Customer Success

Maurice Hofmann
Author & Founder of NY Marketing Academy

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EP01

Episode Summary

Today we’re really gonna focus on Customer Success and what that is? And actually have Maurice Hofmann here. Someone I would consider a resident expert as it pertains to “Customer Success”.

Transcription

Beau [00:00:04.10]

Hey guys, Beau Billington here. Founder of “the Free Agent”. Thank you so much for joining the podcast. This is a lightning round.

Today we’re really gonna focus on Customer Success and what that is? And actually have Maurice Hofmann here. Someone I would consider a resident expert as it pertains to “Customer Success”.

So thank you so much for joining Maurice, most appreciate it.

Maurice [00:00:29.11]

Thanks for having me.

Beau [00:00:30.16]

Yeah, absolutely.

Well part of jumping into things just give a quick bio I could start and we’ll go from there.

As mentioned, my name’s Beau Billington, I founded the free agent a little over three years ago. And we provide full time fractional and interim support as pertains to the executives and we work directly with high-growth tech companies with revenues 10 million to two hundred million and really help them as pertains Sales, Marketing, as well as Technology.

Being as it may that customer success falls within that marketing bucket I wanted to have Maurice on here as the very first podcast or video podcast. I should say attendance in order to kind of give us a rundown of What Customer Success is? And why is it important?

Part of that, Maurice, tell us a little about yourself?

Maurice [00:01:17.15]

First of all, thanks for having me in this podcast and being your first guest. I’m really looking forward to when we’re gonna do a reunion, put a thousand podcasts and generally suggest what series are going.

So that we can kind of remember how we started back in 2020 where we all work from home.

My name is Maurice Hofmann. I’ve been doing marketing and customer success for quite a while and I started it with my current company opening changing about eight years ago and did marketing for a bit longer than that. But I don’t want to date myself right now.

Beau [00:01:55.10]

You have a book that you’ve been working on for some time, in regards to MARKETING. Just give us a quick elevator pitch on that prior to jumping into everything.

Maurice [00:02:08.03]

That’s true. And much as you’re gonna go here and see later during this podcast I’m very pragmatic when it comes to Marketing, Customer Success and so and I want to make for the audience to understand what needs to be done and find a very easy way to get there.

That’s what the marketing book is about launching your product or your company or if you start in a marketing team and you don’t really have the knowledge. I think it’s a really hands-on workbook for you guys to get there in terms of the marketing knowledge and the different steps.

Beau[00:02:41.03]

Absolutely. I can’t wait to get my signed copy and to have you back on the podcast through my thousandth to kind of discuss all the success and riches from the books.

So congratulations.

So customer success to me, it’s synonymous with technology and SaaS providers. Companies are growing rapidly and quite frankly it’s become quite the buzzword here lately and so instead of me giving kind of my definition is what I think that it is I’d love to hear from you.

What is customer success from your perspective?

Maurice [00:03:21.07]

Yeah, before I jump into the definition, What I like to say is Customer Success is for everybody that has a customer. Because it’s about making the customers as successful and happy with the product or the service that they purchase from you.

So that’s already leaning into the definition right?

It’s customer success is an ominous omen to showcase my little bit of Latin here. It is about making sure that your customers get exactly out of your product and service that they were looking for. That they achieve the desired outcome. In a short description.

Beau [00:04:01.05]

Yeah, that’s great. The truly benefit from customer success and being an initiative that’s catching on like wildfire. At the end of the day it’s really gonna benefit the company, right?

I mean at least that’s what would assume but then the flipside is that maybe the customer actually gets a better experience as a result.

What says you?

Maurice [00:04:21.16]

Oh absolutely, yeah the customer or the user definitely gets a much better experience because of the company that he or she gets a product from is engaged with customer success and hasn’t a well working program.

Because its support would be much better, others on the units will be presented much better. But overall it’s something you shared it’s definitely gonna benefit the company because at the end of the day the customer or the user can go anywhere and get the same kind of services from another provider.

However, you need all the customers that they are and especially in a social media environment where you have recommendations and so on. And you want to make sure that you don’t lose a disappointed customer that then goes out and takes it through social media and to all of your channels that you have there.

And yes, everybody knows how bad your service was. So yeah, customer success is definitely about the company but it aids the customer.

Beau[00:05:20.06]

Basically if you can ensure a customer’s success then they’re less likely to parade you on the Internet, right?

