To kick off our first Ask A Mentor Spotlight feature, we have Emillee Hernandez.
Get to know a little more about her:
She has an academic background in Environmental Science but her professional career is in Client Success, which is a rapidly growing field in the SaaS technology industry. A Client Success Manager focuses on building long-term client relationships and they consult on how to best leverage a product (or service) in order to reach broader business objectives. This role involves technical expertise, business acumen, problem-solving skills, collaboration, and a great deal of creativity! Although Emillee's educational background started off in the academic sciences, her experiences in university and non-profits built the foundation for her professional journey into Client Success. She's excited to mentor those who are looking into their next career path!
Thank you to everyone who submitted a question. Don't forget to check out our Instagram page (@girlsystem.mentor) as we will be posting some of the Q&A responses on our Instagram stories too.
Questions and Answers
Question 1. How did you know you wanted to pursue Client Success?
- Truth is, I didn’t! After I completed my studies, I knew I loved the creativity and multidisciplinary nature of Environmental Sciences, but did not necessarily want to pursue a career in academia. Instead, I searched through the job market for a role that was complimentary to the skills I acquired throughout my entire university experience and Client Success was a great fit!
Question 2. How do you communicate with clients if you can't resolve a problem right away?
- Acknowledge their issue, provide the steps I will follow and parties I will involve to find a solution, and most importantly ask the question, “Can I provide you an answer/update by X date?”. Providing an honest resolution timeline is key to managing customer expectations.
Question 3. How do you think businesses could benefit from hiring a Client Success Manager?
- Hiring a Customer Success Manager ensures a customer’s continued success by way of connecting the customer’s business need or issue to the product/service being offered. By having a dedicated point of contact and trusted advisor, a business is able to better retain and grow the partnership with that business.
Question 4. What courses did you take in university?
- About half of my courses were dedicated to the Sciences - think chemistry, biology, biodiversity, psychology- and half of my courses were dedicated to the arts - for example, anthropology of language and an interdisciplinary seminar group on Environmental Thought.
Question 5. What was your favourite part about studying Environmental Science?
- The use of creativity! I was very close to pursuing a fine arts degree before going to McGill and was concerned I was never going to be able to exercise creativity. Going about an essay, presentation, or thesis in this degree requires a fair bit of creativity because the contributing factors of an issue are endless and there’s a great variety of approaches you can use to pose your opinion.
Question 6. What was the most challenging client experience you have ever had? How did you resolve it?
- One of my most challenging client experiences involved a customer who was upsettingly rude during meetings to a point where it was difficult to proceed with a presentation without a disruptive interjection from them. The resolution here came down to really providing context into why the meeting was important for both parties, and sharing the work done thus far with their team that lead to a return on investment.
Question 7. What does a day in your life look like for you?
- A day in the life as a Client Success Manager involves:
Meeting with clients to provide them recommendations on how to make the most out of our partnership, in line with their business goals
Meeting internally with fellow employees to problem solve cases and prepare for meetings
Attend internal presentations to align on our company goals and new product updates
Technical account work and troubleshooting on customer accounts
Administrative tasks such as keeping track of milestones in a customer journey or scheduling vital touch points with customers
Delegation: leveraging the knowledge of other specialized departments to resolve issues or gain their expertise on a particular use-case
Research: in preparation for customer meetings, research involves looking into their company history, previous notes on their objectives, high-impact business news and social media chatter, review their website and recent announcements, dig into their activity and usage in their account, review current and new stakeholders and their organizational structure, the list goes on!