey of really getting, not just the full value out of the product.

But the full value from Zendesk. So all of the community experiences and product roadmap, input, and all sorts of great touch points across the company. And then my renewals organization totally different profile. These are more commercially [00:18:00] minded folks. They are absolutely going to be very handed off at time of, let's say 90 days, 180 days prior to the renewal, they're starting to build those relationships with their accounts in the procurement group, making sure that we understand what are the T's and C's the customer's going to expect, or what are the commercial licensing options that we might now have available to them?

Like we now offer suites and certain licensing options to have Flexibility like a pooled option of agent needs. These are things I don't want my customer success leaders worrying about. So the beauty of it is there is excellent collaboration because they all sit within my organization. We share the same goals.

So there is partnership there, but our customers can easily recognize that this is more of a commercial conversation versus in the success world. We're keeping it more to that trusted advisor. Now that said, I just want to indicate, I fully believe that [00:19:00] if you're doing a great job with that onboarding, that adoption, that ROI delivery, you're identifying expansion opportunities all through the life cycle of the customer.

So again, one of the beautiful motions that we've implemented is let's not wait until the renewal date. Let's. Pull that contract forward and talk about when a customer has a need and expansion opportunity and let's return that contract. So we call that pull forwards and my CS organization, hands that right over to their renewals counterpart.

So again, different profiles. We don't wait for the renewal date. In fact, I look at it by the time of the renewal date. You're probably dealing with a little bit of an unhealthy customer. I E someone that hasn't needed any more from Zendesk and not entire contract period, which is unlikely. So that might be a conversation of flat or contracting matters.

And again, that renewals team is well enabled to do swap plays. And other things, so it might not be upsell, but it's [00:20:00] swapping out, maybe some needs for others to mitigate that churn. 

Andrew Michael: [00:20:05] That's interesting as well. And then this is one of the things I think I've always found has never been a great experience.

It's like this handoff and it sounds like you definitely have this concept of passing the Baton on from person to person and then passing, juggling the customer around how are, is the team like mitigating the effort? Cause I have what I've always found as well as a buyers typically like. The sales person would first talk to you.

So why did you sign up today? What are your goals? And then you would tell them the goals and then customer success would come in and say, okay, tell me, what are your goals? What are you trying to achieve? And then we'd get handed over to a renewals manager again, and the same sort of process.

Like what are you doing at Zendesk differently to avoid this? 

Teresa Anania: [00:20:44] It is an absolute great question because you are so right. We, even as consumers, we hate that, right? When we're dealing with different departments and they don't have that great holistic view of the customer. So look, we don't have it perfect yet, but I can tell you, [00:21:00] we are focusing on the customer 360.

We leverage Zendesk technology for this. We are using other workflow tools like Gainsight. And then of course we have our CRM in the background as well. So I think having the critical data about the customer surfaced the insights about that customer surface for those key customer facing roles, you can assure a much better handoff because.

All of the previous conversations, the critical insights, not just data, but insights about whether the customer is like tracking healthy, whether they've been tracking unhealthy. This really helps, especially in that handoff to the renewals team. And frankly, even working in partnership with sales because they can see everything that we're driving and then we can see.

I see the engagements they're having. You mentioned another great, important handoff, and that is even at the very beginning when the customer first decides on your solution and their expectations and what [00:22:00] really inspired them to secure your solution. We try to capture that at least for our top customers in the customer success plan, which we start building.

Even before the customer makes that purchase decision. So I think one of the greatest partnerships we have with sales is for our largest accounts, even at the prospect stage success is brought in. Why not only because we want to hear from the customer, those same things you mentioned, but also we are then able to share with that customer.

All the services that are there are going to get post-purchase. This makes them feel just a lot more okay, I know my sales person role. I know my customer success manager role I've been introduced to them. So that is to me, a great best practice. Now we all know you can't do that with every customer.

Again, talking about that long tail. So we try to have the sales rep indicate the critical elements about that purchase. At time of purchase so that we can carry that [00:23:00] into an, a more automated fashion, that what I'll call the automated customer success plan, which may not have all that tailored approach for our larger ones.

Andrew Michael: [00:23:09] Yeah. Interesting. And obviously, like you say, it's definitely a work in progress all the time, trying to figure out the best. You mentioned something in the V the beginning as well, like the RACI matrix. So like having a responsible, accountable, consulted and informed matrix that was put together and you would, you.

You did this in collaboration with sales initially, like what that process looked like in the beginning, what was some of the like, discussions that happened? What was maybe some of the more contentious points where people say, no, this is our responsibility. This should be successful responsibility. How did that go down?


