“We are great believers in side projects, becauseit makes the work of any person in the company, notjust the CSM, that much more meaningful and fulfilling.And that’s what most employees want at the end of theday”, she explains.
“There are two ways to manage these types of projects.One is what we call ‘Taskforce’. This method is reallyfor big initiatives — the kind where if you just have oneperson on it, it’ll always take forever. The other thingis that you’re looking for a variety of opinions andrepresentation across offices and departments.”
Varda says the perfect way to start with it is by decidingthe topic, identifying which team members will find thistopic relevant for them and adding them onboard andthen setting clear goals and defining who is the clientof the initiative.
“An example for such a task force could be how werebuilt our customer training program last year. In thisinstance, we had a task force of five people who led andexecuted this. These days we have a taskforce that’sworking on implementing EverAfter.
Varda brings up the importance of doing properresearch.
“It’s really easy to take what you’re currentlydoing and just improve slightly. But it’s not what we’retrying to do. Beyond online research, we always try to talkto other companies, conduct surveys, we try everythingto get a different perspective on what we’re trying to do.Small nuggets can make the plan more fun and makethe customer’s experience better”.
The second key method to spark creativity at Optimove’sCSM is through the power of SMEs. “We started usingSME’s when we realized how hard it was for new CSMsto be onboarded on our product to the extent that theycould speak confidently about each feature. We realizedthere were some things the new CSM shouldn’t evenlook at at first. So it started as SMEs around specificproduct topics, and then eventually we extended it tomany more directions”.
Varda shares a nice example of how SME make a hugedifference inside the organization: “We have one SMEthat is in charge of the corporation between CSM andproduct. They set up meetings when necessary, theyknow what’s coming out and how early on and theyeven represent the CS team and push some features sothe whole CSM organization can benefit from this closecommunication”.