Customer Success Leader
Customer Success Leader

Episode · 1 year ago

How Organized Customer Success Decreases Churn w/ Jordan Silverman


One thing you learn as the co-founder of a bathroom advertisement business is the importance of organization.


Jordan Silverman, VP of Customer Success at MarketMan, joins Eric on this episode to discuss organization in customer success. Plus, they talk about… 


- Unique challenges of customer success for the hospitality industry


- Entrepreneurial skills that can be transferred to customer success


- The importance of being a good steward of customers’ businesses


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To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Customer Success Leader on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

There's no better teacher for sales forcustomer success or anything ANDDORTA door. Sales colds calling and hearingrejection want to create delightful customer experiences. You're in theright place. Welcome to customer success leader where you'll learn aboutthe successes and struggles of leaders who are passionate about their craft.Trust me. You want to stick around here's your host, Eric Crane. He everybody welcome back. This is EricCrane from flat file and I've got another great guest on the customersuccess leader podcast today joining me. Is Jordan Silverman who's, the VP ofcustomer success at Market Man, Hey Jordan? How are you doing e Eric doinggreat? How about yourself? Thanks for having me EA? I can't complain too much.It's finally sunny here in Atlanta affor, a few days of rain, where youcalling in from Iam in New York currently, is that New York, city orNew York state great question. When all of this started, I went from New YorkCity to Westchester, so in the suburbs now joying a little bit of outdoorspace. While I have it yeah. I've heard at somlore story from a lot of folkswho kind of found ways to get out of the city a bit, especially the middleof the pandemic, seems like a pretty wise idea there going from not leavinga one bedroom apartment with my wife to having a backyard has been a nicelittle change. Well, really appreciate you taking the time to join me,regardless of the type of room that you're sitting in want to hear a littlebit more about your background. So tell me about how you got to be the VPOFcutsomer success at market man welcome Yo to your customer success journey. Itcertainly isn't the average journey of going from CSM TO ENTERPRISE SM toDirector. When I was in college at University of Michigan, I started myown company. It was called Star toilet paper. I started it with my brother. Hewas my co founder and it is what it sounds like we did. Advertising inpublic bathrooms printed toilet paper printed paper towels displaysadvertising in bathrooms. We Ren the... for four or five years, and Iwas the CO and Co founder after that. I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do.I knew I loved building relationships and talking to customers, so I took asales job at another startup where I became the VP of sales and oversaw thesales and customer success. It was SMB and Midmarket SASS and I pretty quicklyrealized that I liked the customer success side more than the sale side,because I love building relationships with people, and I find that you can dothat a lot more in customer success. So I joined market man a little over fouryears ago and have been running the customer success in Postsales team eversince that's so cool see it a journey like that and don't worry, we'll toucha little bit more about your crappy experiencas prior, but I want to learna little bit more about how you define customer success. So what is yourunique definition for customer success? We have the lastic definition ofcustomer success that you hear a lot of people talk about, which is two thingsnumber one successful clients and two happy clients. Our job is to make sureour clients are successful and happy a little bit more in depth. Our job isthe post sales team is to take a client from a blank account, a blank sophwareand platform to a fully built up and running platform, but theyare achievingtheir goals, renewing, hopefully upselling and giving us referrals. Soit's about taking them on the journey from blank account to full account in asuccessful and happy way. So tell me about what some of those goals are like.How do you define those goals? Do you do that with the customer? What type ofguidance you provide them like? Tell me more about that like okay, success,right success, cal be mean a lot of different things in customer success,there's reactive and proactive approaches. We try to be extremelyproactive with all of our clients. Every single one of our clients, SMB,all the way up to enterprise, has a...

...dedicated SM, a dedicated accountmanager whose responsibility it is to make them happy. Every client startsoff with a kickoff call where we try to understand. Why did they sign up formarket man? Why are they paying us every month and how can we help themachieve those goals in the best and fastest way possible? And what arethose goals? Typically for your customers? We work in the hospitalityindustry, restaurants, grocery stores, hotel chains, our clients come to usfor one of two things save time or to save money. Those are our clients goals,theire buying marketmen and using Marketman to help them eitherstreamline their operations and save time or save money on their bottom linein terms of profit. So when you're talking to Custorit, it's usually oneof those two things or maybe a combination of both like how do youunderstand what's most important to that customer when you're speaking withthem? So what are the ways you kind of draw that out of them? It's all aboutasking really good questions in building a relationship with them. It'salways awkward that first handoff that kickoff call when sales is handing thedeal and handing ha customer off to customer success can be awkward andI've had my fair share of awkward ones. But it's really important to have that.Kickoff call show them that you're a real person and that you are there tosupport them and help them. We are always n only there to help them inevery way we can, and I can't believe it's any more awkward than theexperience of trying to sell someone advertising on toilet paper. So tell mea little bit more about your experience, sort of like as an entrepreneur workingin this. You know kind of unique Nich advertising space and the way you'veapplied some of those lessons to customer success. So, first off, Ithink we've all been there right, you're in the bathroom reading, yourphone looking for something to do and...

