We had the privilege of speaking with Damien Howley, an accomplished author and Chief Customer Officer of Nimbello, a leading provider of high-volume outsourced AP automation. In this insightful conversation, Damien shares his journey in the software industry, his perspective on the future of customer success, and the crucial role of customer-centricity in driving growth.
What advice do you have for someone's first 100 days as head of CX or CS?
Damien emphasizes the importance of getting in front of customers as much as possible during the first 100 days. Understanding their businesses, needs, and objectives is crucial for representing customers within the company. Being a spokesperson for customers, especially major clients, requires a deep understanding of their requirements. Additionally, establishing partnerships across various departments, including product, finance, legal, and sales, helps build a strong foundation for success.
What does your CX strategy focus on currently and in the future?
As the Chief Customer Officer at Nimbello, Damien's current focus is on scaling the customer success function and improving internal processes. He aims to create a strong data foundation to gain insights into customer demands and drive change effectively. In the future, his team will concentrate on operational performance, especially as Nimbello scales and takes on more customers.
What pain points do you have leading a CX or CS team?
Leading a CX or CS team comes with its challenges. Damien highlights the importance of managing dependencies with other departments, such as product, sales, and finance. Any breakdown in these connections can lead to customer issues and hinder the success of the customer experience.
How do you establish partnerships and gain buy-in with the C-suite?
Damien believes in demonstrating the value of customer success through data-driven insights. He focuses on educating the executive team on appropriate metrics and their significance in the context of the entire company's performance. Establishing a customer culture within the organization and sharing customer stories helps create a deeper understanding of the customer's impact on the company's success.
Do you have an example of utilizing customer feedback to improve your company?
Damien shares his experience of nurturing reliable and accountable relationships with customers. He uses customer feedback to drive internal awareness and appreciation of the customer's perspective. Utilizing data and analytical reports, he ensures that all employees understand the direct impact of their work on the customer base. Creating a customer culture involves bringing customers into the office, conducting presentations, and fostering a deeper connection between employees and customers.
What is the future of CX and CS?
According to Damien, the future of CX and CS will see more roles specializing in specific customer segments. As the industry evolves, different customer segments will require unique approaches, infrastructure, and customer success managers. Moreover, CX and CS are expected to play a more significant role in revenue ownership and growth strategies. Integrating AI and automation will help scale customer success while maintaining personalized experiences.
About Damien Howley
Damien has spent the last twenty years building, selling, and implementing Software as a Service. Since the inception of Customer Success, he has worked to develop and refine best practices for revenue-focused customer success teams, helping hundreds of Customer Success Managers to master their trade. He has served as a leader and advisor in Customer Success.
About CX Chats
CX chats is an interview series with Ben Holland, where we talk to industry leaders in the field of customer experience and customer success. Each interview dives deep into the insights from each leader and highlights how they became successful, tips for aspiring CX professionals, and their thoughts on the future of CX.