So you want to go viral on Twitter? 9 Best Tips Collected From My Twitter Followers.

Hello to San Francisco!So you want to go viral on Twitter. I found that going viral on Twitter has a different meaning for me.  I want my Twitter relationships to go viral. I value the relationships with the close to 5,000 Twitter followers. I would not trade that for having a post go viral. My account was open in 2016 and I had 5 followers at the time. I didn’t understand Twitter, how to tweet or why I should. Once I practiced social media the way it was intended by connecting and establishing relationships, I started to realize how much I can learn from others. I’m going to give you 9 of the best lessons learned from my Twitter followers:

  1. Find people to follow that bring you value. Whether it is an inspirational quote or an article about how to make goat cheese, if you like it, retweet it, comment on what you liked about it, and thank them for sharing it. Do this on a daily basis and you will get more followers.
  2. Don’t send automated Direct Messages (DM): This happens when you follow someone and you immediately get a direct message from them. When this happened to me for the first time, I got so thrilled thinking someone was going to connect with me but alas, it was an advertisement.  After the first 10, I started to get annoyed.  You should use direct messaging to connect with people in a personal way, not to advertise yourself to someone who doesn’t know you. Get to know the person and their tweets, then reach out to them. You will get more committed followers if you do.
  3. Do give credit where credit is due. When you like a tweet, retweet it with the person @mentioned. Give them the credit. Never take a quote or article and put it out as if it was your own. When you give credit, you establish trust with your followers and they will do the same for you.
  4. Don’t be a troll. Block trolls. Ignore trolls. What is a troll? A troll is a fake or real account that comments on our post with foul language or makes a comment about you or the post that is inflammatory.  Unfortunately there are people out there who create accounts just to be mean. Check your Twitter account regularly for fake accounts and accounts that have never tweeted. It’s important to block or mute them. Twitter should be a safe place to voice your opinion.
  5. Search out Twitter chats and make connections.  Twitter chats have been so valuable to me because I can really connect with people on a professional level. A few of my favorites are #TwitterSmarter, #PeopleSkills, #CustServ, #NostalgicChat, #ImpactMatters, #BlogChat.  The people who host these chats usually host them for an hour, once a week.  You get to know the people who participate. Some of these chats are for professionals to share best tips and practices.  Some are just for fun like #NostalgicChat where you have a topic like “What are your 1980’s video game memories?”
  6. Be grateful.  Always thank people who give you a nice comment on your tweet. If they took the time to comment, you should take the time to thank them.
  7. Follow the right people. Find the experts!  There are so many Twitter experts who give out free information on what ever topic you are curious about.  I started searching with hashtags such as #Leadership #CustomerExperience #CustomerSuccess and I found so much valuable content to read and learn. Look for the tweets from people that resonate with you. Retweet their articles after you read them and give your favorite quote from what you read. They appreciate your effort and will be more likely to retweet your articles.
  8. Be helpful. Share great content. Be available to answer questions quickly. The more you can help others, the more likely others will help you. The more great content you share, the more likely others will see you are providing value. When you answer questions or comments quickly, people will appreciate you and start to engage with you more. Like everyone, they want to know you are a real person.  When I first started tweeting. I created moving pictures of quotes for a CEO that I really liked his inspiration and I could tell he was creating these quotes and they were original. The quotes were so amazing that I had to share them with my followers including a picture that I thought matched the quote in some way. I was attempting to enhance his ideas.  He really liked what I was doing and sent me his books as appreciation for the work I did. We communicate now on a regular basis.  What ever you see that you like, think of how you can help someone or make it better. You might be surprised at the results.
  9. Take a chance an reach out to someone to set up a meeting for coffee or even a virtual chat. The first person I had a meeting with was a Life Coach from Italy. We had such a great conversation that we still meet today.  We exchange ideas and talk about life challenges and victories. I am very grateful for his friendship and his willingness to reach out to me. Since then I have tried to reach out to one person a week to see who would be interested in a coffee chat. You never know if the person you meet could change your life. Don’t miss this opportunity to establish real relationships. They could go viral.

