CS Operations w/ Christine Lavery

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This is a podcast episode titled, CS Operations w/ Christine Lavery. The summary for this episode is: <p>Today, Christine Lavery, Senior Director of Customer Success and Secure works, joins the show today for a discussion on customer success operations!</p><p><br></p><p>If you want to join the discussion with thousands of other customer success leaders, join Gain Grow Retain: <a href="http://gaingrowretain.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">http://gaingrowretain.com/</a></p><p>Connect with Christine Lavery on LinkedIn: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-lavery/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-lavery/</a></p><p><br></p><p>This podcast is brought to you by Jay Nathan and Jeff Breunsbach...</p><p>Jay Nathan: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaynathan/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaynathan/</a></p><p>Jeff Breunsbach: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreybreunsbach" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreybreunsbach</a></p>
How to keep CS training sessions engaging
01:31 MIN
How to get customers aligned when new roles are added(such as a CSM)
02:04 MIN
How Christine brought in CS Ops
01:41 MIN
Why CS Ops is critical
01:32 MIN

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Gain Grow Retain Podcast.

Speaker 2: Hey, Gain Grow Retain. I wanted to tell you about iDigress, which is hosted by Troy Sandidge and brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. It's got shows under 30 minutes and it helps to eliminate complexity, complications and confusion in your business, through a series of frameworks and strategies. He talks all about scalable and sustainable success. He hits on things like marketing sales, customer success, and more. So go check out iDigress and listen to iDigress wherever you get your Podcasts.

Jeff B.: Welcome back to another episode of Gain Grow Retain. Today, I am joined by Christine Lavery, who is the senior director of customer success... Sorry, I almost shortchanged you there. Senior director of customer success at Secureworks. So Christine, thank you for hopping on with us today. We're excited to do this.

Christine Lavery: Yes, you're welcome. I'm really excited about this too. Yes.

Jeff B.: All right. Well, so I like to do some icebreaker at the beginning. Get to know a little bit about you, let the audience peek behind the curtain. So the Thanksgiving holiday, we're recording this right before the Thanksgiving holiday, it's around the corner. So one of my go- to questions recently has been, what's the favorite dish? What do you go to? What do you gravitate towards on the Thanksgiving dinner table? What do you look forward to the most?

Christine Lavery: Oh, my gosh. So many things. But I guess the one that's my most favorite is butternut squash soup. Yeah. My husband makes this killer version of it. He loves to cook. So we've experimented with all kinds and this particular one, it's not shy on butter, it's not shy on cream, but technically, there is some butternut squash in there, and it's really good. So I look forward to that every year.

Jeff B.: I like it. Awesome. I like to cook too. So I like to cook, but generally around the holidays, I don't know. Those aren't the things I like to cook. I'm a big, I like to use the grill and I like to smoke. We've got a smoker in the back. So a lot of the things I like to cook aren't things that we do around the holidays, but I do like to cook. So I appreciate your husband doing that. I'll give you mine just since you went first, but right now, I think my favorite and I don't know why, but this has been, my mom's made this ever since I was a kid, was this corn casserole dish that she makes. That's like, you get some Jiffy cornbread mix in there. You get some real corn, you get some... And I don't know why, but to me is like, especially if it's served hot, that to me is just something that I go to and gravitate towards all the time. So, we're actually going to a friend's house for Thanksgiving this year. And we're all trying to make up the menu. And I was just telling my wife, I was like, " We're making corn casserole, because I don't think anybody else likes it or makes it. So we're going to make it and bring it." So we made sure to get that one in.

Christine Lavery: So it sounds, based on what you described, really similar to something that I also really enjoy. So I mean the breadcrumbs, you can't go wrong with it, you got to have that crunch and then, you have the corn, so you're getting a little healthy vegetable in there. So all is well.

Jeff B.: It's basically, I always like to equate it, like they call it like corn casserole but it's basically like a cornbread that somehow the consistency is a little bit more like a casserole, so it's good.

Christine Lavery: There you go.

Jeff B.: All right. Cool. Next icebreaker question is, let's say it's not a holiday. If Christine was designing her ideal Sunday morning, walk us through, what's an ideal Sunday morning look like to you?

