What do Olympic medalists, speed eaters, and customer success teams have in common? Well, when it comes to their passion, there’s no such thing as moderation.
Here at Scout RFP, you could say as much for all of us when it comes to customer success. We don’t play by the usual rules of customer satisfaction, tiptoeing around sensitive topics with whispers of “…always right.” We’re genuinely obsessed with ensuring our customers’ success, even if it means initiating those tough conversations or challenging our own assumptions of what success looks like.
No one knows this better than Scout’s Director of Customer Success, Allison Yount. She’s been at Scout almost as long as the company’s been around, starting as a sales executive and one of the first 10 employees. For Allison, customer success isn’t just her job. It’s the way she views the world. She strives to empower others and ensure success for not just her customers, but for her team, her colleagues, and her community.
Customer Success: Rewriting the Rules
Recently, Allison partnered with PowerToFly, a platform and organization dedicated to helping women network and elevate their careers, to host a live discussion session. She shared the keys to succeeding in the customer success profession, how Scout is rewriting the rules for customer success, and how to achieve the greatest impact for your customers and your own career.
“As a company, our number one value is obsessing over the customer,” says Allison. “This customer obsession sets an ambitious perspective and goals not just for the customer success team, but the entire company.”
“You’ll hear about customer success in any all-hands meeting and see it in emails from the executive team. Because it’s not just our job as Customer Success to obsess over the customer,” she contends. “It’s everybody’s.”
According to Allison, this obsession means not just satisfying the customer or preventing failure, it means really taking a deep dive into the customer’s underlying needs, pressures, and motivations to align on common goals and create measurable value.
Success at Scout Starts with Strong Relationships
At Scout, customer success is much more than reducing customer churn, the driver behind most companies’ customer success programs. Allison advocates for a more proactive approach. “The best thing you can do,” she says, “is not only reduce churn but mitigate churn risk by building strong relationships.”
By moving beyond churn reduction, which focuses only on keeping customers from dropping a product or service, you can focus on ensuring that your customers truly thrive. Customer interactions become not simply a transactional process of “problem-solution,” but are based on genuine relationships and partnerships driving toward the same vision.
“We’re not just answering questions and providing [customers] with the bare minimum. It’s our job to understand how our customers are using our tool, what they’re looking to accomplish, and what are they measured on internally so we can understand how we can better help them reach their goals in ways that they may not have thought of,” says Allison.
“When it comes to reducing churn,” Allison reflects, “I find that if we’re able to build great relationships, we can prevent a long-term risk of churn and really build that trust with our customers. Even if we’re just starting to build those relationships now, it’ll help us to assess where the risks are.”
The Big Three E’s of Helping Customers Thrive
Allison leads a team of 15 people, which is growing rapidly and may well double over the next year. Currently, as a company of some 120 employees, over 10% of Scout’s employees are specifically dedicated to the customer success function. This talented team excels at listening, communicating, relationship building, problem-solving and most importantly, being proactive to anticipate and address customer needs.
“The big three keys for us are the three E’s: Engage, Educate, and Elevate,” says Allison. “I think these actually influence interactions with anyone we work with, from job candidates to vendors to customers. But with customers, we constantly want to make sure we’re engaging, building relationships, networking, making them feel special, making them feel that we care, keeping them excited on phone calls, making sure that we’re having a two-way conversation, educating them—not only about Scout and what we can offer, but how we can help them, answering their questions clearly, and then, elevating the conversation.”
Extending Education to Empower Success Throughout the Company
In stretching the traditional boundaries of customer success and making it a part of every employee’s responsibilities, Allison has emphasized education so that all employees understand the Scout products and how they can be best used by customers. One of the first things she did to achieve this was developing a formal onboarding process and program.
“Then, we actually took that and expanded that out to what we call Scout University for the entire company now. When someone starts on the first day, they have a formal five-week program to gain an understanding of every aspect of the product, company, and customers, to learn what they’ll need to be successful at Scout.”
Want to learn more? Listen to a recording of the Chat and Learn session to hear Allison address a variety of questions from listeners, including:
- How do I get my leadership team to understand customer success as a value center rather than a cost center?
- How you manage priorities, especially when everything is potentially urgent?
- What does a typical day look like for a customer success manager at Scout RFP?
- What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a customer success manager?
- What’s the best way to demonstrate transferable skills when transitioning industries into customer success?
- What is the interview process like at Scout? Do you have any tips for interviewees?
It’s an exciting time for Customer Success at Scout. We’re currently hiring team members that are passionate about customer excellence, both within the Customer Success group and other parts of the company. Does this sound like you? Check out our listings on PowerToFly or our Scout Careers site and find your next opportunity!