‘Seasoned Skillets’ is our series designed to showcase the Skilljar team behind the business. These folks (aka Skillets) are developing, designing, writing, calling, measuring, analyzing, and more to propel Skilljar forward as a market leader in the customer education industry. Next up, Mike!
How did you hear about Skilljar?
I was referred to Skilljar by a former colleague and friend of mine who worked at Skilljar. Based on my previous experience in customer support roles, I was familiar with the need for customer training. The idea of working on the frontlines to help Skilljar customers bridge the gap between their products and adoption was very enticing.
What does your role here entail?
In a nutshell, a CSM at Skilljar is responsible for providing strategic and tactical guidance to our customers to ensure they are creating education programs that help onboard, engage, and retain their own customers. It’s also my job to proactively offer tips, recommendations, and best practices to make sure every customer training program is set up for scalable, long term success.
What advice would you give someone getting into SaaS Customer Success?
Be curious, ready to learn, and have a healthy attitude towards change. For Customer Success in particular, it’s also important to have a passion for problem-solving and helping people.
What makes someone successful in Customer Success at Skilljar?
The key to success for a CSM is to be as proactive as possible and avoid a purely reactive relationship with your customers. The best way to do this is to stay hyper-organized (we log all of our activity in Salesforce) and remember that the preparation and follow-up are just as critical as the customer interaction itself. Keep the ball moving, push your customers out of their comfort zone, and remember that a quiet customer is often not a satisfied customer.
Skilljar is a fast-paced, rapidly changing place. What’s your advice for navigating (and excelling) in the startup environment?
My advice is to remember that “the wave always passes” and stay joyful. There are days when it can get overwhelming or stressful, but in those moments I remind myself of the opportunities and unique challenges I get to work through here. There is no better environment to get your feet wet and gain experience across a slew of different teams and customers.
I would also mention that you should never be afraid to ask for help or advice. The Customer Success Team, and Skilljar as a whole, is incredibly supportive so even when startup life gets chaotic, lean into those around you and their expertise for help.
Favorite Skilljar perk?
This isn’t a perk per say, but I love the Skilljar culture in general. The environment here encourages you to be yourself, and I love that I can chat with different people throughout the day on topics as varied as Game of Thrones, Virginia winning the NCAA basketball national championship, dealing with anxiety, or upcoming events at Seattle Pride.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
While this can definitely be a struggle, I try to take a step back every few weeks to recalibrate or reframe my mindset to ensure I stay in a positive state of mind and avoid burnout. I do genuinely enjoy my job, so if anything, this would be an area where I need to take my own advice and ask for help kicking me off Slack after work!
Favorite place to visit in Seattle?
I moved to Seattle two days before I started working at Skilljar, and I’m definitely still exploring the city to identify my favorite spots. My cousin lives in Fremont with his wife and two wonderful kids, so Sunday night family dinners are the highlight of my week.
If you were going to offer a course online, what would it be about?
I’ve wanted to be a teacher since the 3rd grade (and still hope to teach down the road), so there is a litany of courses I’d want to teach. First off, I’d either want to offer a course about A Song of Ice and Fire (the books “Game of Thrones” is adapted from), or, as a history buff, I’d like to teach an in-depth course about WWII.
Interested in joining Mike at Skilljar? Click below to check out our available job opportunities.