Sharing My Story Part 2: You Can Reinvent Yourself


FACT: I am one of those Gen Xers. Did this term really take off as it has for other generations? I mean, who wants to be called Generation X?

FACT: I have been unemployed for the last 7 months. This is the longest I have ever been unwillingly unemployed and at my age, that’s pretty damn scary. In the beginning, there was a lot of doubt about myself. I wondered why I spent 5 years in my previous job to only be out of work. I wondered what I did wrong. I thought it was my fault. I thought I was too old. Hear me on this friends: I WAS WRONG!

After I had my brief pity party, I started thinking about what I really wanted to do. You see, since my last dream of owning and running a Day Spa came true, I did not know what my next dream should be. I had to work to support my family, so it was essential to work. I knew I had to get a job no matter what. Here’s what I did to get to my new dream:

Daily, I would get up at 5am, have some coffee and start applying for jobs online. 

My goal was 20 applications a day. That’s 2,800 online applications since I started. That’s also 2,799 rejections. Rejections were tough because I spent a lot of time and effort, not only with my applications but with companies and with people. It’s amazing how some companies don’t respond to you at all. Just ignore you as if you don’t matter. If you read nothing else, read these words: YOU DO MATTER!

I joined a support group for job seekers like me. 

This was the best thing I did. Job Seekers Network gave me new in person connections. Some friendships came through and others did not. However, there was always an inspiring speaker to get our day started. We heard about other people’s successes. We got our resumes reviewed, we learned how to interview better, network better, handle our finances, and market ourselves. There were a lot of Gen Xers in this group reinventing themselves.

I joined Camp Gladiator so I would working out as much as possible. 

This was so helpful in my journey to reinvent myself. Oh yes, there were days I did not want to go but the people in this group were so supportive and encouraged me to go. I made the commitment to go even when I did not feel like it. As a result, I lost 20 lbs and gained strength and courage to keep going.

I invested time in learning something new. 

I took an online course from with Northwestern University and started practicing Social Media Marketing. Let me be clear, I am not from the generation that grew up with technology. We had those brick size phones and maybe a pager. Our computers at that time were big and clunky and not everyone had one in their house. However, once I started taking the class, I fell in love with social media. Why? The connections that I made with people all over the world, sharing ideas, talking about struggles, support for one another. It takes a while to find the right group and friends, but once you do, there is no turning back. Here’s where I want to thank all the people who are true experts in Social Media. These people gave away knowledge and advice so that I could become better. During a time where I did not have any money, this was a game changer for me.

I helped others whenever I could. 

With my new skill in Social Media Marketing, I started to share my knowledge with others and help them to market themselves better on social media. I helped them understand their passion. Any time I could give a kind word, or encourage, or physically help someone, I did.

I also volunteered to visit the elderly, babysit, and clean houses. This volunteer work was tremendous for my soul and my attitude.

I trusted my intuition and took action. 

While I was on Twitter, I noticed CEO, Anthony C Gruppo was putting out his own original quotes about leadership and teamwork. They were very inspiring. I started to think how I could get them more noticeable. I started to create quick moving pictures of his quotes. I did this every other day just because I wanted to. I didn’t know if he would like them or see them. But, he noticed them and liked and commented on them. Then he graciously sent me all the books he had written. I read his books and continued to do moving pictures or still ones with his quotes every week, very consistently. I also continued gain real followers on my Twitter account. I went from 100 to 2,700 followers in about 5 months. Anthony made a comment on one of my posts “I should hire you to promote my work.” Now, I could have ignored it, said thank you and moved on but instead, I took action. I immediately messaged him and said “We should have a discussion about this.” He gave me his number and we set up a time for an interview. We talked for an hour and we got to know each other. He told me his group could use some Social Media training and asked if I would be interested in coming to New York to consult his team. I said “yes” and now I am going to New York in October to train his team.

I stayed positive and did not give up.

Other people gave up on me. I heard “You don’t have a job yet?” quite often. Some of my “friends” did not hang out or call me anymore because I did not have extra money to spend on going out. However, I kept going and spent time with friends who supported me in spite of my circumstances.