...that's exactly how the initial idea hitme- and I was a young entrepreneur in college amazing experience and I ranwith it. I still apply a lot of the things that I learned there to sales tocustomer success and everything. I do, there's no better teacher for sales forcustomer success or anything Andorta door, sales, colds calling and hearingrejection, and I think, building up that base has really made me a goodcustomer success, manager and a good leader. So some of the skills that Ithink it really taught me were hard work. When you get hit you get back upand then how important it is to be organized when you're managing a bookof two hundred. Fifty three hundred accounts you need to be hyperorganizedand being the CO of the startup is, as you know, is the same thing. You've gotso many things going on and being organized is so important. So what arethe SOM ofthe systems, you use to say, organizist, our life blood is our crm,so we use totango on the CRM side. We use it for everything. Task Management,health scoring one to many email campaigns, but one of the lesser knowntools that we've really benefited from is a tool called textplace. So we arebig fans of building out playboks and how organization and scalability isreally important. So we use textplays, which is a text expander tool to helpour team have predrafted email kits and templetes, but also it's a great way tohave link shortnerse for all of our FAQ articles. Aure videos, that's one ofthe tools that really helps us. Not only stay organized but take out someof the legwork of trying to find the same aq article over and over. I loveit right. We're supposed to be using technology to find efficiencies, to nothave to repeat the same thing over and over again. So tell me a little bitmore about where technology has failed. You I want to know like where you'redoing things on a repeated basis, so...

...that anyone who's building a techcompany Thas happened to be listening, can get some ideas here. We are still astartoff company, so I joined the company a little over four years ago,and I remember when I joined, we were in excel and a white board and as ecustomers moved from onboard ing to first value to desired outcome, we hadhave posted on the white board and we would move them literally fromonboarding to first Valleue n IAS, a great visual tool that we could use,but now that we are fifteen hundred customers and continuing to grow, oneof the things that we still struggle with is analyzing customer journeys asintricately as we wish. We could so analyzing. Customer journeys is oneplace that we find technology could be enhanced and could really help us more.So knowing what you could know about the customer journey, how does thataffect the way that you work with those customers? It's about? How do youinsert yourself into the conversation at the right times and say the rightthings as you're scaling up your SMB customer success? One to manycommunication becomes critical, so the better you can understand the customerjourney, the better you can reach out to them both manually and automatically,and make sure that they're getting the right messages at the right times, andI know you work with quite a few customers lobally an not just you know,based in the United States here, but also around the world. So how do youcater your flows and your messaging to folks in different markets? It's one ofthe biggest challenges of having a global customer base is balancing theneeds and requests of different countries and different types of people.So what happens in what works in the US might not work in the UK, for example.So in the US doing, zoom conversations is very commonplace. It's a great wayto train customers, as opposed to in the UK or South Africa, which are hugemarkets for us. They like face to face...

...they like shaking hands. So I thinkit's about finding the balance of scaleability, but also not being afraidto put boots on the ground when it's required. That makes sense so whenyou're hiring or looking for CSM to join a business like market man. Whatare you looking for in those folks? I want someone that is a hustler andorganized my ideal. Higher is someone with six to twelve to eighteen monthsof sales or customer success. Experience that knows what it's like topick up. The phone and colds call knows what it's like to have to deal withthat day today grind because customer success is amazing, but it's a day beggrind sometimes and having someone that knows resiliency and can do that andalso manage a book of business. I think sets them up so well for customersuccess, Yeah. So speaking of that book, a business I'd love to learn more abouthow you've structured the customer successrol, because I hear a variety ofdifferent answers, whether it's we have psms who are actually responsible forup, so whether CSM just identify upsell opportunities and sometimes csms- don'teven think about revenue at all. So tell me about how you positionedourscsms, to contribute to the Revenue Organization, especially given yourbackground in sales at market man. We are still in the second or thirdinninglike we are still very early in our customer success experience in ourcustomer success journey, so we are constantly building and improving beinga sales leader, a customer success leader. I don't think customer successis a cost center. It is a revenue generating model. So for us, Netchurnis the number one KPI we're looking at. We want to make sure not only for thecompany overall, but also Percy SM, that their book of business, theirportfolio is growing every month in every quarter, not contracting. So whendo you see customers turning and how do... respond to that? recency bias isgoing to play apart in this answer. With covid going on and all therestaurants going out of business, we've obviously felt that so right nowour number one reason for customers leaving us is, unfortunately ther goingout of business. Hopefully things will turn around. I think we can all agreeon that, but really what we see for our customer base is an inventory solutiontakes time to set up once we get customers up and running on, boardedseeing first value very rarely do they leave us so for us, the way that wevedesigned the customer experience in the customer journey is we're investing atremendous mount of resources into onboarding and making sure that as manyof our customers, if not all of our customers are getting to that firstvalue. Getting to that first wow moment, because if we can get them there,they're going to stay with us for a while, you had time to value iscrucially important. I mean I've seen it almost every SAST business I've beenin, which is just there's a direct linear correlation between the time ittakes someone to on board and the likelihood that they're going to turnyeah absolutely, and it's something that about two years ago we hired anonboarding team and that amboarding team is core to what we do and makingsure that we get that done in the best and easiest way for our customers.That's great, I mean that's something like you get deed to design yourorganization around the goals and objectives of your customers andcustomer success might be a formalized function on many businesses, but Iwould argue that customer success is also the ultimate objective of anybusiness as well. If your customers aren'table to achieve their goals, thenthey're not going to stick around as customers of yours, too many businessesin customer success is ticketing. It's not customer success is proactive.Account Management, helping your clients achieve their goals. It's notjust customer service in ticketing.

