Digest: Customer Success organisation talk

Meeting Date
December 2, 2021
Event Type
XAnge Talks
🇫🇷 / 🇺🇸

❗Key Challenges

Welcome To The Jungle


Job posting and HR content platform

  • # Customers : +350
  • Customer Segments : Mid market + enterprise

Main challenge: how to scale the support team to face a growing volume of requests.

Current team organization:

The current organisation of their customer success delivery doesn’t seem to be in phase with the company's growth. Here’s the current team structure:

Support team:

2 people team handing user requests (B2B and B2C).

Account Management team:

handling the Onboarding phase and all things related to Account Management (10+ people?)



Employee benefits platform and card

  • # Customers : +100
  • Customer Segments : Mid market + enterprise

Main challenge: The company is growing fast, the current challenge is also on the sizing of the team. There is a need for a fast and qualitative support: they currently have 35k+ card holder. If something is not working and the answer is not fast, the customer might get impatient because they cannot use their card.

They handle their response time issure by outsourcing to Mauritius.

Current team organization:

The team is now split in 2:

Card holder support (handled by Ops team):
  • fully integrated before but now level 0-1 are handled exterlaly in mauritius due to scaling
  • level 2 to deal with more technical questions (HR, Ops)
Account Management (handled by Sales team):
  • Onboarding
  • Upsale and crosssale
  • ⚠️
    Being in hypergrowth means that the Sales team is now taking care of a lot of onboardings. The product launched 6 month ago so they do not have a lot of historic to have a playground for Upsell and Crossale. Onboarding = Project Management = not a good fit for the sale people.

    For great Worklife onboardings, the team must also understand HRIS and payroll systems.



HR Platform to Manage Employees Abroad

  • Customer Segment: European Medium and large companies with 200 – 2000 employees.
  • # Customers: 213

Main challenges: Challenges are operation related. Apart from the sizing of their CSM team, there is a internal dilemma to choose to whom they should report to (Head of Sales, CRO or Head of Operations...). The goal of the CSM is also to help with the expansion of Wormotion through upselling existing accounts.

Current team organisation:

The Support team (20 people) is only answering emails at support@workmotion.

Each CSM have "office hour" slots where they deal with requests on the phone. Internal Ops team doesn’t communicate with clients (20 people taking care of HR OPS)

👥 Customer touch points with support team: 2 examples

Welcome To The Jungle’s Case

The team is looking to sign an annual commitment from the client. Each client is handled by an account manager.

The account management team is split between different company sizes:

  • Small
  • Mid
  • Key accounts

Even if there is a split between clients sizes, they essentially do the same thing : assist clients during their customer’s journey.

They handle the onboarding (leaning more towards project management than commercial relation). It’s a "delivery machine to build": how to deliver the fastest with the best service quality. They are also here to answer questions/requests throughout the year.

It feels inefficient because it’s a mix between “support” and “sale” with different touchpoints to do up-sell/cross-sell to maximize the renewal of the contract at the en of the year.

Unanswered questions remaining:

  • Should they split the onboarding part and the sales part of the support?
  • Also, is it relevant to have the same service for small clients and key accounts?
  • Shouldn't you have a different/even better service for bigger clients?
  • Small accounts could be just as fine without a dedicated account manager.

Worklife’s Case

2 segments:

Mid market (100-1 000 FTE)

→ Onboarding duration : 4 weeks

→ AM with large portfolio (generated request)

Enterprise (over 1 000 FTE)

→ onboarding duration : 3 months

→ White glove service

Hyper care phase: During the first 3 months, the AM team will have weekly ops meeting (30min) with the client to ensure everything goes well during the implementation of the solution.

Account Management or Customer Support?

Nalia's distinctions:

Customer Support (CS) vs Customer Success (CSM)

"The main difference between a CSM and CS is that a CSM does not just provide support when customers require assistance. A CSM is not a reactive role like CS that only guides customers with day-to-day activities. Instead, it requires a proactive approach to address the long-term needs of customers."

