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CS100 Speaker Preview: Mitch Macfarlane – Why the Board and Exec Team Need to Care About Customer Success


Mitch Macfarlane, SVP Product and Customer Experience at Insructure, was recently announced as a speaker at the upcoming CS100 Summit, the premiere conference for customer success executives and leaders.

The CS100 Summit will take place September 13-15, 2016 at the St. Regis Hotel in Park City, Utah and will attract 100 customer success executives traveling in from across the world for an exclusive 3-day learning event. Customer success executives, leaders, and innovators will come together to focus on ideation, strategies, and real-world applications of customer success. The early bird price ends Monday, August 15th and seats are going fast. Don’t miss out on the most anticipated customer success executive conference of the year—and the best value.

Mitch brings with him the experience of scaling customer experience from 3 to over 300 employees at Instructure during 5 years of over 100% net revenue retention and NPS scores consistently above 50. At the CS100 Summit, Mitch will share from his incredible experience, but in advance, we want to give our attendees a sneak peek into just a few things he’ll discuss:

Why Executives & Board of Directors Need to Care About Customer Success

In Mitch’s experience, customer success isn’t as sexy or appealing as new revenue or growth rates to senior executives and Board of Directors. He explained that when customer success leaders talk to executive team members, it can be difficult to get them interested as they often view customer success as a support function rather than a revenue function. Mitch believes it’s fundamental for customer success leaders to learn how to speak to executives and board members in order to get them interested in customer success and also to ensure they’re making the right investments. During Mitch’s presentation, he’ll address hot button topics that get executives’ attention such as:

  • Customer lifetime value
  • Net negative churn
  • Customer acquisition costs versus retention costs

“The function of customer success and its role directly affects revenue of an organization,” explained Mitch. “Customer success efforts impact the growth rate which is what executives and board members really care about. The executive team wants to see the company grow and if it’s losing customers out the bottom, then the organization will be unable to maintain the same growth and command a high valuation multiple.”

Start Thinking About THIS Before the CS100 Summit

“What is the value of customer success to your organization’s top and bottom lines?” Mitch urges attendees to prepare for the CS100 Summit by asking questions such as, “Do we understand how much customer success costs the company per account or as a percent of revenue? Do we understand the impacts customer success can have on the top line growth, or land and expand opportunities, or even install base sales?”

Attendees should come prepared to consider customer success as a company growth driver, and then apply what they learn to their organization’s unique needs.

Customer Success Leaders Must Vary Their Message

The role of customer success is critical to an organization’s success, but it requires leadership that understands how to work with both the CSMs as well as the executive team and Board of Directors.

Mitch believes that the message for both groups is very different in terms of how leaders need to motivate staff and how they should talk to executive leadership. He explained that, “The executive team doesn’t want feel good stories – they want direct impact to the bottom line. However, your customer success team needs to be motivated by relationships and creating incredible customer moments. Customer success leaders must be able to speak to both groups and articulate a different message for each.”

Customer Success Matters to Mitch Because…

For Mitch, it’s always been about maximizing the value to the customer. When customers love doing business with an organization, they continue to bring their business. This is how organizations can build long-term success and a durable business.

“I want to work for a company where people paying for products or services are getting ALL of the value they expected,” said Mitch. “I’m passionate about making sure needs are being met and original goals for the software or services they purchased are being delivered upon. Having been on the receiving end of many customer success functions, I am much more loyal to companies that go out of their way to make sure my organization is happy and successful, and I look for other opportunities where we can utilize their products or services.”

Register for the CS100 Summit

Interested in attending the CS100 Summit and hearing from Mitch along with other industry leading customer success executives? Don’t miss out! Register to attend today.

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