100% says the name of the game. So why do you watch it a complete company deploy such a program more importantly when.

When is it an opportune time for a company to decide all right now we need to focus on customer success because we have X amount of companies or customers what does that look like?

Maurice [00:05:51.07]

Yeah, so as for WHY, it’s two things: So the one side it’s the customer satisfaction. Because the satisfied customer comes back. And then the other side, its additional revenue. It’s making increasing your share of wallet increasing the revenue and keeping customers as returning buyers because as we all know in marketing 101 keeping a customer is less expensive than winning a new one.

So let’s keep the customers that we alreadY have and make more revenue with them. And they bring in new customers as well.

Then where is the point that you should launch a customer service and customer success department? That is as soon as you have to crossroads where the people that are in the company cannot do it themselves anymore, right?

While you do need to have a customer success mindset and this is a little block to my brach but I already have it for you. The entire company needs to have that but still there’s a point where either the support requests kind of take over in or where you don’t get all the revenue out of the existing customer base if you have that you’d like to when you think that there’s an opportunity costs that we’re having for not having a customer success manager there.

So that’s where the point you try to get you with.

Beau [00:07:11.19]

So basically when dollars or money’s walking out the door as a result kind of taking care of your customers that’s when you should really kind of do an audit and consider such a program.

Correct?

Maurice [00:07:24.00]

Exactly. Yeah.

Beau [00:07:25.09]

Excellent.

So the last question will kind of tell the conclusion here but what’s the initial step and a brief outline and potentially building out a program? What does somebody need to do? What was the first step? What’s the blocking and tackling that needs to be done first?

Maurice [00:07:39.03]

Yeah that’s not quite a one-size-fits-all solution to this.

So if you’re a smaller company you may want to be careful with your investments and you get somebody that can cover both the support and customer care side as well as the revenue side.

If you are a bigger company you want to have a very worst manager first then can go ahead go ahead and build out your program, right?

So there’s a bit of a difference and approach. For both sides however, it may make sense to get an expert and hire an expert for a limited amount of time.

And “the Free Agent” has many of those, right? Where you can get outside consulting and have a quick analysis of what is your situation? What is the best step? Where’s your immediate needs so that you can then make the right hire for the long term.

Beau [00:08:33.22]

That’s interesting and of course I appreciate the plug for my company (the Free Agent). I think what really distills from that point though is that not one size fits all.

And if you’re a very large company maybe have more funds to deploy a proper program but if you’re a smaller company there’s other options in ways that you can essentially tackle the need of customer success.

Creating a strategy still rolling out a program even if it’s on a smaller scale than the company they’re much larger thoughts.

Maurice [00:09:03.03]

And at the beginning depending on how many customers you have if you have that specialist right that’s come in. That person can already provide you so much training on what you first need to do that you may be safe for another half a year or a year before you need to hire somebody, right?

And then make the experience yourself to really develop a good understanding of what your needs will be for the first hire.

Beau [00:09:28.06]

That’s great.

So in conclusion, I really appreciate you taking the time here. I feel like I have a better grasp on what customer success is and a window essentially bringing in an expert but ultimately it seems like it doesn’t matter if it’s technology, that’s retail, any vertical, any industry can benefit from customer success.

And really the impetus for bringing on a customer success expert would be at the point that money’s walking out the door, customers are walking out the door, you have a right to effectively manage your customer relationship and they’re essentially leaving you to go find the same product solution etc at a competitor.

And that’s a time to kind of take a look and reevaluate your business model and construct a customer success plan.

Maurice [00:10:17.18]

Exactly.

And then give a call and you will have to like people for you. Don’t have to be along with the first steps.

Beau [00:10:24.18]

Yeah well I really appreciate you taking the time and of course best of luck with the book. That’s super exciting. Would love to have you back on whenever that’s done. Just kind of talk about the book. Where the inspiration came from?

Really appreciate you taking the time and look forward to staying in the task force.

Maurice [00:10:43.23]

Thank you so much for having me and good luck with your podcast series.

Beau [00:10:50.02]

Thank you

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Maurice Hofmann

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About Beau

FOUNDER, THE FREE AGENT

Beau spent over 14 years in enterprise-level software sales and was exposed to high-level talent by working alongside companies such as Apple, AT&T, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and more. 

In this podcast, Beau aims to interview high performing business leaders in the hope that their insights will bring about real change positive change the businesses of his listeners.

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