In 2015, I joined Oracle Marketing Cloud as GVP, Customer Success. I took on the great challenge of bringing together five acquired companies with the goal of building a cohesive Customer Success organization. Each acquired company was at a different stage in their evolution and was governed by a different culture, identity and values. Aligning these five companies was going to be tough, but achieving Customer Success at scale was going to be even harder.
We had to transform. Our customers would not achieve ultimate value and success without an integrated team in place to serve them. Being organized by products meant that our customers needed to talk with 4 or even 5 CSMs to get their problems solved. For a company focused on helping our customers improve customer experience, we needed to drink our own champagne and make changes.
Hundreds of changes could be made, but instead of diving in headfirst, I took a step back. I worked closely with Nils and Alex from Glide Consulting to formulate a strategy and execute an action plan to drive this change across our entire organization. We followed their 4 P’s framework.
Here’s what we’ve achieved together so far:
Nils facilitated a one-day workshop for fifteen of our Global Customer Success leadership team members. During this workshop, we defined the purpose, core values and identity of Customer Success at Oracle Marketing Cloud.
Our brand: Members of the Customer Success organization at OMC are called Agents of Customer Excellence or A.C.E.
Our purpose statement: The purpose of Customer Success at OMC is to earn lifelong customers by orchestrating their marketing transformation.
Our core values: Guidevocate, Exemplary and Resullts Oriented Partner.
We brought our customers into the Purpose Summit, by testing each idea against whether or not our charter and promise would help us serve them. The Purpose Summit also helped us test our decisions around People. One burning question came to mind: have we identified all the roles needed to help us achieve and live our purpose? This question helped us change our operating model and think differently about the roles in the Customer Success team.
Global Leadership Summit
We carried our energy and momentum through to the next engagement with Glide Consulting. Nils and Alex helped 96 Oracle Marketing Cloud leaders build their coaching and leadership toolkits in a one and a half day workshop. Nils condensed 400+ hours of coaching expertise into an action-only workshop. We learned how to identify and work to our Strengths, ask powerful questions and apply the 3 levels of listening.This workshop had no powerpoint presentations – the entire experience was hands-on, including role-plays, practical examples and hot-seats. Nils and Alex also worked closely with all of the leaders in smaller groups, providing practical guidance for real-world issues.
The team’s feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the event served to strengthen our identity, connect the worldwide team and align everyone to our new, best practice approach.
Today, we're starting to roll out this program of change and improvement. Even though it's early, we are getting very positive feedback around our Purpose, our customer promise and how we have aligned our roles and service to achieve it.
The 4 P’s framework has helped me transform the Oracle Marketing Cloud Global Customer Success team in record time.
The investment I’ve made by working with Glide Consulting has already paid for itself many times over.
I hired Nils to do an assessment of our Customer Experience (CX) organization - a team of about 40. We were in a challenging time from a CX leadership perspective and we needed some guidance.
Nils provided an in-depth analysis of everything post-sale. His assessment proved to be a keen and accurate report about the root cause of our challenges along with insightful recommendations to move the organization forward. Nils also proved very adept at connecting with the individual members of the team and management - he built quick rapport and trust.
Nils presented his findings back to the organization along with actionable, prioritized steps to provide immediate improvement. The teams were able to put their challenges into better context, see the bigger picture, and move forward. Nils also facilitated improved communication between departments, helping to ease tension and establish better working dynamics toward the ultimate goal of serving the customer.
Through the assessment, Nils identified an opportunity to drive more consistent execution across the CX organization. Nils leveraged his innovative PEDAL (Prepare, Engage, Drive, Accountability, and Lifelong customers) training framework which resonated well with the teams and proved highly effective in raising the skill level of our CX team members. The training had a big impact and we continue to leverage the framework for our continued professional development across the CX organization.
Nils is also an excellent coach. Through weekly coaching conversations with me and the CX management team, he help us unwind the challenges and gain better clarity on where to focus.
Bottom line - Nils is a thought leader, domain expert, and outstanding individual. His guidance has better positioned our CX team to thrive in our next stage of growth.
Great CX is critical component of successful SaaS, and Nils knows the formula to building great CX.
I hired Nils to help me drive a major initiative shortly after joining Agari as the VP of Customer Success. The initiative focused on transforming our onboarding process and ensuring strong starts with our customers with a prescriptive approach from the beginning.