I applied at Whole Foods for a Team Lead role on their Global Support team because I saw the opening and I have always loved Whole Foods. I got an in person interview and really enjoyed all the people I met there and I thought I would definitely get an offer. But I did not! I was devastated. The manager reached out to me and said, there is a position coming up that I would like you to consider but it’s not posted yet, let’s have coffee and talk about it. We had coffee together and discussed the position. I told her that I was interested. This was a month ago. I started to think it was not going to work out because I have heard others tell me this before and the job ends up getting cut or they delay in hiring someone due to budget constraints. However, I am starting on Monday working for Whole Foods (which just got bought by Amazon) as a Program Manager. The group of people I am going to work with are outstanding. They have the same values as I do and I can’t wait to start on their team.

Two dreams came true for me: I am working for an awesome company, Whole Foods and I am excited about being a part of their Corporate Headquarters team. I have become a Social Media Strategist!

My reason for writing this is to encourage you to keep going and not give up on your passions, dreams and job searching. In fact, what’s your dream? Please tell me in the comments, I would love to hear about it.

Sharing My Story Part 1: Entrepreneurship – Go after your dreams!

carmelWhy did I get into the Medical Day Spa business in the first place?

I was first introduced to massage therapy by a co-worker back in my 20’s who saw that I was stressed out from my full time job and advised me to try a massage.  Since I am not shy about trying new things, I took the lady’s name and number and set up an appointment.  I went to her condo and when she opened the door, I had doubts about what I was getting into.  She had a long dress on, with clogs and she wore small round glasses and had bowl type haircut. She had a room set up in her condo. The room seemed nice enough so I filled out a form and told her about my stress, neck and shoulder tension.  She nodded through my explanation and then asked me to lay face down on the table.  After I did, I started to hear bongo music. I chuckled to myself and said “Oh great!  I hope she doesn’t put a spell on me”  Even though I was anxious and joking about the whole atmosphere, she was able to help me relax, relieve my tension and I fell asleep.  When it was over, I thought, how awesome would it be to help people feel this way, to help people with their anxiety.  After my session, I immediately started to research massage therapy schools and decided I would sign up to get certified on the weekends.

 I talked to my husband about it, he wasn’t sure why I was doing it and I don’t think he understood why I would want to touch other people’s bodies. I think is exact words were “Ewwww”. However, he was supportive of me going to school.  The school was located in an building located right near the Pacific Ocean in Carmel, CA. It was a beautiful outdoor setting. I walked in on the first day of class and I was nervous at first. But, after I meet the teacher and my classmates, I realized that these people were my type of people. I felt very comfortable there.  It was very much a touchy feely place and everyone had the same goal, to learn how to help people. They were healers. Now I had a vision of owning and running a Day Spa after massage school.

After certification, I started to massage my friends and family for practice.  They referred me their friends. I was growing and realized that I needed a small office somewhere near my clientele.  I rented a very small place above a hair studio. That was all I could afford. However, no matter how small it was,  I was able to build a very steady clientele through referrals.  I did very minimal advertising. I did give discounts for people who wanted to come more frequently.  I made sure I was within the going price range.  I treated people with respect, listened to what they needed, and when i was not able to help them, I referred them to doctors that I knew would treat them well. This built the customer’s trust in me and built a long lasting relationship. Keep in mind,  this was before all the computer, phone and social media we have today.  Some clients I had for over 10 years. I knew about their lives in a very intimate way. 

Soon I realized after a few years that I had to expand. I found another place to rent above my cousin’s gift shop and rented it there with an esthetician and hired another therapist to work with me who was trying to build up her own clientele.  Through my client relationships, I found an opportunity to open a Day Spa in the same town but in a new developing area.  I was able to gather other therapists together in the Day Spa and as a team we built the business.  The space allowed my business to expand and I was able to offer classes in Yoga, Pilates, Nutrition, and even bring in massage therapy teachers to train massage therapist in other modalities.

Dreams do come true. Successful dreams take dedication, hard work and consistency with a positive attitude. They also take a lot of support from people around you who believe in you. My business was built without loans, and gave me a steady stream of income to support my growing family. Some clients I had for over 10 years. I knew about their lives in a very intimate way. Whatever they share with me was kept between us and I never violated their trust.

