Customer Success is a newer discipline in the world of insurance. But while the term is new, the concept is
not; in fact, it is largely an aspirational even somewhat elusive nirvana. It’s even more important in the
world we live in today where, to quote the ECONOMIST: we are now facing “a new world disorder” and
we have to rethink our way. To help with our collective pursuit of excellence, I have created mind maps
that snack size the concept by using customer success approached that talented individuals have used in
their careers and in their jobs. In this mind map, I am featuring Sara Carvalho – Sara is a veteran in the
consulting space which is characterized by periodic churn and the compulsion to grow a repeat revenue
cycle. Read on and apply the map to customize your strategy. You can use the tips she has to offer while
navigating a career and discovering your own latent capabilities and customer success potential.
CS: Meet Sara – she has shown dedication in her career that matches only her dedication as a working
parent! Sara, as a domain expert in surviving in competitive, customer centric environments like
consulting, what learnings do you have to share for working parents trying to do the same?
SC: I think the first thing for working parents is to acknowledge that this is not easy! Give yourself a
break! Anyone who tells you it is easy is lying! In my case the starting point was to initiate focused
communication with my management teams. I set clear expectations around what is lacking and what is
expected from the organization. Don’t be shy. You have to ask for what you need in order to drive
customer success in your role. I’ve been working at home for a number of years because of this driving
focus on selling to the right customer and monitoring customer health.
CS: That’s great. Speaking of asking for what you need for customer success, there are a lot of parents
who choose to stay in the same industry but sometimes get typecast or even taken for granted because
of the perception that this is the only thing that they can do versus the realization that it is the only
thing they want to do. What should people who are in this position do to communicate (like you rightly
said) to their management that the reason they’re still in their field is because they love it and because
they have mastered customer metrics and not because they are ‘stuck’?
SC: It’s an interesting question because I’ve worked with a number of folks who have sort of stayed in
the positions that they’re in. This is not only because it was a path of least resistance but sometimes it
was because there are benefits. Benefits like enabling them to balance work and home life for instance.
The starting point is to take some initiative to review the drivers of customer success. The day-to-day
monotony does get in the way but what you do to improve time to value is one of the things that we
probably should always do periodically. Take the time for self-reflection to identify why some of your
customers display a higher scale of loyalty than the others. I found through this that what really
mattered was meeting with my clients, rolling up my sleeves and understanding their evolving needs.
Breakthroughs in customer success often come from these conversations.
CS: So, what words of wisdom do you have for people who have bettered themselves but are still not
able to find that challenge or convince others that their solutions will drive loyalty and new revenue
SC: My gut reaction is don’t stop trying to convince them because industries continue to evolve. Look at
us today with the pandemic – everyone’s working from home and adapting. Adaptation is probably the
perfect word when we’re all trying to strive to be our best. Have honest conversations, listen to
feedback, you don’t have to follow it! But I assure you that there will be growth and customer delight,
apart from sales!
CS: Adaptation is one of the new rules of the game for sure! What tips, tricks or hacks do you have for
parents that have stayed in their same roles/industries and are now adapting to the “new world
disorder” and aiming for customer success?
SC: My hack is finding my “me” time – it’s my valued time in the morning before my kids wake up. I use
this time to focus on a project and examine which best practices I need to adopt. I also tailor my news
feeds to alert me to new customer metrics and ways to improve time spent and value derived. This
makes me just that bit more focused on staying challenged in the roller coaster world of customer
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