5 min read
Why choose Customer Success as a career path at Tractable?
Customer Success (CS) at Tractable is the most important factor in driving long term growth at Tractable and at customer businesses. CS creates a necessarily strong partnerships between all parties on both sides. They are managers, advisors, thought leaders, detailed-orientated doers, diplomats, listeners and consummate professionals. All within the context of a complex and highly technical partnership rolling out cutting edge, game changing AI-powered technology.
To find out more about what CS means as a career choice at Tractable, Fleur Campbell-Follet, Principal Recruiter at Tractable, speaks to Dorota Kosiorek, Head of Customer Success Management, EMEA East & South.
"We don’t just ‘take care of our customers’. We advise them on where and how best to use AI to augment their business operations aiming to maximise efficiency, effectiveness and customer experiences.”
What is Customer Success (CS) and how do we define it at Tractable?
Customer Success (CS) is about making sure customers see real value and impact from using our products. It’s about generating the highest return for their investment. At Tractable, we pride ourselves on being a customer centric company, where each team is laser-focused on delivering the best outcomes for our customers. Our applied artificial intelligence (“AI”) enables visual assessment of homes and cars, so we typically connect everyone involved in insurance, repairs, sales and assessments. This means we’re often working across many stakeholders in large organizations with long-established processes to build trust in our AI. The fact is, we transform entire organizations, processes and customer interactions, which is a huge responsibility.
How is Tractable's CS team different than CS at other SaaS businesses?
Unlike some other SaaS companies, our CS team accompanies customers across their transformation journey by making sure product adoption is high and value can be measured. In doing so, we aim to become a trusted advisor who makes sure customers are ahead of the competition when applying AI across their businesses. We don’t just “take care of our customers.” We guide them where and how best to use AI to augment their business operations aiming to maximize efficiency, effectiveness and customer experiences.
What are some of the day to day challenges the CS team at Tractable faces? Why do you find your job interesting and challenging?
Imagine leading your customers across a bridge from the world of “how things have been done” to “how things should be done in the future.” Customer Success is that bridge at Tractable. To make sure our partnership is a success for all parties - customers and the various teams in our company (product, research, engineers) - we have to build and nurture trust on all sides. Our role is two-fold. First, we work with customers to show the value of our AI and earn stakeholder buy-in, and then we ensure internal teams are aligned to support the results our clients want to achieve. This is twice as challenging as a typical management consulting role, which is my background. So if someone is looking for a challenge, then Tractable is the place to be!
On top of supporting our existing customers, we are scaling our fast growing organization. As is the case for most scale-ups, we look to continuously improve step-by-step: creating processes, changing the way we work, improving internal efficiency to support growing business, and so on. To me this is the most interesting aspect: observing how a company is changing and building all the necessary processes to scale. Not only is this great experience but it also offers so many possibilities for personal development.
Let’s speak about career development. What is the development path at Tractable when it comes to CS? What skills do you learn here and how do you see your career journey now that you have joined Tractable?
Overall we have two paths. The first is “expert,” where you go from Junior to Principal Customer Success Manager and grow your responsibilities by increasing your customer portfolio. The second is “managerial” where you manage a team from local, regional to global and focus on supporting your team to make sure they and their clients are successful. But thinking more broadly about career growth, the most interesting part of my journey so far has been collaborating with and learning from other teams, from sales and product to engineering and research. Tractable is very open and supports your personal and professional growth wherever you want to focus – it’s the right place to learn and grow, while making a real impact.
I work with clients the way I want to. But I also have space to experiment and try new ideas rather than follow a templated approach. What is challenging - not negative - is that, as a scale-up, there are still a lot of unexplored areas. Many things you need to do yourself for the first time, such as figuring out how to create a process to make a task more efficient.
Can you explain what is similar at Tractable to your experience as a management consultant?
At Tractable, I’m surrounded by very smart and skilled people across the entire business. My CS peers have similar backgrounds, such as consulting, so there are definitely transferable skills. The workplace dynamics are also similar to consulting. There is a lot going on and no time to get bored. Each day I face different challenges and I am solving different issues, which makes the job interesting.
And the differences? Are they positive or negative?
I think a positive/negative assessment is very subjective and everyone should assess this on their own, so I will share my subjective view.
I have much more responsibility in my job now. I manage my time, I work independently, which is great. It gives me opportunities to develop my skills, but at the same time I need to ensure I am working effectively and am pushing things forward. Sometimes, without a deadline it might be tricky so I need a lot of self-motivation.
I work with clients the way I want to. But I also have space to experiment and try new ideas rather than follow a templated approach. What is challenging - not negative - is that, as a scale-up, there are still a lot of unexplored areas. Many things you need to do yourself for the first time, such as figuring out how to create a process to make a task more efficient. You also need to cooperate with many different teams and team members who do not report to you, yet you still need their help. Internal relationships are so important here so you need to get on well with many different teams, from solutions consultants to engineers. I have learnt that you need to be patient, as unlike consulting, if someone doesn't finish their work on time, I can't just stay all night to make up for it myself. There are things outside of my control. Which means I’ve needed to learn how to manage everything by predicting and anticipating areas outside of my core competencies and outside of my control.
What skills from your previous professional experience are the most useful for you and support you during your journey at Tractable?
On a daily basis, I use all key competencies that I developed while working in consulting. Skills such as problem solving, data analysis, project management, presentation skills, team management, tasks prioritisation, 80/20 rule. Customer-facing experience is also very important. On my team, everyone has a lot of interdependencies in client management – the more experience you have, the easier it will be when starting.
Did you have any doubts about making your move – from a consulting world, to a deep tech start-up?
I considered joining Tractable for several reasons. First, the tech industry is growing like crazy and I believe job opportunities will be much more interesting here in a few years than in other sectors. So, I considered a role at Tractable a long-term change of focus for my career. On top of this, an AI company sounded really intriguing and I was curious to find out more. When I joined Tractable, the company was just starting to scale and it was a great opportunity to be a part of the journey, observe a high-growth company from the inside and bring impact while working with some of the brightest brains in tech.
I was also looking to change my working style from a consulting structure to one that offered more independence and autonomy. I was excited by the chance to guide customers to success using my own knowledge and ideas, and to help my team members grow and achieve new potential.
I had doubts, of course. When you move from a known environment - and consulting is very structured - you know your path from the beginning. If you perform well, you climb up the ladder. I wasn’t so sure about life on the flip side of my old role – what would it be like to be a “technology vendor?” I didn’t have industry experience and my tech background was limited, but I thought it was worth a shot. I thought to myself, “what's the worst that could happen?” I’m pleased to say that it’s all worked out really well. Tractable has given me what I needed: challenges, development opportunities, satisfaction, a healthier work approach, confidence in my background knowledge and work output, and of course a better work-life balance. Overall, the move to Tractable has proven to be the right step in my career and it’s one that I’d recommend highly.
Interested in joining Tractable's CS team? Click here to apply