In life, the unexpected happens. In 2008, the stock market crashed and I had a dramatic decrease in clientele, I was not able to recover from that. I did not have enough in reserve. I had to sell my business and it was very difficult for me. I did not want to let it go. This experience taught me to make sure I keep enough in reserve for what might happen. In addition I learned that if I do this again, I will focus on doing massage therapy work or running the business, not both. As you expand your business, you need to think about passing down your legacy.  I did not do any massage work for 6 months after that because every time I tried to do a massage, I would start to cry.

Remember the experience as a success.  At first I was devastated that I lost my business. However, in this whole journey because I was able to help thousands of people over the course of 13 years in reducing their pain and anxiety.  I created some deep and meaningful friendships.  I was able to keep the business growing and I experimented with different marketing techniques and found out which ones worked. No regrets. Even if your business fails, never miss the opportunity to go after your dreams.

5 ways Juan at my local @Walgreens gives me an outstanding customer experience?

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Just down the street from my house is a Walgreens. For those of you who don’t know, Walgreens is a place to pick up your prescriptions but also a place for small items you forgot at the grocery store.  From aspirin to cards to glow in the dark necklaces, you can find just about anything. However, this is not just a typical Walgreens store, this is a place where a model of great customer experience lives.  His name is Juan. You would not know this to look at him. Juan is an older gentleman, he speaks fluent Spanish in addition to his excellent English. Over the years Juan and I have made small conversations.  I would ask about his grandkids and he would ask about my kids.  He always has a smile and greets me when I come through the door.  What made me write this article about him, you ask? Simple, one day while checking out my conglomerate of items, Juan said “You know, your son was in here with his buddies the other day and bought an energy drink.  Those drinks can be harmful, do you want him to drink those?” Understanding his concern I said, “He only gets one a week, so if you see him get more, you let me know. Thanks Juan!”  Juan knows he can’t prevent my son from buying the drinks because he works at Walgreens, but he was kind enough to let me know what my teenager was up to so I could intervene with some parenting if needed.  It’s this extra level of compassion that inspired me to write about him.  I started to think about what Juan does that sets him apart from other workers and other stores. Why do I always use this local Wallgreens instead of the CVS around the block or the 7-11 across the street?  What is it that Juan does to exemplify the customer experience? It comes down to these 5 essential ways:

  1. Be familiar: Juan knows my name and my family member’s names.  It was not instantaneous familiarity.  He saw my name and used it, looking me in the eye to confirm that he was pronouncing it correctly.  I nodded yes and saw his name on his name tag and said his name.  Later, I came in with my kids, he asked their names in a pleasant way “Who is this big fella here?” Always smiling, very cordial. Important point though, when he knew our names, he didn’t forget. 
  2. Be inquisitive: Juan would never let the check out transaction be a boring one.  He always asked something different.  “What are you all doing today?” “How’s everything?” “Hows that tall boy of yours?” “Where’s your daughter, I haven’t seen her lately?” I wasn’t offended by these questions and was happy he asked.
  3. Be humorous: The checkout would never leave without a joke about something. One day I was with my son and as I was putting items on the counter, Juan looked at my teenager square in the eye and said  “Are you buying these for your mom?” Now, Juan knows my son does’t have a job and couldn’t pay for it. But my son would smile at him shyly and we would all laugh. I would reply “Juan, he may have to work in the back, do you have a job for him?”  Juan’s eyes would light up and he would say “Oh yeeesss!”  My teenager at this point would would grin and try to grab the bag of stuff to get out the door.  It’s all in good fun  but my son is now thinking that he might have to work to pay for stuff right?
  4. Be consistent: Now every time I go to Wallgreens, I am hoping Juan is there to do our usual joke. It’s a little silly but this is what we usually do. When I rush into the store, if he sees me first, he will say to me  “Merry Christmas, Brenda!”  (keep in mind, it’s the middle of July) and I laugh and greet him with “Happy New Year, Juan!”  It’s our joke and I feel special. We may use other holiday type greetings but I always think of one that he’s not using. It’s a fun exchange. Juan is also consistently smiling and talking to everyone like he knows them as friends. It’s expected behavior from him with everyone, not just me.
  5. Be sincere:  Even if Juan is having a rough day, he will tell me.  The other day he said in response to my “How are you doing today Juan?” with “Oh, I am tired today, my allergies are acting up.” All I have to do is nod my head in understanding and we move on to the smiles and wish each other well. I know he is sincere because I know he is human.

