Leaders from the CS organization, along with members of the C-suite, coming together for the Customer Success Leadership Summit.

We invested a tremendous amount of time and energy to bring our Customer Success Leadership Team together for The 2022 CS Leadership Summit in Boston! After a company relaunch in September and eight months of integration, our CS organization was at a key inflection point.

Under the leadership of Jack Lodge, EVP of Customer Success, teams tasked with delivering our professional and managed services, supporting business and operational systems, and developing and delivering EMP, came together in a hybrid model. The objective of the the Summit was to set clear objectives, focus on company priorities, and align the CS organization with our shared mantra of: Customer Success Obsessed!

“We brought the customer success leadership together to align the entire team around the company strategy, and the key priorities and initiatives we need to execute this year to help the overall company achieve its objectives,” said Jack Lodge, EVP of Customer Success.

Primary Goals of the Customer Success Summit

The core objectives were to drive alignment of all 700 CS members to support the company strategy by:

  • Aligning the role of each CS employee with the company milestones
  • Understand how a Customer Success Obsessed strategy contributes to the overall success of the business
  • Create action plans to support go-to market, financial, and offerings’ plans
  • Most importantly, as Jack Lodge said,

“Make this a great place to work! Get employees engaged and aligned with what they are doing, why it’s important, and how we move forward.”

Why Now?

After eight months of integration following NWN’s acquisition of Carousel Industries the teams came together to focus on next steps. “We just had our Sales Kick Off (SKO) so we now know the direction of the business in terms of our go-to market strategy and how it aligns with our offerings. So it’s the perfect time now to get the Customer Success organization really aligned to the overall market strategy,” said Jack.

Team Effort

Of the 700 professionals in the CS organization, nearly 50 leaders gathered in-person while 30 CS managers participated remotely to understand the priorities of the business and to drive alignment across every organization within the new NWN Carousel.

The three-day session included presentations from featured speakers and concluded with “roll-up-your sleeves” workshops.  Highlights included:

Day 1: Driving Company Alignment With Customer Success

“Everything from market opportunity, company strategy, sales go-to market, and our offerings strategy was discussed to really set the stage for the team.”

Jack Lodge, EVP, Customer Success

Keynote Speakers included:

Jim Sullivan, CEO

Dan Tassone, CRO

Eric Bostick, CTO

Kurt Brown, VP, Managed Services

Alvaro Riera, VP UC & Collaboration

Krystina Silva, VP EMP

Key Differentiators of our Customer Success Model

  • Customer Success Obsessed
  • Experience Management Platform
  • Flexible Consumption Platform
  • Integrated Multi-Technology Solution Provider
  • Outcome-Based Services
  • Expertise through People & Partnerships
  • Public Sector Capabilities
  • Secure by Design

Day 2: Drill Down on Customer Success Priorities

Over the past eight months there has been tremendous progress made in terms of integrating two great companies and cultures, yet much remains to be done.  Day 2 was focused on drilling down on the key priorities for Customer Success in 2022. 

We organized those priorities around three key themes this year:

Finish the Job: In order to maximize the value and the efficiencies of bringing NWN and Carousel together to form the market leading Cloud Communications Service Provider (CCSP), we need to complete the great work that has been on-going in the areas of systems, tools, automation and process.  The integration of our ERP systems (NetSuite), CRM systems (Salesforce.com) and ITSM systems (ServiceNow) are all nearing the final phase of completion, which will enable the Company to streamline operations and process and to increase overall profitability of NWN Carousel. 

Master the Model: “Making sure everyone on the CS team understands our financial model as well as our operating model is critically important to ensure that we can deliver on our commitment to our customers, our teams, our board, and our investors,” said Jack. Discussions focused on executing the business through internal handshakes to ultimately provide a framework for smooth customer service.

Making NWN Carousel a Great Place to Work: “We want to make this the most attractive place to work and for others to really want to be a part of our team,” said Jack. Goals were set around improving individual communication, alignment, development, and training.

Day 3: Set Big Aspirational Goals & Focus on Measurement

Day 3 was built around using two core frameworks that the entire company utilizes: Value Framework and OKRs to organize the priorities and activities of the Customer Success organization in achieving its three key themes.  We organized into six working teams, and each team developed a Mantra using the value framework for each of our three key themes – Finish the Job, Master the Model, and Great Place to Work.   

Teams defined the current state and identified issues and pain points.  They then defined the desired future state and identified the positive business outcomes achieved when we get there.  The teams then identified the required capabilities to get us from where we are (current state) to where we want to be (desired future state), and importantly, they defined how we will measure it.  This value framework is the same process our sales and go-to market teams use in our customer engagement process. 

“My favorite part of this process is making sure we have our engineers in a good spot to deliver the best, highest level of quality services that we can hand to our customers.”

Jen DeFazio

Senior Director of Operations, Professional Services, NWN Carousel

Objectives & Key Results (OKRs)

Based on the required capabilities and the measurements defined in the value framework exercise, each team developed a set of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) for each of our three key themes.  These OKRs will each have a set of initiatives underlying them that will be tracked on a weekly cadence.  Companies large and small use the OKR technique to align, measure and achieve better results. Under Jack’s leadership, utilizing the OKR process to align to company objectives and drive personal accountability will help us achieve success in 2022!

“The team is really hard at work around developing a mantra, setting initiatives, and creating a set of OKRs to measure success. One of the things about OKRs is you make them visible. We will communicate our goals to the rest of the company. You announce it to the world, then you communicate your cadence of progress,” said Jack.

It’s no secret that one of the core principles of NWN Carousel is to create a happy workforce that will drive objectives that ultimately benefit our customers!

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