Christine Lavery: An ideal Sunday morning. Well, I have two young kids, so five and two and they're boys and they're wild. So my current Sunday mornings are spent trying to drink some coffee while they're being wild and crazy and fun. Don't get me wrong. It's a lot of fun and a lot of energy, but ideally, to be able to have a warm cup of coffee with a croissant or something and just sit there and gradually wake up, that would be ideal. But that's not my reality right now, at all.

Jeff B.: I like that. So Jay who founded Gain Grow Retain with me and helps record some of the Podcast episodes and everything, he has three kids and he was talking about this same phenomenon. So he bought his wife one of those Ember cups, if you ever seen knows where it keeps your cup or mug like to a certain temperature so that your stuff stays warm. So he bought his wife that because she had that same... She was like, " Man, I've reheated this coffee like 20 times. And now it's just like burnt coffee from the microwave and it doesn't taste as good." So I don't have kids yet, but I know that phenomenon you're explaining because I feel like I've lived it through what he was talking about too.

Christine Lavery: Yes. And those Ember cups, I've been looking at them. They come in a variety of colors, and I'm like, maybe I should get one. You're right. Yes.

Jeff B.: Right. Last icebreaker and then I promise we can move on. So, if you were going to go anywhere right now, drop all your responsibilities, leave the family behind, solo vacation, where are you going to go to?

Christine Lavery: Probably just travel around Europe. I have friends to see that I haven't seen in a long time. And it would just be amazing to do that with no obligations to anything or anyone, that would be just spectacular. So of course, I have lots of other plans of all kinds of travel excursions I want to take, but without having to worry about kids and given that COVID's been getting close to two years here, I would love to have an opportunity just to travel around Europe, catch up with friends and even some family as well that I haven't seen in a while. So, that would be amazing.

Jeff B.: Yeah. Hey, I think that's probably a lot of people's answers. Like you said, over the last couple years, with travel being hampered, I think a lot of us are like, " All right, well, I just want to go back and connect people and get back to having some experiences in- person. So, I would definitely take you up on that too.

Christine Lavery: Yes.

Jeff B.: All right. Cool. Well, now that the icebreakers are over, the hard part is over, we can get to the easy part for you. I think the genesis of what we were going to hop through today is, we met via LinkedIn and we were going back and forth about just CS operations. I had put a post out there recently that I was highlighting like why CS operations should be high on your holiday list and why you should be building that type of role or function in your business. And you had gone through some experiences recently that would be fun to talk through, but maybe give us a glimpse of kind of even outside of CS Ops what for you has been going on kind of in your world, in your business, what have you been working on and building up until kind of this moment right now? What are some of the big things or milestones maybe that you've been doing recently?

Christine Lavery: Yes. So I'm super passionate about CS Ops so thank you again for this opportunity to have this discussion with you. So yeah, in a nutshell it's been, I guess since August, September of last year, we made a decision that we really want to... My company made a decision that we really want to stand up a customer success organization. So we've been around for a long time in the security industry, but now it was time to really focus on that customer first customer success type approach. So spent all of that second half of last year focusing on designing, creating, and developing a CS organization. And then January of this year, which it's hard to believe, I mean where we are in the year approaching Thanksgiving, that we kicked this off in January, in the form of a bootcamp with our newly minted CSMs. So we did a two week program, discussed our methodology, discussed our product, discussed the tools that we had at our fingertips and then we really kicked it off in February with engaging with our customers from a CS perspective. And so now we're migrating from those moments where we're really tracking what I'd call our leading indicators, like what's the muscle memory that we want our CSMs to have around how to execute CS effectively. And then now we're starting to look at the lagging indicators that say is what we've done a success or not. So in parallel to all of this is standing up that CS Ops function, which is paramount to being able to tell the types of stories that we want to be able to craft. And even not just on the story side, like are there some things that we're seeing that maybe aren't working well that we need to adjust? CS Ops helps us with that as well. So super excited to engage in this with you.

Jeff B.: Yeah. So even before we jump in CS Ops, there's maybe some cool, just little pointed questions I want to ask as you've gone through the experience. So maybe the first you kind of talked about this boot camp running your teams kind of through almost like it sounds like sales teams have kickoffs every single year. So it kind of sounded like you were doing that but for CS, right so, hey, we're having a customer success kickoff. We're going to do two weeks and it's inaudible. We're probably hyping everyone up for the year, we're probably setting goals and, and kind of talking about what we want to accomplish. And then we're probably doing some training and trying to get people in to playbooks and the types of activities and things that we want to do. You're getting your books of business whatever it might be. Is there anything that you learned about maybe doing that type of exercise virtually? Is there anything that you took away from that aka how do you create some of those sessions to be engaging? I don't know if there's anything that you maybe learned or anything that you want to throw out there. It's kind of like, " Hey, for anybody listening, here's a way maybe to think about going forward."