Account Manager (AM) vs Customer Success (CSM)

"An AM simply focuses on the assigned customer accounts, whereas a CSM is more geared towards up-selling and expansion. The AM only identifies the needs of the assigned client accounts and pitches the right products for them. However, a CSM has a lot more ground to cover.”

In sum:

Customer support: reactive for low touch needs. Day to day answer, mass relationship.

Customer Success Manager: customer education and long term approach (help on new features’ delivery).

Account Manager: dedicate support for your bigger clients. Here for the vision.

Even if their role might be different, they all act as Knowledge Manager for your clients.

It's important that every information is available to all and not to just the usual touchpoint of the client.

Account management is tailored to the client and it gets specific. Some information are gold: like knowing the particular person in your customer's company who uses the solution. Tracking this data will help for the long term relationship you want to build.

If the Customer Support is done well, it will lay the right foundation to make the Account Manager's job easier.

How to bring value to your key accounts?

With bigger clients, doing Quarterly Business Review (QBRs) are a great way to build a relationship with your clients by giving value. If you have interested expertises in your company, it's your moment to shine.

What are QBR (Quarterly Business Review)? Meeting where you act as a consultant with the client. Trusted partnered to establish the relationship.

Always come prepared and with a presentation: something like a 10-slide deck can make a big difference! Flag the wins/losses, share your roadmap on the project...

"A QBR is conducted to discuss how you can add more value. In a typical quarterly business review presentation, you go through all the progress made in the last 90 days, outlining your plan for the next 90 days. This forms an essential part of the CSMs responsibilities for delivering a client’s business outcomes." - Smartkarrot.

How to properly end the onboarding phase?

It heavily depends on the business but:

Welcome To The Jungle’s case:

It's a simple milestone to track: when the company's page is published, the onboarding is done.

  1. Deal is signed
  2. Page published
  3. Subscription phase
  4. Renewal (and back to 3.)

It's blurry for Welcome To The Jungle when to switch from Support to Account Management. Having a clear stance on the subject could limit the points of contact the customer has with their team.

Here’s what should strive for as a provider:

  1. Deal is signed
  2. Kickoff meeting with roadmap
  3. Day of go live

By agreeing to a common timeline, you will allign the expectation of the client with yours.

To know when to switch from Support/Success to Account Management it could be: switching once the onboarding/activation is done.


Health score

Another effective tool to track customer satisfaction:

Customer Health Scoring by GitLab (
Customer Health Scoring by GitLab (source)

Other examples of KPIs:

Support team

→ Satisfaction/reactiveness based KPIs

  • CSAT
  • NPS
  • Time to onboard
  • Response time

Account Management

→ Revenue based KPIs

  • Net retention
  • MRR
  • Expansion revenue
  • Client LTV
  • Churn rate

🧰 Toolstack

Welcome To The J.
Zendesk (?)
Project Management
More details on support tools & process
  • WTTJ:
    • CRM (onboarding and AM) is in pipedrive
    • Support : Zendesk requests + clients and FAQ, (used to have Front for incoming requests and intercom).
    • Monday
    • Gainsight https://www.gainsight.com/ : heard of this tool to better track the volume and topics.

  • Workmotion:
    • CRM, hubspot
    • Account Exec (can't email them anymore once onboarding is done).
    • Question : support@workmotion arrive on zendesk.
    • Tried to avoid phone, sometimes the best way.
    • Office Hours for questions (each CSM have 1 hour day to answer the phone call). Aircall
    • Asana for project manager and the knowledge
  • Worklife:
    • Zendesk + Aircall
    • CRM Pipedrive (Damien don't think it's the right tool), would have chosen Salesforce if they could invest in it.
    • Kickoff of new tool : Custify (https://www.custify.com/) central point of knowledge (fed by pipedrive, backoffice, zendesk). Chose this one because of the API integrations.