Scaling the Customer Experience Jillian Wohlfarth August 12, 2014 Company // SUMMARIES ?> Earlier this month, Isaac, Jose, and Tim wrote letters about what their first 5 years of scaling SendGrid has been like. A common theme for all of them was our customers and our people. At the center of both of these is our Customer Success Team. They’ve scaled tremendously over the past 5 years to ensure that our customers are able to do so as well. I wanted to learn a little more about their team and what this support looks like, so I sat down with Amy Mustoe, SendGrid’s Director of Customer Success, to get some more insight. Q: Define your role as the Director of Customer Success. A: My responsibility and that of the Customer Success Team is to ensure that SendGrid provides ongoing value during the entire customer life cycle. We aim to help every customer—from those who are established, scaling businesses, to startups that are just beginning to launch their new app. Our customer make up is diverse, so our Customer Success Team is as well. Our team consists of deliverability experts, content consultants, support engineers, and more. We’ve shaped the team so that we have experts to help all of our customers. This allows us to provide insights into industry trends, help with onboarding, provide IP warm up consulting, assist with transitioning from another vendor, and offer ongoing deliverability consulting. Q: What’s the biggest misconception about high volume senders? A: Since email is still the main communication channel for businesses, if we help our customers become good email senders and build a strong reputation in the industry, it will only enhance their business. So, sometimes we’re telling our users to send less email. Our relationship with our customers is a long-term commitment—if they’re being smarter about the messages they’re sending, they’ll be more successful over the long term. Q: You were the first member of the Technical Account Management Team (now Customer Success) that has now grown to 17. How has the growth of your team mirrored SendGrid’s growth? A: When I originally started at SendGrid, the role had no preset aspirations of what it needed to be–only continue to make email easy for developers. The role and the department have become what SendGrid customers asked us to be. We have a lot of high touch customers, so originally, we focused on one-on-one attention with customers sending high volumes. But now, Customer Success, in conjunction with Support and Deliverability, encompasses everyone in the organization working with every level of sender. We’ve shaped the department to include a focus on both high touch and low touch, so all customers have a great experience. Though our team has grown in size, it’s important to realize that you can’t just scale your people, you have to add processes and tools that allow you to be more in tune with what our customers need. The trick is knowing when your customers need you, so they can be more successful and the reality is that email doesn’t get easier, it gets more complex. The ISPs and the rules of the industry tend to get stricter and change constantly. Q: How is the Customer Success team unique at SendGrid? A: There are three things that immediately stand out: our billing structure, our 24 x7 support, and our focus on relationship building. Contract: Our customer success team doesn’t have the luxury of a contract that’s pre-paid up front. We have 30 days, maybe 60, to make sure that customers see value and continue to see value in our product. Luckily, we do have happy customers and deliver on that value. Having a non-contract model keeps us on our toes. We’re only as good as we were last month. Support: We provide 24×7 support to customers and non-customers. The customer has always been our main focus. Our founders wanted to make email deliverability easy for developers. Like Jose mentioned, from the beginning, they were all about our customers. We continue to have that same mantra today. Relationships: Every employee at SendGrid has a responsibility to our customers, making every interaction a positive one. We’re all about building connections. We meet face to face with hundreds of customers a month through dedicated customer visits, our SendGrid Delivered tour, our Developer Relations team, and more. Most people at SendGrid find that that is the most rewarding part of their job because they can be a little part of a customer’s business. They can experience new ideas and be on the forefront of fresh new apps and innovations. It’s very motivating. Q: What’s ahead for the Customer Success Team? A: We’re becoming smarter at looking at the signals. How can we anticipate issues? So instead of having quick responses, we want to know beforehand if someone is going down a slippery path. The key to customer success is to detect issues before they arise. By doing that, we’ll stay on the forefront of thought leadership and continue to provide information to our customers that will help them make good decisions and be successful.