The Key to Customer Success at Aider
Helping customers is part of our DNA. Our Customer Success Manager shares the story of Customer Success at Aider.
I operate under that belief that helping customers is all about listening, understanding and researching best practices. When I started at Aider in 2018, I dedicated my first three weeks to really getting to know all of our customers. I looked at everyone that had signed up and sent them an email to thank them and ask them if they had any questions. If they hadn’t interacted with Aider in 30 days, I made sure to check in and see how they were finding the product. I kept track of every single customer interaction on a spreadsheet before starting to use HubSpot as our CRM shortly after. This was the very beginning of our Customer Success process at Aider.
A “typical” day…
No two days are ever the same in Customer Success at a busy startup like Aider. Onboarding, account management, product education, customer support and developing processes… the possibilities are endless. In terms of a typical day, it really depends on the week. My perfect day at Aider would include a great conversation with a customer, solving a few customer support issues, setting up some new processes or automations in our managed internal systems, and having a great internal team meeting or Customer Feedback session.
The most important thing is regularly engaging with your clients and making sure they are represented through a Voice of Customer program, especially during product development and design conversations.
Getting the right fit
In order to achieve product market fit, we really need to listen to our customer’s pain points. No matter what industry you’re in, a common problem is that people are overwhelmed by apps and systems. Part of our job is understanding our client’s businesses and what systems they already have in place, allowing us to identify if someone is a good fit for Aider. Sometimes, a business already has a solution to the problems Aider is trying to fix, which is great. If they don’t, that’s where we come in.
Growing as the product grows
When I started at Aider, our first goal was to help hospitality and retail businesses get smarter with their data. In 2020, we expanded to support advisory customers. When working with small businesses, the key is operating at scale. While we had a core group of SMBs that we directly engaged with, our focus was on building partner relationships, for example with Westpac and Xero, and producing valuable content that we could run at scale.
The way business owners use the mobile app and advisors use the portal is very different. With advisory firms, employees have to commit to adopting the portal and use it in their day to day activities. We get to know the business and how they currently operate to translate the value of Aider to their context. My job was to make sure that both business owners and accountants know how Aider can best help.
It’s all about teamwork
Cross-departmental collaboration is extremely important. Customers begin their journey with us by interacting with marketing such as social media and website content. From there, they’ll talk to a salesperson and do a demo. Then they decide to sign up to the product and start using it.
The Customer Success Manager is the person who engages with the customer last and who is educating and managing a customer’s expectations in the long term. This is why it’s important for everyone in the company to collaborate and stay close to the customer and the product.
It is crucial to ensure the entire team is engaged with customer feedback. If a customer mentions that their clients would like monthly reporting, we can bring in the data team to engage with the customer directly, and dig deep to understand exactly what it is that they would like to see. This is helpful for us, but it also makes the customer feel heard.
Doing our best
I think the key to being a good Customer Success Manager is active listening and understanding your customer. The next most important factor is product knowledge. You need to have a solid grip on your product. It’s important to stay close to the developers and absorb as much information as you can. When a customer shows you an issue, you need to be aware of how the product is supposed to work. A good Customer Success Manager tries to fix the issue on the spot, and if they can’t, knows what details to gather before passing it onto the developers.
When working at a startup, time and project management are key. There are a lot of different things you can be doing. I always look at what projects impact our customers the most so we can achieve quick wins for Aider and our customers.