Customer service, success or experience, whatever you want to call it, is really about a creating a community that cares about it’s patrons.  You can get to know your customers well enough to go the extra mile and make an impression which creates a loyal community.  Who do you know in your community store that does this for you?  How can your business implement these to give your customers the best experience?

Four Key Elements for Prosperous Teamwork and the Incredible Egg


If a business is to be successful, you need to build great teams. As I was taking my eggs out of the fridge to make my favorite vanilla cinnamon french toast, I realized that creating a successful team for a successful business is a lot like the steps in preparing your elements for breakfast.  Bear with me here, I’m on to something.

Know your eggs!

Each person is their own egg.  We come with our own unique shell, our own personal experiences and our own way of seeing the world.  It’s very important for businesses and managers to recognize this.  As managers or business owners, we may try to label our employees and part of this group or that one but in reality, we are all uniquely different. Know your egg and know it well before you form your team!

Pick out the right eggs! 

Strategically pick the eggs that will go together and compliment each other for the project at hand. Be prepared to do some team building exercises to find out which eggs work better together to achieve maximum results. Make sure you don’t have any rotten eggs in the mix.  Rotten eggs are those who don’t see the company vision and are undermining others achievements.  Separate that egg immediately and see if you can work with them to show them how successful teamwork happens.

Carefully break the shell!

Have you ever tried to crack and egg with so much force that it shatters in a million pieces and part of the shell gets into your batter? Not good right? It’s important to remember to gently break someone’s shell or barriers in order to build trust. If your employees build trust with you, they will be more likely to be part of a team.  Hopefully, managers are supported by their company to build trust with their employees.  Successful teams will not work or create the results you want without trust.


Keep whole eggs together! 

No scrambling here.  As the eggs in my bowl swirled around, all in sync, all in one movement, I realized that this is how a team should be. All the eggs are individuals, their yolks are not broken but they are all moving as one big team.  This is the key to successful teams. Keep in mind these several techniques to keep the eggs or your team moving in sync:

  • Communicate openly
  • Engage and debate with respect
  • Learn to commit to decisions and plan of actions
  • Hold one another accountable
  • Focus on achieving collective results

Now! It’s time for breakfast.

Do you have an example of a time were the team fell apart?  What was the reason? I’d love to hear your feedback.

What can #Businesses and #Customer SuccessManagers learn from #Italian #Glass Makers?

Murano glass

Similar to Italian Glass makers, Customer Service started with only the profit in mind and not the customer.  By this I mean that Italian glass makers were originally creating staples that people would by in order to keep the glass business profitable.  Then fires from the Kilns where glass was formed were causing houses in the town to burn down. The glassmakers were moved to an island so they would not be a hazard to the rest of the community. This isolated them. With this isolation, the Italian glass industry was easier to control and influence when it was in one particular place. For a while there was tremendous control over who went to the island to learn glassmaking and who left. In fact, if you left the island you could not work as a glassmaker somewhere else. However, because of this isolation, there was a tremendous cross-fertilization of ideas which led to the leading role of Venetian glass within Europe. Today, beautiful pieces of art are created by multi generation glass makers. For fun, watch a Virtuoso glass making artist in action Murano Glass Video

To understand how the customer experience evolved in the United States,  let’s take a brief look at the history of how customers connected with businesses in it’s earliest forms:

  • 1800 – Reach the seller – by horse – walk
  • 1876 – Telephone invention! You could directly talk to the person you bought the product from and get direct information.
  • 1894 – Women ran a switch board to connect you
  • 1920 – Rotary phone helped you to dial the number and connect yourself
  • 1960 – First call centers were invented
  • 1967 – Toll Free number invented – no more collect calls – no more operators
  • 1970 = IVR – an automated operator of sorts so you could press the right option and get to the right person without human assistance
  • 1989- Outsourcing call centers – India
  • 1991 – Invention of the internet – service at your command (mostly)
  • 1996 – Email and Live Chat

It has been predicted by many sources that by 2020, Customer Experience will overtake price and product and the key brand differentiators. This brings us important factors to consider when understanding Customer Success in a business:

We are in the age of MultiChannel Customer Experience through the customer’s personal computer which is now their phones or wearable devices

Mobile may be the first customer experience with the increased use of mobile data and speeds reaching 5G, driven by social media, enhanced use of a plethora of apps, instant messaging, and chats – mobile has become the ‘go-to’ medium for all customer communications.

