2018 In Review Plus a Preview of What’s Ahead for 2019

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As a founder, I always start planning the year ahead by looking back at what we accomplished the previous year to see how we did against our plans.

In the past I have only done this as a team exercise, but this year I thought it would be interesting to share it with our community, as well as use it as an opportunity to share with you where we’re going in 2019 because I think this year is going to see us delivering new things that are going to be super important to you.

A Quick Review of 2018

When we launched SuccessCOACHING nearly 2 years ago, we set a mission for ourselves. We wanted to provide Customer Success Managers with current, effective and actionable training that they could put into practice immediately.

As I look back on 2018 I see some opportunities that we missed, but overall I feel that we stayed on mission and made amazing progress towards accomplishing our goal of reinventing Customer Success training.

The key accomplishments for 2018 that lead me to say that:

  • Certified nearly 500 Customer Success Managers from over 250 companies around the globe

  • Took Customer Success training local by delivering nearly 20 public Customer Success training and certification workshops around the globe to glowing reviews and a 80+ Net Promoter Score - If you're not an NPS pro, 70+ is considered world-class.

  • Piloted our Customer Success Career Builder program to help veterans, caregivers returning to the workforce and the long-term unemployed to get the training they needed to start a career in the high-growth Customer Success industry at a price they could afford.

  • Launched the first workforce development program focused on helping unemployed veterans, and long-term unemployed and underemployed workers get their first jobs in the high-growth world of Customer Success in Oregon with our partner WorkSystems.

  • Completed our first yearly refresh of our curriculum; extending and enhancing it through the addition of 9 new courses focused on the key challenges that CSMs face today.

  • And last but not least, the big one for me personally, being named as the Co-Director of the first Customer Success MBA program at an accredited University, the Customer Success and Insights MBA Career Accelerator Program at the University of San Francisco.

While 2018 was an amazing year for SuccessCOACHING, we never would have been able to accomplish all that we did without you.

The amazing stores you have shared about how we’ve help you as well as the support and encouragement that we’ve gotten from the Customer Success community has fueled our desire to do more. That’s why, even though we accomplished a lot in 2018, I’m even more excited about what we’re doing for you in 2019, and I think you will be, too.

What’s happening in 2019?

In short, lots of good stuff that should really get you excited. But first a bit about what we’re going to be focusing on in 2019 to set the stage.

In 2018 we were really putting most of our effort into taking what we had learned during the early stages of developing our courses and using your feedback and suggestions to enhance it and make the curriculum what you wanted and needed.

In 2019 we’re going to continue to expand on that effort, while also focusing on making learning about Customer Success Management more accessible to everyone.

To accomplish that, here’s what we’re doing in 2019:

Sharing More Insights

This year we’re going to more than double the pace of our delivery of content focused on Customer Success Manager enablement and best practices.

We spent last year developing a huge library of material based on the topics that you cared about most. Now it’s time to start sharing those materials with the Customer Success community, so expect a ton more well-researched and written articles.

Administering New Research Projects

In 2018 we embarked on our first research project of the six that we had designed. In 2019 we’ll continue with those research projects and begin to share the results from the mountain of data that we’ve gathered from our initial research project.

There’s a ton of great insights and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Providing More Opportunities to Learn

We piloted several ideas last year to make learning about Customer Success more accessible for Customer Success Managers. We will use those experiments to launch a whole new series of Learning Events with the goal of making education on key topics more approachable, targeted and affordable (and often free).

We’ve added an Event calendar to our website to keep you apprised of all of the upcoming virtual and in-person learning events and opportunities.

Bringing You Workshops Where You Want Them

In 2018, we delivered nearly 20 workshops across the globe. In 2019 are changing how we approach scheduling our workshops. This year we’ve set the dates for our six main workshops while asking you, the Customer Success community, to aid us in determining where else we should deliver workshops through a voting process. To get involved and bring a workshop to a city near you, vote today.

More Help for Customer Success Job Seekers

There’s no denying that the Customer Success job market was hot in 2018 and promises to only get better in 2019. Recognizing that there are a lot of you that are considering a career change, or are looking to land your first job in Customer Success, we’ve built a program to support you.

We’ve packaged up all that we know, as former hiring managers and leading Customer Success recruiters, and will be delivering an ongoing series of virtual workshops and learning events to help all of you that are working to get a job in Customer Success.

If your considering a career in Customer Success or struggling to land your first role, this program was designed with you in mind.

Increasing our Support of Veterans and Unemployed Learners

In 2018 we piloted the application-based Customer Success Career Builder program. In 2019 we will be making the program broadly available as a means for veterans, unemployed workers and caregivers returning to the workforce to gain the education and skills they need to secure a job in the growing industry of Customer Success.

Delivering an Improved Learner Experience

In the latter half of 2018 we started a massive redesign project for our learning platform. We recognized that having a best-in-class learner experience was crucial for our learners success.

To assure that your experience was top-notch, we completely redesigned our learner experience and UX, and we’re excited to be rolling it out to our learners this month.

Enhancing and Updating our Curriculum

At SuccessCOACHING we’re committed to providing our learners with the most up-to-date practices and methods in Customer Success Management. This year, like last, we’ll be adding new material and updating our current courses with the latest best practices.

We’ll be adding a completely redesigned Level 3 to our CSM training and certification curriculum in Q1. And will be extending our curriculum with a newly designed Level 4 before the end of the year.

Also, to support learners that understand concepts better through reading, we worked for the last 9 months to capture all of the content in our courses on “paper”.

This effort produced nearly 300 pages of material which we are going to use to upgrade our online courses in the coming months.

And in true Steve Job’s fashion, there’s just one more thing...

Offering a New Online Training Subscription

While the SuccessCOACHING program has been a great success, we know that there are a vast number of new, current and prospective CSMs who want training, but weren’t able to commit the time or financial resources required to join our intensive 12-week SuccessCOACHING program.

Recognizing this, we’ve excited to “pre-announce” that we’ve created a new subscription-based training program for individuals and teams that we will be launching later this month.

Our new learning program, SuccessTRAINING, is designed to provide learners that want a more economical, self-guided experience with a way to get the training and certifications they want.

Looking Forward

I hope you can see now why we’re so excited about what’s coming 2019. It’s going to be an amazing year!

Post in the comments below what you’re most excited about for the coming year and if you have any additional ideas or requests to help make 2019 the best year yet for Customer Success Management education and SuccessCOACHING.