What managing a band and selling a company taught me about Customer Success

From time to time we like to get a fresh perspective on the blog from a different member of the team. Today we tapped Customer Success Manager Bryn Boughton, to discuss how different aspects of her career have resulted in different lessons that come in handy in her current role. 

As part of the Customer Success Team at Union Metrics, I help top-tier marketing agencies, world-class brands and governmental agencies around the world unlock the power of social analytics.

You may wonder how a former startup founder, band manager and intern for The Late Show with David Letterman ended up in Customer Success. While the titles may be different, the lessons I learned while managing bands, launching a company and interning for a network television show helped to shape my Customer Success philosophy.

Lesson one: Know your audience

Bands need to play frequent shows to build their audience and to fine-tune their performance. In a highly competitive market it’s tempting to take any show that is offered to you. Sure, you’re a metal band, but if the Mother Hips want you to open, you take that slot, right? Wrong. Fit is important.

Don’t sign a customer who doesn’t really need your product and don’t play in front of the wrong audience. You’ll just waste everyone’s time- or even worse- burn bridges.

Lesson two: Read between the lines

When you’re working in a high-stress, fast paced environment like a late-night tv show, there’s always a million things to do. It’s important to understand what the real goals of the show are and what’s most important to the team. The talent bookers need to make sure their calendars are always current because double booking a guest impacts their credibility so taking care of that first is a must. Success needs to be defined. It’s often unstated or even unrecognized goals that that are the real motivations.

Does a customer really just want to sell more widgets, or is it actually more meaningful for them to see their name in a national press piece? Ask a lot of questions to find out what’s truly important to your customer and exactly how they define success. It might not be what you’d think.

Lesson three: Relationships matter

Launching a start-up is hard; you’re typically short on both time and money. In order to get your company off the ground you have to rely on friends and other startups for help. It’s often these early partnerships and relationships that become your greatest asset. Treat people well. Customers are much more forgiving of delays or mistakes if you’ve built a real relationship.

Be honest, follow through, do well by them. Even if a customer has to part ways with you in the short term, they can become a long-term ally or a source of new customer referrals.

Photo by Namroud Gorguis on Unsplash