Christine Lavery: So I think there's two... Well, there's lots of takeaways but if I were to highlight two, the first one is you can't do all day sessions. No, just doesn't work. So over the two week period, we did half day sessions for the team so they could spend the afternoons... So it was morning for US and then afternoon for our inaudible folks. So they could spend the other part of their day, day focusing on learning and absorbing some of what they learned. The other thing, the engagement component I think is the most critical. And we, we facilitated session that would enable interaction. So we would ask open ended questions, not just like your standard icebreaker, because of course we did that at the beginning. Don't get me wrong. But then we also talked about like in particular situation, how would you approach this? Or if you're working on recommendations for your customers, what would be a right way to really engage them so they're interested in that recommendation? And so we had that like engaging type conversation so they could then see the application of what we were teaching to how to actually use it. And the feedback that we got from the team members was they really appreciated that type of conversation and discussion and appreciated the planning that went into that. So yeah-

Jeff B.: That is awesome. I love that you mentioned the part about just asking better open- end questions like that to me is something I've had to work on a lot and I think it becomes really critical. I think you start to realize, when you start walking into meetings, call sessions, whatever, when you start doing that with a mindset of like, " Okay, how do I ask better questions? How do I get better discussion or generate engagement?" You actually start realizing how many yes or no questions you ask and it's just by habit or nature. And so if you can spend extra time just thinking, " Okay, how would I craft this question differently?" So instead of a yes or no, I can actually get a response. I think it just offers so much more like we founded our gang girl team community off of office hour sessions and we were facilitating those. We had in some cases a hundred or 200 people on a call and so we would do breakout rooms and other things to generate engagement. But largely when you're facilitating a group of that large it's how do you kind of get order, but how do you really move a conversation from point A to point B and really do that in a flowing way. And so I think to your point, like asking better questions, thinking a lot about the facilitation. I think sometimes people just don't put a lot of prep time, " Hey, we'll just hop on a Zoom. It's easy. I just press a button. It turns on a meeting we hop in." But if you can prepare in the right ways, then it's going to create a much better product for you for the business and for your employees. You guys did that though. You guys thought about the exercise of kind of having this kick off. Let's get everyone amped on the same page. Let's get everyone thinking about the right types of activities. And then even just the exercises that you went through. It sounds like everyone enjoyed that too.

Christine Lavery: Yeah. And honestly, we continued to do refreshers. I call them methodology refreshers where we just kind of restate the core components of our methodology and then we practice safe space to practice. Like everybody can learn from these experiences that we're sharing. And now that we have some real life examples of what went well or maybe what didn't land well, we talk about that in these, we call them refresher trainings. So it's good stuff.

Jeff B.: Yeah. I like that. All right. The second question, maybe before we jump into CS Ops that I wanted to pull out from what you mentioned is it sounds like a pretty big transition for not only your teams or for the business for your teams, but also for customers. At the end of the day, you're introducing a new role, they're probably unsure maybe of what this role is, how's it going to be valuable, they probably had concerns maybe like, is this included or not included or do I have to pay extra for this? So I'm curious how did you all think about kind of rolling out that messaging and thinking okay, how do we position this in the right way to a customer so that they can understand A, what they're getting with this role and then B like what we're trying to accomplish by offering this and what this type of change management is that we're going to be going through with them?

Christine Lavery: Yeah. So man, it's a multifaceted, not single threaded approach to doing this. So a lot of times, the way you can hit the ground running with your customers is making sure that the expectations are set appropriately with the customer in the sales cycle. So I've spent some time engaging with our sales teams to help them understand what it is that the CSMs provide to customers and why it's valuable to the customers. And so we've created day in the life views that take some actual tactical examples of how a CSM would engage with the customer and racy views. And some people have racy views, some people don't. So we just have it available for those who like the different approaches. But then as CSMs ourselves we level set in our first conversations with the customer. We talk about how we want to have that degree of partnership with you Mr. Miss customer, and we want to work together with you. So we'll spend a lot of time on usage and adoption of our platform, but we're also going to ask you like, what does success mean to you? And this is where the powerful questions comes into play because customer A and B could say the exact same thing at a super high level, but you have to be curious to dive in to understand more what that means to them truly. Like how do they measure it? How are they going to go back to their board or their leadership to say, " Yes, we were successful with that company." So we spend a lot of time talking about that and there are definitely are some customers that are still a little unsure but once we take them through it, the first couple times, they start to see the connection between how we're having conversations with them and that how that equates to the success they wanted to achieve.