Teresa Anania: [00:23:42] you're right. And it took many meetings and I still feel like ongoing enablement is always needed. I do think we, we started with the layer model, land adopt, expand renew, and we just at least started with okay, who's responsible for land and expand. Let's put sales [00:24:00] primarily in that function.

And then adopt and renew was primarily my organization. And then as the devil's in the details. So we didn't go crazy. We just broke down some of the key moments of truth with customers. Who owns the account plan? That plan is a little bit broader. It talks more internally about some of the expansion activities that we might be driving in that account.

So we have that like in the sales, through, but then the success plan, instead of it being a separate artifact, we talked about how it is part of the account plan. So again, those are some of the friction points where it was like, wait, we don't want to have redundant, like stakeholder maps. We don't want to have.

Collision on the strategy for the account. So we talk them together so that they're cascading and therefore a joint artifact. Other tension points would be like escalation. So if a customer's having any escalations, typically it would have been the CS person in the lead. But sometimes it makes sense for sales to do like on the commercials or something where they're [00:25:00] just even questioning some of their initial purchase.

So things like that we worked through, we just basically indicate okay, for the friction points, who's in the lead. And then who's in support. One final area of tension would be at time of renewal or even earlier would, if an account is high growth, potential, and therefore expansion is going to be really in the hands of the sales rep.

How do you start. Segmenting and determining who is on point for that renewal. So what we've decided to do is all through the customer life cycle, we identify with insights about those killer issues that I mentioned. How is the customer tracking healthy or unhealthy? We have a few variants of that.

And if not tracking really well, we're putting that renewal in the hands of the renewal team. If we see high growth, potential and tracking very healthy, then we put that renewal opportunity in the lead of the sales department. And we can always change it as we get closer to that moment of [00:26:00] truth so that we know who's in the lead and conversation, of course is critical for our largest customers to assure we have the right strategy there.

But doing that on those friction points and just at least having a method I think has helped a lot. And then we just continue to reinforce and in the, actual grassroots of doing the job 

Andrew Michael: [00:26:20] and iterate on it as well. So it's like you have a lead scoring model then as well for renewals in a sense, just like you'd have a lead scoring model for sales 

Teresa Anania: [00:26:29] was the propensity to expand or even renew flat.

And then who might look like they're going to contract. Yeah, 

Andrew Michael: [00:26:37] it's nice. The other thing as well, I'd be interested then is like throwing even, I think maybe just in the context of the customer base that you're serving for this, but it doesn't sound like it would be an issue, but in other organizations, sometimes marketing also comes into play.

Were there certain aspects, for example, like the lifecycle emails that got, in some cases, our customer success is responsible for this. Some cases a marketing team is how is this handled then? It's in this case it's like really high [00:27:00] touch, low touch. And then, yeah. Does marketing come into the mix is adrenaline.

Teresa Anania: [00:27:04] I think we're in the nascent stages of leveraging our lifecycle marketing across our entire book of business. I think we do a really good job of it in the long tail. So yes, they exist in the marketing organization and certainly we collaborate with them to identify like, How do we want that onboarding journey to look from a digital self-serve standpoint?

Because I frankly believe that digital self-serve experience, especially for products like ours, where we expect them to be fast, time to value and easy to implement digital, self-serve consult a lot of the things that you wouldn't want to put humans on. So what we haven't done yet and is part of my roadmap is orchestrate, the.

The digital touch. And that could be email that could be in product out of the life cycle marketing group with how my team is engaging or not. So being able to see the data, like what did they receive? What is the [00:28:00] content that they got and how have they engaged with that? Have they never opened it up?

Did they follow the call to action? If not, and the customer looks like they're off track. That is definitely one. We want to prioritize for human engagement, but if the customer has engaged with that content, And is tracking well, again, back to that dynamic segmentation, that probably isn't the best place to put your human time.

So I think it's a critical element. I've done it both ways. I've had it immersed in the customer success organization. There's some real goodness there. Back at Autodesk. We did that here at Zendesk. We, we have different orgs, but we work very collaboratively. 

Andrew Michael: [00:28:37] All right. Yeah. And you mentioned another one as well, then product like in product.

So I think it just keeps on piling up when you start to think about responsibilities and the line's always blurred, but it definitely sounds like you've got an interesting setup at Zendesk moving in a good direction as well. So I want to save time as well for a question that asked every guest that joins the show.

Let's imagine a hypothetical scenario now that you joined [00:29:00] a new company, general attention is not doing great at this company at all. And the CEO comes to you and says, Hey Teresa, we have three months. We really need to turn things around. We have limited time. You're in charge. You need to make an impact.

