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What do your interactions with the C-Suite look like on a regular basis?

3 Answers
Amara Okoli
Amara Okoli
MURAL Director of Customer SuccessMarch 22

On any given day my interactions with the C-Suite could look like the following:

  • Proactively reaching out to new customers and keeping the customer’s C-Suite informed of who’s who and what we will do to help ensure their success
  • Following C-Suite on LinkedIn, news, and other media in order to learn about their objectives and business challenges
  • Updating my C-Suite on the status of customers: growth opportunities, at risk accounts, successful go-lives, etc
  • Reaching out to C-Suite to help my team drive executive alignment
  • Attending tradeshows, conferences, seminars and events and meeting with C-Suite
  • Reaching out to C-Suite during escalations and other challenges to maintain trust
766 Views
Jeff Beaumont
Jeff Beaumont
Customer Success ConsultantMay 31

For the c-suite, it's intermittent and that makes each interaction (even a Slack!) that much more relevant. I tend to interact a lot with VPs and other directors.

Because I have deep topical depth, it's tempting to share everything I know or give everything that I think they need or want to hear. Instead, I've learned to write it like a news article headline; don't bury the lede. Here's what I've learned:

  1. Make it memorable. If they only remember a 10 second soundbite or 1-2 sentences, what would it be?

  2. Concision is your friend. Depth is tempting, but you're not doing the high dive as an olympic swimmer. Give the 2-3 relevant points.

  3. Add contrast. Not all the times, but when a decision needs to be made, offer a slide that provides Plan A and Plan B. Go ahead and advocate for Plan A, but offer an acceptable backup or alternative. This gives the c-suite the opportunity to choose, go with a Plan C, or say we need to go back to the drawing board

  4. Preflight. If you are representing your C-suite member, run your proposal, update, or whatever by them. Even if they agree with it, spend a few minutes (sometimes can be a slack message!) telling them what you plan to say, give them your deck/doc/spreadsheet, and allow them to ask questions or offer pushback. This gives them confidence in how the meeting with go with their peers and offers you more insight for what to expect.

  5. Be curious! The VPs that I work for know their C-suite leader(s). Work with them and ask questions, not just when you're preparing for a meeting, but throughout the year. Be curious! Ask questions. Humanize them. It was incredible — eventually I learned that C-suite members are humans just like me. Your C-suite members are, believe it or not, also human. They make mistakes, need their sleep, and get hungry — just like us.

472 Views
Meenal Shukla
Meenal Shukla
Gainsight Senior Director of Customer SuccessSeptember 1

I am going to answer this question from the lens of a Customer Success leader.

Here is how my internal discussions look like while talking to the C-suite within my company.

  1. Regular Updates: Provide regular updates on the performance of the customer success team, key metrics (e.g., Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Lifetime Value, Churn Rate, etc.), and how these metrics are impacting the overall business objectives.

  2. Strategic Planning: Participate in strategic planning meetings and contribute to discussions on the overall business strategy, particularly as it relates to customer success and retention.

  3. Performance Reviews: Participate in performance review meetings where I present and discuss the performance of the customer success team, highlight key accomplishments, and discuss areas for improvement.

  4. Problem Solving: If there are challenges or issues that need to be addressed at the executive level, I am responsible for bringing these issues to the attention of the C-Suite, along with your recommendations for solutions.

  5. Budget Discussions: Participate in budget discussions and planning meetings. I may need to present and justify the budget requirements for the customer success team and explain how the proposed budget will help achieve the organization's goals.

  6. Cross-Functional Collaboration: Collaborate with other departments and teams (e.g., sales, marketing, product development, etc.) to ensure alignment and coordination across the organization.

  7. Customer Feedback: Share feedback from customers that can help inform strategic decisions, product development, and other key areas of the business.

  8. Advisory Role: Act as an advisor to the C-Suite on matters related to customer success, customer experience, and customer retention.

Remember, the goal of your interactions with the C-Suite is not just to report on the activities of the customer success team, but to provide strategic insights and recommendations that can help drive the success of the entire organization. Your role as a Customer Success Leader is to be the voice of the customer at the executive level and to ensure that the organization remains focused on delivering value to its customers.

Interactions with the C-Suite of a customer require a different approach. As a Customer Success Leader, your interactions would typically involve the following:

  1. Quarterly/Executive Business Reviews (QBRs/EBRs): These are regular meetings (usually quarterly) where you provide updates on the value your product or service delivers to the customer, discuss any challenges or issues, and align on goals and strategies for the upcoming quarter.

  2. Strategic Planning: Help the customer’s C-Suite in their strategic planning by providing insights and recommendations on how your product or service can help them achieve their business objectives.

  3. Problem-Solving: If the customer is facing any challenges or issues, you may need to escalate these to the C-Suite and work with them to develop and implement solutions.

  4. Feedback Collection: Collect feedback from the customer’s C-Suite on your product or service, and share this feedback internally to help inform product development and other strategic decisions.

  5. Executive Sponsorship: Act as an executive sponsor for the customer, which involves building strong relationships with the customer’s C-Suite, understanding their needs and challenges, and acting as their advocate within your organization.

  6. Strategic Alignment: Ensure that the customer’s strategic goals and objectives are aligned with the value that your product or service can deliver.

  7. Value Demonstration: Regularly demonstrate the value that your product or service is delivering to the customer’s organization. This could involve presenting case studies, ROI analyses, or other data that shows the impact your product or service is having on the customer’s business.

Remember, the goal of your interactions with the customer’s C-Suite is to build strong, strategic relationships, ensure that they are realizing the full value of your product or service, and to position yourself as a trusted advisor who can help them achieve their business objectives.

375 Views
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