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From the Beginning: Customer Success at Early Stage Start-ups

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Part of the Customer Success Summit On-Demand Series

Sometimes Customer Success is seen as a function for established organizations, but in reality sometimes it can be more important for startups. Ari Klein, Head of Customer Success at DocSend, believes that your first non-technical hire should be in Customer Success. In his session at Customer Success Summit, he explained how bringing on this role early on can accelerate growth because it gives you better visibility and understanding of your customer base.

Watch the full session from Customer Success Summit


Top 3 Tips for Customer Success at Early Stage Startups

1. Hire Customer Success earlier than you think

At an early stage startup you may not know exactly the direction that you are heading. Having great Customer Success Managers will help you optimize for listening, learning, and empathy that can give you incredible feedback about what your customers really want and need. Customer Success is one of the core functions that sits in the middle of all the other groups sharing customer insights with engineering, sales, support and marketing.

2. Find an “athletic generalist”

As almost all roles in a startup, your role may be less defined. The athletic generalist who is able to bring many skills to the table and do it all well. The ideal profile is part Support Therapist, part Salesperson, part Product Marketer, part Customer Advocate, part Consultative Advisor, part Training & Onboarding, part white-glove Account Manager, part Systematic Account Management and more! These person may sound like a unicorn, but they are going to be the ones who help you accelerate your business.

3. Give them the right tools to complete their daily activities

Since your first Customer Success Manager is going to have a wide variety of daily activities, it’s important to give them the right tools so that they are able to do their job. These tasks includes everything from creating in-app messages, to collecting feedback, getting visibility into product usage, tracking metrics and more. Tools like Totango can help them gain the visibility they need to be proactive and implement programs that drive your business forward.

See all of the sessions from Customer Success Summit here:

Jill Rubin

Jill is a senior marketing and business development executive with experience leading successful teams in both large companies and startups. She has taken companies from early stage to strong revenue growth and propelled established businesses to industry leadership positions.

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