“We are great believers in side projects, because it makes the work of any person in the company, not just the CSM, that much more meaningful and fulfilling.And that’s what most employees want at the end of the day”, she explains.
“There are two ways to manage these types of projects.One is what we call ‘Taskforce’. This method is really for big initiatives — the kind where if you just have one person on it, it’ll always take forever. The other thing is that you’re looking for a variety of opinions and representation across offices and departments.”
Varda says the perfect way to start with it is by deciding the topic, identifying which team members will find this topic relevant for them and adding them onboard and then setting clear goals and defining who is the client of the initiative.
“An example for such a task force could be how were built our customer training program last year. In this instance, we had a task force of five people who led and executed this. These days we have a task force that’s working on implementing EverAfter.
Varda brings up the importance of doing proper research.
“It’s really easy to take what you’re currently doing and just improve slightly. But it’s not what we’re trying to do. Beyond online research, we always try to talk to other companies, conduct surveys, we try everything to 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’s CSM is through the power of SMEs. “We started using SME’s when we realized how hard it was for new CSMs to be onboarded on our product to the extent that they could speak confidently about each feature. We realized there were some things the new CSM shouldn’t even look at at first. So it started as SMEs around specific product topics, and then eventually we extended it tomany more directions”.
Varda shares a nice example of how SME make a huge difference inside the organization: “We have one SME that is in charge of the corporation between CSM and product. They set up meetings when necessary, they know what’s coming out and how early on and they even represent the CS team and push some features so the whole CSM organization can benefit from this close communication”.