Jeff B.: Yeah. The one thing that I've always thought about who make really good CSMs, the type of person or persona, somebody who gets really curious and interested in other businesses, really like how does this business make money? What's kind of the power structure? How are they organized themselves to do the work? How are they using our data or the data maybe that our tool or product offers, how are they using that to make decisions? Or where else are they putting that in the company? So I think to your point, I always feel like that person who's naturally curious, who's taking some of those early questions and kind of diving deeper, figuring out a little bit more of the why those are always the ones too that develop deeper relationships naturally because they're just curiously asking questions. And then once they start getting in, they're like, " Oh, now that I know how this is kind of working, I can figure out, okay, what are the right ways maybe to push and prod in kind of certain areas and kind of positioning and ways to do that." So I love that example. And I think to your point too, I think there's a lot of companies who are actually almost I think doing reverse of what you are. I think there's a lot of companies right now who have offered, offered customer success in a very hands on and high touch way. And I think they're actually trying to message and kind of back down from that I think because they're realizing like, " Oh, we're scaling our company is growing and we can't continue to add more CSMs. And so now we're kind of doing a little bit more digital touch, we're doing a little bit more marketing campaigns." But now how do I message and take away a CSM? And so I think it's almost the same thing like you said. I almost think of it as a agnostic of the person that's there or not. It's how are we going to help you be successful as a business? And these answers, whether you're telling them to a person or you're telling them to us, and we're capturing the data in some other way, those answers are critical for us to know what you're trying to accomplish, how you're trying to accomplish it and so like, yes getting a CSM and having somebody who can help you think about those best practices or ways that we can mold the product into what you're trying to achieve. That's one way of getting there. There's other ways of doing that now through other digital means. And so I think there's, it's funny, you mentioned kind of building up to that moment and I think there's the reverse that's happening for other people that are out there right now too.

Christine Lavery: Well, and we're not immune to that either. So we're looking at how we can provide better digital tech touch if you will, for our customers. And it's a bouncing act because we want to ensure that that personalization is still there for the customers so that we're hearing them, but we also are able to do it in a digital manner. So funny enough, I had just sent a note to my team earlier this morning around a data driven article that I had read around this topic. And so kind of started that brainstorm to help us with that next stage of our maturation. Yeah. It's a interesting and important problem that we need to solve.

Jeff B.: Yeah. I'm probably going to ask you to send me that article too, because I'm in the same process.

Christine Lavery: Yes.

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Jeff B.: So obviously the kind of the crux of what we jumped on was just around CS Ops. It sounds like you said you're going through interesting things. You've kind of had to add CSMs to the team. We're getting everyone rallied around how are we providing value to the customer? What are the types of conversations we're having? What are the types of activities? And so how have you kind of brought CS Ops along? And I'm curious too, did you bring... I guess did you add CSMs first and then kind of bring in CS Ops? Did you bringing them in at the same time? What was kind of the order of operations that you're going through?

Christine Lavery: So we brought in CSMs first, but I had identified way back when I was creating the function that we definitely need to have operations. That's really important and really critical. And so it was a fast follow. So we got the team up and running. It was really important to get the team with our customers first off. So we focused on that and then I go into my first monthly business review, like internally at Secureworks and it's like leadership's going to expect results already. That just happens, right?

Jeff B.: Yeah. Yeah.

Christine Lavery: And so it's like I need to be able to tell the story of where we are in our journey and it needs to be data driven because I will not be effective as a leader if I'm just going off of a sense, off of a feeling, if you will. So I asked my leader at the time, I was like, " I need an operations position. I need an individual who loves data and wants to tell stories with data." And fortunately that individual was already at Secureworks and was really interested in joining my team.

Jeff B.: Nice.