Nils listened to our current situation, analyzed our processes and then created materials and a training program for my team to drive our change. The training program was crucial to the success of this initiative and it was delivered in an exceptional fashion.
First, Nils drove the initial training on the new content he created. Then, he held one-on-one sessions with each team member where he gave individualized feedback on each presentation. Finally, each team member went through a "certification" test with Nils where they received additional feedback and recommendations on future areas to focus on to continue to improve their delivery and communication.
Several of the team members mentioned about how much they enjoyed the training and how much value they received. The end result was a substantially improved, streamlined, and consistent onboarding process.
Having Nils provide expert-level training and coaching ensured the success of the project, while also allowing me to focus on other strategic initiatives for the Customer Success department.
I hired Nils as my executive coach as I was looking to push my development and wanted to work with someone who had been there/done that and was an experienced coach. I had a very positive experience working with Nils.
We covered a wide range of topics from executive communication to staffing plans to personnel and team effectiveness. The way in which Nils works is unique in that he has an amazing knowledge base of Customer Success but he’s not restricted to just his experience.
He listened and asked powerful questions that forced me to think more strategically. When I was not being completely honest with myself or if I wasn’t pushing myself in a specific area, Nils held me accountable and I made the shift. After each session, I took away action items that I had defined and knew exactly what to do to move forward in the area we discussed.
My effectiveness as a CS leader has grown as a result of the coaching experience with Nils and I would highly recommend him.
I engaged Nils (for the second time in my career) to be my Executive Customer Success Coach soon after I joined a rapidly-growing startup. I hired Nils to be an executive coach, an extension of my team, and sounding board for ideas and questions. What I got as a result was a partner who helped me enhance, re-think, focus, and bolster my team, my operations, my career, and myself.
From our first session, I immediately felt Nils' impact. We spent a great deal of time together refining and 'bullet-proofing' my CS operations, methodology, and framework. Our 1-hour sessions were filled with the perfect mix of strategy and tactics, and I often left feeling like we packed in days worth of value -- needless to say, not a minute was wasted. Throughout, Nils was an invaluable source of information: he helped bring clarity and a number of my open questions, and challenged me to double-down on my leadership skillset.
Creating meaningful change when inheriting a new team with set processes is never easy. I left our engagement feeling confident, focused, and empowered. I would highly recommend Nils as a coach, trainer, friend, partner - it's one of the best growth investments I have made.
There are very few consultants who can impact a tribal mindset. Nils has a very unique, diffusing approach to CX consulting.
Nils supported our organization through significant change management with delicate guidance and expert navigation. Every company would benefit from a fresh perspective on their retention efforts as an insurance policy in a changing SaaS environment.
I couldn't recommend Nils highly enough - for any stage company.
One of my first meetings with Nils was an interview for an assessment he was doing for G5. I had no idea what to expect going in but after an hour, I felt a complete sense of relief and I don’t even know how he managed to get me to talk about some of the areas we discussed. In a sense, Nils’ ability to immediately build rapport, listen and ask powerful questions created an experience I won’t forget.
After the assessment, I worked 1:1 with Nils on a weekly basis. We dove deep into my productivity which was a challenge due to the environment my organization was in at the time. Nils showed me how to build repeatable systems that I could count on for maintaining control of my email, calendar, meetings and most importantly, my sanity.
What sets Nils apart is his ability to listen, understand, ask powerful questions and help you discover the answers to your most pressing questions through frameworks and expert coaching.
I am a more confident and effective leader in my organization as a result of my experience with Nils’ coaching. He is a tremendous Customer Success leader and someone who can have a lasting impact on any organization.
Prior to working with Nils, I had a clear vision of how I wanted to coach my team and how to achieve a number I was accountable for. But, as we worked together and he guided me through his frameworks and expert coaching, he allowed me to see the different ways to achieve my goals and ultimately set me up for success. He helped me begin to peel back the layers in order to transform to a place where I knew what to focus on, how to manage my time and prioritize the various items that come my way.
Nils’ coaching helped me gain perspective on the challenges I was going through. Somehow, I always ended up in the right solution as a result of answering many powerful questions from Nils that challenged me. I left our weekly sessions feeling more confident, energized and in control than before!