IoT and “Big Data’s” role is momentous

We have so much data now that companies are not sure what to do with it or how to analyze all of it.  There are also competing opinions within companies about the what the data means.  There will have to be major shift to consolidate and prioritize this data in order for companies to move forward and give an effective performance for the customer.

Self Service & Artificial Intelligence are Key Players 

Your customers don’t want to get in touch with a contact center every time they hit a roadblock of face an issue. Therefore, they are most likely to switch to easy self-service options, and that is precisely why we are observing an upsurge in ‘in-app’ support and features. It will be imperative to get anyone working for a company prepared for what the customer is calling about and have the valid data from the customer in hand.

Customization of Location Based Services

Now there is the ability to track and migrate a customer engagement across all channels of communication.  This tracking will be able to help businesses understand where customer’s go, but will it be a true sense of what the customer wants?

Value and Respect Customer’s Time

77% of consumers say that the number one most important thing companies can do to provide good customer service is to value and respect their time. This should be at the heart of your strategy when designing an Multi Channel approach for a quality Customer Experience

According to Aaron Smith, Apps have become the first part of the communication supply chain However, platforms like Twitter represent the “one-to-many” channels of service, where consumers can see the issue and get involved with it,”. “One of the ways to bring it back to the “one-to-one” approach is through apps,” According to Aaron Jacobs, while apps have proven to be a worthwhile approach, many brands have internal silos that embed the customer service inside the app, meaning that customer service teams don’t have much say in their evolution or development. “Secondly, consumers rarely download company apps unless they can practically live inside them, the examples being social media, lifestyle, and travel brands that can penetrate the majority of phones,” said Jacobs, closed the point with his hypothesis: “If you could offer a stellar customer service experience inside an app and offer an added benefits to the customer for using it, then it becomes worth downloading.”

One great example of a multichannel approach done well is the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This is simple easy to understand and customers can choose what way they want to contact the Airlines if they can’t find the answer for themselves:

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In the the United States, customer service was originally provided as a cost to the company and it was a need of the consumer.  As faster and more communication devices were created, businesses felt the need to control communication and monitor it closely. Businesses wanted to isolate their Customer Service and Customer Experience channels. Some businesses still try to control the communication and service needs of their customer’s today.  They want to protect their brand. However, if businesses want to succeed, they must know how to create customer experience as an art form.  It needs to be unique, colorful, and inviting. Customer’s sympathy and patience is limited. The complexity of options to a customer produces constant change and anxiety for the customer.  Customers can no longer be thought of as a group with the individual needs being ignored. Businesses will have to give an experience the customer wants live in and look at everyday. Is your Customer Service and Customer Experience at the stage of sophistication? Is it an art form?







3 Ways Customer Success Managers Can Be Champions! #pittsburgpenguins

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators

I heard a great speaker last week. The title, “Thriving in the Uncomfort Zone” by Jeff Moore, CEO of Moore Leadership. He says the key to success in today’s economy is one’s willingness to compete,”to strive together.” Jeff trains leaders in both college sports and the corporate world develop championship teams, building on his winning experience as a former UT Women’s Tennis Coach. Jeff explained what makes a Champion versus a Winner. This is important to understand in order to see recognize the value of a Champion.

What is a Champion?