Christine Lavery: And so we hit the ground running. I was like, " Here's the basic things that we're trying to do," like I mentioned earlier, " to get that muscle memory going with the team. How do we tell the story of ensuring to leadership that those basics are happening?" And so we started there. Very simple.

Jeff B.: crosstalk

Christine Lavery: Go ahead.

Jeff B.: Oh no, sorry. I love that example you just pulled out too of like the storytelling and how important that it... I think today we hear words like big data and we're supposed to be analytical and data driven all the time. And I think to some degree that gives us like some analysis paralysis, but by and large we need to be making business decisions off of a clear, like direction and set of data that we can rely on that we know is there it's going to be repeatable. It's going to be ways that we can make business decisions. And so I think back to your point that becomes critical. And I think as you become a leader and you are making some of those decisions, I'll say you maybe get some leeway. There's going to be some instances where they'll take your judgment and kind of say, " Okay, we'll believe you if you kind of know, you have a feeling, you've got some leading indicators that are moving in the right direction." But by and large, it's always going to relate back to the data, but you're going to get a couple of opportunities where you have the, " Hey, we can use some qualitative information here." But I like how you're saying, " Hey, we need to make sure that this is all rooted in quantitative and making sure that we've got the story to be telling." So it sounds like then like you said, the first piece that you focused on was our CSMs doing the right activities with the customers and now we be able to measure that and start talking about, " Okay, if I had to guess," I'm kind of projecting ahead, but if I had to guess you're kind of looking at, okay, what percentage of customers were we able to do activities A, B and C with, and how successful are we at those? And then down the line probably start drawing correlations to the lagging indicators. Okay. Are those that activities leading us into higher renewal rates, higher retention, higher CSET, NPSs that kind of stuff.

Christine Lavery: So you totally got it. So yeah, that first step was making sure are we doing the right things? Because I have confidence that the methodology that we've designed is the right methodology, but we have to test that. And the only way to test that is by making sure we execute and then looking at those lighting indicators that say, yes, the customers did retain with us. So first step again, making sure that they were doing the activity. The second step and this was just the evolution that we went on was this is a loaded topic. Lots of people have opinions on health scores but we do have a health score and we leverage it to help us identify potential areas of risk with our customers. And so we have eight different components of it. And based on if a customer is red, amber or green on a particular health metric, then that indicates whether or not we should be reaching out proactively to say, " Hey customer. We believe that there might be some challenges here with your engagement with our product," for example. And then we take it from there. Obviously we have a playbook around that. That's not the sophisticated version it. So we started looking at that and then I started looking at the data we were already capturing around these are the activities we expect you to be doing. And so I asked my guy in CS Ops to say, " Is there or can you tell a correlation between improvements in the health score over time and activities that we're taking?" Conversely, can you see if there is a decrease in the health score and are the CSMs taking action? So luckily, fortunately the data has been put into our EDW enterprise data warehouse that makes it easy for him to extract. I think that's really key actually. And so he created this report that enables me to see that. And so I can see that, I'll just use a number, for example, 85% of the time that a CSM takes action it actually is driving improvement in that customer's health score. Therefore, our hypothesis is decreasing their risk.

Jeff B.: Yeah. That is so cool. Because now too where I think if I had to imagine where you're going is, now that we know that these activities are driving this type of value, the question then becomes how do we make more efficient activities that we're doing? So is there automation that we can put in? Is it better data visibility, is it better triggers? Like what is it that creates a better and more efficient activity for us to do if we know that that's driving a positive result for us at the end of the day?

Christine Lavery: That's exactly it. And so that's what we're working on right now as we speak is how do we drive those degrees of automation, digital touch, et cetera. And honestly conversely, one of the other things that we learned is that we have a particular play that it's not actually super beneficial when we run it. It doesn't really move the needle on that health metric. And that's informative too. That tells me that I need to adjust something in that play or I need to adjust something in the measure because is not capturing what we need it to be capturing. So the combination of those two things is so powerful and so data driven in how we make decisions around improving our program. And it's all because of CS Ops.