I know Nils has been through many of the same experiences I was going through and it would have been easy for him to just tell me what to do. Instead, he helped me find my way through each challenge and in doing so, I was confident and ready to put my plans into action. I have even taken my experience working with Nils and used some of the same techniques with my team.
I am a more confident and effective leader in my organization as a result of my experience with Nils’ coaching.
Nils was my personal career coach in 2017 and was valuable in helping me take my career to the next level.
He based his coaching on the StrengthsFinder assessment and asked probing questions during our weekly sessions to help me put structure to the overwhelming amount of questions and decisions I was facing.
I walked away from our coaching engagement a much more self-aware and confident professional, and would recommend Nils to anyone in need of a bit of self-discovery!
I was in search of a high-impact Customer Success consultant for a critical project. We interviewed a number of highly recommended experts and selected Nils and we couldn't be more happy with the results.
While he's not alone in his expertise, his ability to rapidly understand the complexity of our business and our specific needs stood out.
He's also able to focus his efforts to rapidly help us set direction and execute our projects (rather than run his default consulting playbook).
I'd recommend anyone thinking about improving their customer success and renewal business talk to Nils..
Working with Nils as a coach has been a game changer for me. I was struggling to be an effective leader, constantly bogged down by the endless email, back to back meetings and other people dictating how I prioritize my day. This resulted in long days, working weekends and the sense of spinning my wheels with out any feeling of accomplishment.
Nils put together a program with me that enabled me to take my time back and own how I choose to focus my days. He’s a master in time management and tactics in email organization. Further more, he works with you to understand your specific pains and empower you to own your days. Due to this, I no longer move from meeting to meeting without purpose but tackle each day with a plan and utilize my time in the most effective way possible.
I initially engaged Nils and Glide Consulting to go through the Customer Success Strategy Power-up. The process was very natural and Nils knew exactly where to dig within each area of my CS organization to really understand what we were going through. The recommendations Nils provided gave me insight into the critical areas to focus on first.
Immediately following the Power-up project, I engaged Nils to provide advisory services while we were developing the CS methodology for Percolate, which was one of the recommendations. As my team and I built our methodology, Nils was always right there with guidance and powerful questions to ensure we covered every detail including the rollout to the broader team.
Driving change inside of an existing Customer Success team is a challenge for any CS leader but I’m 100% confident in our methodology and approach thanks to Nils’ help.
We engaged Nils to help us build and scale our CS team from the ground floor. He came in when we were a team of 2, and he helped us hire (to a team of 6), as well as leverage resources appropriately to improve efficiency.
We were not only able to tap into Nils' knowledge and expertise to improve core CSM skills and tactics, he also helped us establish our brand within the company. He has been an amazing mentor, as well as a great sanity check, as we continue to evolve as a team and organization.
Nils is great to work with and extremely knowledgeable about all things Customer Success. His "Power Up" was very useful as it pointed out some key holes in our process and company, and helped to get buy in from execs to put plans into action to resolve those issues.
I would recommend Nils to any organization that is looking to take their Customer Success team to the next level. He is a self described "maximizer" and is in flow helping people reach their potential. Thanks Nils for all your help, and look forward to working together again in the future!
I engaged Nils to go through Glide Consulting's Customer Success Strategy Power-up. Within a matter of weeks, I gained clarity on a number of areas which had been lingering questions such as the role CS plays vs. sales, how to effectively engage with clients after on-boarding etc.
There were a million possibilities for how to address these areas but, through the Power-up process with Nils, I now have a strategy in place and know exactly where to focus my time and the CS team’s time to yield the greatest impact.
My CS team and I also went through Glide’s Time Mastery Course together. We met once a week as a team to discuss the topics covered in the course. Over the month, I gained a deep insight into the mindset that my CSM’s have when it comes to managing their time. This coupled with the exercises and tools from the course resulted in an enormous amount of value for me and the CSM's.
Changing habits around time management can be a challenge but thanks to Glide’s Time Mastery Course, we now know what to do.
Nils has been an extremely versatile and knowledgeable resource for us as we've been building out Customer Success. I feel comfortable talking to him about any level of detail -- from high level customer success strategy to very specific customer interactions.
His level headed approach combines the right amount of honest feedback with coaching to make sure we're headed in the right direction. I definitely recommend working with Nils if you're looking for help building out Customer Success at your company.
