At Braze, Customer Success has been a core department since the company’s early days. But as with most departments at most software as a service (SaaS) companies, our Success team has seen tremendous growth and change—particularly during the four years I’ve been at Braze.
From the very beginning, we’ve been clear on our core departmental vision (namely, “to bridge the gap between the actual and the possible” for Braze customers), but what that’s looked like has changed over the years as we’ve continuously specialized and iterated on what Customer Success could be. We’re proud to be a diverse group of individuals coming from a diverse set of backgrounds—from consulting and marketing and tech to manufacturing and retail and not-for-profit work. That diversity has helped to ensure that our team has what it takes to be both strategic and highly technical...while adding in a little sprinkle of something unique.
Every Customer Success Manager (CSM) adds their particular passion to the mix. For some, it’s a specific passion for industry thought leadership. For others, it’s about empowering marketers to understand technical complexity. For me, it’s always been about looking for original ways to join teams and tech together to expedite a solution.
Over the years, clients, colleagues, and interviewees have asked me, “What does a day in the life of a Customer Success Manager look like at Braze?” And it’s a fair question—especially when the CSM role can look so different at different companies. To help give a better picture of the experience of a CSM at Braze, I’ve sketched out a typical day for us below. Please enjoy it, with the caveat that my favorite thing about the role is that no two days are the same!
The day kicks off with an internal cross-functional meeting including an Account Executive, an Account Manager, a Customer Onboarding Manager, and yours truly. We listen to a summary presentation by the Customer Onboarding Manager who’s just completed onboarding a food and beverage customer—they’re now fully integrated and ready to start launching campaigns.
Once we recap onboarding wins, actions still outstanding, and the account’s next steps, the Account Manager helps to validate that our planned next-steps align well with the customer’s goals. From this meeting forward, I’ll be taking over responsibility for the account from the Customer Onboarding Manager and will use Braze Continuum, our proprietary success and customer engagement framework, to design a customized Success plan for the customer that will help them maximize the impact of their customer engagement efforts.
I end up spending a decent amount of the morning digging through inbound emails from my clients. I often tell people that being a Customer Success Manager is like being a human Swiss army knife—and this part of the job is a prime example of why.
While running through my inbox, I’m quickly pivoting between enabling customers on use cases (“Hi, XX, based on my experience with some of my other clients, here’s how I would set up that campaign to meet your reporting requirements across multiple languages…”), reviewing the final copy for an upcoming case study with a client who saw a big boost in engagement by A/B testing the “from” names they used in their emails (“Hi, YY, our marketing team has finished copy and design of your case study, so I wanted to share it for you approval…”), and responding to queries and concerns of all kinds. It’s bracing, but there’s something really fulfilling about being able to help so many people—and checking so much off the to-do list—in such a short stretch of time.
One key aspect of a CSM’s job at Braze is overseeing our customers’ Executive Business Reviews (EBRs), which are essentially deep dives into where things stand for their business and opportunities they have to see stronger results in the coming months.
I’ve got an EBR coming up in two weeks time with a QSR client, so I use this time to review the agenda I’ve agreed on with my main point-of-contact (POC) at the company...and run through a few different data sets to better understand how this customer is benchmarking against their industry (and figure out which strategic recommendations I should prioritize). Once that’s sorted, I start building out the review. That way, I’ll be ready to review it next week with my main POC ahead of our presentation to the customer’s broader Executive Stakeholder group the week after.
I join a 45 minute high intensity interval training (HITT) workout class that the Braze People Team organizes for us every couple weeks. But because I skipped the last couple sessions (and because the stated goal of the class is to “fatigue the muscles and challenge the body”), I find myself quite regretting my decision to join this one after the first five minutes…
Thankfully, I start to enjoy it by the end and feel a bit more refreshed for my afternoon. We have catered lunches 3 times a week here in the London office, so I swipe a plate of food on my way back in.
This is one of a number of optional internal office hours that I have saved on my calendar. Each one is hosted by a different department or team within Braze to give people an opportunity to ask questions that come up over the course of the week and to get quick answers.
I decide to join this one today because I have an ecommerce client that’s looking to customize their iOS SDK integration so it only initializes for certain countries. I’ve already pulled together an initial overview on how to do it using our technical documentation, but I’m keen to validate the approach I’m planning with our Solutions Architect team, just to see if they have any thoughts on how I can simplify or improve the process. And I’m quickly glad that I did: They end up being able to provide a specific code snippet that I can send to the customer along with the technical approach I’ve scoped, which I know will help their iOS developer get this change live more quickly.
I’m a problem solver at heart, so I decide to choose a few of the technical queries that I have context on and pair up with the Support Specialist who is owning these cases to help them troubleshoot.
After whiteboarding out some potential hypotheses related to our Currents export functionality, the Support Specialist builds and runs a query on our Snowflake instance to support a data pull that (thankfully) validates our third hypothesis. In the spirit of transparency, there are few high-fives between us before I help craft the resolution response to the client. Customer Success isn’t expected to work as closely with Support as we used to back in the day—that said, I still love getting hands-on with the Braze platform and then bouncing into my next call feeling like I’ve just finished the Saturday crossword.
Most of the customers I work with have standing bi-weekly calls with me where we sit down and review in-flight projects, use case-related questions, and any other business (AOB). In this call, we talk through a “refer a friend” campaign strategy that the customer is in the process of launching. I’m glad to be able to share a few examples of how other Braze clients approach copy and creative for similar campaigns—as well as doing some light enablement training on the Braze platform.
Halfway through the call, the customer’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) jumps on to discuss some upcoming changes planned by Apple. I talk him through the Braze product roadmap and we agree to set up another call so we can put together a project plan based on the launch requirements. As we’re signing off, I remember that the Braze CTO is holding an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session next week in Braze Bonfire, our customer-focused Slack community, so I suggest that the customer’s CTO sign up and take part.
Now it’s time for our weekly team meeting. Because the Customer Success work we do is fairly independent—and because the Customer Success department often finds itself getting a lot of cross-departmental requests—we usually focus this time on sharing and synthesizing asks that have come in from other teams and showcasing innovative work that’s being done by individual Customer Success team members.
This week, one of our team members walks us through learnings from a new initiative he recently put together—a “Hack the Stack” day that included Braze mobile developers who were visiting London from our New York HQ and the engineering teams from several of our customers. We also hear from a different team member who has just come back from holding a series of EBRs and trainings for her accounts in South Africa and has process insights that she wants to share. Finally, we spend some time aligning around our approach to our annual customer event in New York, particularly how to coordinate invites for our clients and identifying who from the EMEA Customer Success team is interested in attending.
Once the team meeting is over, a few of us arrange a trip out to a local pub for a few afterwork drinks. It’s nice to get a chance to catch up more informally and to celebrate another good week under our belts.
And there you have it: A busy, productive day in the life of a CSM, complete with technical deep-dives, chats with executive stakeholders, and one ill-considered mid-day workout.
If you’re thinking about embarking on a career in Customer Success, or you’re a Customer Success Manager looking to switch companies or interested in mentorship from someone on our Customer Success Team, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss it further.
To learn more about our current Customer Success openings, visit the Braze Careers page.
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