But you're not going to do the typical thing of just go out and speak to customers and try and understand the problems you need to just go off your guts, pick something that's worked for you in the past to reduce, churn, and run with it. What would be the one key initiative that you'd want to introduce at this company?

Teresa Anania: [00:29:26] First, I would first just look at data to determine where is this charm happening? So let's just assume it's in the enterprise. Like I do think the high touch methods of getting the customer, some of that fast time to value swarming at the front can be helpful. But what I would do first is start.

Frankly near the renewal time. So swarming that last 90 last 180 days, I know it may seem like you have a low runway and it's true. It is, that is the case, but you can do a lot. We [00:30:00] develop this safe play where we actually swarm some of our largest accounts with, we identified, they weren't satisfied with some of the product capabilities.

We creative solution, even with PS, what we can do. And frankly, we might have to do it at no charge. We called that trace. It was basically like a code blue. Think of it like the medical analogy. How do you just bring the right people into the surgery room and basically save the customer.

This is something that I think has made a big difference. And then you could start focusing earlier on and ensuring that even new customers are getting onboarded and adopting. So moving backwards on that life cycle. Does that make sense? 

Andrew Michael: [00:30:39] Yep. Cause I think specifically the timeframe is short, so this is definitely like a high impact is going to happen focusing towards the end of the last cycle.

And typically it's something that you're going to see from the onboarding perspective is going to be like a longer term horizon where you're going to feel the impact. Although there might be a lot more impactful that 

Teresa Anania: [00:30:57] swarming has to all the key players. [00:31:00] That's like bringing in all the, top surgeons that need to perform the operation.

Like we had to have our top technical architect or professional services at the table, our head product roadmap, manager. So really just swarming that account with identifying the key areas where we could show impact quickly. I think would be one of the quickest ways to just start reducing that churn.

Andrew Michael: [00:31:22] It's finding those accounts. Very nice. Last question then for today what's one thing that you know today about trending and retention that you wish you knew when you got started with your career. 

Teresa Anania: [00:31:35] That's a great question. I would say the importance of working across the organization. I learned that over time you cannot do this on your own.

You need the support of your support and advocacy organization. Your product organization, professional services, even when you're under one umbrella, you typically have other goals, other metrics that you're [00:32:00] trying to address so that collaboration and recognizing the importance of. The customer success organization, just being that pinnacle of the spear, like making sure the customer doesn't have to navigate the different silos, but that you bring that all to the table and lean in and make sure that they are part of that solutioning for the customer to unlock that greatest ROI.

That's something that I think it's hard, but it, what it's really what makes our, I think our roles so unique and valuable to an organization. Is who else brings everyone to the table with the customer at the center? 

Andrew Michael: [00:32:39] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I think that's like the key as well. When it comes to general attention is really having a really strong alignments.

Like you never really going to be able to make a significant impact. Without having the whole teams, collaboration, everybody working towards that single goal and having the alignment of understanding, like putting the customer at the center, knowing what their main pain points, knowing what the [00:33:00] main actions they need to take it to value.

Like having everybody working towards that as a unit is really way more powerful than just like success maybe off on its own or marketing or product where everybody trying to do their own little mini initiatives. Yeah. I think alignment for me is definitely number one. It is important. Yes.

Absolutely. Absolutely. Teresa, it's been a pleasure having you on the show today. Is there any final thoughts you want to leave the listeners with? Anything they should be aware of keeping up to speed? 

Teresa Anania: [00:33:27] No, I think if I had three things quickly to just remind everyone, like data is critical in driving a scaled CS operation, but don't wait for perfect data.

I left Autodesk and I thought, wow, we had 30 years of like legacy data. And now moving to a company that was born in the cloud. I fought. Everything would be perfect. Of course it isn't. But work with what you have and start somewhere. I think the second thing is just building those cross or collaborative experiences and opportunities like taking the lead on behalf of the customer.

And I think [00:34:00] third developing some of those programmatic activities. Like I mentioned, the swarming looking at voice of customer, looking at. The way that you might engage the community. Those are all things that are outside of the product, but it's so critical to helping ensure that customer gets the highest value.

So those would be three things I'd leave you with. 

Andrew Michael: [00:34:20] Awesome. Yeah. I love all three of those points. , a fantastic, a great way to end the show.

Greg nuts, final thoughts for the listeners. It's been a pleasure hosting you today and thank you so much for that 

Teresa Anania: [00:34:30] talk soon. Bye.


Teresa Anania
Teresa Anania

The show

My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.

In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros working in product, marketing, customer success, support, and operations roles across different stages of company growth, who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.


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