The Customer Success strategy power-up we engaged Alex and the Glide Consulting team for laid out a specific and actionable roadmap to prioritize our efforts in Customer Success.
The process was high-impact and well-organized. After just a few conference calls, the Glide team created a clear and concise step-by-step plan on their view of the current state CS at inMotionNow, and the actions required to achieve the ideal future state.
What I appreciated most about working with Alex and the Glide team was their ability to deliver a plan that outlines the value, importance, and impact of investing in our Customer Success team. I look forward to an opportunity to work with Alex and the team again soon.
Before we worked with Nils at Glide Consulting, our Customer Success team was reactive instead of proactive. We lacked identity and purpose. Since our high-impact workshop with Nils, we've established a clear identity and a purpose that has united our team.
Every Customer Success Manager now 'runs their own business', by having proactive and strategic conversations instead of just 'fighting fires'.
Nils is a CustomerSuccess expert and master facilitator.
I found Nils’ advancedCSM training session extremely eye-opening on both a personal and professional level. I am now acutely aware of and focused on a deeper level of being present, listening and asking powerful questions.
I put the skills I learned into action the day after the training with an unhappy customer and it had an enormous impact. The customer started out unhappy and very frustrated but ended the call excited and we have a plan in place to move forward! This was a win for both of us and I feel empowered to handle difficult conversations with ease now as a result of the skills I learned in the training.
Nils is as knowledgeable, practical and effective customer success consultant that I know. While working together at Kontagent, I saw how Nils led the team and managed customers with great enthusiasm and notable management skills. When I subsequently hired him as a consultant at Thismoment, I was impressed with the process he built, the knowledge he brought to our organization and the confidence he gave me as the executive sponsor.
With Nils as our go-to resource, I always knew that we were using the right playbook to intelligently build scalable process, and ultimately that our customers would receive the best possible customer service.
Highly recommend Nils to any organization looking to scale their customer success organization.
Alex was instrumental to defining our Customer Success strategy. He helped us focus on the metrics that matter, so every team member can clearly see how their individual effort moves the needle.
If you’re looking for a thoughtful and energetic perspective on driving Customer Success in your business, I would highly recommend Alex.
Nils is Peanut Butter and Customer Success is Jelly; they’re fine on their own, but a magical experience when combined!
Our team benefitted greatly from his coaching and I’d recommend Nils and Glide to any company looking to build a Customer Success team!
Our team now has a properly defined purpose and a process that’s not only effective, but scalable as we continue our rapid growth. Having a framework that’s easy to stick with and flexible enough to adjust as necessary will continue to pay dividends for years to come. Thank you Nils!
Nils did so much more than help our CSM team learn how to take care of our customers....he helped us find our unique identity as a team, one that we're proud of.
For me personally, he taught a process that yielded immediate confidence in the job to be done.
It continues to be a great experience learning from Nils!
We contracted with Nils and Glide to help us establish our Customer Success group at Customer.io. We wanted confidence that we'd be world class at customer success on day 1 when we hire for the role. We also wanted to make sure we know who to hire and what they'd be doing.
After working with Nils, our customer success role and goals of that team are the most well-defined of any role in the company!
I'm a convert to Nils' way of doing things believe this will be transformational for our business.
Nils has hugely helped us with all aspects of customer success, from how to think about CS all the way through to when to hire our 3rd CSM and how to conduct Quarterly Business Reviews.
He is incredibly knowledgeable and opinionated on what good Customer Success looks and feels like, and he will help you get there.
We've worked with Nils twice at Segment, and I'd recommend him to any company serious about Customer Success.
While he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the various forms and tactics of CS deployments, what really sets him apart is his mastery of teaching, coaching, and capacity building.
Anyone who is smart and committed can collect the knowledge that Nils has accumulated, but it's Nils' ability to transmit those lessons to the teams he advises that makes him a no-brainer for a team looking for rapid improvements.
Our team has worked with Nils over the last several months to build out structure and bring more process to the Customer Success function at Segment.
Nils has been a delight to work with, always offering constructive feedback in a thoughtful way.
He's committed to making sure his clients are able to get value out of his services and, as such, has been very accommodating and understanding to the needs of our team.
I have greatly enjoyed working with Nils and encourage anyone who's looking to improve their own Customer Success teams to have a conversation with him and draw from his experience in the field.
