DigitalOcean’s Customer Success Managers work daily with startups and small-to-medium businesses looking to grow on DigitalOcean. They help troubleshoot issues and better understand our customers and how DigitalOcean can help them achieve their goals. We talked to Senior Customer Success Manager Bella Nitonde to get a sense of what a day in a life of a CSM looks like.
What does a Customer Success Manager (CSM) do?
A CSM is a strategic partner to the customer and an extension of the customer team within DO. The key to this important role is developing a clear understanding of the customer’s strategic goals, how DigitalOcean fits in their strategy, and their overall business model. The CSM organization works with a couple of cross-functional teams, advocating for the customers and helping them to achieve their desired outcomes. They also share customer feedback on products and missing features. In short, a customer success manager partners with the customer and our internal teams to ensure the customers’ success with DigitalOcean.
What does a typical day look like?
I start my day with a standup with the team. During the standup we all talk about the things we hope to achieve for the week/day (on Monday we discuss the week). We highlight any issues we might need help with and give updates on any of the projects we are working on. After the standup I action my plan for the day. I prepare customer meetings and presentations for the calls I have for the day and make sure to prep all internal persons who will be joining the calls.
After each conversation I make sure to update the notes and log them in our CRM Gainsight. In the afternoon we have our global teamsync where we discuss the full team’s updates.
How do you take breaks throughout the day?
I have a 2 year old dachshund that is my full-time work buddy. He definitely makes sure that I take small breaks in between calls. At lunchtime we have lunch together and then we go to the park for him to have a bit of exercise with his friends.
What do you enjoy about being a CSM?
We have really awesome customers. Advocating for them and helping them to succeed on DigitalOcean is really fulfilling. Especially when you help them through a difficult situation.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I volunteer, I help low-income people manage their finances, I help them with their administration and I help them to make sure they have all the assistance the government can offer.
How do you solve problems that arise?
Empathy, understanding, prioritizing, and confirming. Regardless of whether something is a customer issue or an internal problem, my first reaction is to empathize with people and make sure they are heard. I then ask questions so that I can understand what happened, what needs to be done and how urgent it is. Based on that I prioritize and make sure what needs to happen gets done and I confirm once the problem has been resolved.
What keeps the job fun?
The team. Even though our team is geographically spread all over the world we are collaborative and supportive to each other.
Any advice for someone who may want to be a CSM? Prioritize understanding things. Understanding your products and their value, understanding what your customers need, and understanding how to get things done for your customers and the company. If you care to understand the things your customers need and how to get it done, your customers and the company will be successful. And you will be successful as a CSM.
What can you tell us about your time at DO?
Time flies when you are having fun as they say. It feels like I blinked and 2 years have passed. DO is the first company where I feel that our values are not just words on our website. People actually live them.
Anything else we should know?
We have some great customers here at DigitalOcean!
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