A day in the life of a Customer success manager at AlisQI
Arnold was busy on the telephone when I arrived, slowly and clearly explaining to one of the new AlisQI customers how to implement the next stage of a process. It was quickly evident how much he enjoys his role training and advising new and established customers. Arnold van der Weide is a Customer Success Manager, which he explains is an evolving role as the company grows and gains new customers from all over the world.
When did you leave school and what has been your career path so far?
I wanted to be a pilot in the Royal Netherlands Air Force. After school, I started the selection course, which consists of eight modules and is very thorough. Sadly, I got as far as the 4th stage and was then turned down. It was June/July when this happened and the academic year was beginning in September, so I had to have a quick re-think.
To explore my options, I went to a careers open day. There, I met an industrial engineer who talked about his job with incredible enthusiasm. His job sounded fascinating and very varied with a real chance to ‘dig your hands in the dirt’ – I loved the idea! I took a course in industrial engineering and management, which I found to be very broad. Industrial Engineering really focuses on process improvements from different perspectives, to name but a few; the perspective of the organization, the business economy, the employees and the technology being used. Bringing all these pieces together, I saw myself as a spider in a web, a position I have since then greatly enjoyed.
During my graduation internship I focused on implementing a Document Management System, a module of AlisQI. Because of this I saw first-hand the successful implementation of the AlisQI system and realized it was a product with great potential.
After graduating, I worked for several other employers, but always stayed in the industry, working on all kinds of process improvements.
What appealed to you about the job with AlisQI?
At some point, I came into contact with AlisQI again and was offered a job as a consultant, nowadays called Custom Success Manager. I happily took this opportunity.
What attracted me to working at AlisQI is that there is little to no bureaucracy, and short communication lines. It is a young modern company, where a lot is possible. Besides that, I like our product, it’s really awesome! Even better that as Customer Success Manager we can help improve this product. AlisQI is the first organisation where I really feel at home.
How long have you been with the company?
I joined AlisQI in November 2018 and found myself working in a new, dynamic company with like-minded and very professional people who put customer satisfaction first.
What attracted you to the role?'
I loved the challenges that my position brought – and still does. Our sales team puts me in contact with new customers, whom I get to onboard into the world of AlisQI. Some customers first need to spend some time with us and our system to realize its full potential.
What skills do you think are vital to your job?
I am usually working with 6-7 new customers at any one time and am very happy to train them in confidently implementing our system into their organisation. Together, we explore all the different features they can use to get where they want to be. After the customer is onboarded with us, they can usually work on their own, but we have regular Q & A sessions to maintain that communication. I really enjoy these sessions as many customers surprise me with what they build within our platform!
For my work, I need strong communication skills, sometimes much patience and project management skills. I also need to have a good knowledge of our system’s capabilities and of data management, and need to be able to successfully convey this to our customers via online meetings.
I need to be able to understand exactly what our customers want and to help them design processes that meet their individual needs, and they can use successfully.
What type of person suits your job best?
I think my work would appeal to someone who loves solving problems and has the ability to continually adapt between different projects. It’s also important to be able to think in processes and to like that way of thinking. Lastly, someone who can visualize flow (of data) in relation to businesses processes and likes to continuously improve.
How do your days/ weeks vary?
No two days are ever the same because each customer has individual needs – until I open my laptop in the morning, I do not know what challenges the day will bring.
Do you still undergo training or train others?
At present, there are two of us in our team but because AlisQI is growing quickly, we have recently taken on a third colleague who is currently working alongside us so we can train them in all aspects.
Do you work remotely or in an office?
I am working remotely but am in constant contact with both customers and colleagues. We regularly meet new Dutch customers face-to-face and I admit, this is something I really enjoy. I like meeting them for the first time and helping them to understand what AlisQI can do for them.
Importantly, although I am working remotely, I can easily get in touch with other colleagues to discuss problems with them or get their support on a new idea. There are 14 of us in the wider team and each person works well, both on their own and also as part of the team.
AlisQI likes team players, do you feel part of a team?
I like the openness and approachability of everyone at AlisQI as it is refreshingly different. I have missed the relaxed conversations with colleagues as you make a coffee and feel these are valuable. The company launched the monthly ‘work together day’ and I find this is valuable time spent with the rest of the team. We recently had a business trip with the whole team. For most of us, this was the first opportunity to meet face-to-face but it felt so familiar already, this was really a great experience.
How does the company differ from others that you have worked for?
Working for AlisQI is a very different experience. The company is transparent and keeps bureaucracy to an absolute minimum, although it may have to increase as AlisQI grows. I also like the company’s flexible approach– things do not have to be done in a ‘set way’ and as employees we can all contribute different strengths and they are valued.
What aspects of your job do you find particularly rewarding?
I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of being both a project manager and process designer. I am working on a variety of processes. Besides onboarding new customers and helping established customers further expand and deploy our system, I’m also working on further implementing and designing processes for Customer Success within AlisQI.
Because of these kind of internal projects, I find myself having even more variety in my job, which really makes my job a lot of fun!
What has surprised you about this job?
That it is forever changing. I find the onboarding of our customers has a lot of similarities, but once they have completed this and grown in confidence, they often start asking extremely smart questions and I am always happily surprised when this happens.
Is there the chance of promotion and career progression?
As the company is constantly growing and improving, so are we! As employees at AlisQI, we’re stimulated to find our ways and explore our options. I’m currently working on improving our department’s core processes and am very optimistic about the future.
What do you look forward to most each day when you begin work?
When our customers are getting more and more self-reliant with our system, this often sparks very constructive discussions leading to awesome applications of our system and I enjoy the questions they pose.