In this interview, Simona Barcău, Vice President of Customer Success at Cority, shares her remarkable journey to becoming a Customer Success Executive, her unique strategies for success, and the future she envisions for the world of Customer Success.
What advice do you have for someone's first 100 days as head of CS?
In the dynamic realm of Customer Success leadership, Simona highlights the importance of setting a strong foundation during the initial 100 days. She emphasizes the significance of understanding the customer journey, mapping interactions, and identifying gaps. Simona's insightful advice revolves around rallying teams, learning from customers, and creating a seamless experience that resonates with both clients and employees.
What does your CS strategy focus on currently and in the future?
Currently, Simona's customer success strategy is centered around a few key pillars that are essential for building strong and lasting customer relationships. One of the primary focuses is on understanding their customers' needs and ensuring that they are receiving maximum value from our software. This involves closely monitoring customer interactions, tracking feedback, and proactively addressing any issues that may arise.
She is also heavily invested in data-driven insights. By analyzing customer behavior and trends, she can make informed decisions about product enhancements and improvements that will benefit their users. This approach ensures that their software remains relevant and aligned with the evolving needs of our customers.
In the future, her CS strategy will continue to evolve in line with industry trends and technological advancements. She is exploring ways to enhance their customer journey mapping, providing a seamless and effortless experience across every touchpoint. This includes optimizing their self-service capabilities, streamlining processes, and utilizing AI-driven solutions to anticipate and address customer needs more efficiently.
How Do You Measure Success With CX?
Simona delves into the art of measuring success, going beyond the typical metrics to uncover the emotional responses behind the numbers. While traditional measurements like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) have their place, Simona's focus on understanding customer behavior and trends sets Cority apart. By deeply listening to customers and capturing their journey's evolution, Cority ensures lasting partnerships and continuous improvement.
How did Cority win the Customer Hero award?
Cority's impressive feat of winning the Customer Hero Award is attributed to its innovative approach to NPS campaigns. Simona's vision for an Evergreen NPS campaign, involving frequent customer surveys and engaging follow-up conversations, showcased Cority's dedication to customer centricity. Additionally, Cority's practice of giving back to customers through symbolic donations added a unique and meaningful touch, cementing their commitment to their customers' well-being.
What pain points do you have leading a CX or CS team?
In the world of Customer Success, challenges often stem from organizational silos and conflicting priorities. Simona discusses how Cority tackles these challenges head-on by cultivating a customer-centric culture that permeates every department. The organization's small leadership team, dedicated to maintaining a focus on customers, eliminates barriers and fosters a harmonious approach to achieving shared goals.
How do you establish partnerships and gain buy-in with the C-suite?
For Simona and her team, gaining buy-in from the C-Suite hasn't been a challenge, thanks to Cority's inherent customer-first approach. With a leadership team united by the common principle of customer centricity, Cority ensures that everyone is aligned to prioritize the customer's needs. The organization's commitment to this value simplifies the process of obtaining support from the C-Suite.
Do you have an example of utilizing customer feedback to improve your company?
Simona underscores the importance of customer feedback as a catalyst for positive change. Cority's proactive approach involves sharing customer feedback across the organization and leveraging it to shape product development and service enhancements. By regularly discussing customer input in leadership meetings and customer boards, Cority ensures that every team member is aligned with customers' evolving needs.
What is the future of CX and CS?
Looking ahead, Simona envisions a future for Customer Success characterized by constant evolution. As technology advances and customer expectations shift, Customer Success professionals will need to remain adaptable and vigilant in capturing customer sentiment. Simona predicts a stronger emphasis on real-time insights and a deeper understanding of customer journeys, culminating in more personalized and impactful interactions.
About Simona Barcău
Simona Barcău, a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience in software, hails from Romania and now thrives in the vibrant city of Toronto. Her journey through various roles, from software development to product management, eventually led her to her true passion—Customer Success. Simona's enthusiasm for understanding customer needs and ensuring their value from software is palpable as she embarks on this ever-evolving path.
To stay updated on Simona Barcău's journey and insights, follow her on LinkedIn. Connect with her to gain valuable perspectives on Customer Success, leadership, and the ever-evolving world of technology and software.
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.