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Customer success: building a career by nurturing relationships and helping customers prosper

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Of all the helpful traits for a customer success manager, curiosity may be the most important. 

  • What data does Signifyd’s risk management and data science teams need from customers in different verticals? 
  • How do Signifyd’s products interact with other technology used by online merchants?
  • If a customer transfers its products digitally instead of shipping to a physical address, how does that affect fraud detection?

The customer success team needs to find the answers to all those questions and more. It’s an increasingly important part of many businesses, especially those based on software as a service.

Signifyd customer success team member Sean Han

Signifyd Senior Customer Success Manager Sean Han

“If a company offers continuously evolving products or services, or if you’re serving customers that are growing and constantly adapting to better serve their market, a customer success team is especially important,” said Signifyd Senior Customer Success Manager Sean Han. “It’s vital that the customer success team helps maximize the value provided for current customers.” 

The job is part project management and part sales — with a lot of research, learning and human interaction thrown in. 

“Customer success is a dedicated team within an organization to really nurture the relationship with the clients,” said Signifyd Senior Customer Success Manager Kimberly So.

The work of the customer success team spans a customer’s entire relationship with Signifyd. The company has always understood that the work is a key to its own success — which is reflected in the team’s award-winning status.

Signifyd customers start out working with the sales and solutions engineering teams, then working with the implementation team, and finally connecting with the data science and risk teams to make sure they are getting the results they need.

Through it all, the customer success team is overseeing the process, making sure the hand-offs from one team to the next go smoothly. 

Kimberly So, Signifyd

Signifyd Senior Customer Success Manager Kimberly So

“You’re the quarterback of the group,” So said. “You’re the one interacting with all the other teams in the organization. You’re leading them to what they need to do in order to make sure the customer is successful.”

Getting to know the customer

For a merchant to get the most out of Signifyd’s services, the system has to be set up to process the data the merchant provides. However, each new merchant has slightly different data – and each processes transactions differently. 

“We don’t know what we don’t know, so we have to go into discovery, figuring out what data is available to them and how they can send it to us,” Han said. 

Not every ecommerce transaction involves an online store selling a physical product and shipping it to a customer. Some business models are more complex, involving several parties. Transactions such as ride-share payments or gift card purchases have different fraud risks, as well. 

Other complexities crop up: Does the merchant allow a customer to add items to an order after it’s been placed, as is often the case with online grocery stores? What happens if the online grocery store is out of one item and substitutes another? 

“We need to understand what they’re doing and get all the necessary data points so we can make the decision about whether this is a good or bad order,” So said. 

For Signifyd’s products to work, they must reflect the particular needs of each customer. It’s part of what makes the role of the customer success manager interesting: Every customer is different. Customer success managers talk to numerous different departments within Signifyd as well as at customer sites.

“Every merchant has their own unique system for how they did things prior to Signifyd,” Han said. “It requires us to take in a lot of knowledge. What other solutions do they have in their tech stack? How do they want Signifyd to interact with them? It’s important for every team to be aware of this and have everything well documented.”

Once a merchant is established using Signifyd, the goal changes to “ensuring that we are performing up to the level that we believe we should be,” Han said. At this stage, the customer success team is working to create a strategic alliance, finding out what new initiatives the customer has and how Signifyd can help them deliver on their vision. 

Continuing support

Customer success managers have regular meetings with customers – sometimes as often as weekly if the customer likes to review metrics or is making changes to its processes — to understand what new initiatives, payment options and products are in the works. 

“All these conversations are on the customer success side to ensure we’re aligned strategically,” Han said.

One of the key goals: to make sure the customer is getting the most out of their Signifyd investment.

 “It’s important to make sure we’re always maximizing our performance,” Han said, and to explore any dips or spikes to understand why they happened. Equally important is to ensure that both the customers who are watching metrics closely and those who only want occasional meetings understand the value Signifyd brings. 

Signifyd’s value is in optimizing each merchant’s ecommerce revenue and customer experience, while eliminating the fear of fraud, Han said, and there is a risk that customers may feel that if they aren’t seeing much fraud, Signifyd’s service isn’t necessary. 

“That’s not necessarily how it works and, in fact, a reduction in fraud chargebacks is one sign that Signifyd’s solutions are working.” Han said, and the job of the customer success managers is to ensure that customers understand that.

Because the customer success team has regular touchpoints with the merchants, So said, and they are also in touch with the product team, they are in an optimal position to present upcoming product enhancements to the customers. They also handle contract renewals.

“We are in constant contact with the customer, and we have the most knowledge of what the customer is doing or looking to do,” So said. 

The product doesn’t stay stagnant, giving the customer success team a lot to talk about. Fraudsters are getting more sophisticated, trying to come up with ways to outmaneuver Signifyd and other products – and Signifyd is constantly introducing ways to outsmart them.

A career with plenty of upside

Customer success is a satisfying job, for a number of reasons. 

The people — both on the customer success team and elsewhere at Signifyd — are one of the best parts of the job, So said. The customer success role at Signifyd is recognized — both internally and externally — for its vital contribution to the business 

The job can be done from almost any location; Signifyd’s customer success team is remote, with a majority of members in the U.S. but significant numbers in other countries as well.

The work offers a window into different businesses in different commerce segments. 

“Signifyd’s total addressable market really includes all businesses that sell any service or product online,” Han said. “That presents a lot of different verticals and businesses that we get exposed to.”

There are a number of ways into the customer success field — and likewise, it can lead to a variety of roles.

Some people enter the field from a project management background. Others come from the sales side. At Signifyd, the role of customer success analyst is a good jumping off point not only for moving up in the customer success organization but also, sometimes, for moving to other departments, such as product management or data science.

There is a solid career ladder for customer success managers: Those who want to continue as individual contributors can move to more senior roles, including principal customer success manager. The other track is to become a people manager. 

“One of the benefits of customer success touching so many different organizations is it gives us the opportunity to build relationships with other teams,” Han said. This can help make it a jumping-off point for new career paths.

Interested in a career at Signifyd? Check us out. 

Margaret Steen

Margaret Steen

Margaret is a writer, editor, writing coach and regular contributor to the Signifyd blog.