Champions are built from the inside out. They ask questions like, “How will this impact who we are?” or “How will we get better?” Champions have a fierce collective spirit.  Champions also focus on competing. People on a Championship team respect each other even before they like each other. In contrast, Winners are built from the outside in.  Winners are focused more on results. Winners compare to each other whereas Champions strive together.  There is a certain personality that comes with being a Champion, being a “striver”.  A striver will always try to reach beyond their grasp and they are driven by a purpose that transcends winning. This will be an uncomfortable place.  Winners have a typical characteristic as well, they are called arrivers. “Arrivers” spend all their time creating a perception of success. They want to always be compared favorably.  This leads to a superficial type of improvement.  “Arrivers”  will show up and say, “I am good at this now, so how are you going to get me to the pros?”.  They more that likely ask, “How long is practice?”. When these questions come up, the answer should be “How long are you willing to play at a competitive level in every practice for the team?”.  

How can you test for a Champion?

You can always change your performance but not your personality.  Jeff has a test which shows if you have a high “Striver” ability.  His approach for the workplace regarding building teams is that workers should have a high SQ (Striver Intelligence) in order to get a high performing team. “Strivers” support each other unconditionally and push each other.  In my own experience as a manager, I have been in a company culture where I was not allowed to push and stretch my direct reports because it may upset them.  In addition, my direct reports were not encouraged to push me to make me a better manager.  I believe this is because managers see the “Arrivers” on their team and they believe they are already good so they promote them higher without challenging them to do better and improve their character.

Can Customer Success Managers Be Champions?

My thoughts went to how this relates to Customer Success Managers for a business. Business cannot just have the appearance of success in comparison to others and be “Arrivers”  but they should strive for success like champions do. Here are three ways Customer Success Managers can be champions:

  1. Customer Success Managers can practice their craft by building relationships in a way that is honest and supportive and challenging. In some instances, let the customer push you to reach new ways of achieving excellence.  Always establish yourself as the customer advocate and problem solver but also ask them for ideas that will challenge you. Hopefully the client will be receptive to your challenges as well, if you promote this by your own example. 
  2. Customer Success Managers need to track relationship progress with clients. Not just renewals and churn rates but specific conversational wins. How did they challenge you?  What was your response? What could you do better next time?
  3. Customer Success Managers should keep their companies and coworkers in check by encouraging the “Striver” mentality. Companies need to listen carefully to their Customer Success Managers and be challenged to become better. Get used to being uncomfortable. This would be a striver mentality and would produce a championship business. Truly understanding each customer’s goals and definition of success will push the customer into making touchdowns! When customers get touchdowns, business will get the retention and renewals needed to keep moving forward.

In conclusion, think about how you can be a Champion in your daily life.  Are you challenging yourself?  Are you part of a team that has a “striver” mentality? Winning is not everything but being a Champion in your daily life is will make a difference.

CSMs: 3 ways to beat your competitors by uncovering your customer value!


As a Customer Success Manager and previous business owner for 10 years, there is a consistent challenge of making sure your customers see your company’s value.  Today consumers are able to research quickly, pick and choose their product or services and this retaining customer value through Social Media is what I am studying about at the Northwestern University.

In Mark Schaefer’s article: The 30 Possible Ways You Can Create Customer Value, he lists an amazing 30 methods your company can use to establish value.  He reviews how many of these values you should you actually have.  In his research, the most successful companies provide more than one value to their customers.

In another article by Eric Devaney: The 3 Customer Success Metrics You Should Be Using, he reiterates how important it is to measure your churn, expansion revenue, and customer satisfaction to derive how much value your customers are getting from your product.

Drawing on these two articles and my experience with Customer Success and business ownership, I have listed three actions that companies should use to retain their value to their customers:

  • Establish benchmarks for customer value:  It’s not only important to review the data but you should also create benchmarks to measure against
  • Solve problems: Problem solving naturally leads to customer happiness which is the emotional component you want the customer to have about your business. Realizing a business can’t solve all problems, it’s essential to have this as a priority.
  • Drive value through virality. Word of mouth comes in many forms these days but it is still the number one way customers will see your value. They trust their peers to give them honest feedback.

Starting today, take action to determine the value you have for your customers to ensure stability and growth and most of all happy customers.
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My name is Brenda Hanley and I have over 13 years experience in running a successful business and over 5 years in Customer Experience. I am currently pursuing certification  in Social Marketing Specialization with Northwestern University in Coursera.  You can reach out to me on Twitter @hanleybrenda.