Nils recently came in to work with the Customer Success Team during our annual meeting. At the time, we had 11 people on the team and were in need of some help establishing the team's mission and brand.
We worked through a few exercises to define the team's core values, purpose statement, and team name/brand definition.
Nils did a great job of connecting with the team, and was able to get everyone to open up and participate.
It was clear that he's a CS expert and knows what CS teams need to succeed.
Nils was brought in to VHT to work with our Customer Care leadership team. Having responsibility for providing care and services for our constantly growing install base and a freshly assembled team of leaders, I wanted to make sure we had a strong foundation to work together as a high-functioning leadership team and get work done. Nils set clear goals and helped my team define core values and purpose to reinforce how we want our team to work.
Nils worked with us to assess and capitalize on our own and each other's strengths to be the most effective leadership team possible - which is priceless for a small team with a significant responsibility such as ours!
As a Customer Success practitioner, Nils brought a perspective that we could relate to and provided refreshing support and direction for our group. By the end of our workshop, we were discussing how to integrate Nils' program into our on-boarding process.
Nils comes with my highest recommendation if you are looking to gain insight into your personal (or teams') strengths or build the foundation of a world-class customer success team.
Nils was instrumental in the growth of my career from a consultant perspective and from a business coach perspective.
He came in at a pivotal point for our company as a consultant and was able to create a training program that helped educate us on the new platform and give us the basics we needed to quickly ramp up.
After his work as a consultant for our company, I was fortunate enough to be able to work with him on a 1:1 basis for business coaching. I’ve worked with several business coaches and he is one of the best. I really responded well to the structure of the 3 month program focusing on my personal strengths.
It was an incredible experience to work with him to hone in not just on my strengths but what they meant to me specifically. After we determined that, we worked together to figure out how I can best utilize the power of those strengths to become the most successful version of myself.
While it was a structured program, he was flexible when necessary to address whatever challenges I was facing at the time to help create a solution.
I would absolutely recommend working with him at any point in your career. If you have any questions and want to talk to someone about the experience, feel free to reach out to me.
I worked with Nils in launching our Customer Success program at Comprehend.
Nils has excellent experience having created CS teams at several previous companies, and brought to light for us many insights as we have refined our approach to structuring our organization.
Nils has been a huge help to us here at Segment. Having him coach the whole success team on their individual strengths and working with the entire team to tie all our strengths together has been an amazing experience with great results.
Both in individual achievement and in working as a team to leverage each others' strengths. I've also been working with Nils in great depth to establish and improve our enterprise success processes and systems. Our working sessions have been extremely valuable and I'm sure there is plenty more value to be had in the coming weeks working with Nils.
I'd highly recommend Nils to anyone starting to scale a success team. You'll skip some common mistakes and dramatically improve your customers' experiences.
It has been a pleasure having Nils lead our training prior the release of our new integrated analytics product.
He is a consummate professional-always prepared, great attitude and knows the subject cold.
He takes a dry subject and put a program together that had people asking to get into classes as well as folks watching the video of our sessions.
Additionally, Nils is coaching one of our account managers and the results have been obvious. She is taking on the lessons and I can see her quite visibly applying them to the folks she is managing. We have had additional managers ask to get into this program and we are looking for ways to expand given the results we are seeing."
Nils is a genuine person and consummate business professional.
He advised Leanplum with respect to "the road map to customer success", a valuable and repeatable process that enabled our company to scale.
Additionally, Nils has the unique ability to align the interests of the employee, business and customer. The result is no conflict of interest and increased productivity.
Moreover, his business and domain expertise in the mobile space provided an immediate ROI. I highly recommend Nils in any consultative or mentoring capacity.
The CSM Time Mastery Course put into concrete action and words everything I thought I might be doing wrong — and confirmed the ugly truth of it all.
I took a good, hard look at why I'd allowed myself to be cornered into working inefficiently, and felt re-energized at the exercise of seeing what my days SHOULD look like, and where I should be spending my time.
It reminded me why I fell in love with Customer Success in the first place.
With concrete suggestions and tools, the course also helped me make some small but significant changes to the way I work so that I could start controlling my environment instead of letting it control me.
I'm excited to continue down the path of mastering my time, and teaching others around me how to do the same.
Thank you to Nils and the Glide Consulting team for a great course.