In this interview, Mathias Savalle (Customer Service Manager at Sensolus), talks about trends in customer success, applied to Sensolus. How did Customer Success evolve and how do we use it to differentiate ourselves? Furthermore, he explains what Customer Success looks like at Sensolus and what qualities he is looking for in new team members.
Customer Success Trends
Sensolus: Customer Success is no longer an afterthought these days. Organizations understand the benefits of having a strong, customer-focused strategy in every department. According to you, why did Customer Success become so important in the past years?
Mathias: Nowadays, there are a lot of ways a customer can let his voice be heard. You have various social media and review platforms for b2b solutions. On one hand, this is positive because satisfied customers really tend to become an advocate of your product. On the other hand, unhappy customers will always find a way to make sure they’re heard. This makes it increasingly important to establish a sustainable relationship with a customer. Especially at Sensolus, where we work together with customers for multiple years, we want to ensure that we start well. Together with the customer, we look for an optimal use of our IoT solution.
Sensolus: As you mention, more and more, happy customers become advocates for a company. They help Sales and Marketing teams acquire more customers and serve as best-practices ambassadors. Who do you think is Sensolus’ biggest ambassador? Why?
Mathias: It is difficult to name just one ambassador for Sensolus since we are active in many different domains; supply chain, aviation, aerospace, waste management, transport, etc. But if I need to choose one, I would say Airbus. Up till now, they are also our biggest reference. They carefully selected our solution after a strict selection process. Having big international references like Airbus definitely helps other customers to choose Sensolus. A thing we often hear from advocates is that they like the way we structure our support. Another positive note from our advocates is that we are quick at helping out when there are issues and thinking along with them.
Sensolus: One trend, which is a strength of Sensolus if you ask me, is to optimize the customer lifecycle. So, to expand the relationship with the customer over time and help them find additional useful features and use cases for process optimization. Do you agree this is one of our strengths? And why do you think it is?
Mathias: Yes, it is true that our goal is not to sell a device to a customer and end the relationship at that point. Sensolus delivers a complete IoT solution for asset tracking, including hardware, a cloud solution, and software. The solution itself is really easy to install. But together with our customers, we want to dig deeper into IoT data and make sure they get the most out of our solution for process optimization. This intense follow-up makes customers enthusiastic to try various features, add new use cases, etc.
Customer success at Sensolus
Sensolus: What does Customer Success mean at Sensolus?
Mathias: Sensolus is growing fast but our team is not comparable to a customer success team at a large-sized company yet. This means Customer Success is very diverse. Today, the main focus of the team is on the onboarding and following up of customers, and providing support.
Furthermore, our goal is to check how a customer is using features and data in our platform and advise them based on this. This has to do with geozones, alerts, tags, etc. If we see that a customer is not actively using a feature that could be very relevant, we advise the customer on how to use this feature in the right way. For our large customers, the follow-up is comparable to project management. This entails fixed meetings and training with different people, regular meetings, and reporting. Following up on our customers with different needs and questions makes customer success very diversified at Sensolus.
In short, it comes down to creating the ideal profile together with the customer for their specific use case. For example, by fine-tuning firmware or defining the right filters and alerts. All of this in order to create the right solution to optimize their processes. In other words, our solution itself is really flexible and sometimes Customer Success is needed to guide the customer in using our solution in an optimal way.
Sensolus: You have a lot of experience with account management and project management. How did this help you shape Customer Success at Sensolus?
Mathias: Yes, in the past I worked as a Customer Success Manager and Project Manager in different domains. What all this experience has in common is that it helps you grow in understanding the customer and their specific needs. Because of being a Customer Success Manager and Project Manager I got in touch with tons of customers in Europe, all with their own company culture. The twelve years of experience I have in this domain and all the different things I’ve experienced gave me a perfect background to shape Customer Success at Sensolus.
Sensolus: What’s your career highlight at Sensolus?
Mathias: For once, I will not speak about customers since there are so many highlights I’ve had working with customers. I prefer to answer this question by mentioning the many highlights I have working as one big team at Sensolus. The team is like one big family. Everybody in the company knows what’s going on and we all work together to strengthen Sensolus. The main thing to remember here is that we know how to have fun together.
Sensolus: Being a dynamic start-up, things don’t always go as planned. What is the funniest situation you experienced as a Customer Success Manager at Sensolus?
Mathias: As I already mentioned, we are working in a lot of domains (supply chain, transport, aerospace, etc.) but working with animals creates the most hilarious situations. We have several projects with, for example, cows, sheep or wild boars. Multiple times I went to a farm to install our GPS trackers on cows. You can image that equipping cows with a GPS tracker on their collar can be challenging since they never really stand still.
The Sensolus Customer Success profile
Sensolus: What skills are you hoping to find in candidates for a Customer Success position?
Mathias: Professionalism and flexibility. Working with customers means a challenge can come up at every moment, so you need to be ready to handle this in an accurate way. Of course, you also need to maintain a good relationship with people from different backgrounds and different ways of communicating. Furthermore, someone in customer success should be resistant to stress.
Working in our team means you like to solve problems by yourself and dig into data to understand what’s going on. Currently, we have two open positions at Customer Success, being Technical Support Engineer and Customer Support & Logistics Assistant.
Sensolus: What do you see as the most important quality or set of qualities in a Customer Success Manager? Why?
Mathias: Being a Customer Success Manager means you are a social person that builds a strong relationship with customers. In my opinion, this is the most important one. Especially at Sensolus where we have multiple-year contracts with our customers, the contact needs to be good. Often, we convince customers with our strong support and open communication. I always say to myself, I am the customer for Sensolus. I understand the customers and their challenges. Within Sensolus, I represent them and make sure the different teams understand what our customers need.
Sensolus: Is there room to progress in terms of your career path within Customer Success at Sensolus?
Mathias: Yes, definitely, since Sensolus is a dynamic start-up that is continuously growing. The Customer Success team is not that big yet but we expect to grow. We will probably need an international team in the future to cover different time zones in which we operate. In the future, we will also launch some extra services so I think there are still enough challenges lying ahead for Customer Success at Sensolus. This gives you the possibility to grow in the team.
In the end, we work towards one common goal, providing more services to our customers which means the possibilities at Customer Success will only increase.
Sensolus: To end with, what one advice would you want to give to people who recently started their career as Customer Success Manager?
Mathias: Understand your customers and listen to them, that’s the only way to keep them happy.
Do you think you’re the perfect match for our Customer Success team? Check our open positions now.