I wear a size 8½ shoe, and I far prefer 4” heels to flats. I’m also not much of a tennis shoe kind of person, but they have a place in my life (at the gym). People wear different shoes for different reasons: some to dress up, some to dress down, some to cycle, run or dance, and sometimes… you don’t wear shoes at all.

One of the best things about shoes is putting yourself in the ones belonging to other people. That’s what we do in Customer Success at SignalFx. We really try to understand how things impact our customers, not just at their organizational level but at their personal level. We talk to customers every day. It’s what we do… and we love it. It’s not that we are any different than the rest of SignalFx, it’s that we are fortunate enough to talk to customers every single day, whether that’s through Technical Support, Customer Success, Field Architects or with our Training team.

We strive to do more than just treat people well. We want to take better care of our customers than they expect and help their day be a little brighter than it was yesterday (or even this morning… before they had coffee). Everyone says that… and everyone thinks they mean it. But the reality is that we in Customer Success ask ourselves not only how I can help this person, but how can I take their expectations to a new level.

We don’t follow scripts and we don’t check boxes. Maybe we are rebellious in that way. We are empowered to do what we need to do so our customers know we actually care. We also don’t take ourselves too seriously. No, really… we have Nerf guns, magic 8 balls, bobble heads and a pool table that I’m still trying to master (thankfully we have lots of engineers to show me what that looks like). We also have empathy… and balance in our lives. And being able to help our customers achieve their goals, and have some fun along the way, is important. Life is too short to not have fun… trust me on that one. So we go out of our way to do silly, fun things every day. Because when we have fun, especially as a team, it makes us work harder together. And our customers benefit from that type of comradery. Having empathy doesn’t apply only to our customers, but it’s important for everyone. We jump in to help each other, before we are even asked. We have a high level of awareness within SignalFx when someone needs help and we offer them a hand. There isn’t always an obvious signal…

signalfx-signal

 

When people come together for a broader purpose, and put aside any feelings of self-interest or self-doubt… amazing things can happen. It’s about putting aside ego, moving outside of your job description or comfort zone and doing the right thing… no matter what. We don’t have it all figured out, no one does.

But we do know one thing. We know people like to be heard. So that’s what we do: we listen. And once we understand, only then do we try to help. And hopefully, just hopefully, we can make today a little better for someone than it was before.

 

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About the authors

Susan Gudenkauf

Susan is Head of Customer Operations at SignalFx. She is responsible for worldwide Training & Enablement, Technical Support, Customer Success, Field Architects and Global Renewals. With over 20 years of experience in technical and leadership roles at companies such as IBM, Docker and VMware, Susan has and always will be passionate about customers. She is a thought leader in building highly efficient organizations focused on empathy, integrity and empowerment.

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