Jeff B.: Yeah. Like you said, it's almost important. I heard a quote recently and I'm going to butcher it, but prioritization isn't about prioritizing the things that you should be working on. Prioritization sometimes is about the things you shouldn't be working on. So it kind of reminds me of that. Like hey, we actually found out that maybe this play isn't working right. So maybe we tweak it once or twice, but at the end of the day maybe we actually just scrap it. Like maybe at the end of the day, it's like one of those things that we just say, " Hey, this isn't actually providing value. Let's not make our team go through this exercise." One thing that you just kind of threw in there and I'm curious if you have other little anecdotes like this, you said data warehouse becomes important. I'm noticing this in our business as well. It's kind of one of those hokey things we talked about, big data, we talked about warehouses, people are kind of like, " Oh," I don't know. Those are like futuristic terms. And we don't really know what those things mean sometimes. But in actuality when we think about what we're trying to do in CS Ops, a lot of it is like we need to make sure that the data is in a format and in a location that's easily accessible and easy for us to essentially run analysis or look at certain attributes or qualities that we can then make business decisions off of. So I know just like you said earlier, you kind of mentioned it in one of your comments, you were just like, " Hey, the data warehouse is actually really important to us." Are there other little things like that that you've kind of noticed along the way like, Oh, this is something maybe that people gloss over, but it's actually really critical to making sure you get CS Ops right.

Christine Lavery: So yeah, the EDW is really important. No doubt about that. And for us, honestly, it's been a partnership. So I haven't really touched on this this much. So we have our BI tea, so business intelligence team. They help with a lot of the EDW components. Then we have my team from a customer success perspective and then we also have customer experience. Those are separate. And I actually really like that they're separate because customer experience also has the voice of the customer view as well. And so they become neutral and they're absorbing all these data points and actually able to assess from all these different places, not just the things that my team is doing, but our other support functions. Information that we've heard specific about the product and they work with our product team as well. I do too but I love the fact that we have customer experience really sitting in that neutral position to analyze all that data, to drive additional recommendations for improvement or even drive potential new items or changes to the health score because they sit in that neutral position. I really love that we have that as our model, because I feel like I can go to them and I'm getting a non- emotional data driven conversation or state of how we are, how customers are perceiving us. And I love that.

Jeff B.: So you mentioned starting with the storytelling and kind of getting somebody who is in the data and whatnot, like what's the... As you start building out like that CS Ops function as you go forward, are you starting to notice other types of roles that you kind of need to slot in that are going to like be complimentary to that person that you already have?

Christine Lavery: So yes. I actually have an open rec right now for a-

Jeff B.: Shout out to anybody who's looking for a role.

Christine Lavery: Yes. For another CS Ops person, the guy I have now awesome but we've discussed it. He's like, " I'm only one person I need a little help." So we spoke a little bit about the digital and the tech touch component. And so I'm looking for an individual that's really going to help with the digital or tech touch rollout like focus on the right tool to enable our business. Make sure that any of the data is integrated appropriately with of EDW, work with our IT team and all that. Bring it all together.

Jeff B.: So I have a similar role open. I I'll tell you what I'm calling it, which is customer success program manager. And so it is very similar to what you're describing. We need somebody who is like walking in the door a day thinking, " Okay, do we have the right messages going to the right customers at the right times? How do we enable those things to do that? Do we have the right data? Do we have the right technology? Do I need to get content from other internal teams to make that stuff happen?" But that is the similar to what you are rolling out with. So I also have an open rec I'll fight you for a person, but that's what are calling is as a customer success program manager. I actually think it's a really fun role and I think it's something that you're starting to see more and more businesses think about is it's kind of part marketing, part customer facing, part community building, there's kind of multiple elements or facets of it which I think are pretty fun because I don't think it's going to be one of those jobs that you just kind of get into and it's like the same thing every single day. I think you're going to get in, you're going to be able to do some data digging, because you're going to be like which segments need the right type of touch points and how do we build that? You're going to be doing analytical work probably along your CS Ops analyst role, you're going to be doing some marketing campaigns and partnering with marketing. You're going to be looking at content, you're going to be talking to the customer team. So I think it's a really cool role. It's starting to carve out that if somebody is kind of multifaceted like that, but that's how we're calling it or the title that we're calling it, but it sounds really similar to what you're doing.

Christine Lavery: Yeah. Everything you described is exactly the type of person that I'm looking for. Got to be excited about it. I'm excited about it.

Jeff B.: I would take them all.