That's, of course, part of it, but it'sreally about that desired outcome and getting your customers in the best andeasiest way. So tell me about your favorite experience in customer success.Lus Far, so give me give me a story. I want to hear one so I'm going to telltwo stories. If that's okay, I joined Marketman a little over four years ago,and I was the second hirer in the US. Our head of sales mat started a weekbefore me, then I started still both there, but we had this reallytroublesome customer who was struggling with our current service. So I said,give me the account. I was about two to three weeks in the customer left. I'd,say four days within me, taking the account I did not know close to enoughabout Marketman, and I think I learned really quickly how important it is toknow your own platform in order to help your customers, and I think that such abig difference between sales and customer success, sales sellingbenefits customer success. You better know what every button does. So I thinkthat was one of my first experiences in this new role. That taught me a lot.The second story I want to tell is: We have a customer who has a chain ofrestaurants and their numbers just weren't lining up in market man, and Ispent a couple hours every week reviewing the numbers with him until wefinally realized that the reason the numbers weren't mining up or becausethe chefts were stealing from him and he was literally able to use our toolto find out that his chefs were stealing from him. So what that taughtme was you, as the customer success manager you as the customer successteam, not only can have a fundamental impact on someone's business, but youshould be willing to invest as much time and energy as the customer,because, if you do good things will happen, yeah, it's like the stewardshipof the business too, and that's what...

...really lays a foundation of trust issaying: Hey, I care about your business as much as you do, or maybe I can'tpossibly, but at the very lease I'm Goin try my damn best to do so. Themore you can insert yourself into being a part of your lient of your customers,business, the more returns you'll reap long term, so I mean what typicallygets in the way of forging that strong relationship. One of the things thatwe're dealing with in a daily basis is we are a SASS company teachingtechnology to a very outdated industry. I don't think people would describerestaurants and hospitality. Is the most tech savvy or early adopters forus it's about building, not only a software, but also a process that fitsthose core customers. So how do we make sure we are simplifying our messagingin our product for our Customerbas love it and we're getting? U Close to timehere. So I do like to make sure I ask a final question to all my guests, whichis throughout your time in customer success. What is the best piece ofadvice related to the role or the position of customer success thatyou've ever received from someone else? I've said a few times now how importantorganization is, and the best advice I got was how important it is to buildgood habits- that's not only for yourself and for your customer successteam, but that's also for the customer. So if you can build good habits thatallow you to have the best day possible and you set the customer up with easyto follow good habits for them to utilize, the software, an the system ona daily basis, you're going to see great feedback you're going to seegreat results. So it's all about building good habits, and I thinkthat's the best piece of advice. I got all right well, thank you. So much forsharing that with our audience, everyone that was Jordan, Silverman,the vpof customer success at Marketmen. I Mayor Crane from flatfile. Thank youfor listening to this wigs episode. You...

...depend on the fastest time to value foryour customers. So why let Datea onboard and sewl you down stop emailingspreadsheets, creating CSB templates for setting up CTT transfers, createcollaborative secure workspaces with your customers and their data savingyou time, while providing a memorable, onboarding experience. Oh and there'sno code required, you can go to flat file, OT IO, lashcs leader to learnmore. I GET STARTED FOR FREE! Thank you so much for joining us forthis episode. Customer Success leader is brought to you by flat file ifyou're a fan of the show and want to help us share these conversations withothers. Leave us a rating on Apple Podcast, just tap the number of stars.You think the show deserves. That's it for today catch you in the next one.

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