Lincoln Murphy Customer Success AMA Transcript and Video – May 5, 2017

On Friday May 5, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video is embedded below and while there seems to be an audio/video sync issue, the audio is crisp and listening to this will be time well-spent.

If you don’t want to watch or listen, I got the entire AMA transcribed (and cleaned it up a bit for readability, added links, etc.) and posted that below. I answered 20 questions in excruciating detail.

I’m planning on doing another Customer Success AMA on May 19, 2017, on Facebook.


The audio and video are a bit out of sync, so just listen, don’t watch. Or… just watch and don’t listen (but that’d be weird).

Table of Contents

Here’s the list of questions I covered in this AMA:

  1. Setup Fees
  2. Sales & Customer Success Alignment
  3. Favorite Customer Success Management Software
  4. Drawing the Line between Customer Success and Support
  5. Customer Success in early stage Startups
  6. Upgrading Grandfathered Customers
  7. Customer Success Coverage Models
  8. Customer Success and Account Management?
  9. The Right Number of Customer Segments
  10. Resources for Customer Scorecard
  11. Monitoring Customer Happiness
  12. Customer Success Manager Resume Best Practices
  13. The B2B2C Customer Success Value Chain
  14. Improving Customer Adoption
  15. Customer Success in Two-sided Markets
  16. Customer Success Org Structure
  17. Number One Customer Success Mistake
  18. Starting a Customer Success career
  19. Closing the Feedback Loop
  20. Discovering your Customer’s Desired Outcome

12. Customer Success Manager Resume Best Practices

Jimmy is asking, “How should customer success professionals package their experience on a resume? What are companies looking for when they hire CS professionals?”

Jimmy, how do you package things up on your resume? I don’t know. I don’t know how to get a job in some wide blast your resume out way. Never done that. What I’ve done is figure out who is hiring, what they’re looking for and if I’m doing a resume craft it to meet what they’ve said. Before that, I would cold email or reach out in some other way to the hiring manager or to the CEO and get delegated down to the hiring manager. Be deliberate in the way that you go about getting a job. I’m not going to be your career counselor here. I’m really good at getting jobs, not so good at keeping them. That’s why I make a much better consultant. That’s what I would do. If you just wanted to put a bunch of keywords on your resume and blast it out, I’m not the guy to talk to about that. I have no idea how to make that work. Next question. But I wish you the best of luck, Jimmy, in your future endeavors.

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18. Starting a Customer Success career

Marcella is curious about starting or building a career in customer success. What kind of knowledge and ability is important to have? Where do you get started? She’s saying hey from Brazil.

Getting started in customer success, what I would suggest doing … Again, we have to look at all sorts of different things that are going on. You have to figure out what kind of company. Take a step back. I think too many people simply have a job. They’re miserable. A lot of that has to do with the fact that they weren’t deliberate. Just like when you have customers that you don’t like. Your customers are stupid and you hate them. It’s because you weren’t deliberate. You didn’t bring in good fit customers. You didn’t bring in the kind of customers that you really wanted to work with.

It’s true that sometimes companies change. You get a job and it’s great. Then the company evolves and it’s not so great. Sure. A lot of times it’s because we just needed to get a job. We weren’t deliberate about this. My suggestion would be before you do anything, figure out what it is you want to do. Figure out the kind of company you want to work with. Figure out the kind of customers you want to work with. Are you more of an analyst? Are you more of a people person? You really want to have that high touch relationship?

Maybe it’s a middle ground. You want to talk to customers. You want to be in front of them, but you’d be better of in more of a one:many kind of situation. You like Facebook Live or you want to do webinars or whatever. You want to work in a particular industry. You really think it would be awesome to work in a company that’s helping with education. AppProva right now is hiring a customer success manager.

Go look at what they’re hiring for. If it fits you, go work there. VQV, shout to my AppProva guys. Figure out the kind of company you want to work for. Figure out what it is you want to do and then go find those companies. You may find some companies. List some companies that you think match that criteria. Even if they’re not hiring, reach out. Even if they don’t have a customer success organization, reach out. If you want to be part of something early on and build something from the ground up, reach out. Read my book, my customer success book. Read my blog. A lot of my stuff has been translated into Portuguese, which is awesome. We had some amazing people translate my stuff so it’s easier to read. I know reading in English, even if you’re really good at it, if English isn’t your first language, it tends to take its toll. Some of the stuff that I’ve written has actually been translated. I’m working on a deal to get the … I’m talking to some people, maybe get the book translated in Portuguese. We’ll see how that plays out.

Learn as much as you can. Study human psychology. Figure out what you want to do, the kind of company you want to work for and then go reach out to them. If anybody is hiring, do what I said earlier. Make your resume match them, reach out to their hiring manager. Go to the meetups. Consume as much content as you can. Network all over the place and be very, very clear on what you want to do. The worst thing you can do is go up to somebody and say, “Hey, I’m looking to be a customer success manager.” I’m really pushing this agenda, which is there’s no such thing as a one size fits all customer success manager. It doesn’t work. It never worked.

Certainly now, when we’re getting into more sophisticated understandings of segmentation and appropriate experience and what are the kinds of customer success practitioners we should have … Whether it’s analyst, whether it’s a copywriter, whether it’s customer marketing or whether it’s more of a consultant or project manager. Whatever. All those different people could totally be customer success practitioners. You have to figure out where you fit and find a company that you fit in nicely. Go to the meet ups. Go to … This is what’s cool. Brazil customer success has really taken off and there are meet up, certainly in Florianopolis, Sao Paolo. I think they’re doing stuff in Belo Horizonte.

That’s only three cities, but there’s a good chance that you’re around there. I don’t have anything going on just yet in Rio de Janeiro, but hopefully soon. There are lots of opportunities out there. Go network, talk to people, figure out what you want to do and get deliberate. That applies, by the way, also in the US and anywhere else you’re joining from. This is just the kind of advice I would give. It’s the stuff that I would do to go get a job. Hopefully, that helps. Next question.

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Join the next AMA

I’m planning on doing another Customer Success AMA on May 19, 2017 on Facebook.

About Lincoln Murphy

I am a Customer Success Consultant focused on Customer Success-driven Growth. I wrote the Customer Success book which you can buy at Amazon. If you need help applying Customer Success-driven Growth principles in your company or would like me to speak at your event, please contact me. Also, connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

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