Christine Lavery: Oh, my Gosh. Like the things we can do with this. I see the opportunity here just for the team to get some additional help to ensure then ultimately our customers are feeling even more love from us and all enabled through of course having the processes and the right people first, but then the technology to help support it and all done by telling a story from a data perspective. It's really cool.

Jeff B.: Yeah, I agree too. The other thing, which I would imagine you're probably going on this path too, the other role that we just rolled out on our CX Ops team, as well as somebody to help us with internal enablement. So somebody who was helping us go around to some of those teams, not only just CSMs, but implementation, support, strategic services, any customer facing role. We now have a CX Ops person who is trying to make sure do we have the right assets created? Are we all using the same verbiage? Are we training people the right ways? So they're kind of looking at that and helping us as leaders going to go around and make sure that everything's kind of done internally in a way that we can feel confident is everyone's kind of saying that same message as we go out. So that's another role that we've added recently that I think is going to start to become the norm and something that we've found critical as well.

Christine Lavery: Yeah. So that's actually timely as well. I had a conversation again this morning with another leader at Secureworks, talking about quality. And now we have good templates. We have our methodology and all that is great. But how do we ensure that it's gone to that next level that drives the goodness that we're expecting with our customers? I don't know what it's going to look like yet, but it is a conversation that we're having and it's an important one as well.

Jeff B.: Yeah. Hey, that's the fun part about being in a business that's growing and scaling is that you get... Change is the constant, which is the good and the bad. If you want to work in a place that you feel like there's opportunities that are ample and you kind of find your way, then you get to do that which is fun. Well, this has been awesome. I know we try and keep these episodes relatively short, but I would love to... I'm sure there's like so many more things we can dive into but I just appreciate this so much because you're talking about standing up an entirely new customer success function to a business that is opting SaaS and how do you get your CSMs rallied around that? How do you then go tell the story to your customers and then how CS Ops plays a role? So I think there's so many good little nuggets that you talked about and an action packed 12 months for you. Like that is crazy amount of change to go through. So I've appreciated this a lot Christine, if people want to find more about you, ask you questions, where's the best place for them to reach out?

Christine Lavery: Totally engage with me on LinkedIn, Christine Lavery. There's not a whole lot of us out there so should be able to find me pretty easily. But I have a lot of passion around customer success and this topic and love to chat with other professionals on this as well. And yeah, looking forward to engaging perhaps more with you Jeff and folks in the community. So thank you again for this opportunity.

Jeff B.: Yeah, we'll definitely make that happen. And I would say too I think I like could do this where I just preface, hey, we'll probably have an episode two with you because the other thing that I think is really interesting that we didn't really touch on today, but I would imagine you've become good at because you've had to do it over the last 12 months is just almost like shepherding your team through a lot of change. How to keep your teams excited and motivated. And you're probably rolling out playbooks and there's some testing. You're kind of, " Hey, we don't know if this is going to work yet," because this is maybe the first time we're rolling it out. And so I think there's this whole element, especially remote first cultures in these days. I think it'd be fun for us to talk through how you've just thought about those roll outs, the changes, how you've kind of kept the team excited. So I'll preface it and say, Hey, I won't bother you around the holidays right now but maybe like in early 2022 we can get you on for another one.

Christine Lavery: All right, cool. I would love to do it. Change management, passionate about that too. So would love to discuss that with you as well.

Jeff B.: Awesome. Well, I hope you enjoy the holiday and we'll talk to you here soon Christine.

Christine Lavery: Great. Sounds good. Take care.

Speaker 5: Hey guys, thanks so much for taking the time to listen to the Gain Grow Retain Podcast. If you liked what you heard, please take a moment and share the Podcast with your friends and colleagues and subscribe. We really appreciate it. Talk to you soon.


Today, Christine Lavery, Senior Director of Customer Success and Secure works, joins the show today for a discussion on customer success operations!

If you want to join the discussion with thousands of other customer success leaders, join Gain Grow Retain: http://gaingrowretain.com/

Connect with Christine Lavery on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-lavery/

This podcast is brought to you by Jay Nathan and Jeff Breunsbach...

Jay Nathan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaynathan/

Jeff Breunsbach: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreybreunsbach

Today's Host

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Jeff Breunsbach

|Director of Customer Experience at Higher Logic
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Jay Nathan

|Chief Customer Officer at Higher Logic

Today's Guests

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Christine Lavery

|Sr. Director of Customer Success, Secureworks